ramsdale stones

ramsdale stones

Monday, 19 December 2011

2011 - 2012

Ammonites (Corner/Whitehead) - Pleased to have got a few live appearances under our belts this year, notably with novellist Chris Firth. Playing at Arunas Staponas' gallery was amazing, as was our trip down to Manchester to play at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation as guests of Skrev Press.

100 Birthdays - A free download of mine on the Electronic Musik label was included in this years 100 Notable Net Releases of 2011according to Acts of Silence.

 Ravenscar - Field recordings made in Ravenscar over the past couple of years reflecting the different layers of history that intersect at that evocative cliff top location. Mastered by Chris Corner and sent off to Daniel Crokaert to be released on his Unfathomless label. Should be out on CD in beautiful packaging derived from Chris Corner's photographs in May 2012, all being well.

Obs - I'm currently working on material for the excellent Russian CD label Obs run by the terribly friendly Denis Shapovalov. It'll be based on the geology and palaeontology of the Whitby area. I suspect the sounds of stones, pebbles, sand and shale will feature heavily.

The Fieldreporter - As a regular reviewer on The Field Reporter, a site dedicated to field-recording based releases, I've submitted my top ten for 2011. My current favourite  is Darius Ciuta's beautiful and mysterious L-C (loop - coil).

Photographs from Burnt Rigg, Ravenscar by Chris Corner

Thursday, 1 December 2011


The soundtrack to our trip down to Manchester with our friend the author Chris Firth. Rain, Radio 2 and Grocer Jack. Yes, he is dead.

Also a short extract of us playing at the Anthony Burgess International Foundation.
Onstage visuals by Chris Corner.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


A  M  M  O  N  I  T  E  S

Playing live at the
International Anthony
Burgess Foundation,
Manchester with Chris

November 29th

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


A  M  M  O  N  I  T  E  S

Corner and Whitehead playing live at Staponas Gallery, Whitby on October 27th.
The words are from Chris Firth's novel The Strip.
The voice is that of the author himself.

Many thanks to Arunas Staponas for letting us play at his beautiful gallery,
and many thanks to everyone who came to see us.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011



On October 27th AMMONITES (Corner/Whitehead) are playing live at Staponas Gallery, Pier Road, Whitby, which is right on the harbour side. To give a full flavour, here's the press release from Whitby on Fire...

Thursday 27 October
Staponas Photographic Gallery, Pier Road, Whitby
Tickets £5 Refreshments will be available throughout the evening and are included in the ticket price

You can get tickets from Staponas Gallery on Pier Road or Folk Devils music shop on Sandgate, Whitby. Folk Devils is exclusively selling direct copies of ‘The Strip’ and the Ammonites'  CDs in Whitby.

The new photographic Staponas Gallery will hold a unique electronic music, digital image and Sci-Fi fiction  event to tie in with the opening of Goth weekend this October.

The recently opened gallery, run by photographer Arunas Staponas, has hooked up with ambient experimental electronica band Ammonites and writer Chris Firth to construct an evening of live experimental music, digitalised dub-text readings and a display of breathtaking animations and photography.

The rarely seen Ammonites will play live music from their CDs ‘33.3’ and  ‘The Tenth Transmitter’, which include  random local sound-bite samples blended  with beautifully crafted soundscapes and animations; writer Chris Firth will display digital audio samples from his latest controversial  ‘stranded on a traffic island’ science fiction novel, ‘The Strip’, and there will be an ongoing display of Arunas Staponas'  outstanding photography.

If you want a ticket and you won't be in Whitby until Goth Weekend Tweet me (use the button at the top of the blog page) or email quippyuk@yahoo.co.uk.

There are only 30 tickets available in total. Book early!


Tuesday, 27 September 2011


A video for WEST CLIFF, a tune from AMMONITES' 33.3 CD on Reverb Worship. Beautiful viola playing by Ellie Whitehead and an abstract vision from Rich Locker allowing us to project whatever we want into the bright green void at the bottom of the screen.

 We embrace accidents.

Video: Rich Locker
Ammonites: Chris Corner + Chris Whitehead
Viola: Ellie Whitehead

Thursday, 15 September 2011


Impulsive Habitat have produced a nice new cover for Estuary. It was a bit of an unexpectedly rushed release, filling in for some scheduled work that wasn't quite ready. Consequently the cover wasn't quite of the standard Impulsive Habitat usually aspire to. They've remedied the matter by coming up with this stunning image of an unearthly vista traversed by what might just be an extraterrestrial river.

Estuary will hopefully be included in a future framework radio programme broadcast in the UK on Sunday nights at 11pm on Resonance FM, the London radio station. They have the download in their posession. It's always interesting to hear how the tracks are blended together with other artists' work, making each broadcast a piece of original composition in its own right.

The Field Reporter is a new blog featuring reviews and essays on sound art. I've been invited to contribute, and so far I've written about Simon Whetham's excellent Cold Shoulder, a piece concerned with an industrialised area of Bristol, and Phonic Psychomimesis' audio exploration of  the railway locomotive entitled Trainishness. Both these releases are free to download.


Saturday, 10 September 2011


Recordings made at a very sunny but extremely windy village show on the North Yorkshire coast. The face painting tent nearly blew away!

You can hear the fairground organ, some old agricultural machinery engines working, and the creaking and straining from inside one of the weatherbeaten tents amongst other things.

Lythe Show: 10:09:11 by Chris Whitehead

Friday, 26 August 2011


The track Mir Galley from Ammonites' 33.3 CD on Reverb Worship and the sound of Chris Firth's ailing Tank - a VW T2 Transporter - traversing the semi derelict, quasi-industrial landscape from Marsh Farm to South Gare.

Text from Chris's recent novella The Strip adds bite to the deserted landscape.

"Waves of sound exploded all around, continuously, over and over, as if the roaring of a hurricane at sea had been canned, amplified ten thousand times then opened right next to his head." Chris Firth. The Strip.

Buy The Strip by Chris Firth from Skrev Press

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


This is a recording made by scraping the slide guitar over the small stalks and leaves of a bamboo bush. The resulting music was put through the tiny Marshall amp and recorded on a Zoom H4 standing a metre away. Plenty of extraneous noise from traffic and seagulls forms a backdrop of undulating sound.

Guitar and bamboo by Chris Whitehead

Thursday, 14 July 2011


Here's a short review of Estuary by David Nemeth for his acts of silence blog.

Chris Whitehead’s “Estuary” on Impulsive Habit is a fascinating montage of Morecambe Bay in England.

Chris Whitehead is a sound artist from North East England who specializes in field recordings. His first two releases are on Electronic Musik. Valentine (2010) recorded the streams by Sandsend and Kettleness and pheasants and other birds at night fall, while 100 Birthdays (2010) examined the movement of people in London. Whitehead combines both natural and man-made sounds in his Impulsive Habit release, Estuary. Recorded last year in Morecambe Bay in North West England just shy of the Scottish border, Whitehead pieced together various recordings he made over a week’s time of the expansive mudflats. The track is a combination of hydrophone recordings of the water flow and, as Whitehead called it, “breathing mud” as well as more standard recordings captured during his time there.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


AMMONITES (Chris Corner and Chris Whitehead) will be playing live at the launch of Chris Firth's new book THE STRIP, together with LOKI at THE FRIENDSHIP ROWING CLUB, Church Street, Whitby on Saturday, May 28th.

Chris Firth climbs into his Camper van, puts the AMMONITES' track Rohilla from their first CD on Reverb Worship entitled 33.3 into the player, and drives up Skelder mixing engine sounds with ominous alien throbbing and guitar notes pealing out across an asphalt ocean.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


In July last year we went on a family holiday to Arnside in Cumbria. Every night for a week I went out and recorded the sounds of the water, the birds, the wind in the trees and the activity around the estuary.

On the very last night the wind dropped completely and the tiny pops and crackles as gas escaped from the wet mud became evident. Placing a pair of hydrophones in the still, shallow edge of the river this breathing mud created its own distinctly alien soundworld.

These recordings were merged into a single 17 minute track which has been released by IMPULSIVE HABITAT. Its free to download, as are all IH releases.


Arnside stands where the estuary of the River Kent opens out into the vast, featureless expanse of sand that is Morcambe Bay. Classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty, this desolate landscape of mudflats and tidal channels is sliced through by the Arnside Viaduct, a 477m long railway bridge over the estuary built in 1857.

Some of the trains carry a cargo of nuclear waste, often from other countries, to be processed at Sellafield Nuclear Reprocessing Plant further up the coast. The reinforced containers used to transport the waste are known as coffins.

Many thanks to Chris Corner for mastering Estuary

Download Estuary


Saturday, 9 April 2011


Unfortunately our gig that was due to take place on May Bank Holiday Monday at The Art Cafe, Flowergate, Whitby has been cancelled. The cartoon below goes some way towards explaining the circumstances surrounding this sad turn of events

Sunday, 3 April 2011


Several of the tracks from my 100 Birthdays set were featured on Resonance FM on Sunday 20th March. The framework radio programme goes out at 10pm every Sunday night and is dedicated to field recording, phonography and sound collection of all stripes. Tracks from various featured artists are blended together into one seamless composition.

'The show we did somehow manage to get together is a good one – finally featuring this wonderful disc from our friends in the seattle phonographers union, along with great sounds from richard garet, yannick dauby, and chris whitehead. and of course an intro recorded for us here in estonia by taavi tatsi.'

Listen to the show at framework radio
Listen to Resonance fm
Download the show

framework radio: 20:03:2011

Monday, 21 March 2011


Before going to work today I thought I'd document the first day of Spring by placing a microphone on top of the wheelie bin.

This is what happened.

First day of Spring in Whitby by Chris Whitehead

How do the birds know what date it is?


Ammonites (Chris Corner and Chris Whitehead) will be playing live at the Art Cafe, Flowergate, Whitby on May Bank Holiday Monday as part of a poetry evening. The theme of the event is May Day: Regeneration and Revolution I think. Author and poet Chris Firth will be reading a selection of his work and there will be an open mic later on for anyone to perform.

We'll certainly be presenting a live version of Rohilla from our first Reverb Worship CD 33.3 as well as other tasty sonic specialities. Instruments will no doubt include rocks, water, leaves and sticks. You know, the usual stuff.

Rumour has it there may also be a rare appearance by Chris The Poet.

Saturday, 5 March 2011


A track of mine called Pannett, from 100 Birthdays, is featured on this 16 track sampler from the Electronic Musik netlabel. Its a good way to dip a toe into the simmering pool of sonic pleasure nurtured by the label. The third tracks of fifteen recent releases make up the set, together with a new piece by Noise Research called Third from the Left.

Other featured artists include: Thee Moths, Richard Knight, Noise Research, Mutate, Spectrox, Herve Perez, Graham Dunning, Diamond Family Archive, Ambient Fabric, Piscis, Pesticide Organica, Pangea, Weltausstellung, Richard Wilmer and Chris Lynn.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Duet for Stream and Aeroplane / Duet for Rockpool and Aeroplane by Chris Whitehead

A recording of a stream at Beck Hole and a hydrophone recording from inside a seaweed filled rockpool at Kettleness. I'd like to thank both pilots, without whom these recordings could not have been made.


A man, wearing a microphone, walks into a jackal enclosure at the zoo,
and is attacked, killed and eaten by jackals,
while an attendant crowd take pictures.

A stampede of hippos that run down a crowd of visitors.

A helicopter issuing a live news report crashes into an enormous bird sanctuary.

A camera, set to record, is dropped fifty metres through foliage.

These are some of the reasons I put this extraordinary radio play into my list of top choices for 2010. The story of corporate corruption and bloody minded greed is told via a montage of recordings collected from various digital recorders. It says a lot about the way we use electronic devices as interfaces, or shields, or mirrors, or filters, to document modern life. We make our own cages.

Read about the making of We Outnumber You Here

Download We Outnumber You

Thursday, 13 January 2011


The Tenth Transmitter (2009) is the second CD from Ammonites (Chris Corner and Chris Whitehead). There are still a few copies left at the label Reverb Worship. Catalogue Number RW91.

It comes in a hand made lacepaper cover with a transparent insert and a CDR as silver as the Lone Ranger's horse. In fact so minimal is the CDR itself that its a toss up which way to put it in the player.

...Field recordings of the sea, shops, a band of majorettes and a blackbird in full song are juxtaposed against drones and muffled squelches from who knows where? Listen to the inner life of electric pylons or motor scooter engines looping looping looping...

A  m  m  o  n  i  t  e  s

Monday, 3 January 2011

2010 TOP 7

I was asked by Impulsive Habitat to submit my favourite recordings created in 2010. Although I bought or downloaded a fair bit of stuff this year, a lot of it was made quite a while ago. The list was supposed to be longer than five items, but no more than ten in length.

I managed 7. My two favourite CDR labels were Apollolaan Recordings and Frozen Tendril Records. Both had two entries in the top 7. Matt Davies' 3 Landscapes is just sublime phonography that gives you time to sink below its surface. Live in Eindhoven is Low showing how rivetting they are as a flesh and blood band. Laser Beam is particularly amazing in its spare simplicity.

The odd one out is We Outnumber You. An extraordinary radio play. A very visceral and frightening drama about a corporately financed zoo that ends in catastrophe. Sonically devastating and difficult to shake off. Sadly it doesn't seem to be available from the original archive anymore, hence no link.

This is the Radio Times' review:

This is one of the most harrowing and profoundly upsetting plays that I have ever heard, with a concluding scene that will haunt me for ever. It is also a work of brilliance. The drama takes place on the opening night of a new zoo on the Isle of Wight, but it is delivered in a most unusual verite style, as if the listener were tuning in to the characters' mobile phone calls that have been recovered after the event. Kenneth Cranham stars as David, the self-satisfied morally-vacuous oil company boss who is behind the opening of this zoo to show off his employer's environmental commitment. He's expecting a protest from dissenters outside the perimeter of the grounds, but nothing in his worst nightmares could prepare him for the actions of the two eco-terrorists who are already on the inside. As the devastating chain of events unfolds it is matched by the increasingly hysterical phone recordings - until one final, terrible sound is heard.