Here you can find links to free music, videos and literature by Mike Dickson, Systems Theory, Greg Amov and the Ashley-Dickson Immersive Experience.


20th February 2018: Consonance has changed tack a little. No longer split into tracks, the whole piece will now comprise one length piece of about forty to fifty minutes. Let me tell you something else: I think it's just superb. The first movement is so overwhelmingly strong, it blows the doors off just about everything else.

30th January 2018: Consonance 01 now complete...again. What I thought was complete was actually not. It's now maybe the biggest, most overwhelming thing I have done. It also breaks a record, having gone through nearly 40 iterations; 15 or so is my usual number. It merges into Consonance 02 which is a total contrast and features some very delicate playing and timbres. Already thinking of #3 and also thinking of another idea - merging all of these tracks into a single movement. Might do, might not.

23rd January 2018: Consonance 01 now complete. It's very strong, and has led me into an idea about 'thematic repettion' and variance on a melody throughout the entire album. A definitie idea exists for parts 02 and 03 now, as well as for the start of Oriole.

1st January 2018: Consonance has stalled a little after the first arrangements for 01 and 02 stopped making sense. The plan is intact, but the execution is suspect. Ho hum. It is the way of things. What progress can be made without some doubts about the path?

Work started on the Colours Project Vermillion. Like mono it's programmed music, but with more choices and with a more considered approach. So far it feels good.

26th December 2017: Consonance is started. The first thing to do is some general husbandry around my file structures. When I see how I used to keep some of the old Systems Theory stuff I feel vaguely faint. If I was asked to resume some of that then I'd find it incredibly tricky. Order is everything! Also wrestling with a 32bit DAW in a 64bit world. More on that topic later. To work.

25th December 2017: Dissonance is released. The web pages are going to be improved shortly. Earlier notes indicated its release was due for Q1/2018 so I am a little ahead of schedule right now, which is unusual. I am not being that silly (yet) about a schedule for Colours. (yes, someone has actually asked already - more details later)

24th December 2017: Dissonance is done. I'm really pleased with this one. Working now on the web site to get it released. Thank heavens this was done by the close of the year. Consonance now beckons.

26th November 2017: The last few weeks have been spent on something else entirely. As well as my 'real life', I have been focussing on rendering a version of Howard Skempton's outstanding composition Lento which Martin Smith introduced me to. It's simple to listen to, but the score is a work of witchcraft, with more time changes that just about any piece I have ever worked on. Fortunately, I have the composer's ear on this one so that might prove to be to my advantage.

31st October 2017: Some weeks away, mulling. Dissonance is coming along very well and reasonably fast, and there are ideas floating for Consonance now too that need expression quickly. Better yet, the next ten albums in a series known as Colours is being mapped out. As I see it this will take me the next four years and may lead into the last music I will make. That's thirty three albums of my own material. Also thinking of video recordings again. More news to follow.

10th September 2017: After some thought (and a few technical problems) Oddzial has found a CD release. This edits each of the movements down to two minutes apiece (as opposed to the usual 50) which allows it all to fit onto a CD quite comfortably.

As I say elsewhere, I prefer the full-length immersive version of the music to this kind of 'sampler' edition, but I do know that the album has its fans and that many of them would prefer something they can listen to in a briefer form. It may also serve to introduce a new audience to the music.

Still thinking about Dissonance. I might have to go to the piano for this one.

8th September 2017: Re-thinking Dissonance now, and thinking that work on it so far may be scrapped completely and restarted wth the original intention in mind. Mission creep abounds. (Or abounded) The earlier ideas that brimmed sounded far better in my head than in sound.

7th September 2017: Work has completed on Oddzial, with the remaining parts being completed. This brings the total number of movements up to the planned number of 29, with the exception of 14 which is still withdrawn on purely artistic grounds. This project is now closed. A playlist is supplied to allow intrepid listeners to spend something like 24 hours in its dark ambient company.

I also have an idea to put together a CD length release of Oddzial as well, featuring crossfades of each section on separate tracks, maybe two minutes of each being featured. It's just an idea at the moment, though...

4th September 2017: A new compilation entitled Curated is now available, comprising 14 tracks composed over the last six years or so. It's quite a mixed bag ranging from the full composed to the improvised and all abstract states in between. On re-listening to it I was struck by how long it was before the listener to this album hear a single planned note. That said, I don't think I am much use as an arch-improviser unless I get lucky. For every minute of improvised music I release there is probably about an hour that I do not. That people far better than I agree with this ratio is encouraging.

I have also changed the artwork for the album from the rather mundane placeholder that was there before.

24th August 2017: Resonance web site now complete. Moving on to Dissonance now. First track started, scrapped, reimagined and scrapped. Something else has been taken out of these ashes now. Some careful consideration of what follows is now required. I can actually see this being scrapped again, for different reasons.

Vibrations played in the car today. Better than I remembered. I do recall the creation of Vibrations 01 with particular pride - that track is/was 100% improvised, yet it sounds the most composed of them all. Some of the modulations are startling; the lift that starts at 00:19 and drops into a minor-glazed fuck-off is something I really like. Yet at the time I remember watching myself playing the tune and thinking the game is now playing me. I read this from a musican hero once; how one lives for these moments and how they justify the rest of it. And then it all collapses.

Why collapses? Maybe because I read some stories and spat-narratives about a musician I respected and found him to be seriously wanting as an individual. He cannot dress it up any other way; the guy is a dick to work with. What is testing about the expression 'gentleman's agreement'? Nothing as far as I can see. Maxim #1: Never meet your heroes. Maxim #2: Never work with your heroes. Maxim #3: Never try and accept your heroes' justification for anything. That leads me to Punk Maxim #1: All heroes are useless. I've met a few and some seem fine. I have yet to work with any (at least in a musical sense), and feel that this may be a situation worth continuing. I can only think of one heroic person and he was brutalised by a country that should have been on its knees begging his gratitude.

Some more ideas about the shape of Consonance. If this comes off it will be unlike anything I have ever done before.

Seeking some solace in curating another compilation on request. No title for it yet, but it will contain music from my more abstract periods. Abstract but not that abstract. Call it constructed abstractism.

Also read this today. Oh boy. It's execptional. As it this by Robert Webb. Outstanding writing, both of them. Also just finished Flowers For Algernon and found it exceptionally good. I'm so glad to be back reading again. Time to revisit James Joyce and MIlan Kundera, maybe. I sometimes get a greater sense of musical inspiration from what I read than what I hear, probably because the latter gives you it all up front and doesn't give you the space in which to sow your own ideas. That's why I have to listen to something then try to forget it so I can remember it.

8th August 2017: Resonance is done. I am very pleased with this one. The web pages will be integral to the music, so give me some time to get it together. Track one is something I am particularly keen on.

Work is also stampeding ahead with Dissonance . Brimming with ideas for this one.

Further - I have decided that Vibrations, Resonance, Dissonance and Consonance will form a series known as Waves in four volumes.

16th July 2017: Resonance is now up to nine tracks, with most of them being tightened up for the final release. Part of the issue is that it's suffering a little from the well it sounded alright last night syndrome, where something that seemed to be balanced and mixed down fine suddenly shifts somehow and sounds muddy and inarticulate. Getting there, though.

8th July 2017: Resonance is steaming ahead at full speed - faster than I had expected, really. A couple of inspired moments have mean that tracks #6 and #8 have taken on a very different tone than what was planned for them. This could be revisited on another couple of tracks elsewhere which need a bit of tightening up.

There is also considerably less use of the Mellotron on this one than elsewhere (probably nowhere since the early days of Oddzial) because I am looking for a different palette here. It does make an appearance here and there, but for the most part it sits in the corner and shuts up. Still love the damned thing, though. I would imagine that much is obvious.

I also have the germ of the base for Dissonance 01 which actually contains some sounds I am a little nervous about using. Listeners with acute hearing powers may be able to tell why.

27th June 2017: Planning has started for Consonance for planned release 2Q/2018.

26th June 2017: Resonance well under way. Five tracks started, the first almost completed - the bed track is fashioned almost entirely out of samples that you would never recognise now, and from found sounds that have been treated to such an extent that they have become something else entirely. I'm also particularly pleased that a pile of five recordings made over the course of a decade can be blended together to sound as though they were recorded in Sumatra, even though none were recorded further than a mile from my house.

Expect more rhythm in this one than before. Sometimes shockingly so.

25th June 2017: All the Radiohead related hoo-hah has caused me to upload my take on No Surprises to Soundcloud for an appearance on a pretty dormant group on Reddit.

6th June 2017: Planning has started for Dissonance for planned release 1Q/2018. Expect something difficult here.

5th June 2017: Work has commenced on Resonance for planned release 3Q/2017

21st May 2017: Vibrations released - 13 tracks of primarily choral compositions, including abstract soundscapes, orchestral and electronic music

30th March 2017: I'm absolutely done with Facebook. Lots of reasons why, really but it has become so tiresome recently that I never even really read it. Those of you who need to contact me can get me on Messenger if you need to, but that's it for me.

Some people view social media as essential for music to proliferate and to a very large extent this is true, but I am more interested in staying away from the endless polarisations of an awful lot of it, where you are either one of us or you are one of them and where there is no middle ground, agreement or compromise. Godwin was an optimist, not unlike Murphy. What was designed to draw people closer together is really only being used to do so by polarising different factions and pulling them further and further apart. Pretty soon we will have disparate 'opinion islands' whose inhabitants cannot understand how the other thinks because they are so far over the horizon they cannot be seen, only heard about. People are much more complex than that; to reduce you to one colour or another subtracts from your humanity, leaving you with the only choice of 'am I in it or am I out of it?'

So, I am out of it.

20th March 2017: Movements released. More orchestral colourings along with some rather incongruous arrangements.

13th February 2017: Planning started on creating twelve further tracks for the infamous Oddzial project.

26th November 2016: Work finalised on Spectrum, a single track which contains slow-changing electronic waves and patterns together with the sounds of protesting machinery and the even more distressing sound of an actress nearing the end of her solitary rope.

29th May 2016: Work finalised on the mono project - an attempt to see if it is possible to complete an album of ten tracks of four minute's duration, all in a single day, together with accompanying YouTube videos. Five albums were completed for the project (named mono 1 to 5) over the course of a single week, amounting to about fourteen hours' work a day.


Site last updated 23rd January 2018