Bartlett School Of Architecture 2004 - 2006

Chris Daniel (Unit 22)



Dec '04 - Aug '06

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    Music to Watch Weeks go by by...

    By Christopher Daniel
    Apr 11, '06 5:56 PM EST

    Since I started at the Bartlett, I've had to work from home. Studio space is extremely limited, particularly compared to the spacious facilities I enjoyed up in Newcastle. In our undergraduate spaces we had enough space for a reasonably civilized game of studio cricket (similar to classroom cricket, but without the worry of teachers catching us). At the Bartlett there's no room to swing the proverbial cat, let alone a homemade cricket bat (looked like one of the paddles from Dazed & Confused).


    So now my bedroom is also my studio, which means I have plenty of space to lay out drawings (on my bed), a seperate desk for modelmaking and a nice big dual-monitor computer setup. Those are the plus sides. One of the downsides is going stir crazy with lack of human interaction (MSN really doesn't count). The other is that it allows my music listening habits to stray to all the dark places they really shouldn't. My flatmates come home to find me perpetrating some truly awful crimes against musical decency. At least when I was in the studio I was kept in line by the peer pressure of a communal stereo.

    As the year hurtles towards it's (possibly) horrific conclusion, the aural requirements are becoming clearly divided:

    - Thesis-writing requires non-vocal classical music or orchestral soundtracks.

    - Designwork calls for steady playthroughs of good electronica or drum&bass. Plenty of good hip-hop when things are going well.

    - But it's the drudge times when the crimes are committed. That's when it's all about 80s pop, stadium rock, euro-pop and even folk music. Apparently I have been caught listening to house, but I fervently deny it.

    When this course is over I'll have to kick the habit, but for now I reckon I just have to embrace Tiffany, Lionel Richie and Billy Joel. They're clearly a means to an end. I'm Guilty as charged.

    Does anyone else have any dirty musical habits to own up to? C'mon now. Don't be shy...


    • myriam

      I did indeed rock to Abba: Gold many a studio night.

      Luckily for my rep it was on the discman, not the studio stereo...

      Apr 11, 06 6:11 pm

      right on. i'm tearing thru music like never before. i think i kill 2 albums a day. Corey Hart's "i wear my sunglasses at night" is a winner today. but yes, def. certain genres for certain tasks. i should really prepare playlists for each. like packing my lunch. neither will happen in the next 3 wks. tiffany: ha, ha. the “i think we are alone” song was what meg and i sang for a recent karaoke affair. it was not pretty, but ripe for 5th-grade-nostalgia. dual screens? sigh.

      Apr 11, 06 6:43 pm

      I had my cd book basically organized by "Phase of the Night". As the night wore on and my eyelids got heavier and heavier, my thinking got muddy enough to actually welcome the jolt from such refreshing classics as "Fernando" ("There was something in the air that night, The stars were bright, Fernaaaaaandooooo...."), "Don't Stand So Close" (ahh, who doesn't love a little lecherous Sting at night?) and, of course, for that 4am-6am long haul, "America" (the Kansas version) over and over and over again.

      For earlier stages of the night I had Royksopp, LemonJelly, and others that I am not ashamed of.

      I don't miss that time.

      Do you listen to any Xploding Plastix? Also you might try Gangpol und Mit (free mp3 ep at if you need some new happy electronica. These kinds of things are rare on this side of the Atlantic but you probably know about them already.

      Apr 11, 06 7:11 pm
      Christopher Daniel

      Don't knock Tiffany. That track is truly amazing and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.

      A mate's girlfriend has a game for her PS2 called "Singster". It's essentially competitive karaoke. Two people sing at the same time and the game scores them according to how well they mimic the track.

      This weekend a few guys decided to give this game a go. It was brilliant to see how a bunch of males can turn pop karaoke into a macho competition.

      The work anthem of last year was definitely "The Reason" by Hoobastank. Not quite sure why. When we found The Reason on the karaoke game, the gloves really came off. The scores were huge. The bouts were close. It really should be embarrassing, but as I get older I'm learning to embrace the tastelessness.

      Other great tracks for late nights:

      Starship - We Built This City
      Whitesnake - Here I Go Again
      John Farnham - You're The Voice

      Also anything by The Killers, The Jam, DJ Shadow, RJD2 or Sigur Ros. Sigur Ros and Godspeed You Black Emperor are for the long dark nights of the soul.

      [Oh, and the dual screen setup: it's a 22" and a 19". Sadly they're not flatscreen so they take up half the desk.]

      Apr 11, 06 7:11 pm

      If I were in studio nowadays I might throw the Kaiser Chiefs on for the 3am period. Sigur Ros would put me to sleep if I was really into it late. DJ Shadow and RJD2 essentially made my portfolio for me.

      Apr 11, 06 7:14 pm
      Christopher Daniel

      Lemonjelly and Royksopp figure heavily at the more respectable end of the spectrum. If you like the 'sopp, you should check out Kings of Convenience and anything by Erlend Øye (he's lead singer of the Kings and does vocals on a lot of the 'sopp stuff).

      Not sure about the Kaiser Chiefs. The album just doesn't grab me.

      If there's any music I feel I should be learning to love right now, it's Einsturzende Neubauten. They're a German industrial-electronica group whose name translates as "Collapsing New Buildings". They've released albums called "Strategies Against Architecture" volumes 1 to 3. I've hated everything I've heard by them, but that only reminds me of my design right now, especialy while working on my structural design...

      Apr 11, 06 7:23 pm
      the silent observer

      When I was in studio, there was one guy who would play pink floyd music nonstop...especially as the night wore on...

      There was also a period, my first year, when I heard the "Rent" soundtrack nonstop. There were massive fights when that started playing.

      I am a headphones guy now...I was driven mad by some of the music chosen by studio compatriots...however, when we were pushing a deadline, there was always a moment when some Billy Joel was put on...and at that point, it was studio karaoke.

      Apr 12, 06 5:38 am
      the silent observer

      As a side note...jealous of the computer set up...but understand the personal interaction thing...however, though I have space in the Master's studio to work, no one else is ever the net effect is the same....
      Got Plenty of space, but no one to talk to...And what is with Wates House closing for a week?!

      Apr 12, 06 5:41 am
      Christopher Daniel

      You might equally ask what is with Wates House closing every night and, even worse, what is with the workshop closing for about 3 weeks?!

      (for those of you who don't know the Bartlett, the tiny building we're all piled into is actually called Wates House. It looks like this)

      It's all madness. I was at the "Staff-Student Consultative Committee" a few weeks ago and most of the questions relatated to the new constricted opening hours. The response from the staff was that they can do nothing against UCL safety policy. The Bartlett doesn't have the money to keep a security guard on the door 24/7 and UCL won't let people have keycard access any more. Apparently it's mostly because of the increased number of drug addicts hanging around the Euston area now that King's Cross is being cleaned up. I'm told they ued to find a junkie wandering around the building at least twice a week because someone hadn't closed the door properly.

      As for the Easter closing itself? What the hell?! Madness, straight up madness with only 5 weeks to go til some portfolio hand-ins.

      Some of the students complained that it was unfair to expect us to do as much work as previous years while having less access to the same facilities. The response was that actually the quality of work seemed to have remained unchanged. I guess that was always going to be true. Students still do the same amount of work, it's just that it's now harder for them to do so.

      Anyway, back to the music. This morning is mostly about Pendulum. Hardcore Australian drum&bass to get the creative juices flowing. Nice.

      Apr 12, 06 6:43 am
      sporadic supernova

      tiffany and lionel richie !!!!?????!?!!?!? ...

      lol .. you need to get out .. hahah ..

      but i can totally identify with the "peer pressure of a communal stereo"

      Apr 12, 06 8:32 am


      So appropriate I almost puked

      Apr 12, 06 9:02 am
      bryan boyer

      Who are we to judge if Chris is running just as fast as he can?

      Apr 12, 06 9:27 am
      Christopher Daniel

      Ha ha! Damn right, Bryan. I'm just trying to get away, into the night.

      This afternoon is mostly about re-discovering the music that got me through undergrad. The absolute winner from those days is still appropriate now: "Ain't Got Time To Waste" by AiM (on the album Cold Water Music). It's both lyrically appropriate and perfectly paced to work along at the same speed as a caffeine-fueled crit-stressed heartbeat.

      The Risky Business soundtrack (or anything by Tangerine Dream) are also good. Embrace the 80s. Go on. If you don't, no-one else will.

      Apr 12, 06 10:35 am
      the silent observer

      I hear ya about the closings...and the shop...It's kinda crazy to imagine how you all are maintaining the same work levels as the years before...that's a feat.

      Apr 13, 06 4:48 am

      I would like to lodge a complaint against the slandering of House music - there are many flavours - such as prog (a la Global Underground) - which do in fact kick ass.

      I will accept the mocking of Funky House, even though it can be quite fun sometimes.

      Apr 13, 06 8:23 am

      is deep house still around? i use to like the tempo of deep house...something like 110-120 bpm...

      Apr 13, 06 7:38 pm

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