Progress Report 2017

2017 tours.

At the end of 2017 we can report delivering live shows across North America – 5 shows in Canada and 10 in the United States. Also shows in Australia – the Sydney Opera House as part of a group show for Vivid, at the Melbourne Art Centre for Supersense, and two shows for Metropolis Touring.

We enjoyed bringing what we now call our ‘traditional show’ to audiences, but realise that this is more about repairing lost time than making progress. There’s no shame in the moment to be a traveling museum, but of course we would like to do better.

For this reason, it is very unlikely that we’ll be taking any tours in 2018, but are open to large bribes etc.


2018 will mostly be dedicated to developing new presentation system under the work name “Teleplay”. This is envisaged as a system which narrowcasts an 3D animated audiovisual ‘world’ over the net from a performative source to delivery point. Teleplay is a virtual stage on which are placed individual ambisonic sound sources and animation elements. The result can be flattened to be on a screen, seen in VR, or recorded on a virtual surround camera to make VR videos in real time.

Evidences – My previous work “Snowglobe” was part of the long learning process to this result. Another game coded named “Pretzel” is underway to help define some of the artistry. Some ambisonic music produced by the audio system has already been made available.

Current work on Teleplay includes: motion capture (hardware is in testing), MIDI sequencing of visual effects (demos working), virtual camera capture (some issues), audio staging (demos working).

Music releases.

We had some discussion about changing to a subscription service, but no decision was made. It would require that we have a bank of new releases available and so that’s been the priority. Touring is often disruptive of composing, and it’s going to be good to take a break. Here’s some individual status updates.

  • Aversion 2 (rock music simulation) is ready musically, pending improved artwork to go in the cases. We think it needs a bit more work in the presentation.
  • Music Server 3D (ambisonic muzak) is a large project which will be broken up into three stages: Volumes 1&2, 3&4 which are all going on YouTube as real time ambisonic video. Binaural versions will be on Bandcamp free. Volume 5 needs revision. Volume 6 will be a paid item on Bandcamp.
  • Barbara UFO (cinematic soundscapes) will be the last of the Barbara Island series which are only released every four years, now looks like mid/late 2018.
  • Publicist (Tom Ellard pop music) is moving along nicely and should be out early 2018. Seeing as I started it in 2015, well, yeah.

Identity and SVH.

I recently went on YouTube and saw entire Severed Heads albums posted up on there with ads, which really was a grand scale ‘fuck you’. I’ve been really tolerant of ‘fan uploads’ but I’ve had enough. At the time of writing I’ve issued nearly 100 take downs. I’m posting lots of videos on YouTube even though the resultant quality is inferior to Vimeo. People don’t care and I have ceased to care about their opinions.

As well as taking back control of ‘Severed Heads’ I’ve committed to finally making a decision about it. Previous attempts haven’t worked because people are so dedicated to their childhood that they can’t tolerate any hard change. So here’s the deal.

Anything up to the break in 2008 is us wearing our Severed Heads stage costumes. “Arabic Surface” and “Donut” are credited to them as well, but from now on the credit will simply be SVH Sevcom (Sevcom because people argued about it so let it be). If people say Severed Heads that’s fine, but it will not be written on the tin. Sevcom continues to be the label. It’s amusingly like KFC and Kentucky Fried Chicken, but we face a similar problem in wanting to do more than just chicken, and yet having a lot of past from which to escape. It’ll take time, but I think the difference of SVH for the new and Severed Heads for the old might be healthy.

Thanks for listening!


7 thoughts on “Progress Report 2017

  1. Well lists one artist named “SVH” already (only 1 track, but from just last year). Also it’s not really a very exciting name. You had better aliases in your early days. Why can’t we have band names like your early band names…

    Chris & Cosey managed the change to “Carter Tutti” but I would bet you that a name such as “SVH” won’t appear on posters without “(formerly Severed Heads)”. Maybe you would be fine with that anyhow. I’m not clear what your concerns are.

    We’ve been here many times before, and I’m not convinced that it’s the listeners that are to blame for retaining a project name you understandably don’t like but also understandably have found difficult to shed over decades. 2018 will be the 30th anniversary of ‘Bulkhead’.

    Regardless, as always I greatly look forward to your new work, under any title, and from conversations I do think many of your listeners feel the same – more than you realise perhaps!

    OK, I’ve got it: “Noodlehead”?

    • Had you thought of expanding the use of “Sevcom”?
      ✔ It’s already an established “brand”.
      ✔ It evokes recollection of “Severed Heads”.
      ✔ Snappy.
      ✔ Probably the best name you’ve yet devised.
      ✔ Domain and other IP already in place.
      ✔ Would look authoritative on gig posters.

      It wouldn’t be the first time a band and its label had the same name, and any releases by other artists would now put out under the “Terse” imprint anyway as I understand it.

      “SVH” forces me to think “Severed Heads” in order to work out the order of the letters. The only argument for going with it would be to have a video release called ‘SVH vs. Coklamax’. :-/

  2. Check this out:

    Well put: “We enjoyed bringing what we now call our ‘traditional show’ to audiences, but realise that this is more about repairing lost time than making progress.”

    I would have given a left nut, which I don’t have, to have seen the work coming up now but back in 2006. I suppose that’s a gap, then and now.

    I can’t quite get caught up in all of it now, and anyway my interest now is more reading about the processes than to proselytize an output.

    “There’s no shame in the moment to be a traveling museum.”
    I hope you don’t dismiss it because the past is in the present. Your projected work looks more like a greater execution of the past. I think that in itself repairs lost time. You certainly spark the imagination of what-ifs. Whatever you assemble, and whoever you assemble it with, will most certainly seem anthological, but never anthropological or archeological.
    The takeaway here is that his foot is always about to stomp on the log cabin. You’ll see it if you scroll through.

    (email address abandoned)

  3. Well, if SVH is already taken I’d recommend Sevs over Sevcom. Rolls off the tongue better and is also already in established use (or is that only in my head?). But then again, for those that remember any of my band names, I’m probably not the best person to ask for nomenclature advice.

    TBH, though I wasn’t originally going to mention it, SVH kind of reminds me a bit of SoliPsiK / SepPuKu / Surgical Penis Klinik / System Planning Korporation / Sozialistisches Patienten Kollektiv -> SPK.

    P.S. Talking about old names: my aren’t *we* all coming out of the woodwork?

  4. Pingback: Sevcom 2018 Annual Report, and New Year Resolutions. | Ellard

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