[an error occurred while processing this directive]

BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
BirminghamBirmingham

BBC Homepage
England
»BBC Local
Birmingham
Things to do
People & Places
Nature
History
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Nearby Sites

Black Country
Coventry
Hereford & Worcs
Stoke

Related BBC Sites

England
 

Contact Us

Music


Scene from Look and Listen
Scene from Look and Listen

A chat with Mike Johnston

Mike in Mono talks about his music, animations, electronica, Plone and their Peel sessions, Being Clive 2 in the ZX Spectrum Orchestra, being a civil servant, his animation being shown at the National Film Theatre...


Mike at the Rainbow
Mike at the Rainbow
audio Click to listen to the Mike Johnston interview >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

Plone were Mike Bainbridge, Mark Cancellara and Michael Johnston. They formed in late 1996 in Birmingham. They played cool 'n' cute electronic melodies on outdated keyboards. Signed by Warp Records, they were critically acclaimed in the national music press and championed by John Peel. They released singles and an album and split up around 2001.

Plone
Plone

After Plone Mike went solo, calling himself Mike In Mono, and then gave up music for a job in the Civil Service "Data Mining". Unable to hang up his midi cables for long, he has returned to music and is currently recording as Mike In Mono, Clive II in ZX Spectrum Orchestra and probably other, sillier, names.

ZX Spectrum Orchestra. Pic: warmcircuit.com
ZX Orchestra. Pic: warmcircuit.com

As well as the day job and the music, Mike is also making films about sound and light, using graph paper and lots of maths. One of these films, Look  And Listen by ZX Spectrum Orchestra was described as "Three minutes of mind-scrambling Spectrum animation" by 7inch Cinema. Look And Listen was recently shown at the National Film Theatre, as part of its Optronica festival.

Mike is very busy.

Mike converts these grids into animation
Mike converts these grids into animation

Ciarán Ryan spoke to him at the Rainbow pub in Digbeth, about:

"Feeling like a Belfast accountant", John Cage, random numbers, silence, his films, his music, Plone, Look and Listen, "trying to capture the sound of growing", Plone's Peel sessions, his parents, ZX Spectrum Orchestra, his day job, "access to technology and creating populist music", "Binary - you can sing along if you know the numbers", redundant technology, why he has to do what he does, his future...

The interview lasts for approx. 23 minutes. You'll need free Realplayer software to listen to it.

====

Mike Johnston, Mike In Mono, Clive II etc
Mike Johnston

More information on Mike is at:

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Plone

http://www.7inch.org.uk/About_7inch/Film_of_the_month.aspx

http://lists.bfi.org.uk/bulletins/nft/20050714_optronica/

http://www.warmcircuit.com/web/artist.php?artist_id=4

http://www.optronica.org/index2.html

http://www.halfeaten.com/index.htm

last updated: 21/09/05
Have Your Say
Your name: 
Your comment: 
 
The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Dean
Good luck Mike with the new projects.

Jon
Ah Plone. For a brief moment they took me back to the halcyon days of Screen Test and the other shows where I now realise I picked up my liking for electronic music. Had the good luck to see 'em live in Leeds. Jon T b1970

Dominic
We want Plone back!

SEE ALSO
home
HOME
email
EMAIL
print
PRINT
Go to the top of the page
TOP
SITE CONTENTS
SEE ALSO

Brindley Place
360° views across Birmingham

Nature links
Nature in Birmingham




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy