|Mike at the Rainbow|
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 They played cool 'n' cute electronic melodies on outdated keyboards.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.
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 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|
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.
More information on Mike is at: