My other project


As well as writing a new book this year, I’ve also been making an album with my band, Sebastopol. It’s a pretty long and drawn out process, but the heavy lifting was done in just a few days in a basement studio in Camberwell. After that it’s overdubs, mixing, mastering and so forth. But unlike writing a book, where I’m closely involved with every stage, this is a team effort, and my bandmates Nick and Phil (notably Phil, who is both guitarist and manager) share the load. I’m on drums, by the way; we’re a guitar-bass-drums three-piece, signed to an indie label called Warm Fuzz. Anyway, you can hear and download a sample track, “Send the Boats”, on our band website, and the album, “Hello All Stations, This is Zero” is out on September 3rd (Amazon link). We’re playing several gigs to promote the album over the next few weeks, starting at the Hope & Anchor in Islington on August 18th.

What does this have to do with the history of technology? Nothing at all. Actually, that’s not quite true. The album cover features a photo of Alan Turing in 1951 in front of a Ferranti computer. We went for a 1940s vibe with the album design and styling, in part because of the similarities between then and now. It was a time of austerity, and at the same time a computer revolution was getting under way. I did quite a lot of Photoshop on the cover image to clean it up. We put some Morse code onto the cover, too. So in some ways this brings together a lot of my interests. But so much for the subtext. I hope you like the music.

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