Mike Torr

All My Stuff

This is a HUB PAGE for Mike Torr's online manifestations. The 'pretty' version will appear eventually, but for the time being it will remain gritty, down-to-earth and basic. This is because the sites it links to are far more important than taking time out of my precious schedule to learn how to do graphic design. I'm actually maintaining this page using a terminal window and the vi editor (pronounced 'vee eye' - yes it is, don't argue). Incidentally, this is a 'skill' (if you can call it that) that I learned in 1996, while maintaining a web site for my band (Jadis). Happy days, before the evil supervillains ruined the internet. Sigh...

Writing

I write a lot of short stories, and eventually I might upload some of them and link to them here. I'm also working on books! In particular, I'm getting on very well with a rather unusual novel-length story that is structured like a sequence of short stories, which are tied together by the last couple of chapters, hopefully in a way that is unexpected to the reader.

Also in the pipeline is an epic posthuman hopepunk science fiction trilogy - I've written half of one of the books so far, but I've shelved it so I can finish the (currently more promising) 'sequence' book. But its day WILL COME. :)

In the mean time, here are some writing-based sites that relate to me:

  • Owota's Fantasy Diary
  • Follow the surreal thoughts and exciting (and occasionally dangerous) adventures of Lord Owota Dszira, a Space Lord living on Earth incognito.

  • Deviant Art page
  • I have a DeviantArt account, and most of it is poems and stories, though nowhere near all of the things I've written: it's just a selection. There are a few other works there, including a handful of sketches I did when I was learning to draw, which are not great, but good enough to share.

  • Hemispheres
  • A webcomic featuring the daily (often snarky) exchanges between the two hemispheres of the human brain. Yes, I know it's based on a false premise, but it's only a comic...

  • Anagrammy Awards Page
  • I'm a big fan of anagrams, and have been a sporadic contributor to the Anagrammy page. It's a wonderfully old-fashioned web site, but is still going strong, and is home to some very talented people.

Music

I've been involved in music since the age of five, and I've explored a lot of different arenas. I've played in bands of multiple genres, recorded CDs, produced music for media projects, and once played double bass in the County of Avon Schools Orchestra, though keyboards are my passion and almost every evening I sit and play my piano. I've suffered a little arthritis recently in my thumbs, but it hasn't held me back much.

Current projects include an orchestral piece that I'm hoping to get performed at some point; an album of electronic music based on mathematical ideas; and a set of piano pieces, to be released as a book and perhaps also a CD and/or set of videos. Watch this space!

  • AmazingTunes Page
  • My page on Amazing Tunes contains most of my album ("Collision"), including the track called "Euphoria", which is no longer on my Reverbnation page because it was too long and they wanted to charge me for hosting it. Also on here is the Best of British South Pole Antarctic Overture - a piece that has been renamed "White Horizons", and is currently being prepared for possible touting around orchestras. If it gets performed one day, I'll be ticking off an item from my bucket list - and my friends will certainly hear about it!

  • Jadis: Somersault (Amazon link)
  • I played keyboards on this album, which was released in 1996.

  • Jadis: As Daylight Fades (Amazon link)
  • A collection of live tracks, with me on keys.

    Note: There was also an E.P. called "Once Or Twice", but I'm not sure it's still available.

  • Piano performance from 'Jen'
  • My friend James Semple scored this film, and this is one track that I played on piano for him.

Music Samples

I'm leaving these here for now so that you can have a listen - but the plan is to move to some sort of hosting service at some point.

  • Meditation In Three
  • An experiment in 'ambient wash' style.

  • Rockin' In Random
  • My song about the very geeky niche sport, Geohashing.

  • Xan's Christmas Mix
  • Xan Phillips, our local radio presenter, asked me for a compilation of my music for a Christmas show. I came up with this rather eclectic mix! Track listing:
    0100:00Opening section of 'Shed' from my album, 'Collision'
    0201:12Antarctic Overture, part 1
    0302:44Night And Fray (battle music for a game)
    0403:52I See Wastes (experimental track that plays with overlapping vocal phrases)
    0505:27Rainbow Bridge (written for some online friends after the death of their pet skunks)
    0607:35Seven O'Clock (an idea that came to me one evening)
    0708:46Crazy Cat (music for a cartoon)
    0809:16The Pride (nature documentary style)
    0910:30Why Worry (music from Down To The Woods)
    1011:18Desiderata (famous poem, read by me over my music - produced for the funeral of a friend who liked the poem)
    1114:45Louis (music from Down To The Woods)
    1215:21Into The Woods (music from Down To The Woods)
    1316:32Lurking (music from Down To The Woods)
    1417:14Trailer music from Down To The Woods
    1518:06Shadows (music written for a role playing game, not used)
    1619:35(fades into) Snow Pilgrim (atmospheric piece)
    1723:44Antarctic Overture, part 2 - Finale

Photography

  • Flickr page
  • Mostly trips and family snaps, but occasional moments of art (I hope).

Video and Time Lapse

  • Down To The Woods
  • The film my son and I shot when he was 8-9 years old. This project was quite large, and a lot of fun and hard work. We even ended up interviewed on local radio! There's a DVD crammed full of extras too, and I plan to make that available as an ISO file for anyone who wants one, at some point.

  • Time Lapse Showreel
  • I don't make time lapse at the moment, but I was heavily into this hobby for quite a while. This is a good two-minute glimpse of what I was able to create.

  • Vimeo Page
  • My Vimeo page contains Down To The Woods videos, behind the scenes stuff, some time lapse work, and not much else. I'm not actively uploading to it at the moment.

  • Composium 2011 Trailer
  • This trailer was a fun project involving a number of composer friends of mine. We were all meeting at a regular event in London, the Composium, which had been taking place for a year or two already by that time. Although I compose music myself, this time I left that to the others, and concentrated on editing the video. I also provided many of the special effects and footage, which got me involved in a wide variety of activities, from creating the HUD graphics for the four-way split screen to lurking in a churchyard trying to film spooky shots without looking suspicious! Bonus fact: the sax player at the end is one Chris Alpiar, an American composer I've never met, but who actually provided a wonderful soprano sax solo for 'Euphoria', the very popular third track on my solo album, 'Collision'.

Other Items of Interest

  • Twitter account: @themiketorr
  • This is my 'nice' Twitter account, where I don't get into fights if I can avoid it. It will eventually become my official author account once I'm published :)

  • YouTube Channel
  • There's a wide variety of stuff on here, as I use it as a dumping ground quite a lot. You'll find music, film-making, vlogging, and more. I might make a separate list somewhere at some point, as it's hard to find the good stuff here among the other rubbish!

  • IMDb Page
  • Yes, I actually have one. This is thanks to my friend James Semple, who scored a film called 'Jen'. I performed one of the piano pieces in it. You can hear it here.

  • Geohashing Page
  • If you don't know what Geohashing is (NOTE: NOT 'Geocaching'!) then don't worry. It's quite a 'niche' sport for geeks :)