Simeon Smith is a musician who recorded the sounds of our film cameras in action and made these samples available as a free download. We couldn’t resist interviewing him about this project and taking a look at some of his photos. Meet the man behind the cams here.
Hello Simeon, tell us a bit about yourself.
I was brought up in northern Spain but now live in South Wales right at the start of the Gower Peninsula. When I’m not on the beach with my kids, I make electronic music. I also help run a recording studio at a local youth drop-in called the Red Café, where kids can come to record their own music.
You recently recorded the sounds made by film cameras and made these samples available for free. How did this idea come about?
I use a lot of “found sounds” in my productions and was looking for some interesting percussive sounds to use in a track called This Wreathing City – while I was recording them I thought that other musicians and producers might enjoy them. I set up a camera to film what I was doing, and uploaded the sample pack and promo video.
Have many people been using them?
It’s been pretty crazy because the video and samples got picked up by a handful of popular blogs and have been downloaded thousands of times. I’ve had emails from app developers who are using the sounds in their products, and musicians have just started emailing me through their creations.
You are also a keen lomographer. What is it you love about film?
I spend far too long staring at screens. We all do. With film photography I can get away from that. Also, my instrumental music is often so abstract that I need to counter it with something very real. Film photography just seems so real. Real physical objects interacting with real chemicals and light. I take the real film rolls into a real shop and talk to a real person about how I want it processed.
What are your favorite cameras to shoot with?
I started my film photography adventure with my Cosmic Symbol, which I love, but I recently picked up a Diana Mini which in half frame mode is fast becoming my favorite. It’s so tiny I can take it everywhere, and with so many frames on each roll I don’t have to worry about running out of film. My local photography shop, Colliers in Swansea, are big fans of Lomography and process the half frame shots for me without any problems.
And what are your favorite cameras to sample?
The larger body and all the different shutter speeds of the Lubitel made for some great sounds. So now I’m on the lookout for larger cameras – maybe a Belair? I’ve recently picked up a Fed 3, so next time I don’t have a film in that I’ll try sampling it; keep an eye out for sample pack 2.0!
What plans do you have for the future?
Over the next few weeks I have a couple of tracks coming out on compilation albums, one by the Symbiotic Cube label and one by Dragon Era here in Wales. I’m also working on the soundtrack of the upcoming Spotlight film about young people’s lives in South Wales. Other than that I’m just looking forward to the summer when I can get out playing my music live more. Hopefully I’ll meet some Lomographers on the road.
Big love to the whole Lomography team – You’re helping loads of people create amazing art.