moe got me a “hindu drum machine” for xmas, and i’ve been playing around with it, but it assumes that you know what you’re doing, and a lot of the labels are in devanagari script… and, while i can read devanagari script, i still don’t know how to make sense of the words that it is trying to convey. don’t get me wrong, it’s an AWESOME gift, and i am going to play the hell out of it, but i’ve got to learn a little bit more about what i’m doing first… not to mention the fact that it doesn’t have a way to hook it up to batteries (yet)…
so, along those same lines, i got an “app” for my “tablet” (it STILL seems really bizarre to me that people say it that way, but… it doesn’t matter) called “iTabla Pandit”, which is, basically, the same “hindu drum machine”, but it’s also got a couple of tambouras and a shruti box, all of the labels are in roman script, there’s an obvious indicator when the taal repeats, and the entire thing is tunable, both individually (you can tune both tambouras separately from the tablas and the shruti box, OR you can tune all of them as a group [which is what i did]).
and it sounds AWESOME with the harmonic flute, by itself, with no electronic help at all… i’m getting ready to test it with electronic “oomph” in the park down the road (because it’s not raining and the sun is out for a change). hopefully something fun will come of it.
ETA – 230208 1500 PDT — yup, it’s a good one… i’ve got to figure out how to run sound from my tablet into my amplifier, but the harmonic flute is quiet enough that i can do without it for outdoor performances. 😉👍👍
Symbolic Coach Lines
Economy Whining (or “Economy Whinging” for a more “european” look)
Quipping for Christ
Teachers With Tentacles
Lowest Quality Price Tools
Best Jumbo TV Happiness
Overgrown With Underbrush
Hair Salon and Ankle Clinic
Lowest Price on Pubic Hair
Ceremonial Bread Fights
Rain City Racists
Your Safety is for The Lates
Worship Your Dick
An Imaginary Housing Community
We Make Hydraulic Noises
Bruch, Beeler & Giday, Attorneys at Law
War To Salvation Church
Can I Ask A State Trailer Park?
i downloaded it today, and listened to it… and it has held up pretty damn well, considering that it was released in 2018… and i REALLY liked this track, number 14, called “Lamentations”…
in the same way, there are also nine albums of music by And More on bandcamp, which i haven’t heard for even longer (why listen to music i made 30 years ago? i just have it because i made it 30 years ago) and that, too, has stood the test of time admirably. the track is called Pfisteria:
i still laugh when i listen to this… 🤣
(that’s how i know it’s finished music, if it makes me laugh… 😉)
i’ve been playing around with “yellofier electrified” on my tablet, for the past few days, and i came up with this vaguely spooky “music box” tune which i really liked:
then, because i didn’t have anything better to do, i exported it from electrified, and imported it into audacity, where i doubled the track, and then set one stereo pair to play back 10% slower than the other stereo pair…
i get my second covid vaccine a week from thursday (210218), but i’m scheduled to play my first concert in a year on saturday the 13th (9:00 pm, streaming to fecesbook, eventually posted on youtube), and, wouldn’t you know it, cliff mass, the only meteorologist moe believes, is predicting 12 inches of snow, starting thursday and lasting AT LEAST through saturday…
and if it snows, it’s almost guaranteed that i won’t be able to make the concert… 😒
both our tests came back negative today, but moe sez that she’s not sure about her test, because she spent A LOT of time around the lady from texas who did test positive, so she’s still wearing a mask around the house, and especially when she’s interacting with me… but i get to sleep in the bed, again, rather than sleeping on the other end of the house, on the couch.
there are 6 english words that contain the letters “M”, “E”, “O”, and “W”. they are:
i learned that years ago, and every time i use the word “homeowner”, insinctively, i think “homeowner”…
Wendy’s House of Pho
War To Salvation Church
Can I ask a state trailer park?
No Tw Eeze About It
AI Pastor At Your Door
Are you happy now?
Of course I’ve had it in the ear before!
i’ve done some more work with this and now it seems to be going more in the direction i was intending… but it’s got a bunch more work done to it, so i would expect it to at least be different than it was before, and, apart from some more glaringly obvious differences, for the most part, it is the same piece of music… and i like that.
Seven Different Tracks, Manipulated and Combined (with a subliminal message)
as you can probably tell, instead of being five tracks, it is now seven, and it has had the addition of the subliminal message, which is somewhat more complex than i originally imagined. the seven tracks are “This is the day”, “The problem with growing boys”, “Sing to jeezis”, “WWJD radio”, “It ain’t over yet”, “Veggie tales – the selfish song”, and “I’m a little weenie”.
yes, i was trying to make a statement with the choice of tracks. no, that is not the subliminal message. keep guessing.
all of the tracks are heard forwards, and only once, with the exception of “It ain’t over yet” which is heard once reversed, and once forward, at the same time. all of them have had significant modifications to their pitch, speed, tempo, and/or a combination of those things, in order to fit them within the required parameters.
this is not finished, and it’s sort of not going where i intended, originally, but i like it anyway.
originally, i intended it to be A LOT more chaotic, and incorporate at least twice as many source tracks, and then i intended to put a “subliminal message” into it, which you could only hear if you sped the track up about 500 times, and muted all the other tracks…
and played it backwards…
of course, this would be impossible to do, because of the chaotic nature of sound, and the fact that i intended the subliminal message to be on its own track, and whispered, and then stretched 500 times, which would render it, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as silence…
which would, then, be completely and totally overwhelmed by the absolute chaos of the other tracks.
and what ended up happening, instead, is that the strange stability that is produced by bounded chaotic mixing appeared a lot sooner than i expected, and it sounds completely different than what i had envisioned.
as i said, i like it, but it’s not what i originally set out to create.
and, don’t worry… i haven’t put the subliminal message in yet, so you can relax. 😉
music is frustrating some times, but it never ceases to be fun…
or at least distracting…
anyway, what i’ve got so far is called 200811 Five Different Tracks, Manipulated and Combined
which is fine for a “contemporary classical” piece of music, but probably not what this is going to end up being called.
so, i got a bunch of “christian” kiddie records on freecycle. they were actually CDs, but there were about 20 of them, and, usually, i collect these things off freecycle, to protect actual children from having to be brainwashedinfluenced by them. if they’re really awful, or if i think they have useful sound-source material, i rip them, and, then, usually, i shred and/or recycle them.
this is what happens when i think they might “have useful sound-source material”. 😈
this is my current string ball. it’s about 5 years old, and it already looks different because i’ve added string to it. i use a very loose definition of “string”: there’s some metal cable and a fair amount of plastic in there as well… it’s a “string-like” ball, in that regard, but at this point nobody would know unless they actually unwound it… which, under the worst of circumstances, is very unlikely.
in the past, i have been the owner of a couple of string balls that were considerably bigger… one was big enough that, when i was holding it in my lap, you couldn’t see my head. i’m hoping that this one will reach that size, or bigger, eventually. 😉
our new house has a whole bunch of interesting things that were left behind by the previous owners. i get the impression that i would NOT have gotten along with them in the slightest (they were #drumpf-supporters), but this is one of the things they left behind. it’s better that way.
this is my office. it’s also the music room.
this is the music room part. i’ve got my piano and my sythesizer set up, for the first time since i got married (which was 22 years ago), and, because of the fact that i bought a mixer in the interim, i now have it set up so that i can use the synthesizer (a yamaha DX7) as a synthesizer AND as a MIDI-controller. as a MIDI-controller, i’ve got old, familiar Reason on my laptop, and i’ve got a bunch of stuff that’s MIDI-controllable on my tablet, which i haven’t played with at all, because i haven’t had room to set it up. i got the DX7 a SuperMAX+ upgrade a couple of years ago, which was also after the battery died, so i’m going to have to learn how to use it all over again from scratch, and i’ve got to reload all of the stock noises (which i’ve got, thanks to a MIDI-controlled patch library on my laptop), but that’s part of the “fun” of COVID19 lockdown… i’ve got the time to do that sort of thing…
last month i was going crazy, so monique took me to see the National Wild Horses Monument in quincy.
it was on the top of a bluff overlooking the columbia river, in eastern washington.
i don’t know why this photo came out so fuzzy, compared to the other ones… but, unfortunately, it’s the only one i got of this particular milestone, so you might have to squint to see it…
the other day i had occasion to wander through Celebration Park in auburn. when i first lived in auburn, in the early 1970s, what is now celebration park was a huge, essentially vacant lot that had some abandoned businesses on it. nobody wanted it as residential property, because it was in the flight path for the airport. at some point, in the distant past (before 1960) i think the property had been an airfield, or something like that, but, by the time i got there, that was long gone, as well. in the ’90s, when i was in bellingham, the city bought the property and created celebration park, but it still has a lot of the same aspects that made it a vacant lot, including a lot of wooded areas where homeless people camp, and drug addicts shoot up…
which is where i found this… interesting… little tidbit.
on the 4th of july, we went on a road trip, so that the dogs wouldn’t freak out because of all the fireworks. we went through the Ross Lake National Recreation Area and saw this waterfall. BOUNDED CHAOTIC MIXING PRODUCES STRANGE STABILITY!
my 60th time around the sun was celebrated on saturday. never, in my wildest imaginations did i ever think i was going to be 60 years old… in fact, my imaginings never exceeded age 40, which means that i’ve been living new and unimagined territory for 20 years now.
we celebrated by having a “gathering” in our back yard. kiki, sasha, stuart, d. barnes and jesse, his son, and hobbit and lucifer, his… partner? i’m not sure exactly what their status is, but they’ve been together for 1719 years or so… and they all brought musical instruments, and we had a “jam session” in the back yard. monique made the german chocolate cake (my favourite), and cupcakes with raspberry butter cream frosting, made with raspberries from our back yard…
it was good to see those folks, after such a long time, and it was really good to play music with them.
* i am MORTIFIED! i read the title as “The Diambola Mikado” and named my piece “The Diambola Mikado…” and then i find out that the name is actually “The Dimbola Mikado”… i’ve already released my mix, and even presented it to mr. phizmiz — who didn’t say anything, which makes me wonder whether he’s just being polite, or whether he didn’t notice… oh GAWD, whatever am i to do??? 😭
there’s this guy who makes music that i really like. he goes by Dominic Robertson, or Ergo Phizmiz, and he’s REALLY prolific: he’s got AT LEAST 40 CD-length albums, plus a whole bunch of soundscape/radio-theatre-like stuff, including a 12 hour 45 minute piece called The Faust Cycle which i haven’t listened to in its entirety because… well, it’s 12 hours long…
he wrote me to say that he is “running this radio station at the moment” at Wolverton FM, and wondered if he could broadcast my CD from 2015, I Breathe At It, which i put up on bandcamp and promptly forgot about… 🤩
i didn’t really forget about it, because i always carry a few copies of the physical CD with me, especially when i’m busking, but i forgot i put it on bandcamp, which is, sort of, the way bandcamp is supposed to work… sort of…
the only thing better than writing music and playing it on the radio yourself, is writing music and having it played on the radio by an artist you respect, because he really likes it… 🤩
pat robertson should not be allowed to broadcast his hate on national television. it astounds me that he still has a platform… although it astounds me that people still go to church, so maybe i’m the crazy one here… although i would much rather be considered “crazy” than i would to convert to that sex-crazed mainiac’s way of thinking. seriously, i don’t understand why HOMOSEXUALS having sex the way they do threatens anybody, and certainly not to the depths of the fabric of society. the fact is, whether pat robertson likes it or not, people have been “doing sex” the “weird way” since long before pat robertson was around, and they’re not likely to go away just because pat robertson and his ilk somehow get a law passed. people like him would do well to pay attention when someone like, oh, i don’t know, Jesus Christ, maybe, says “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
it makes me wonder about the beam in pat robertson’s eye, particularly since he seems to be obsessed with “weird” ways of having sex. it makes me think that he might not be getting enough, himself. 😒
Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex by Rev. Dr. Guido Super DeLuxe, 190226 download here
this is my interpretation of the introduction to a cassette by Bob Larson, a toxically obnoxious evangelical so-called “christian” radio preacher who bills himself as “the real exorcist”, with whom i have been interacting, on and off, for the better part of 40 years. he, too, is likely a member of my karass, because, despite my repeated attempts to get him out of my life, he keeps popping up, and i keep responding to him.
i’ve been taking my thurible outside (because, realistically, that’s the only place i can use it without setting off my smoke alarm), drinking beer, smoking pot, listening to frank zappa, and burning frankincense, benzoin and copal resin — rather like the ethiopian family that lived next door to us, where we used to live, in renton, did…
although i’m reasonably sure that the ethiopian family didn’t smoke pot, drink beer, and listen to frank zappa… 😉
but, basically, i really like burning incense, i really like burning frankincense, because it has the scientifically-proven ability to calm my anxiousness, and i really like “sharing” the good smells with my neighbours… whether they like it or not… 😈
which got me to thinking, yesterday…
i also REALLY like playing music for people. particularly, i really like playing my overtone flute at the oregon country fair, where people passing by have the possibility of hearing my music, but not knowing exactly from where it may be coming.
so, i thought, why not combine the two, and put together a “performance” or a “concert”, or something like that, where i set up somewhere, incense the whole place, and play my overtone flute?
it would have to be an outside venue, because nobody would want “concert” like this inside, where it would be extremely likely to set off smoke alarms, but that’s okay, because if it’s outside, there’s more of a possibility that people will experience the scent and not even be able to tell from where it’s coming… possible places are greenlake, volunteer park and gasworks park.
i would probably also want to set up a sign, or something, letting people know what i’m doing… but it would also be interesting to do that sort of thing without any clues, just to see how people might respond…
i have been following Ranjit Bhatnagar for many years, from his original web site at moonmilk.com, and have succeeded in pulling off a project with him. this is a “distance duet” with me on harmonic flute and ranjit on harmonic bass.
okay, whenever i get personal email from a “famous artist” who i really admire, i get a little verklempt.
a few years ago, i discovered this really weird, really prolific artist, who called himself Ergo Phizmiz, and, since then, i have accumulated approximately 40 individual downloads from him, all of which i really enjoy.
recently — within the last 6 months or so — he decided that the “Ergo Phizmiz” persona had run its course, and started releasing music under a much more “normal” sounding name, Dominic Robertson. i bought his most recent release, and he wrote me to thank me:
Just a quick note to say thanks very much for buying my recent releases on Bandcamp, most appreciated indeed.
feeling encouraged, i wrote back:
i have 40 downloaded albums by Ergo Phizmiz and/or Dominic Robertson, and i enjoy all of them. 8)
i am a musician as well, and play a variety of different instruments:
i also play with the Fremont Philharmonic, a 9-piece wind band that started out as a circus band, many years ago… but they don’t have anything recorded…
keep making music. it’s the only “real” thing there is! 8)
this was his reply:
Thanks a lot Salamandir. Lovely to meet you, going to put my feet up later and tune into you and your hybrid elephants.
although, to be honest, i probably wouldn’t have paid as much attention to him at first, if he had been dominic robertson… a lot of my initial attraction to him was that he made wonderfully weird music AND was called “Ergo Phizmiz”…
when i logged into my email this morning, one of my messages was from salamandir.bandcamp.com, from a guy named zach lincoln, who was, alledgedly, a “booking representative” from afton. this was the message he sent me:
> I wanted to reach out and see if you’re up to talk about some shows I’m
> putting together. Who’se the best person to contact about booking your
> act? I have a few dates every month around washington, my next open
> date is May 21st.
exciting, right? i have only had this music on bandcamp for a few months, and already i’m getting inquiries from someone who wants to book my act… i should be fired up…
but i’m also suspicious.
so, i wrote him back with a couple of alternate dates (i’m going to orlando on the 23rd, which is cutting it a bit close for my tastes), and i texted thaddeus, who has quite a bit more experience in the business of booking gigs than i do, and asked if he had ever heard of this guy. he said no, but sent me a link that might be appropriate.
zach wrote me back almost immediately with instructions on how to get started with afton, but i read the link that thad texted me first — http://www.wicasta.com/blogs/is-afton-live-a-scam-any-worse-than-venues/ — which, basically, says that if afton isn’t a scam, it is doing a lot of the things real scammers do, and the only way i should sign up for it is if it’s more important to me to play than it is to get paid.
it’s pretty important to me to play music, don’t get me wrong. and, given the choice, i would rather be playing music than just about anything else, pretty much any time, but it really disturbs me to be playing music for free when everybody else around me is getting paid for my playing music. in fact, that is one instance where i would, probably, NOT prefer to be playing music. i know a whole bunch of people, and at least two or three of them would probably come to see me play at a real venue, but if i have to do all of the marketing as well as playing music, then i would much rather do it on my own, than provide money for bookers and venue-owners but not myself, especially when i would be surrounded by other musicians who are in the same boat i am in.
so i wrote back to zach, asking if what i read in the article is true or not. the first response i got, when i was responding to his initial inquiry, came back within 5 minutes of my sending it, but i have now been waiting 4 hours for a response, and it hasn’t come yet… and i get the very strong feeling that it won’t come at all, which is an indication to me that what i read in the article was, in fact, spot on, and zach was hoping that i didn’t know that because it is so exciting to be contacted by someone who wants to book your act…
THEN i started actively poking around to see if i could find out anything more about this guy. conveniently, bandcamp gave me his IP address, so i plugged that in and discovered that zach wrote to me about booking gigs in washington from an IP address that’s located in Maspeth, New York… 😡
afton may or may not be an actual scam, but if it’s not, it sure isn’t trying very hard to differentiate itself from things that are, actually, scams.
that got me wondering… i’m pretty sure he never, actually, listened to any of the music at salamandir.bandcamp.com… i wonder what he would do if i actually showed up for one of his performances and played what i usually play on the didjeriflute…
the following is the rant that i’m going to put in the liner notes of the CD… which is why it will probably change at some point in the future.
the harmonic flute is a very simple instrument that makes very, very complex sounds. it was made from a piece of 1-inch PVC tubing that i rescued from a construction site dumpster. i have been playing it for about 35 years. i have taken to calling it a “didjeri-flute” because when people see me playing it, one of the comments i hear most frequently is “didjeridu”… which is not correct (and, at this point, i find it somewhat annoying): it’s a harmonic or “overtone” flute, hornbostel-sachs number 421.111.11:
4 – aerophones
42 – non-free aerophones
421 – edge-blown aerophones
421.1 – flutes without a fipple
421.11 – end-blown flutes
421.111 – individual end-blown flutes
421.111.1 – open, single, end-blown flutes
421.111.11 – without fingerholes
a didjeridu is another very simple instrument, but to make a sound on a didjeridu, you use your lips to buzz into the open end, which causes the vibration in the tube, and use your breath, tongue and voice to modify the vibration. on a harmonic flute, you blow into the open end, which is modified by having a notch carved in it, with a leading edge that has been sharpened, to make the tube vibrate. without question, it is an instrument that requires very precise breath control, but that’s it: there’s no buzzing, and no tongue or voice involved at all. in this recording, the sound of the harmonic flute was fed through a boss digital delay, and a roland cube amplifier. the recording also features a brass temple bell.
the harmonic flute makes different notes based on the harmonic sequence: the first note, or “fundamental” is quiet enough, and hard enough to produce, that i don’t use it on this recording, but i can play it. sometimes it i can play it loud enough that other people can hear it as well. the second note, or “second partial” is an octave higher than the fundamental, and it is heard fairly frequently in this recording. the “third partial” is a perfect fifth above the second partial, the fourth partial is an octave above the second partial, or a perfect fourth above the third partial, and it continues along a known and predictable path from there. there are no holes in the walls of the flute, or “finger holes”, the harmonic flute has two holes, one at either end. the only way to control what note you are playing is to be able to control your breath.
other, similar flutes include the fujara, which is a fipple flute with an air-pipe and fingerholes, the quena, which is shorter, and has fingerholes, and the shakuhachi, which also is shorter, and has fingerholes.
the recording was made in an empty room with solid concrete walls about 1 foot thick, about 20 feet wide by 50 feet long by 15 feet high, with an open door at either end. the entire room, and the surrounding hallways on either end, are completely underground, and buried by 25 feet or so of earth, with bushes and trees on top. the room was one of the gunpowder storage rooms for one of the mortar bunkers at fort worden — (insert historical information about ft. worden here) — now that it is no longer being used for destructive purposes, it has absolutely fantastic accoustics, and i have wanted to record there for many years.
this is an “incomplete” track: it has the front and rear stereo pairs from my recording device, which was right in front of me, but it doesn’t have the front and rear stereo pairs from thaddeus’ device, which was about 10 feet away from me, facing the wall of the room…
however, this is pretty much exactly what i was looking for, and there’s around an hour’s worth of new tracks with which i can play around… 😎
i isolated 10 “good enough” tracks from the raw files, but none of them were more than 6 minutes, and i wanted at least one that was 10 minutes or more, so i’m going back to fort worden next tuesday to try it all again. i’ve also bought a recording device of my own, which should make things more interesting, if nothing else.
i woke up the other day and tried to log in to my email account and discovered that everything was offline, and when i went to the host provider to determine why, i discovered that my account had been suspended because they received a spam complaint about me… except that, when i looked at the complaint they received, i recognised it immediately as one that i had sent to an upstream provider a couple of days before, and what they had done was forward it to the upstream provider on the “From:” line, instead of reading the headers to determine that they were, in fact, the people responsible… and, because of the fact that i NEVER receive spam complaints, they arbitrarily suspended my accounts, instead of reading the headers to determine who was actually responsible. 😕 since then i have received about 10,000 spam messages, in 1000 message increments, from people whose php servers have been compromised such that, simply by reading the headers and knowing where to click, i can actually see the spammers online interface on the compromised server…
but I was the one whose account was suspended for spamming. if it weren’t for the fact that i’m still recovering from my bout of changing host servers every few months, a few years ago, i would seriously consider switching, but… in spite of everything, the host server i currently use has been better than any of the others that i have found, for the price.
i have a gig next saturday with the fremont philharmonic at “dudefest” and another gig on sunday at the peace arch in blaine with the sousa band. i’m probably going to spend sunday night in bellingham… depending…
this is very quickly becoming “an album”… it’s not there yet (i only have 330.3MB on disk, and i want to fill it up, as much as possible, so there’s room for quite a bit more), but what is already there is definitely shaping up in quite a satisfactory way.
because of the fact that i have a backlog of almost-finished, and finished tracks that don’t have a home yet, i actually just added three more tracks to this, which now puts me up to 15… which is still only half of the disk, but this really isn’t about how much stuff is on it so much as it is about the quality of the stuff that’s on it.
i know when i’ve created music that i really like when i don’t even have to be listening to it for it to put a smile on my face… really… and this has the extra, added bonus of, when i am listening to it, i spontaneously erupt in laughter, or experience shivers going up and down my spine.
i’m particularly proud of Lamentations:
which causes me to bounce up and down and emit squeals of evil glee whenever i hear it. it’s an incomprehensible, gnome-like beginning which very quickly devolves into utter senselessness, out of which comes a definite pattern, which, again, fades into gibberish, which slowly resolves into a preacher talking about jerusalem. this is due, in part, to my receiving my complete “Thru The Bible In 5 Years” USB stick, which is packed full of fun noises with which to play around… 😎
i found the web site put up by Dave Gannett, who is my unwitting mentor in all things tuba. dave is the tuba player for Uncle Yoke’s Black Dawgs, a dixieland band from kissimmee florida, the artist behind Tubas From Hell, and one AWESOME tuba player. my first experience seeing him live was at the Friday Harbour Traditional Jazz Festival in 1991, where he played The Flight of The Bumblebee — at the correct speed — on his sousaphone. when he finished the piece, he had it rigged up so that he blew smoke and flames out of his bell on the last note…
i knew i had found a mentor at that moment… 😉
also, two more tracks for The Church of The Pleistocene, thanks to my recent re-acquaintance with Dr. J. Vernon McGee of Thru The Bible Radio Network. i listened to Dr. J. during my ill-fated time as a taxi driver, just before the birth of my son. the main reason i listened to him was because, at the time, taxi cabs only came with AM radios, and the music on AM radio was AWFUL… Dr. J. Vernon McGee wasn’t an awful lot better, but at least i got familiar enough with his distinctive ‘twang’ to make music out of it thirty years later…
i got this silly little app for my smart phone called Yellofier which is presented by a pair of folks, one of whom is boris blank (of Yello). the app is, basically, a sampler with a bunch of preset effects and a bunch of preset samples, and a sequencer, all of which is obscured by an interesting, quasi-intuitive interface. i’m not sure i’m going to actually use it for anything, although there is already a group that has has released an album using it… or, perhaps, because of that fact… but it’s silly and fun, and it will give me something to do while everybody else is playing angry birds. here is an example of what i’ve been doing so far.
snake suspenderz has been pretty busy recently. we did a wedding, and we did a set for the chateau at valley center, and today we’ve got a moisture festival ( 😐 ) gig. who knows how long it’s going to last this time, but fun is fun, so why not go with it?
i bit the bullet and bought the academic version of sibelius 7… which cost $300, rather than the standard version, which has less capabilities, but costs $700 (a thing which i have yet to figure out, even though the capabilities that the educational version has are useless to me, because it requires that i have a network with at least one other installation of the educational version installed on it).
it actually took me a few days to make it “legal” because of the fact that moe’s WSU email address had been changed (since she graduated… oops!) and we had to work around that until she was able to phone the helpdesk and get things straightened out.
now that it is all legal and everything, i’ve gotta start actually learning how to use it. but it’s easy enough to use that, already, before i’ve even completed one of the FOUR two-hour tutorials it came with(!), i have been able to complete two lead sheets for beatles tunes that i copied from THE BOOK for snake suspenderz, and create a 6-part arrangement of a piano rag by scott joplin for the fremont philharmonic.
i still haven’t realised all of the goodies that this new, legal software holds in store for me, but i think it’s already well on the way to paying me back for the money i spent on it. 😎
so i realised, with all of the so-called “music” (which includes a lot of what the german people call Sprechstimme that is, very definitely, not what “ordinary people” — like my mother — would call “music” — but i say, forget them anyway) that i have been posting over the past few months, that i have enough “new” material to make a new album.
i even created a rudimentary web site which is eventually going to contain said album, along with my two (three?) other original albums…
eventually, because i still haven’t been able to figure out how to separate my “Saint Fred” stuff from the And More stuff that i already have there…
it’s not there yet, but it will be soon… hopefully as soon as the bandcamp folks get back to me and explain where they screwed up… 😉
how this piece of music came into existence is as much of a story as the music itself.
randy and i had both been working in the Eμ studio for about a year, in 1982, and we were both creating extremely weird music. secretly, i recorded a very long track, in stereo (which, in those days, actually meant two tracks, a left and a right channel) of weird vocalisations made by us while creating other music. i then reversed the track, and recorded it along side the original, which gave me four tracks. then i took all four tracks, reversed them and spliced them on to the end, so it was even longer, and a palindrome. then, i duplicated the process with another long track of miscellaneous rantings, strange noises and other unusual vocal sounds, so that, when i was done, i had 8 tracks of extreme vocal chaos.
when i was satisfied with the level of chaos, i ran the whole thing into the mixer, one track per channel (as usual), although i hooked up the output of the mixer so that, instead of playing only the channel whose “solo” button was depressed, (thus “muting” all of the other channels), the only time it played anything was when the “solo” button for each individual channel was pressed… essentially turning the “solo” buttons on the mixer into a “keyboard” of sorts.
although the “keyboard” was nothing like any ordinary keyboard: from one moment to the next, you couldn’t be sure what sort of noise was going to come out of each particular key: sometimes it would be forwards, sometimes it would be backwards, sometimes it would be screams, other times it would be total silence… multiplied by 8 (which was how many tracks had their “solo” buttons modified).
randy and i then took turns recording entirely new tracks, playing the mixer “keyboard”, to winnow down the chaos to a tolerable level. we each recorded two tracks, and the final track was me playing the “keyboard” forwards for the first half of the track, and then randy playing the “keyboard” backwards for the rest of it.
my impression is that this whole process would be a good deal more difficult these days, because of the limitations of digital mixers, although i could be wrong. my impression is that i hooked up some outputs to some inputs in a way that was allowed because it was an analogue mixer, that aren’t allowed — aren’t even thought of — with digital mixers, although, honestly, my experience with digital mixers is limited.
two ancient pieces of music from 1979, when i was first learning about synthesizers, and the only synthesizers and recording devices available were analogue. these pieces are from an era before cell phones, internet tubes and the evil koch brothers…
although i think that the koch brothers existed, and were even evil at that time, just nobody knew about it yet… and, although the internet did exist, nobody knew about that, either. but i digress. 😎
the first, called Drone Piece Not was created during my first synthesizer class, Electronic Music 101. the instructor was teaching us how to make tape splices, and he instructed a woman in the class to say “I did not do it.” into a microphone. he then demonstrated how to isolate and trim out the word “not”, which made it sound as though the woman had said “I did do it”. when the lecture was over, i picked the word “not” out of the trash and incorporated it into my own piece. this piece of music was recorded in the ARP studio, which was the smaller of the two synthesizer studios. it contained an ARP2600 synthesizer (the same one that is used in the movie “Close Encounters”), a teac quarter-inch/four-track machine and a smallish mixer.
the second piece is called Romance With Gaslamp and it was composed at the end of my first synthesizer class, for my final project. it has an interesting ending, which was brought about by the fact that i learned how to bypass the security alarm in the large synthesizer studio (the Eμ studio, which had an Eμ modular synthesizer which took up an entire wall of the studio, plus teac quarter-inch/half-track and quarter-inch/four-track reel machines, a teac half-inch/eight-track reel machine — the reel of tape for which, i still posess, somewhere — and a teac 8-track stereo mixer. these were relatively high-end machines, at the time). the security alarm was a motion sensor that was mounted near the ceiling, and was bypassed by putting a tape-reel box over the sensor, which meant that i could check out the key, go unlock the lab and then return the key, looking like i only spent 5 minutes in the lab. in reality, i returned the key and then went back to the lab, where i usually stayed until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. i knew (experience is a hard master) that, if i disloged the tape-reel box from where it was precariously hung over the sensor, i had approximately five minutes before the entire neighbourhood would be swarming with rent-a-cop demons, so i actually began using sticky tape to hold the box in place. the evening at the end of Romance With Gaslamp is one of those evenings. i accidentally knocked the box down, and so the piece ended a lot more abruptly than i planned… but after i listened to the mix-down, i decided that it would be a lot more amusing to leave it that way.
i’ve been dinking around with some REALLY ancient sound-recording media, i.e. reels of tape, and cassettes. the younger folks among those reading may remember cassettes, if they are 30-ish or thereabouts, but reel tape stopped being used regularly in about 1990 or so, and the tapes that i’ve been playing with are from the early 1980s… including this track, which has been uploading as i write this, from my mac (on which i am writing this, at this very moment) to my linux server in los angeles, by way of my desktop linux box… because it’s too big to be uploaded in the expected fashion (add media), and, for some unknown reason, the webdav connection on the mac won’t work, but it will on linux…
anyway, what i’m really talking about is this: Home On The Strange, one of the three tracks from my final project in “Music 400 – Electronic Music” at Western Washington University, June 3, 1983
the new orchid spangiafora album has got me inspired… i’ve got a whole bunch of cassette tapes of evangelical preachers ranting about this and that, which have been waiting for me to do something creative with, for quite a long time indeed, and now is the time. Functioning Societies Don’t Do That is a preliminary sketch, based on the source material found here. enjoy it or else… 😎
ETA: i just figured out that, because i posted this on the web, it is now accessible by google, who conveniently gave me this wonderful QR code. because of the fact that i “know what to do” with QR codes, i can now make a meaningless-babble art which, under the right circumstances, will take people to a recording of this, and they won’t have the first clue what has happened…
i remember, a few months ago, i found a QR code posted on a utility pole in some extremely seedy part of downtown seattle. at the time, i didn’t have a QR-code-reader on my phone, but despite that fact, i’m about 90% certain that, if i did, it would take me to some web site for a band, or a porno site, or something like that… this will take people to a place that really will make them wonder… <hee hee hee>
i’ve got to start notating titles somewhere. i thought of a really good title for something today, and, because of the fact that i didn’t write it down, i don’t remember it any longer. the probability is no better than 50% that i will remember it in the future, so it may be lost. if i had written it down somewhere, it would still be here. 😐
i actually took my art car to the rainier beach artwalk today, which is the first time since i actually put art on it, and i wasn’t planning on doing something else, that i have attended an “art car function” this year… and i was pleasantly surprised to discover that the art-cartists were paid $25 just for being there. 😎 i also brought my didjeri-flute and played for a while… sort of like at burning man, with no expectation of anything other than making weird noises for people. the weather was cooperative, and not windy enough that it was impossible to play, but there was no electricity, so the delay/amplification wasn’t there, and, as a result, i competed with the bands across the street for most of the time i was there.
and, while i’m on the subject, Snake Suspenderz, the Official SACBO Band, is playing at The Can Can in the Pike Place Market, tuesday 9/18 at 7:00. cover is $5.00 and we hope to see a lot of art car people there! 😎 the snake suspenderz site or buy tickets.
but i’m still struggling with a couple of tunes, which i don’t remember, in spite of the fact that i’ve attempted to play them a number of times recently, and vowed to remember what they were… i really need to start writing down stuff like like that, because my memory is CRAP… 😐 and that has been complicated by the fact that my band-mates don’t feel like checking and responding to their emails: there are two days between now and when we play at the can can, i have repeatedly requested a rehearsal, or some busking, or (preferably) both, since wednesday or so, and i have gotten mediocre and lack-lustre responses AT BEST from the other members of my band… and i’m feeling frustrated about it, because my performance is going to suffer if a rehearsal (at least) doesn’t happen before tuesday! 😐
but, back to my didjeri-flute ravings for a moment: i REALLY need to get out to somewhere where there’s a publically-accessible electrical outlet and no wind (the public space at crossroads mall immediately springs to mind. why? i don’t know, but there it is), and see how i do busking on my own. i’ve got to put together a “busking kit” sort of like the one hobbit has, which includes a tip container and a sign indicating that it’s there… i wonder if the broken wire music stand i “donated” to hale’s palladium is still there?
i’m still “brewing” some new art, as well. it may be that it has something to do with my didjeri-flute, but i’m still not sure. 😉
oh yeah, we also rocked their world at cholmondleighland last saturday. we got raving reviews from avner the eccentric who said “If I have a pit, I want you in it!” and said that he’d put in a good word for us with tim at the moisture festival for next year! (WOO HOO!!)
i played with the fremont philharmonic at big red last night, and also played my didjeriflute for a “talent show”. then, this morning, i got up at an unreasonably early hour and went to the ballard sunday market, where i busked with snake suspenderz until noon, whereupon i went to the edmonds city park and played with the ballard sedentary sousa band.
the video is pretty much exactly what i wanted, but i really need to figure out how to work iMovie a little better, because it could be a lot better… i’m not sure if i want to make a separate video explaining how the flute is made and how to play it, or whether i want to re-make the current video with that information included… or even if i actually want to include information about how it is made and how it is played… i mean, i suppose anybody with a little imagination can probably figure those things out, but it’s kinda neat that, as far as i can tell, NOBODY has done this kind of thing, and made a video of it before. 😎
the latest And More album is up there for you to download.
there are three more that are essentially ready, and one that hasn’t been ordered yet… and that’s just what i’ve finished. there are easily 20 eighty-minute CDs of stuff that i haven’t got to yet… there’s a 75 minute CD that’s called Aleatoric Glop that are bits that possibly got used in other places, but are unique unto themselves…
i’m not sure whether i should do this or not… not because i don’t want anyone to know about this, but because of what my friends, particularly, will think…
i dug out (literally) a recording of the first time i ever “improvised” a solo with a jazz band. this is from 1973, and it’s pretty obviously a middle-school band (junior-high, for people who live on the west coast), featuring me playing trombone.
now this was before i knew what it was to “swing” (and, apparently, the drummer and a few other players were similarly clueless), and i had help writing out an “improvised” solo, because i didn’t know how to improvise, but even taking those things into account, i think i did a pretty acceptible job…
today i realised that i have almost a complete new albums worth of original music, and the only thing preventing me from releasing my fourth album of original music is that about half of the tracks don’t have endings…
also, i “stole” a sample from the pile of unfinished “And More” songs i have lying around, and rearranged it so that it’s pretty much unrecognisable… i’m not sure whether i am going to include it with the rest of the album of original music because the original sample involves people other than myself, even though it’s altered enough that it probably wouldn’t be recognisable by them, even if they did hear it.
this morning i woke up convinced that it was thursday and it took until about noon or so before i was disabused of that notion. then i sat down with my synthesizer and played around with an idea i’ve been toying with for the past couple of days and before you know it, it’s 7:30 and i’ve got most of a piece of music finished. this is the result, which is considerably lower quality than the actual file, but i wanted to get it in less than 4mb to save space. i’m not sure it’s 100% finished yet, but it’s fairly close.
i just got back from cedarfest. it was rainy, and i changed my mind a couple of times about whether or not to stay the night – i set up my camp, and the rain started coming down harder and harder, so i packed up my camp and decided that i would drive home late… then chumleigh invited me to a waffle breakfast in the morning, which was mighty strong temptation to stay, and finally the decision was made for me by a fellow who came up to me around 12:30 am or so and offered me a hashish brownie, at which point i decided that i would spend the night in my car. hashish has always been one of my favourite passtimes, and i haven’t had any in a long time. i didn’t get much sleep (i went to bed around 3:30 am or so, and got up at 8:30), but i slept fairly well and wasn’t all stiff and sore, like i sort of expected, seeing as how i couldn’t really recline the seat very far. i took my camera, but even with the flash, there really wasn’t enough light, and i only took two pictures because i was distracted playing music most of the night. it was sort of amusing being in the presence of people between the ages of 17 and 25 or so, who thought it was really cool that i was old as i was and still had insightful ideas about the future – or were getting totally plastered in a way that was a real reminder of what it was like when i was during my first couple of years of college. i tried to play my long-flute-digital-delay set-up a couple of times and succeded in almost shocking my nose off – seriously, it was a strong enough shock that it dimmed the lights. i plugged my (grounded) amplifier and my (ungrounded) digital delay pedal into the chaotic mess of extension cords and power strips that ran from the big top 100 yards or so to “the house,” and – big surprise – there was a grounding problem somewhere which made the microphone hot. when i held it up next to the flute embrochure, it touched my nose and shocked the hell out me, so i quickly decided to unplug everything and play “unplugged”. i really think that i could use the set-up to busk, as long as i didn’t have to rely on external power.
i’ve been having loads of fun the past couple of days with the 1.6 GB of tracks that my friend ken and i originally recorded during the mid-1980s until the mid-1990s, that we have always had plans to release as And More. the previous one (which i labeled in the categories, but nowhere else) is called Dermi with my overdub of something like a foghorn.
today, i’ve taken an entirely different route, and come up with Tina Does Not And, which is samples from two other tracks, “Tina Did It” and “Is Not And Does Not And” mixed together to create an entirely new composition.
i talked with the lady from DVR this morning. i told her that i was tired of hearing all about what i can’t do with the ideas i’ve put forward in terms of self employment. i said that either i want to hear some ideas for what i can do, or i want to be told, flat out, that DVR can’t help me, so i can forget about them and move on, because that’s what i plan on doing, regardless of whether they tell me that i can’t be self employed, or not.
she hemmed and hawed and beat around the bush, and didn’t come right out and say that DVR can’t help me, but she said that the way DVR is set up to “help” people is that, either they help people finding employment working for someone else, and give them resources to succeed, or they find one aspect of self-employment that a person can do, and find ways that they can succeed doing that one thing… for the rest of their lives! i said that if i had to do the same thing 40 hours a week for the rest of my life, that you might as well just kill me now, so she said she would write a letter explaining exactly why DVR can’t help me, which i plan on forwarding to my attorney who is representing me in my attempts to get SSI disability.
and the only reason i’m not depressed to the point of being suicidal about this is because i’ve been so caught up with new music! see? i can do it, regardless of what you say! 8/