with pdf booklet.
How these pieces of music were created: · May 16, 03:40 AM
I’ve played on a semi- regular basis for dance and movement classes since 1980, and and have spent the last seven years or so twice weekly at the Neighborhood Playhouse Theatre School working with actors. Over this period I’ve developed a number of quirky approaches in an attempt to amuse myself, the students and the instructors, and have engaged in some serious music making.
The seeds for these new pieces were captured live in Studio 4 of The Playhouse, February 2009, and this month I was playing piano, synth (Korg Poly 800 II) and a Roland Handsonic 15 percussion controller. The recorder was a Tascam DP 004, which records in 16 bit, using two tracks. Track one was a line in from the a Crate CA 30 amp, which handled the synth and the handsonic, track two was the sound of the room itself, i.e. natural reverb, chatter, feet, the piano, traffic, the sounds coming out of the amp, the clicking of keys and the thump of hands on pads. I then imported these 16 bit wav files into my Tascam 2488 (working on in 24 bit).
The performances were solo, so I was playing three instruments ‘simultaneously’. The way I conceive it is that I am playing one whole groove or piece, but only realising aspects of it at any one time. So, I may keep a rhythm happening with one hand on the handsonic and play melodies on the synth or piano with the other, or play ostinato on the piano and switch between the synth and the handsonic with the other. An idea might start on the synth but the run finishes with a flourish on the piano and handsonic. So on and so forth.
Once I began working on it at the home studio, I had two jumping off points. One, how to work with, accentuate, contrast, the sound of the ambient room, and two, how to judiciously fill in the rest of the piece, that had been hanging in the Playhouse air un-realised and un-articulated. I also had the sonic possibilities presented by having two relatively busy lo fi mono tracks as the foundation.
The stereo image became key. Sometimes the foundation tracks sounded good panned hard left and right, other times a core drum taken direct is dead centre with the ambient material flown off somewhere else. Most of the time I made just a few edits to impose order and began overdubbing right away, but there were a couple of occasions when I excerpted loops over which to lay fresh material, or ended up with an almost all new piece that incorporated only fragments from the original seed. Long codas of new work appeared after initial burbles of mono. I connected different takes of the same piece in different tempi via drones and written transitions as I became intrigued again by the natural breath and arc of music freed from the grid of loops and metronomes. I both obscured and teased time further by incorporating tempo delays that were sometimes in sync, but sometimes wafting close but not really within the rhythm at hand. One piece was left, unadorned, where it fell.
released 14 September 2009
All instruments -- Geoffrey Armes
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