Archive for the 'Dung Mummy' Category

Apr 26 2006

Musical History…

For as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my life. At a very early age I was fascinated by music, and listened to it all the time. I remember, when I was about 7 or 8, walking to the library and, in my mind, hearing a complete orchestral performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade. At the library I’d listen to records somewhat indiscriminately. I really enjoyed romantic era orchestral composers, but also loved pop music, rock, and even some wacky experimental stuff. All this before I was a teenager.

I also studied music, learning violin, keyboard, guitar, and trumpet at various times… None of which with any proficiency. I also sang and, in the 6th grade, was invited to be the featured soloist for a performance of Leonard Bernstien’s Chitchester Psalms with the Santa Monica City College Choir.

By the time I hit Jr High, though, I stopped playing instruments completely and didn’t take music up again until after High School. I started attending the local community college, and they had both a sound recording program AND an electronic music program. I immersed myself in both. I was working with multi-track reel to reel tape machines, analog synth’s large and small, and even some very primitive digital computer-based synthesis on an Apple 2E.

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Apr 24 2006

Another 45 Second Track…

I created another 45 second track, yet still this is not the one I planned to create from the very beginning. This is a purely vocal exploration…

Please note that, even though the track is short, I’ve posted the uncompressed WAV file, which is actually rather large.

Or click

to hear the track!

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Apr 14 2006

45 Sec Compilation

As a result of my last gig I was invited to participate in a compilation album that’s being produced by a young fellow I met at the gig. I guess that the plan is to produce an LP (those 12″ vinal things…) with up to 40 tracks, each no longer than 45 seconds. To be honest, I love stuff like this. So far, I have produced two tracks.

      The first
is from my performance, the middle bit with my Lap Steel, that runs about 12 minutes or so. Using special software, I reduced the running time to 45 seconds. Thus, the entire performance is represented, but it happens at a much faster rate. The pitch would have stayed the same but I decided to drop the whole thing down one octave, just because it felt better to me.

      The second
is more of a multi-track studio affair. I built the thing up one track at a time, improvising each track as I went. For example, I recorded the first guitar track, then improvised the 2nd and 3rd tracks just listening to the 1st. These three tracks became the 3 note chords. I then recorded the 1st 1/4 note arpeggio, also an improv, and then the 2nd without listening to the first. I improvised the bass part while listening to the chords, then added the 3 vocal tracks, the lap steel, and the bells.

It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for the project, but I do like it. It is simultaniously lilting and wacked… (BTW, I described it to my wife using the same two words and her reply: “Lilting and wacked… Just like you!”)


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Apr 12 2006

LP 45 Second Project

When I performed at the Dung Mummy Anniversary event last month, I met a young man by the name of Adam Reese. He performed with the Hop Frog Drum Jester Devotional, smacking a mini trap set. A few days ago he contacted me about a project of his own that he wanted me to participate in. Evidently, he’s producing a compilation LP with tracks by a multitude of artists. Each track, however, must be no more than 45 seconds. This is a unique challenge. He explained that he wasn’t really looking for ‘noise’ stuff. He said he’d enjoyed my performance, and was hoping for something reflective of that. Well, leave it to me to take a perfectly good suggestion and corrupt it terribly. I took the audio from the middle portion of my performance, the bit with the Indy Rail lap steel, and time shifted it from nearly 12 minutes to exactly 45 seconds. I also applied a wee bit of dynamic processing, reverb, EQ, and dropped the audio down one octave.

Hear the result

. [NOTE: This is an uncompressed WAV file that’s about 7.5 MB.] Now, I don’t know if this will be my actual submission, but the result was interesting in a ‘tweaky’ sort of way.

Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

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Mar 23 2006

Video Images From Dung Mummy Performance

When the organizers of Dung Mummy invited me to participate, I was told they would have a video projecter in the space and, if I chose to, I could provide them with video that they would project behind me as I performed. I’d never really had the opportunity to do this before, and the prospect was thrilling.

Over the course of several days, and in several locations in and around Long Beach, I shot video of water in a variety of settings. Moving water has always had a certain fascination to me, and also felt somehow appropriate for the gentle ebb and flow of the music I planned to do. Much of what I shot was taken at the Japanese Garden at CSULB. One bit was taken at the El Dorado Duck Pond. Another was taken at the beach.

Because posting and hosting streaming video of any quality is problematic, I decided to post some still images gleened from the video.

Here they are:

Juniper & Water

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Mar 23 2006

Dung Mummy Audio Excerpt

With the kind assistance of a volunteer, I recorded my performance at Dung Mummy on my video camera. The performance, in its entirety, was about 25 minutes. This excerpt, about 11 minutes in length, comes from the middle, when I had switched from my gretsch to my Industrial Guitar Indy Rail.

Click here to hear audio. Note: the file is about 10 MB.

If you’re interested, you can see pix of the guitar effects I use and read about what they do.

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Mar 23 2006

Dung Mummy Pix

Although I had no idea at the time, Jason Savvy (aka Monkey Wrench) was snapping pix while I was performing. He was kind enough to post them, and share them with the performers.

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Mar 19 2006

Guitar Effects

The signal chain for my performance was:

The Gretsch BST-1500 and/or the Industrial Guitar Indy Rail > Ernie Ball VP Jr Volume Pedal > HBE UFO (fuzz/octave) > Analog Man Sun Face (NKT275 with Sun Dial mod) (fuzz) > HBE Psilocybe (phaser) > Marshall Vibrotrem > DOD DFX94 Digital Delay/Sampler > Line6 Delay Modeler > Fender Blues Jr. Amplifier.

I also used a cheap digital voice recorder, purchased in Little India, that I played by holding it against the pickup of the lapsteel. You can hear this about 5 minutes in. Later, I also use an Ebow to create long sustained notes. You can hear this toward the end, around 9 minutes or so.

The set of guitar effects I use is designed to provide me with a wide sonic pallet. Each one adds to or changes the sound in a distinctive way. I sometimes use them by themselves, or in combination with other pedals. With the 7 pedals, there are countless variations possible.

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Mar 19 2006

Dung Mummy

I was privledged to be invited to perform at the 3rd anniversary of Dung Mummy, a performance event for experimental music, poetry, and other ecclectic creative energy. The event is hosted and organized by the Hop-Frog Kollectiv, a group of adventurous and creative artists from all over the Southland.

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