Mar 19 2006

Dung Mummy

Published by at 4:47 pm under Art,Dung Mummy,Gratitude,Guitar,Instrumental,Music

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.

Carl F. Off, my primary contact with Hop-Frog, told me a few days before the event that, because the LA Weekly hadn’t included the event in their calendar, he was expecting a low turnout. Frankly, I didn’t care, because I was looking forward to hanging with Jeremy, Eric, Carl, and the multitude of other performers scheduled for the evening’s festivities.

The event was held at Il Corral, a venue I’d never visited before. It was just off of Melrose Avenue on Heliotrope. The main space was nice: Not too small, but not huge either. I would guess that, with the chairs and couches full, it could hold about 40 people.

The show kicked off with ACRE, one man with effects. He creating a rich sonic tapestry with very little. In fact, so little that I and others were stumped as to the source of the sounds. After his performance he confessed that one of the pedals’ output was wired to its input, thus creating a feedback loop. Feedback, then, was the source of his sound.

There were various other performers, some using computers and synths while others used more familiar instruments.

My performance was a form of “Frippertronics,” a systems based compositional/improvisational methodology developed by Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. The system is very simple: everything I play (on this particular evening I was using Electric Guitar and Lap Steel) repeats and slowly fades out. One can add notes before, after, or on top of previously played notes to create harmonic or melodic movement, producing an ever evolving sound. I use a number of effects to alter the sound of my instruments, including two Fuzz pedals, a Phaser, a Tremelo, and another delay.

Truthfully, I was a bit sceptical about the merits of this, especially within the context of Dung Mummy. After all, what I’m doing isn’t new, isn’t exactly experimental, and certainly isn’t original. Still, I take great pleasure in performing this way and hoped the audience would forgive my presumptions.

The previous weekend I went to the park with my family and videotaped a number of things, mostly moving water in various settings. I created a 25 minute DVD that was projected during my performance. The room was dark, except for the glow of the projection, and the audience was attentive. I was focused on playing but, at one point, I looked up and saw everyone listening raptly. Some had their eyes closed, some were watching the projection, and some were watching me.

Anyway, it felt wonderful and, when I finished, received a very warm round of applause. Additionally, several people came up to me to tell me they enjoyed it.

Anyway, I feel very fortunate to have had the experience.

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