Saturday, October 16, 2010

anD i wenT to tHis poeT / fillinG puffs

two more improvisations using pre-recorded excerpts of songs/pieces/field recordings.

this is continuing play from last time. as i remarked to marian, maybe they are more 'significant' in the making of them than to the listener, as i have the history of the making of the songs / recordings etched in my physical/aural memory whereas a first-time listener is receiving them as they are - a new 'meaningless' whole.

the first track also includes portions of vaitoa's latest piece 'the land of fun-ness'.

AnD i wEnt to thIs poeT2 by christinewhite

i have been listening to hinemoana's sketches from her 'work in progress' presentation in iowa. she has also been experimenting with the recontextualising of text and sound recordings and inviting the listener to consider the sounds of words over their meaning. you can listen to them here.

it seems that we are experimenting in similar areas - albeit from opposite sides of the world.

i still have some difficulty with wondering how the work i'm doing would be received - or, how to present it in such a way that it isn't just jumble. i mean anyone can randomly put things together can't they? as john cage once said in response to "anyone could do this work"....'yeah, but they don't'.

what makes this kind of improvisation (or any improvisation for that matter) good? we can all appreciate a guitar solo - in some ways because of the skill of the player, and because our ears have been trained to appreciate the licks, the references being made in a solo that draws on years of the foundations for blues, jazz and rock.

how do we integrate improvisations such as these sketches i have here? well - i'm gonna continue to go with the theory that, in the space of a performance, where song snippets are introduced and then re-introduced, the listener can feel that they are on the same journey.

fillinG puffs includes snippets from my two minute sketch songs - powder puff and filling up.

FillinG puFfs by christinewhite

sexy appliances includes powder puff, filling up and casio from vaitoa's piece 'the land of fun-ness'

Sexy appliAnces by christinewhite

and...some photos just coz we like pretty pictures :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

fiL...l1nG uP the {drEamy} heaTer

today i have continued orienting myself in gleetchlab for the purpose of learning how to improvise with recordings.

i'm looking for a new way of making music that feels ignites me. this is taking the form, so far, of a combination of song sketches (2 minute improvised 'songs'), field recordings and sounds from the workbench instrument. i have a sense that, if i were to offer music in a live performance context, i want to combine these in a greater 'arc' of story/song/sound.

i was inspired by a jane siberry concert hinemoana and i went to - in fact - we were able to go to two within a week which was great because we were able to see the extent to which she drew on her song/story material in different ways to create a 'greater whole' - a large story which was 'the concert' and was comprised of the smaller stories we could call 'her songs'.

i haven't known what these 2 minute sketch songs have been about apart from feeling like a case of writer's block ("what - you can't even stay the distance to finish a whole song anymore"?). but now i have a sense of wanting to play with them like cogs of a wheel - sticking different parts together to see how they work.

this what today's play has been about - i have used a guitar improvisation, a recording of the heater, and components of the two minute sketch called filling up.

i look forward to combining more than one song to see what eventuates - i just need to prepare the separate tracks.

for now i have these sketch examples:

1210 fillup sketch1 by christinewhite

ps. these were crudely recorded back through the speakers, still haven't refined this part of the process. good though as the birds decided to join in with this one.

1210 fillup sketch2 by christinewhite

1210 fillup sketch3 by christinewhite

Friday, October 1, 2010

sounds from my neighbourhood - the water tower

the water tower is on a hill at the back of a reserve behind our house. it's pretty much completely made of concrete but i took a contact mic to see what i could find.


a series of pipes run around the perimetre of the tower. i chose one and began tapping it - it has amazing overtones and a long sustain. the pipe itself doesn't make any sound, it's only when it's activated you get to hear the sounds travelling through it.

the first sound is from me scraping the outside of the pipe with my hands.

Pipe 2 by christinewhite

this sound is from circling the inside of the pipe with a stick.

Pipe 3 by christinewhite

steel casing

further around the water tower was the main stairwell to the top. at the base of the stair structure was a metal guard with a steel box mounted on it housing a padlock.

i had a lot of fun with this structure, running the back of a cello bow over it.

Steel box by christinewhite

i also placed the box inside the cavity of the box casing and moved it over the surface. this created a breath-like timbre with tonal changes.

Inside steel box by christinewhite

i was also able to pull a metal sheet around the casing which reverberated through it. this recording is complete with text message (DM tweet) from my partner Hinemoana in the wild west of wyoming.

Rattling the steel by christinewhite