Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I rarely listen to things I have recorded. But right now I am trying to finish up a piece for this new record that should be out in January or February. Side B needs some edits. I was unsure about the composition, wondering if it was any good at all. Aaron Dilloway suggested that I merely edit the beginning. Really, It could be more accurately described as an introduction as it is a brief bit that leads into the main body of the piece. In any case, I listened to the track thinking that it might require significant revision. However, it seems that since I have forgotten what the track sounds like, it is actually much better than I remember. I still agree that the intro needs to be worked on, but I m quite pleased with the rest. I have been trying out a few ways to change the beginning and think I might be onto something. Perhaps I will be able to finish it tomorrow.

As I was saying, I rarely listen to things I have recorded. While trying to determine how to edit this piece, I listened through the track that will be side A of the same record. I wanted to remind myself of what that one sounded like for 2 reasons. The first is that I wanted to make sure that any of the changes I was thinking about making would actually fit: I needed to make sure that the tracks would still be thematically linked given the changes I was about to make. The second is that I wanted to make sure that the tracks would not be too similar in narrative structure.

The result of this new listen is that I have a renewed love of both tracks. It is nice to be away from these pieces long enough to be able to discover them fresh. In this case, it had been since the summer that I last listened to them. That seemed to be just enough time and distance for them to sound better than I had remembered.

After listening to these two tracks, my Itunes went to a track of mine from quite a while ago: "Heraclitus." I often remember liking the CD but am usually afraid to listen to it. I fear that if I listen to it, it will be no good. Probably the last time I listened to this CD was in 2009. Hearing it again just now, felt good. The record is good. It is really nice to be reminded sometimes that doing this work is not futile and sometimes it works out okay.

For your information, here is a link to Frans DeWaard's review of the cd from when it originally came out.

In the very first few minutes of Jason Zeh's debut CD (following several CDR releases including one on Gameboy Records) we hear a 'tabletop cassette recorder over a candle flame while recording'. This is the very basic thing that is used to create the rest of the composition - all melted into one piece, from start to finish. The processing stages this went through all deals with cassettes, in which literally everything from the cassette, the shells, guide rollers and pressure pads is used to alter the sound. All of these stages were recorded and from all these recordings the final composition was created. A dense work, which at times had some similarities to the work of Howard Stezler (especially his most recent work 'Bond Inlets') or Brutum Fullmen, of corroded sounds, rotten sounds and decay in general. Divided into several parts, with quite some dynamics (although things never get really loud), this is simply one of the most engaging things I heard recently. While on one hand connected to the world of microsound, mainly through the final composition, the techniques are more or less ancient, yet even by any old standard, this all sounds mysterious and not muffled, or hidden in a bath of hiss, like many of his ancestors did sound on tape. It owes in the technique department more to the old masters of musique concrete, yet with an entirely different outcome. As Heraclitus said you can never step into the same river twice (panta rhei), you can loop a tape, but it never sounds the same. Highlight, for me, of this week. (FdW)

Also, on an unrelated note, here is a sound sample Frans recently posted. It is a clip of Brombron 16 that Ben Gwilliam and I recorded in Nijmegen Netherlands last October. The CD should be out now on Frans DeWaard's Korm Plastics.