Sunday, 4 August 2013

A brief history of futures past: musical exploration of the impossible

I've been digging through a long-ignored tape cassette collection with which I have moved house around a dozen times in fifteen years and yet haven't listened to since before around 2000.

Remembering the essential octagonal bic biro, for pulling up slack, to prevent the whole thing being chewed in the doggy jaws of an old tape player. 

I'm trying to compile a story from unearthed bits and pieces I composed or recorded or wrote a long time ago. 

The story is this: 

why the ‘bebop-romanticism-klezmer-highlife-cinta-baroque’ hybridity that I tried first to transcribe then to convey to academy-trained musicians, for them to play on a stage in front of an audience of at most a hundred expectant classical-canon conformists 

turned into 

simulating impossible, acoustic, performance with early commercial digitalia

then into 

collecting sounds on the street and recompiling the street inside an enclosed space, with glimpses of  the original hybrid crowd's voices

finding ways to walk inside it so it's always different, unrepeatable.

I’m still working on telling that story through some peculiar digital sound objects and rambling, utterly inappropriate words.

<.~<.~<.~ <.~<.~<.~ HTTP://BASIC.FM  ~.>~.>~.>~.>~.>~.>
<.~<.~<.~ Watch this space for my first radio broadcast  ~.>~.>~.>
<.~<.~<.~ on augmented reality and music composition  ~.>~.>~.>
<.~<.~<.~ <.~<.~<.~ S e p t e m b e r  2 0 1 3  ~.>~.>~.>~.>~.>~.>

Meanwhile, I discovered some striking archaeological evidence of the 'shift', the evolution out of learning to play the standard repertoire in a regional orchestra, through keeping up with incredible street bands in Belgrade, Budapest and Paris, and capturing live events for the bubbles to build fleeting dreamscapes in sound.

A major influence on my shift away from notes on paper for people, toward the construction of musical junk-sculpture, was the improvising pianist John Law. 

Nearly twenty years ago, I went into a large echoey room with a Steinway, intending to record my Piano Sonata.

A master of digression and procrastination, even then, I instead recorded this. 
Exhibit A: “In Walked John Law”, solo piano improvisation, September 1994

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