More Stained Melodies and Gratuitous Noise

Friday 17 August 2007

I was going to put up some new music I’ve been working on, but I’m at that awkward stage where everything’s so close to being finished that it all sounds ghastly. In the meantime, here are mp3s of a few old pieces I still don’t entirely dislike.

Stained Melodies Nos. 3, 11, & 17.

Three more from the series of 24 short piano pieces written a few years back. Each one of these pieces was written using the same method, so they share a similar overall sound and feel, but the method allows each piece to develop its own distinctive character. Number 11 is the emptiest, and most contemplative in the set; whereas Number 17 is the most crowded and frenetic. Number 3 manages to be almost a blues number.


I mentioned before that the flipside to the semi-listenable cassette Disposable Guitar Play Once Throw Away was a guitar piece that did away with guitars altogether. The music on the B-side was created by a crude feedback oscillator made from a chain of borrowed guitar effects pedals. Instead of plugging a guitar into the setup I decided it would be simpler to plug in the last pedal’s output jack, thus making a closed circuit and initiating an continuing quest to systematically rip off every idea David Tudor ever had.
Shortly after recording the cassette (direct to tape in a single, half-hour improvisation) I made a digital copy, divided the track into four sections of equal length and plonked them on top of each other. The resulting arbitrary mashup, with some minor tweaks, became the piece Ola-R, which I think got played once at the old Musicians’ Club in St Kilda, and a few copies popped up in a slightly different form on CD-Rs. Since that time I have been working toward making more sophisticated use of the principles of feedback oscillation, that I first learned when making this crude tape.
This mp3 file keeps the original’s dynamic range and stereo separation, so it may not come across well if you’re listening through built-in computer speakers.