Placard Condensed

Wednesday 1 August 2007

(Tangentially related, maybe not safe for work: Headphone Phetish.)
As you can see, my Paris gig really knocked people out. This was the first time I’d been able to observe the effect a long version of String Quartet No.2 has on listeners, held more or less captive by their headphones. There’s enough in the piece to hold people’s attention for a long time, and several listeners reported some nice 60s-style hallucinatory effects which, being too close to the source material, I am unable to enjoy. Fortunately, I had access to the tone controls on the mixing desk, which I used to enhance some of the overtones generated during the piece.
My girlfriend said it was nice, but she didn’t understand it.
I’ve made a recording of the long version, which I might upload if there’s enough interest and the file compression doesn’t cruel the details in the sound too much. The short, differently-performed version is here. I think some kind of archive of most of the weekend event is here.
Notes for future reference: if you’re playing a headphone gig, make sure you have access to a pair of the audience’s phones so you know they’re hearing the same thing you’re hearing (several performers over the weekend listening directly to their own kit didn’t realise the broadcast signal was too loud and distorting). Also, if you habitually use a mouse on your laptop and then don’t bother to connect it for a gig, make sure you’ve figured out how to disable the default “tap = click” setting on the keyboard touchpad so you don’t keep clicking random stuff by mistake – unless you happen to like that setting (nobody likes that setting).