Ants, Drag Net and Helium Ghosts, Sounds to Awaken, ImprovFriday

Welcome to another ImprovFriday review commentary by Paul Muller and myself [Jim Goodin]. Lot’s of great music made last weekend’s (July 22-24) open call thread so let the reviews roll forward! Read on…

Kraig Grady 1st time participant
Tumbleshore – Mysterious, languid, tropical – we are on a beach.. Interesting drone develops that contrasts with the laid back feeling and builds tension. The mood is effectively sustained over the full 22 minutes. Welcome to IF Kraig. – Paul. Floating on the water, reminds me of John Michael Jarre in a way. Nice colors and great to have a new member, yes welcome Kraig. – Jim

Roger “ErocNet” Sundstrom & Peter Thorn
Tree Groper – Neat ‘in the room’ live feel, darkness and tradition between the plucked nyckelharpa by Peter and Roger’s ‘found’ and other things, think Peter is on fretless. Goes very sitarish and raga feel as the piece develops. – jim.

Steve Moshier
Swatting Sand Flies. Understated, given the title. Intermittent “fly motif” appears unexpectedly against a soft background. An accurate realization. – Paul. Airy foundation, perhaps the desert, perhaps the flies akin to Peter’s ants. Sparsely interesting sounds bounce about through, electric piano adds definition near end. – Jim

Wanda – Spacy, pipe-organ sounds offer a dark portrait – a lady standing in the shadows. – Paul. Light moves in and out of the passage way, the woman stirs the soup, baby sleeps soundly, time passes, then the child is 16… – Jim.

Uranian Willy – Lovely deep tones with an overlay of bright swatches of sound. A surprisingly restrained set of pieces from Steve this week! – Paul. Post tones of Wanda, she leaves the room, the light in the passage becomes more ominous, growing. Out on the sea the waves swell, the sailor longs for home… – Jim

Jérôme Poirier
Acrophobia – Featuring Steve Layton, Bruce Hamilton, Norbert Oldani and Jerome Poirier (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Succinct, yet with a wide variety of sounds. Don’t look down! – Paul – Bursts and pixels in this :47 second gesture like aural drawing. A bit of glitch, a bit of Blue Man and a bit of your imagination. – Jim

A Few Amperes – Featuring Andrew McCance, Bruce Hamilton, Norbert Oldani and Jérôme Poirier (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Sparks and generator sounds with a nice trombone coda. – Paul. Great Drag Net orchestration Andrew! Well placed voices and love the tympani hit. – Jim.

Bench Memorandum – Featuring Jeff Fairbanks, Roger “ErocNet” Sundström, Kavin Allenson and Jérôme Poirier (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – A subdued series of arcade sounds – been listening to Jukka? – Paul. Lot’s of electronic shootemup and what sounds like 8-bit (Jukka where are you this week dude!) influence and some cool metallic clanging near end that I suspect are courtesy of Mr ErocNet no? – Jim

Renversement – Featuring Lee Noyes and Jérôme Poirier (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Some 60 Hz, some silence and a symphony that sounds like it is trying to get started. Owes much to Lee Noyes 🙂 – Paul. Fab spectrum range here and I missed the first time as I didn’t hear this over phones which things come alive with the aide of. Really nice lower frequency oscillations going on in the opening moments. Like helicopters over the rice paddys. – Jim

Gérald DeGroote
Chickenshit Plus Featuring Steve Moyes and Gérald DeGroote (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – OK, I think we have the definitive version of ‘Chickenshit’ here. Gerald’s bass makes the decisive contribution – congratulations Gerald and welcome back. – Paul. Like a mix of the Doors and laid back Jaco tones here, Gérald sets a slight funk feel to Steve’s chicken infused morphed xaphoon tones. – jim.

Steve Moyes
Chickenshit – Wonderful realization of chickens scratching and pecking happily about in the upper registers. And then there are the lower tones…. perhaps referring to the title. Playful and inventive. – Paul. Hum, my puritan upbringing is going hush our mouth but highly great mood going here Mr Steve in your command of Mobius and manipulation. Eerie twist of the xaphoon I think or maybe mouth organ or who knows but wonderful twists and turns throughout the chicken’s innards perhaps. – Jim

Anizzypetething – Featuring Izzy, Peter Thorn and Steve Moyes (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Really cool mystical surreal mood that is a specialty to Steve, creator of many thick moods. This one the voices are spooky playful kind of like helium infused ghosts! – Jim

Greg Hooper
IF Today – Rich, resonant bell tones create a fine sense of space. – Paul. Mirror like sounds of a ‘rubbed’ xylophone or close miced kalimba, wind chime quality, being in a room of all just ringing around you. Nice. – Jim.

Steve Layton
Vertigogo – 23d century go-go sounds. Not sure if I could dance to it but it has a great ending. Amazing how JP Kervinen recent postings has
influenced many of the pieces this week. – Paul. Cool track with lots of PVC like samples or found going on to my ears. Nice organic feel from that. – Jim.

In which we visit the Discovery Channel … Featring Kavin Allenson, Mick Martin, Roger Sundström, Norbert Oldani x2, Bruce Hamilton and Steve Layton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – A lovely flute line floats above darker tones in the lower registers. A beatbreaks out – but we are still in the wilds. Bird calls and insect sounds add to the Exotic flavor. An informative journey… – Paul. Featuring Kavin Allenson, Mick Martin, Roger Sundström, Norbert Oldani x2, Bruce Hamilton and Steve Layton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – I’d say, visual landscape with much to ‘discover’. Nice to have Mick join Kavin in this week’s thread btw. – Jim.

Happy Varèse – Featuring Andrew McCance, Jérôme Poirier x2, Roger Sunström x2 and Steve Layton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Andrew’s orchestra adds heft to this. Good panning on the otherworldly sounds that seem to hover overhead. Crescendo is effective at 3:00 and the ending trails off nicely. – Paul. Great play between the ‘bone orchestration and the various synth and organic sounds/effects/emotions. The horn orchestration that I believe is Andrew’s work reminds me so much of the Swiss composer of the 1900’s Honneger and his Pacific piece as well as early 60’s television sound queues. – Jim.

Traveler’s Time – Featuring Jim Goodin, Shane Cadman, Adam Kondor, Steve Moshier, Kavin Allenson and Steve Layton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Jim’s voice get your attention and sets the mood. The string-like sounds float above and compliment the vocal line but now and then break out into a more menacing presence of which the singer is blissfully unaware. – Paul. A feeling of the new west frontier, on the desert, sky finally cracks after months of heat and rainstorm comes to rescue. Nice to be included in this, thanks Steve. – Jim.

Vättar – Featuring Steve Moshier, Peter Thörn, Izzy and Steve Layton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Wow – love the feeling of this layering. Ants those little buggers make a great rain on the roof sound Peter and the dialog of you and Izzy already echo’d about but grand, the orchestration of the two Steve’s, great result guys and lady. – Jim.

Miami Vice – Featuring Gaetano Fontanazza, Lee Noyes, Ken Palmer and Steve Layton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Sinister, menacing – builds intensity and tension. – Paul. Street mystic with David Lynch film score richness. Cool bass tones and subtle acoustic keys lacing through. – Jim

Dance, Chickenshit, Dance! – Featuring Steve Moyes, Gérald DeGroote, Roger Sundström and Steve Layton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Continuing to twist the chicken this time along with Gerald’s funky bouncy bass lines and Roger and Steve’s plucked (no pun intended) and keyed sounds meshing in. – Jim.

Duple Duple Triple – Featuring Roger Sundström, Peter Thörn, Jim Goodin, Jeff Fairbanks, Bruce Hamilton, Jérôme Poirier w/ Lee Noyes and Steve Layton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Slowly turning rusty gears of a clock, gradually turning and turning. The pulse starts, slips a skosh, then finds it’s momentum and then… the alarm rings and it’s time to get up! Good morning world! – Jim.

Lee Noyes
Bruit – Soft electrical sound – possibly a motor, with an even softer music box melody underneath. The two interact and end in a sudden malfunction. Understated – and draws you into concentrating. Effective use of quiet and low-level sound. – Paul. Continuing to find his muse in the things that whir, cycle, glitch and ‘purr’ (okay haven’t heard purring yet but…), Lee conducts these aural illusions with care and vision, this one no less. Like the early stages of this with the sense of a natural phase shifting perhaps it is. – Jim.

C’ing 3’kinds – More 60 cycle uncertainty here. Brief sounds, in and out. Good recreation of something trying to get going, gradually building in to overdrive. Amazing how these sounds cause you to think through a list of their possible causes – an open connection somewhere? – Paul. Very quiet but nice surprising sounds out of nowhere of increasing oscillations and warbles. – Jim.

V S Ble Axe – Voltage control to the max! I don’t know how it was made but I can visualize Lee turning the various knobs on something retro which I think is a cool thing about this kind of creation, we get the picture. – Jim.

Get Out – Strong opening beat and muscular sounds – could be rap music.
Good cutting and mixing here – achieves a percussive effect. Very creative use of materials. – Paul. Very different for you Lee, like taking a device you usually work from the inner most detail to with this one working within the product of what I hear as an all in one beat box of some type, ala hip hop with a good groove and scratch as well as a certain amount of glitch happening in the speed up/down part. Like it! – Jim.

On Deposing the President – Spooky and oscillations going to voice like sound patches, drone as in airplanes, perhaps Germans flying into England in WWII, Churchill, perhaps Air Force one flying the body of JFK to be buried. – Jim.

Pseudo (Gaetano Fontanazza)
The Last Hour – Calling, longing, distant tones, distant shores. Nice depth Gaetano – PinkishDavidGilmoreish Feeling! – Jim.

Adam Kondor
Peter Lee Vanessa Featuring Peter Thoegersen, Lee Noyes, Vanessa Rossetto and Adam Kondor (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Interesting mix of various sounds – birds, strings, assorted tones…Occasional outbursts remind one of a timpani roll. Creates an almost normal ambience, only to be disrupted by sharp crashes that arouse the curiosity. – Paul. Inside a room of machinery and metal after it all begins to cool down, things begin to groan, squeak and evolve as the organic ores they are made begin to contract. – Jim.

Sacrifice – Featuring Kraig Grady, Lee Noyes and Adam Kondor (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Kraig’s easy tropical ambience is infiltrated by the sinister sounds from Lee’s piece. Good title. – Paul. The pot is boiling and so are the world colors in this mash, tribal ambient with definition. – Jim.

Construction – Featuring Kraig Grady, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen and Adam Kondor (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Boy, Adam really likes ‘Tumbleshore’ – makes a great starting point for a mix. Now the island is under attack by Jukka’s arcade forces. – Paul. Wow I was just saying earlier who we were missing Jukka this week and here he is by miracle of Adam looking outside the current box, excellent! This one is growing from ‘Sacrifice’ I see. – Jim.

Transcendance – Featuring Kraig Grady, Peter Thörn and Adam Kondor (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – – Now the island seems to
be the scene of some gunfire – or maybe that is just because I’m from LA. Great selection of pieces to add to ‘Tumbleshore’. – Paul. And part III, three scenes, moods, Kraig’s ambient waterscape continues and Peter’s ‘found’ textures weave through. – Jim.

Lullaby – A beautiful combination of Alexandra’s piece from last week and a new talent! Too short… – Paul. A great visiting of Alexandra’s track from last week beautifully matched with Peter and Izzy’s playful vocalise, splendid, to the moon. – Jim.

Oedipal Lullaby – Featuring Peter Thörn, IZZY, Alexandra Marculewicz Adshead, J.C. Combs, Lee Noyes and Adam Kondor (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Now we have some mystery added to the Lullaby. Incredibly, the optimism from the voices remains the dominant feel to this piece. – Paul. Another great mash of Alexandra’s playful almost dance like vocalise joined by Peter and Izzy’s equally dancing voices. – Jim.

The Treasure of Silver Lake – Featuring Roger Sundström, Steve Moshier, Steve Moyes, Greg Hooper, Steve Layton, Lee Noyes, Shane Cadman, Jim Goodin, Bruce Hamilton, Kavin Allenson, Paul Muller, Norbert Oldani, Peter Thörn, Izzy and Adam Kondor (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Excellent Adam and thanks for the tip of the hat re my massive mashes which I apologize have been remis in recent weeks. I’ve focused on the reviewing and blog but I do hope to get back to the large scale mixdowns. That said though this you echo’d is no the whole it’s a healthy offering of us and well done. The more layers the more mysteriously things begin to take off, new motifs, new directions, new voicings which you’ve done here. – Jim.

Jeff Fairbanks
Free Again – Good groove going here – complete with some 70’s arcade retro sensibility. Is Jukka everywhere this week? – Paul. 8 bit, gamesque and neat ending tone. Nintendo should use this Jeff. Hope they find you and pay lot of green. – Jim.

Shane W. Cadman
Piece072310 – The background cooks while the foreground reminds one of a series of trumpet flourishes. – Paul. Gated accordion patch (maybe real) over suspenseful pulsing ostinato baas lines. Law and Order influence to my ears. You [Shane], Muller, Bailey and Moshier should get together and form a production company and go after tv ( I know you live in LA and everyone is in that race). – Jim.

Andrew McCance
IF – Inside that Machine – Another beautiful orchestration from Andrew with some great sounding brass passage work. Reminds me a bit of Adam’s orchestral pieces and his use of woodwinds. – Paul.

Bruce Hamilton
Steerjuque – Lovely bells above some strong piano and strings. A somewhat Latin flavor. Curious finish. – Paul. New spring, reflective, slightly troubled as the synth strings enter, sparkly percussive beat, interesting lower synth patch separates the reoccurring motif later on. – Jim.

Face – Fortissimo entrance gets your attention! Like when the monster appears in those old horror movies. Clarinets make a nice bridge to the
quiet ending. – Paul. Another aural haiku, very visual synth almost quasar tones, like the moon on the river. – Jim.

From Machine – Featuring Steve Layton, Andrew McCance, Roger Sundström and Bruce Hamilton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) –
Wonderful contrast – the frogs are in a movie chase scene? Great cutting and echo work with Andrew’s brass. Nice finish. Hard to keep from smiling… – Paul. Really grand orchestration Bruce layering these 3 pieces. Frogs cut through really cool in this like early television sound queue. – Jim.

Rubber Clouds – Featuring Kavin Allenson, Mick Martin, Steve Moshier, Paul Muller, Norbert Oldani, Roger Sundström and Bruce Hamilton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Dense layering produces a brawny sound but it all keeps moving along at a pretty good clip. By 4:00 we are rolling downhill and picking up speed – does this thing have any brakes? Happily, we coast to a stop… Great ride! – Paul. Moving positive aural foundation with electronica and acoustical/found sounds bouncing ‘about the clouds’. – Jim.

Dora Queeora – Interesting vocals – and in harmony! A convincing 23d century do-wop feel to this. – Paul. Stealthy vocoder tones that I first thought were a bit of ‘autotune’ going on, also brings to mind a 70’s television commercial for a television set. Nice immediate mood Bruce, an aural haiku. – JIm.

Slews – Intriguing piano theme – a bit of Lee Noyes influence translated to keyboard? Good pacing. – Paul. A piano sound is heard about the room as the composer thinks about what he is envisioning, then the sound is rewound as if thinking backwards, searching the ideas. Lovely acoustic piano tones early on here. – Jim.

Mage Featuring Kavin Allenson, Bruce Hamilton, Mick Martin, Steve Moshier, Lee Noyes, Ken Palmer and Bruce Hamilton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Contrast of pieces in this mix. Ken’s piece provides a slender thread of normality amid a swirling cloud of futuristic sounds that eventually prevail. We’re not in Kansas anymore… – Paul. Excellent and again great to have Mick’s didgeridoo this weekend. Ken’s floating standards on the ivory passing through like the blur of a dream of emotions with all the colors of the surrounding sounds. Great mash Bruce. – Jim.

Kavin Allenson
Aborgine – The didgeridoo sounds give this piece its distinctive color. The guitars weave nicely in and out around the steady drone. – Paul. The sounds of downunder courtesy of Mick Martin. Great earthy feeling between Kavin’s guitar density and the didgeridoo, all walking a line between Native American and beyond. – Jim

Burnt Mcdonald Evaporator (memo) – You don’t want to have your McDonald evaporator burn up in July! Unsettling sounds remind one of a failing machine. Convincingly worrisome. – Paul. Organic, tribal, metallic, dense, dig it! – Jim.

Kenneth Palmer
Easy Listening 2 pianos – So you’re staying on business in a big downtown hotel and you wander down to dinner not expecting much and then you hear the group playing there and are pleasantly surprised at how good it all sounds. And life in a strange place isn’t so bad after all…. – Paul. Visions of a friend of mine, a lounge lizard in Little Rock, AR, playing these tried/true tunes. Great feel in the keys Ken. – Jim.

Roger “ErocNet” Sundström
Rubber Song – Bouncy and light – good use of echo. A distinctly rubbery feel to this. – Paul. Much recoil, sounds of tension and release… – Jim.

Human Face Featuring Bruce Hamilton and Roger “ErocNet” Sundström (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Kind of like the elasticity of a dancer inside something looking for a portal out, perhaps a face with a mask as in a phantom. – Jim.

Frog Gossip – Persuasively frog-like in tone and pattern. We are a long way out into the woods… – Paul. Like these little percussive goober like gila monsters. Almost real at times as I envision a night walk in the summer Swedish skies and hearing mr froggy. – Jim.

Cam Noize – Sounds very smooth, but definitely mechanical – certainly some Lee Noyes influence here. – Paul. Literally ‘noise in the machine’ I think. Imagining close micing the optical zoom element but perhaps I’m much to anal here. Creative capturing and manipulation though and me thinks there is influence from Jukka in here, maybe therein lays a future mash. – Jim.

Peerless Impr 1 – Minimalist drumming, string plucks as if sparks of light or voices in the night, breath, ping, random tones about, reoccurring rhythm continues. – Jim.

IF Willy Slews – Featuring Greg Hooper, Steve Moshier, Bruce Hamilton and Roger “ErocNet” Sundström (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Dramatic opening – makes good use of all the pieces in the mix. – Paul. Great blend of electronica and a cutting ‘acoustic’ piano at just the right point. Maybe it’s sample but sounds pure. Good layering and density guys. – Jim.

Paul Muller
IF 7-23-10 – I know not supposed to review each others work here but another great one Paul. You’re branching last couple of weeks. Very pure aural voices and good driving foundation. – Jim.

Norbert Oldani
Silverlake – Liquidy sounds above a restful flute line. Turning somewhat ominous by the end. Good voicing. – Paul. Lovely. For me Silverlake/Eagle Park in LA and strangely it gives me the feeling of a good vibe about being in that area, had a great gig there. Musically tones are floating and lower voicings on end nicely dense. Good stuff Norbert. – Jim.

Sample Cloud of Temple Bells – Light, airy – just what the title says! – Paul. In the harbor, the various sounds of ‘bells’ ring as the waves rock them back/forth, the reef bouy market, closer in possibly floaters for lobster traps, shapes of such things I’ve seen that have a clangy sound akin to the ref’d temple bells. Perhaps though it’s as a sound being rang by monks in cloister. – Jim.

Sample Cloud of an Ancient Greek Lyre – Taught, stretched feel to this – the more effective because one is anticipating a more harp-like sound. – Paul. Adjusting a koto, it’s strings raise and lower in tension… – Jim.

Sample Cloud of an Ancient Greek Aolustan – Expansion of a star or inside a furnace as the flames shoot about. – Jim.

Peter Thörn
Go vertigo go – Featuring Steve Layton and Peter Thörn (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Guitar, drone and space sounds combine to produce a feeling of movement and travel. – Paul. Feeling of movement and travel, inventive tweaks and acoustic plucks bouncing off the Mr Layton’s spinning room of color and light, good one Peter. – Jim.

Antenn – Are those ants walking all over the tinfoil? An amazing recording – sounds like boiling water. JC and Glenn W. are gonna be jealous. – Paul. Kind of like rain but tis the sound of a small world ‘blown up’ aurally I thinks. Excellent awareness of the sound in our world around us Peter. – Jim.

IZZY and me Featuring Izzy and Peter Thörn (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Simply gorgeous. And the perfect piece to mix with Alexandra’s from last week. We gotta hear more of this real soon! – Paul. Angelic dialog vocalizing, times gone by, times present? – Jim.

J.C. Combs
Interesting Title – Featuring Lee Noyes and J.C. Combs (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Lovely piano chords – Lee’s piece hovers like a low cloud. Mysterious feel to this. Well crafted. – Paul. Long dark hall, nice sweeps and dense acoustic tones. As always great use of space by both gentlemen. – Jim.

Missed Ben two weeks now – I think his equipment is down. Jukka didn’t post but his fingerprints are certainly all over many of the pieces this week! Paul H. is probably enjoying his summer break – who can blame him? – Ben.

Whew! Wow that was a journey but an amazing one from the ImprovFriday world. The current weekend thread is full-scale underway with lot’s of good muse’s happening so look forward to next week’s blog entry right here on WhatsNewAtImprovFriday.

A reminder that you can ImprovFriday each month as well by subscribing to the ImprovFriday Radio podcast series. Each month Paul Muller and myself rotate hosting and do in Paul’s case often several featured artists from the community with a common theme, then on the next month I focus on one particular artist and cast a previously recorded Skype interview with them in addition to featuring a couple of tracks of his/her music from a recent thread. So check us out through either iTunes or via at And as always check out our website at

See you next time,

Jim & Paul


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