Well friends as the mosquitoes roar about our ears in pursuit of house speaker Nancy, fellow ImprovFriday member artist Paul Muller and myself [Jim Goodin] once again reconvene for another post of WhatsNewatImprovFriday looking back at the musical work done by the community during last weekend’s (August 19 – 21) open call thread.
In addition to the 31 fabulous pieces of music produced by the many fine ImprovFriday artists, we at ImprovFriday were proud to host our first remote live video webcast on Friday evening August 20th. Musicians James Ross, Alex Carpenter and Michael Vincent Waller performed live from Brooklyn venue, Goodbye Blue Monday. We produced their show to streamed video and carried them live on the ImprovFriday home page. Below the thread reviews are details on the show as well as some of the interactive chat and performance pages.
Notes from Paul: Last week I overlooked a piece by Todd Lainhart – just flat missed it in the thread. Sorry Todd – Jim Goodin has posted some comments on your piece on the What’s New at ImprovFriday blog. [editor’s note: August 12-14 post]. Thanks to Chris Vaisvil who has been posting comments on pieces this week in the event thread. Good work! Very fine work posted here this week. Steve Layton is out of his studio visiting Los Angeles so we have fewer pieces from him this week, but still lots to listen to.
And with that said Paul my friend and co-commentator we are off looking at ImprovFriday member artist work produced for the weekend of August 19 – 21, 2010. Links to each artist’s work are included so please to check out the wonderful tracks done.
Verging On – Good processing of speech on the intro – artistic yet intelligible. The piece that follows effectively evokes a spare and open landscape. – Paul. Creative Max Headroom (early 80’s commercial editing style showing age) style editing, love the Jerrrrssssseeeeyyyyy stretch Bruce, leading in to a low level ambiance a kin to settled myst over the spill of a waterfall. Nice woodwind and subtle piano/keys emerge. – Jim.
Promise – Begins as a recording – we are outside, I think. Now pop music – we are on the side of the road in the sunshine. Nice warm feel to this. – Paul. Environmental beginnings that lead in to a Paul Simonesque sound South African sound ala Graceland, very reminiscent even in the lyric content. Good one Bruce. – Jim.
IF ReCon – Featuring J.C. Combs, Jeff Fairbanks, Jérôme Poirier, Roger Sundström and Bruce Hamilton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Another IF community kind of ‘chain letter’ piece similar to last weekend’s collective piece. Really nice. Begins with ambiance, environmental, voices and wind chimes segueing to ambient mix that increases in density as it rises slowly as if the sun cascading across the landscape then descends and back to environmental sounds like a summer day with a lawn mower in the distance. – Jim.
Shane W. Cadman
Piece082010 – Great bass effect – oscillates left and right in my headphones. Echo adds a nice repetitive effect 🙂 Solid musical instincts here are not obscured by the technology. – Paul. Great diggeridoo real or synth patch on the beginning! Really cool sound modulation of the opening into other synth sounds with neat auto panning effects. Neat sense of a sense of light to dark in this piece, ends with a nice saw tooth wave. Excellent piece and sounds Shane. – Jim.
Abandoning Sound – Short bursts of sound enveloped by silences. The sounds are percussive mostly. Vaguely familiar but hard to place – amazing how this increases one’s concentration – an interesting psychological effect. The sounds seem to get louder as the piece proceeds – like we are hearing someone organize a workbench full of tools and metallic materials. Surprisingly engaging. – Paul. Wandering about the room which is clearly Lee’s canvas and finding an occasional pulse, beat of sound. The room is the canvas is the space between sounds. Sounds of what sounds like a drawer of silverware being sorted or coins paints the rooms, then an occasional horn like or tweet sound occurs in Lee’s exploring. At one point there is a pattern in the sounds that contrasts with a perfect rhythm and a neat ‘noise gate’ feel, occurs about 6:30 in to the 8:09 minute score. Right near end you do this rhytmic figure that brings to mind my friend Will. You continue to push your envelope in to the next Lee. – Jim.
Backs – A deep humming sound increases in level – gives an effect of rotating. Various other pitches and beeps creep in, but the rotational effect is sustained. At 1:40 the tones break into a triad and more sounds appear – like we are in a spaceship trying to take off. By 3:00 things have settled down – we could be in orbit – a sense of effortless motion. The tones are very active – high and low pitches – giving the sense that something is being communicated. By 8:00 more agitated sounds – engine trouble? By 9:00 we are back – watching the the visitor depart. Nice journey – hope the spaceship analogy wasn’t over-worked… – Paul. Excellent oscillations and modulations Steve. Bordering on chasing Mr. JP Kervinen at a point, concludes and then begins another tubular like journey. The tubular part mod’s to glitch a bit and tips it’s hat to Mr Noyes I think. The pitch changes almost like the slide whistles at times around this section @6 minutes are neat. As the piece winds down we’ve clearly been moving through the cosmos and the sites are on the ‘beyond’ as I would expect no less Mr Steve. – Jim.
Small Sad – Nice mix of two different keyboard sounds with percussion – just getting started! Should be revisited and extended, IMO… 🙂 – Paul. Like the ‘stuttering’ feel of the rhythm Steve and with the momentary piano voice, it has a sense of unpredictability and then, concludes. – Jim.
Feeling the Way – Featuring Lee Noyes, Jérôme Poirier, Kavin Allenson, Roger Sundström, Ken Palmer, Bruce Hamilton and Steve Layton (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Mysterious feel to this – Lee’s piece adds to the sense of uncertainty. Bubbling, then boiling sounds add a sense of menace and nearby danger. Piano music at 5:00 makes a nice contrast of misplaced normality. By 7:15 we have made our way outside – it’s sunny and children are playing! Great sequencing – even if all you had was an old Mac and Audacity. Next week – magnetic tape! – Paul. Your recent trip to California got you some movie score influence here Steve. Really nice color in the surrounding synth sound layering the voices and other parts of the mash. Quasi industrial and quasi ‘Lost’ to me. Lee’s random ‘abandoned’ percussion sounds appear at interesting places as your orchestration fills the space between. At times it calls for a squeezed down telephone or radio voice mixed in almost like something you might hear Eno or Bowie throw in. Lots of great mystery and color throughout. – Jim.
long after midnight – out on the highway, maybe. Nice effects here of wide open spaces, headlights in the distance. Using a sound stretcher? Like quarter notes in succession, except slowed down 20x, you can hear the strings vibrate. Beautiful. – Paul. Man everyone did such lovely rich orchestration on this thread and Kavin your’s no less. Rich floating patches float about searching the sea floor to unknown depths. Really great dark voice suggests there is something near. The dark voice returns near end just like the ‘Smoke Monster’. Good colors and mystic Kavin. – Jim.
Adagietto for the End of Summer – Warm and slow – like an August sunset. The woodwind effects are quite good – oboe and bassoon. A slightly melancholy feel to this. Fine continuity – well sustained for a long improvisation. – Paul. Lovely lovely track Paul, melancholy, a bit mournful and occasionally joyous. Reminds me of Faulkner and magnolia trees and the rural south at times. – Jim.
Subway Pinball Paint Can – Wonderful mix of pinging and plinking sounds with saxophone – you can hear the paint can being shaken. Sforzando is effectively realized. Good processing and mixing here – title is accurately portrayed. – Paul. Kind of a ‘Birth of Cool’ for the melinium. Horn voicings and effects with maybe some editing cast a real west-east feel to this within the continental States. Has a sense of LA and NY combined. Good mood Chris. – Jim.
Chilling Out – Lovely mixture of bells, guitar and woodwind. Solid bass line. Piano brings us back to familiar territory. Exotic feel to this – Peruvian? – Paul. One of your best Ken, cool earthy World tones setting an ambient vibe with a gentle beat, tasteful piano tones float about, an occasional wind chime tone is the added spice. – Jim.
MOD/Impro #1 – Fast-paced, explosive sounds here. We are inside a pin-ball machine! Nicely realized. – Paul. Short bursts and creative edits, low end reverse scratch like tones, all woven together in this electronic scape, like a circuit board on speed! – Jim.
Mayan Ceremony, variation #1 – Featuring Adam Kondor and Jukka-Pekka Kervinen (contributing artist/mixer/masher)Mayan Ceremony, variation #1 (feat. Adam Kondor/Jukka-Pekka Kervinen) – Interesting cutting of the percussion offers a fast and exotic feel. – Paul. Electronic tones meet organic tones, manipulated in a digital age, pitched and stretched, like chalk marks in the rain, etched in time. – Jim.
Undrinkable – Featuring Steve Layton, Roger “ErocNet” Sundström and Jérôme Poirier (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Lovely bell tones amid the bubbling and electronica. Feels like it owes a bit to Steve Moyes’ ‘Backs’. – Paul. A sense of ascending and descending, crunching steps through a snow field, tonal stretches, cool organ tones intermingled with variable oscillations, the footsteps pass into the distance. – Jim.
Portrait of Bruce Hamilton’s ‘verging on’ – Featuring Bruce Hamilton, KGMI Radio and Jérôme Poirier (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Nice mixing and cutting of Bruce’s voice. I guess if you put your voice out there it’s fair game… 🙂 The pizzicato strings provide a nice finish. – Paul. This one is a riot Jerome! Love the exaggerated manips of Bruce’s voice over and sparse tones. Tip of the hat to Lee in the use of space. – Jim.
If082010 – Remastered by Adam Kondor – Adam’s processing gives the pulsing lines some space, helps the oboe cut through and warms the texture a bit. Thanks! – Paul. Brings to mind the Windham Hill duo of Ira Stein and Russell Walder. Lovely oboe patch leading the way as path along the tree lined road. Nice work gentlemen. – Jim.
Get Directions – A fountain, children are playing! Crowd noises and a siren as well as church bells – a perfectly normal day… Rapid French – getting directions? A beautiful sonic portrait. – Paul. The day begins with the starting bell and they’re off! Environmental, a day in the life, a city square, confusion, how do I get to… – Jim.
Parader – Indistinct, distant drums slowly make their way into the foreground amid sirens and car horns. Nice cadence at 1:20… Good panning here – they marched from left to right in my head! A roll-off and some music, but obscured by some motor float, I expect. At 3:00 a much hipper cadence appears. Bagpipes! But they are playing a cliche… At 5:00 the fire trucks growl like tigers… Motorcycles at 6:45 – Shriners? Never fails – wherever you stand on the parade route the bands march by – but they aren’t playing. Good clear sounds – thanks for inviting us along… – Paul. Approaching, approaching. Drums in the distance in cadence, a siren goes by. Nice right to left, left to right drum pan then segue to a roar of machines, generator, cotton candy machine or your thought here. Drums approach again this time joined by pipers. A precursor to a circus, small town celebration as I grew up with celebrating the annual summer water festival or marching to war. As with your recent posts J.C. really great creative process in your aural documenting style. – Jim.
Improvised Convolutions 2 – Interesting funk pattern going here that seems to deconstruct as it goes along. Reminds me of the theme to “Mission Impossible”. – Paul. Are these and your others this weekend in Kyma Norbert? These are great, very organic percussive beats kind of ala Blue Man Group sounds, particularly at :39. Visual afro beat. Good patterns as Paul pointed out. – Jim.
Study for Woodwind and Trombone – Repetition! Nice mix of trombone, clarinet, saxophone and bassoon. At 2:11 we have the trombone in a much better register. Everything is up an octave and it produces a crisper sound. Nice groove goin’. – Paul. Echo’ing Paul a bit Norbert nice sounds between the trombone and bassoon. Plus I almost thought it was a mash piece with Paul as the main lead clarinet reminded me so much of one of Paul’s pieces. It’s interesting when you start sliding the piece a bit ‘downward’ mid-way, makes me think of shifting platelets in the earth under shelves (I know where did that come from! had a very visual childhood…). As the piece moves along your voicings start to remind me of modernist composer Honnegger in the orchestration. Good piece Norbert. – Jim.
Tude – Dude! Lush mix of woodwinds, organ and electronics. Big, warm sound here – well done. – Paul. Pulsing mix of voices that really gives this arrangement a ‘real’ effect. Organ has a minising almost clipping sound that with the other voices sounds really neat Jeff. Feels a bit like a hot air balloon making it’s way through jagged mountainous passage. – Jim.
Johnny & Faith
A Cloud Of Mosquitoes Eating Nancy Pelosi – Yikes! It sounds exactly like a giant swarm of mosquitoes… Mosquitoes as big as B52s! I guess Newt Gingrich was too sour for them… Sufficiently scary for any politician! – Paul. Okay sad as it is I had to Google to find out how Miss Nancy is/was so I guess that’s good education for me as part of the uninformed public here Johnny. Appreciated. And judging from this swarm I don’t think she will fair too well, she must be swinging much too right. Tis some good ‘noize’ there in your piece J and F. – Jim.
Grisaille – Masterful mix of the entire Aug 13 event. The parts never overwhelm and are carefully sequenced. Amazing achievement. – Paul. The name makes me feel a sense of Africa about particularly in the beginning. I will say also Adam includes snippets of some of my udu trax (thank you) and also later on a some of friend Will [Romano] (thank you) so hence the ‘African’ vibe. There are also others (Roger/Jukka hear for sure and sure there are more) from the community passing through so tis ‘Adamashed’. Funny too I guess from the Africa thoughts I was thinking that Grisaille was a critter of the plains but in reality it is a painting that is all monochrome or shades of gray so in a weird way suddenly this mash goes other visual directions to me, such as a blending and kind of evenness so there you go power of words. – Jim.
Sairung – A Rainbow Over Time – Featuring Shane Cadman/15Jan, Paul Hertz/8Jan, Lee-Noyes-&-JC-Combs/22Jan – a shooting star and Adam Kondor (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – Bright piano, bells and drone light up the landscape. Full of sunny optimism – sad to hear it end! – Paul. Adam some great environmental work this weekend and this one no less. Sounds like a bit the Far East as well as for some reason I want to say Willy Wonka as it has a factory sound but fun sound. – Jim.
Two Clarinets – difficult playing here – how do the two stay in tune? Wonderful weaving of each melody line in and around the other. Very bright sound in this register. Like two butterflys chasing each other in a summer meadow. Unexpected ending! – Paul. Weaving plants entangling vines, sunlight trying to peer through but much closure here. Tight linear lines that take on organ color to my ears but clearly blown. Low register line enters nicely like a new vine beginning to sprout. Nice endslip the way the piece resolves. – Jim.
Mayan Ceremony – Firecrackers, drums, a big crowd – must be something interesting. Low droning horns provide interesting contrast to all the excitement. Now the ceremony starts… 1000 years old but with jets flying overhead. Sun, air, rain – esp rain – very important. Now faint drumming and chanting – getting louder. Interesting how music really adds a lot to any ceremony. A valuable reconstruction. – Paul. A sense of building abounds during first few minutes so it’s kind of preparing for a ceremony. The voices and environmental documentation are grand, the voice of an older woman talking about ‘today is the day of the Sun’. A feeling of both the present as well as back centuries to the Mayan civilization, the woman’s voice sounds as an edict to not forget the past. It’s such a constant metaphor in our planet’s ‘worlds’ and cultures. Really interesting piece Adam. – Jim.
Verbunkos – To Lee Noyes – Featuring Bela Bartok, Jimmy Giuffre and Adam Kondor (contributing artist/mixer/masher) – More difficult clarinet playing. Pizzicato strings appear. Settles into a sort of swinging mode but filled with interesting contrasts. The two styles don’t quite compliment each other – but each plays off the other surprisingly well. Perhaps Adam should notate this – could be a great piece for an orchestral concert. – Paul. Sounds like a mix of 60’s filmreel score and 40’s dance band. Lovely orchestration between the modern classical winds, swingesque light piano and kind of Goodman lead clarinet that weaves through. Actually lead clarinet gets more modern near end and then sneaks away. – Jim.
Roger “ErocNet” Sundström
Nifsarpsmaden – Liquidy sounds, and walking on gravel. Roaring and water sounds – no doubt a waterfall. Nice tour of some Swedish water features – unlike anything we have here in SoCal. – Paul. Well lots of education this week. Nifsarpsmaden is a wetland in Sweden that is sort of from I what interpret online, an area that has been setup to organically handle sewage treatment. If I misinterpret, Roger or Peter, please correct me. But another great environmental as we get the sense of walking about, of wet grass or for a bit before I knew this I thought the crunching of snow but it has ‘melted’. Near end we hear nicely recorded cicada like critters. – Jim.
ICA – Guitar sounds here. Arpeggios with unusual starting points and endings. Pensive feel to this. Nice gentle closing chord. – Paul. From wetlands we return with Roger to a sense of traditions and raw guitar, still progressive and some alternate technique. A bit Frisellian color as I’ve pointed out before in Roger’s phrasing and feel. Nice chord color ends. – Jim.
These were all the recorded pieces from last weekend’s thread. In addition to these pieces history was made for the IF community on Friday evening August 20th when we streamed live from a Brooklyn (NY) music venue, a video performance of the live Goodbye Blue Monday show of members James Ross, Michael Vincent Waller and their collaborating ‘band mate’ Alex Carpenter. ImprovFriday began hosting live ‘in studio’ video webcasts in the spring of 2010 but this was the first to take place from a public venue.
Richard Lainhart and myself produced/streamed live to the Internet the inspired evening of ‘new’ experimental music. Richard did a stellar job of camera and sound and I monitored our online feed and interactive chat which I provided play-by-play text and audio voice over commentary. Included in this section are screen captures of some of the interactive chat which was an audience of @30 known connections between ImprovFriday and Livestream. Our feed was broadcast to the Internet via video host Livestream.com then embedded on the ImprovFriday page.
James began the evening with a screwdriver infused wash of guitar driven sound in a traditional un-guitar driven way, beginning subtle and ‘raising the roof’ a few notches and then as the tide goes out, down came the wash of wired tones lowering the roof gently back in place in the 20 minute performance.
Next up Australian born Alex Carpenter took the stage bringing a ‘harp like’ 6-string wall of delay laden tones that nicely balanced, equally complimented and yet contrasted James set.
Next up Michael, James and Alex teamed up for a journey to ‘dorian’ land population three, brilliantly locking in on a huge unison low end drone, expanding upward and outward to a gorgeous cerebral alchemy. It was a great evening and first for ImprovFriday. Special thanks to James, Alex and Michael for a great show!
The archive recording of the ImprovFriday Goodbye Blue Monday show can be see at http://www.livestream.com/otownlive.
Lastly though Paul and I don’t review each others work publicly as part of this blog, we both contribute each week to the thread. Paul’s fine track was listed as part of the thread above as Adam Kondor wanted to do a re-mix of it this week. Here is a link for the piece I did…
That’s it for this week. Join us next week for a look at the new music from the ImprovFriday thread, August 26-28. Remember the ImprovFriday Radio podcast series which for the month of August Paul looks at mixes a mashes, featuring the work of Bruce Hamilton, J.C. Combs and Alex Kondor. Have a great day and as my since passed on much too soon old Arkansas friend, Ray Lincoln used to say when he would close his radio talk show on KARN-AM, ‘I hope you did something fun today ’cause it cost you a day of your life!’
Visit ImprovFriday at http://improvfriday.ning.com.