04 April 2016

April showers, part two

There's this particular method to finding musical collaborators: you hear someone perform, you like what you hear, you give them a recording of yours, time passes, they get in touch, you collaborate. Trouble is, that method never seems to work. But just this past Saturday afternoon, at the fourth of Tony Bevan's fortnightly free-jazz matinees Help Me, I'm Melting, he asks if I'd like to join for the next session. Hot damn. So, with Bevan on saxophones, Tom Bancroft on drums and Daniel Padden on whatever he fancies that afternoon, our williwaw will be back at the Old Hairdo, playing nice, free 'n' easy with others:
Tony Bevan, Tom Bancroft, Daniel Padden & williwaw
Saturday, 16 APRIL 2016, 2 PM
The Old Hairdressers (Gallery)
27 Renfield Lane, Glasgow

03 April 2016

April showers, part one

It's not just another very special episode of the Second Sunday Sipping Sights & Sounds Series this 10th of April, oh no.
It's Glasgow International season, and in the spirit of the visual art vanguard, we'll be presenting the five films of Ella Bergmann-Michel she made from 1931-1933. Two are advert-like silents with intertitles extolling the virtues of a new elderly home and raising funds for a soup kitchen. The other three more resemble her still work, as collages of scenes taken of street vendors, fishing and the 1932 election campaign. The last serves as a rather stark reminder that these films capture life on the verge of totalitarian collapse. The sound plan will be a touch sparse compared to the usual slabs, attempting to underline the fragile lives and ways of living on display. There's many things vying for one's attention that particular evening, including the close of the Counterflows Festival, Glasgow International installations here 'n' there, but this wee episode of the SSSS&SS will be a real treat, and a rare treat at that - these films cannae be found on a mere internet browsing spree, and the sounds, as always, will be fleeting.

19 April 2015

notes on tones

A new release!

But oh! what a modest set of recordings...

The back story

The poem tones are a series of simulations of the sounds heard during breaks in williwaw's sets at the Old Hairdressers witnessed by a stalwart few on second Sunday of each and almost every month. But it's a bit more than that wholly uninviting concept. The poem tones exist at the perimeter of the williwaw endeavour: nearly automated music based on the feedback that comes from amplifying an 'ukulele.

Before there were Second Sundays at the Old Hairdressers, there were occasional evenings - a Thursday or two a year - at the Go Slow Cafe. After stringing together a few token hits, the party would keep on keepin' on with some gentle oscillations. Here's some early automatic dinner music:

And here's an example of some real potty-break music (albeit more infinite repeats than infinite resonance) recorded in living loving lo-fi from the 14th July 2014 episode :

The current story

For each poem tone, a different 'ukulele was plugged into a unique pair of patches (effect chains) feeding two amplifiers, recorded digitally in stereo on the west end of the sleeping quarters at donkeyscratch industries (i.e., my bedroom). Each poem tone reflects the resonance of the 'ukulele - a different tone - as well as contact-mic/piezo used: three sopranos (two with different contact mics, one with under-the-saddle piezo), a concert/tenor, a resonator and a large taro-patch fiddle (tenor 8-string). Wait, says the discerning reader, that's seven, and there's eight -count 'em, eight - poem tones. Yes, discerning reader, as the discerning listener has no doubt heard a similarity in resonant tones, the same set up was used for poem tone one and poem tone two.

For each poem tone the conceit is that it was nearly automated, as idle hands are the devil's playthings, and the devil takes the form of various knob twirlings, some aurally apparent, some hopefully less so. Each wee session - on separate afternoons/early evenings/dusks - was rather quiet, as to not disturb the neighbours' dog. Edits - more conceit! - were quickly cobbled together and equalized for a touch more rumble-'n'-tumble. Despite the relatively low levels during recording - witness the loud clicks of a switches throughout - the low tones induced audible rattling (esp. poem tone eight).

the continuing saga

Have a listen if y'like, and if y'like 'em, do download 'em all (as is now the way for all conspicuous williwaw consumptions, any/all monies spent will be donated to the Scottish Mental Health Association).

07 March 2015

a wee change at willicamp

You might have missed it, as it's gotten a bit dusty o'er there, but there's been a wee bit of change over at willicamp. Any and all monies put to downloading the williwaw sound recordings there - an abridged live set, two extended players, one single and a casino-drone (patent pending) double album - will go to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). Granted, there is little demand for these mighty collections of ones and zeroes, even the gorgeous gatefold beauty that is the diversionette. As a wise gent once said, there is no commercial potential in this [ed. referring to an early critique of Zappa, making for exceedingly high if exceedingly dry praise]. But perhaps there is charitable potential.

08 February 2015

Enticements Everongoing

Join your beloved comrade williwaw tonight and every second sunday night at six pm for a bit of that amp'd uke action you crave. watch the advert. be enticed. go. If I can't change your mind, then no one will.

27 January 2015

a most peculiar coincidink

A williwaw, as readers of this (we)blog are no doubt aware, is indeed a thing. It's not only your favourite source for amplified 'ukulele mayhem, but a sudden, violent wind. The word has its roots in Alaska, and there are lakes, trails, schools and publishing companies there in its name. There are also a few books called Williwaw, most notably one of the first novels of Gore Vidal. But are any of these within the realm of magic realism? Perhaps it is indeed randomness, just as the word williwaw was found by our beloved comrade by randomly picking pages in a dictionary decades ago, that there is to be an anthology of short magic-realism fiction published here in Glasgow entitled Williwaw: An Anthology of the Marvellous. Truly just a coincidink? As they say in Indiana, there y'go.

14 January 2015

random sound cavalcade #53

It's the 53rd random sound cavalcade! Rejoice! An odd word, rejoice...

And this sound is a fresh one, from the just past episode of the second sunday sipping sounds series (next date: 08 February 2015). But this sound is also a tried-to-tired bit of tune: the well-worn favourite a farewell to mister barnes, which previously has been built around and built up from a plagal cadence (the IV-I for all the Romans). here, it appears that our comrade has nearly forgone with that -- it only appears at the end along with traces of seemless -- and gone on and on and on with the build up. it's all whirlwind, heat and flash. the tuning is a bit off throughout, as the strings were fresh 'n' bright 'n' still stretching ever so slightly during these long journeys at sea.

if shockwave-flash inoperative : a farewell to mister barnes

03 January 2015

second sunday sipping sounds forever

set your course for adventure, your mind on a new romance, and love...
it may be a new year, but this li'l love boat sails ever onward : williwaw's particular blend of amp'd uke mayhem continues its residency at The Old Hairdressers (27 Renfield Lane) with another electroacoustic rumpus on 11.01.2015 at 6 PM.

15 November 2014

seeing out the end of the williwaw vicennial

it's now been over twenty years of this amp'd uke malarkey - braw!
to ring out the vicennial year as well as the usual year, williwaw has a cavalcade of sight and sound for the 14 december 2014 episode of the second sunday sipping sounds series at the old hairdo, 27 renfield lane, glasgow, starting at 6 pm. more info slowly, as if coming from a gravitational intravenous feed. Drip, drip, drop.

14 November 2014

asleep at the recording wheel: fragmentary evidence

Due to a usual lack of preparation, but less usual neglect of battery life, there is scant record of the november 2014 episode of the second sunday sipping sounds series, which is a shame, as dr. rachel drury kept the cascade of melody flowing until the the end. the following clip is the only bit of evidence, from near the very start, comprised mostly of the folk tune the irish washerwoman, which was used more than once that evening.

15 October 2014

playing the other nine eleven

the williwaw vicennial continues with another episode of the second sunday sipping sound series at the old hairdo on the ninth of november, starting at six pm. there'll be sounds galore, and visual fodder to match. and a special guest or two to guide things merrily along. could you spend a matinee better? perhaps, but, oh, how hard pressed you'd be to do so. why not relax, sip, listen and watch the night unfold with us? oh, do!

13 October 2014

random sound cavalcade #52

more snippets of sound-actions just previous. two internal bits of the 12th of october 2014 episode of the second sunday sipping sounds series: a coronach, a meditative set of revolving seventh chords, and the first and third (final) parts of a farewell to mister barnes, omitting the usual plagal cadence that was the second part for this go-round. enjoy.

17 September 2014

random sound cavalcade #51

the first and second bits of last sunday's sipping sounds, comprising most-to-all of the latest williwaw chestnuts a coronach and chin down. the former is an unrelenting unspooling of chords in memoriam, the latter a diversion from a ditty developed at the home of jen and craig abell-champion in 2013, possibly based around much older ditties: the verse of "pearly white" by bale (which was itself borrowed wholesale from k. p. w. rainey), the williwaw fave "cherryvale" and the gymnopédies no. 1 vamp.

10 August 2014

an august return to the big shoulders

williwaw brings that most particular blend of amplified 'ukulele histrionics to Chicago on Friday, the 22nd of August 2014 at saki records, 3716 W. Fullerton Ave. The sonic brew begins to stir at 6 pm sharp.

11 July 2014

a second sunday sans sport

This Sunday evening, there is the conclusive competition in intercontinental no-touch ball. Also this Sunday evening, there is the ongoing melee between the two hands, two feet, two amps and the faeries with boots that is williwaw, applying sonic accompaniment to Viktor Turin's 1929 film Turksib at The Old Hairdressers. Please choose your weekend-ending battles wisely.

22 June 2014

the start (and probable end) of the williwaw allotments tour

the first third of the hour-long battery-powered williwaw din within the allotment housing of Mister O'Neill on the eve of the summer solstice, 21 june 2014. if you've gotten this far, these caveats are self-evident, but nevertheless: our comrade doesn't move much, making this visual footage border on a still image and our comrade continues to play kraftwerk songs.

[williwaw at the Green Tea House (part one) and (part two)]

19 June 2014

random sound cavalcade #50

Over at the williwaw sound emporium, the hypertext protocol has nearly caught up with the turn of the millennium: you can now listen to studio-esque lives and live-esque studies right there on the page, and you, yes you, can listen to your heart's content, and the content of all manner of internal organs - and you can listen to multiple sounds at the same time: mix-O-matic!

To celebrate this bit of thrilling hand-coding, here's one of those playable cuts, now dusted off after a decade of web wallowing: perhaps being too beholden to the title of the collection, the kids are not ready, it has that free-noise/kosmische sound the kids now all crave.

09 June 2014

random sound cavalcade #49

the end of the 8th june 2014 episode of the second sunday sipping sounds series.

18 May 2014

a(nother) summer of amp'd uke love

Time to set the start of the summer 2014 calendar alight with the sounds so right. all sounds free 'n' easy as the williwaw vicennial rolls merrily along:
24.0514:00gusto and relisha short set of sonic sustenance at the home of glasgow's undisputed sausage king
08.0620:00the old hairdressersthe return of the second sunday sipping sounds after a month's hiatus. low-end tones abounding.
21.0620:00the green tea rooma pure battery infused solstice fete in the new victoria gardens allotments

16 March 2014

second sundays with ozu and you too

the next second sunday at the old hairdressers with your musical host williwaw, according to our organizing companion the calendar, is the 13th of April. starting at 8 pm, there'll be another bevy of favourite overlong overtures to stasis and decline, but nestled in the chiaroscuro will be Yasujiro Ozu's 1930 silent kessaku, Sono Yoru No Tsuma (That Night's Wife), a happy-go-lucky tale of a dying child in a desperately poor family.

13 March 2014

random sound cavalcade #47

play one or more - at the same time even. Oh, the Imaginary Landscapes of it all! - of these tantalizingly higher fidelity excerpts from the 9th of march 2014 episode of the Second Sunday Sipping Sounds Series.

25 February 2014

tramp! tramp! tramp! the second sunday is marching!

What praytell will this March bring? Spring? Senatorial conspiracies? Alas, these queries can only be answered by the fates. You, though, can be secure in your monthly dose of amp'd uke histrionics, the Second Sunday Sipping Sounds Series at The Old Hairdressers with your sonic foil williwaw, celebrating its vicennial. Come all ye fateful.

11 February 2014

williwaw vs. asphalt

...it wasn't the most thrilling accompaniment, but afterwards, someone asked if it was available anywhere. so here it is, in all it's impromptu, lo-fi splendour.

...and if you prefer your videos from another source, well, it's a banner day for accommodating requests here at williwaw HQ.

24 January 2014

random sound cavalcade #46

here's a wee lo-fi-but-loving sampling of some sipping sounds from the 12th of january episode. in this scene, our comrade williwaw actively awaits the return of jamie bolland and rachel drury to the non-stage for a second set of subsequent trio action. in other words, this is intermission music. the footage is a bit of tomfoolery involving fred astaire and a faulty bicycle. behold, a broken chain melody.
full disclosure: this was all cobbled all-too-hastily together to mark the forty-sixth journey 'round the sun of craig abell-champion.

williwaw provides asphalt-flavoured sipping sounds

the williwaw vicennial continues with that staple amp'd uke manoeuvre: playing sonic foil to a silent feature film.
for the 9th of february 2014 episode of the second sunday sipping sounds series at the old hairdo, we present the usual transcendence of chaos with joe may's 1929 meisterwerk, Asphalt. refreshments will be served.

13 January 2014

random sound cavalcade #45 : an everlasting summer place

look at we three, sandra dee... the merrily rolling progression of max steiner's theme from a summer place as performed on the 10th of january, 2014, by our comrade williwaw and his stalwart crew, jamie bolland (keys/birdsongs) and rachel drury (alto saxamaphone) at the old hairdressers (as part of the second sunday sipping sounds series). a horribly lo-fi recording of twentysome minutes of trimonious sounds. yes, trimonious.

03 January 2014

the inaugural sip of the vicennial

The first episode of the Second Sunday Sipping Sounds Series for the williwaw vicennial, featuring a trio of sound with jamie bolland of tut vu vu on wee keys and rachel drury of le Conservatoire Royal de l'Ecosse on the sax-a-ma-phone.

12 JAN 2014 · 8 PM FREE

09 December 2013

random sound cavalcade #44

thirty-six minutes of low-fi audio living that you just can't get back. that time has passed. sorry, no refunds.

08 November 2013

sipping sounds this sunday, 10.11.2013

Songs about mustard, herring, buses and trains. well, maybe not songs about them, probably not even songs by any stretch, but there will be visual counterpoints to the amp'd uke mayhem this sunday - the second sunday, but of course - at The Old Hairdressers, 27 Renfield Lane, Glasgow, starting at 8 pm. And those films will be about mustard, herring, buses and trains.