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).

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