January 23, 2019

8.15 am: A communion. 9.00 am: Studiology and an opportunity to test out my latest ‘toy’, at last. The Korg Mini Kaoss Pad 2 effects modulator is a miniaturised version of the Kaoss Pad and Kaoss Quad. I’ll be using it to process samples of readings from Proverbs over the next few days:

To begin the morning, I listened to the samples that I’d created, at the end of last week, for the ‘Whetstone/Cormorant’ composition. The process of imaginative construction could now begin. But, first … a spot of backboard painting, for which the ‘blackboard paint’ had been purchased. I’m making a 12-gang, power-regulated, shielded plugboard, compact enough to fit into the gear-bag that I use for my performance peregrinations. (With the Velvet Underground playing in the background.):

10.00 am: The compositions for the suite must all begin with a ‘bang’. But ‘bangs’ with distinct complexions. Some of the samples have pronounced gritty ‘clicks’ – like the patter of raindrops on stretched plastic – which I associate, sonically, with the electro-magnetic discharge of the nuclear detonation that interfered with tape recordings of the Nevada Desert blasts back in the 1950s. I needed to manufacture several more needle-to-vinyl impacts (slowed-down 200+ times) for the remaining tracks. The fall of the needle is the drop of the bomb: the analogy is as straightforward as that.

2.00 pm: The plugboard was finished, and the drops were recorded and ready for development. Into session mode. ‘BBBB … BOOOM!!!!’. My goodness? That was a ‘goodun!’:

The ‘bang’ (above) was created by dropping the tone arm at a height such as that needle bounced once on impact (like a stone skimmed across the surface of a pond). Sculpting a ‘bang’ is a painstaking procedure. Ferocity and delicacy are, alike, conditions of sound that require close attention to small shifts of tone and pitch within a sound field that’s entirely naked to the ear. By the end of the afternoon session, having added other 3-minute sample lengths, the whole began to emerge. I’d something.

6.30 pm: Practise session. 7.30 pm: Back to the chapter.

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January 24, 2019

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Gerard McGandy
    January 24, 2019 9:40 am

    I see things have changed a bit since balancing an old penny on the tone arm of the radiogram.

    • johnscriptorium
      January 24, 2019 10:07 am

      I used an old silver sixpence. But, basically, the new devices are a professionalisation of a DIY solution.


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