Friday, September 18, 2009

i am sitting in a NastyReverb contraption.

Just got back from a long week in Berlin, long in a good way. One of the week's successes was the glitch-free debut of my new tiny laptop/guitar rig running AudioMulch. So I thought I'd post a Mulch MP3 or two, recorded last week.

I'm normally quite the anti-loopist these days, probably because I spent many years looping and just eventually became a bit fatigued by the sound of it and the playing strategies that it traps one into. But nonetheless these are a few loopy guitar improvisations through one of the example patches that comes with Mulch version 2.

It's a patch written by Christian Haines called lucier.amh, and it's supposed to kind of coarsely emulate the resonant frequencies techniques used in I Am Sitting in A Room, though here there are no real rooms involved: these are the resonant frequencies of one NastyReverb contraption and five two-second SDelays (along with a bit of "nice" reverb at the end of the chain, added by me, which I realize completely smooths over and destroys any remaining vestiges of Lucier's intended soundworld, but...I don't think I was ever aiming for that anyway).

This is a simple patch, but an interesting and useful way to degrade or erode a shortish loop. In each of these recordings I stop playing after about 3 minutes, which is a little too soon musically: if I'd had a bit more patience I could've paced the first five minutes better, but the sooner I stop adding new material, the sooner the loop can start to degrade, and that degradation is what these studies were about. So that means that in each study there's an absence of development from the 3:00 mark to 5:00 minutes while I wait for the resonance to kick in.

#15 and #14 below are super-friendly and modal, and the other two are a little less so. #11 and #12 are so similar it's worth asking why you'd include both, but I guess maybe it's educational to see what happens when you forget to include any lower pitches as I did with #11.

The other idea was to see what if any interesting wobbles happened with different levels of intentional dissonance. I also imagine that soon I'll try using more sophisticated "rooms" to see how we can end up in less predictable or more controllable places.


MEM: electric guitar, e-bow.