Wednesday, December 8, 2010

devil/details.












I was backing this up today and realized that, without a looming performance context for which to half-memorize this shit, on paper it just looks insane. This is my part of the score for what happens onstage in ze collaboration with Hillary Blake Firestone, This is hardly an invitation.

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PRESET LIST

1. All Cube knobs taped down
2. Check Mixer levels: 202 is at 9, 404 to 6, mains to 5, phones to 1
3. Prepare tables and cables
4. Chair, GT-3

1. Fresh Batteries
2. Sampler volumes on full
3. Turn on PC Chrono
4. 202 power unplugged and on
5. Cube Power Unplugged, amp on
6. Mobile Amp settings: Dan goes to 5, Cube volume down, tone 10 gain 5
7. Cable settings: New mini/jack from 202 to Danelectro, Long ¼ inch from 404 to Microcube.
8. Have balloon cables visible and ready to go.
9. Balloon settings: have balloon tape/clamp ready
1. Bubbleblower ready
2. Tapeplayer + megaphone ready
3. Make sure GT-3 is set to 20-4
4. POLICE MEGAPHONE VOLUME DOWN ???????????????
5. Maraca
6. Have paper lantern and bubbleblower grabbable
7. Sparklers and lighter
8. Streamers with unrolling begun and Silly string
9. Perishing party blowers that work and clapper

C/G procession

TURN ON AMPS AND 202
MC voice 202-A8: GET CABLES FOR FRASCATI
1) PLUG IN POWER FIRST
2) WHEN 4o4 COMES ON, prepare C4

1st table slow walk, wait and follow hilly
walking toward little table in back is fast, go past table
bringing 2nd table out sideways speeds up
LEAVE together WAIT FOR HILLY SHE BRUSHES LINT OFF
PEDAL: DOWN together with pedal LEAVE RIGHT AWAY
I leave right away see if we can leave/enter simultaneously
Get chair
CLIPS?
Get plugs, plug in power first, remain standing until?

404 to C bank

C4 kick and HOLD when H passes tape line moving into space
One pass nothing
Receive CLOWN NOSE on 2nd pass after music starts
After clown nose, one pass, and then
I blow BUBBLEBLOWER on cue and PREPARE TO TRADE
She takes BUBBLE BLOWER I get PARADE WHISTLE in one right-hand motion SHE PUTS BUBBLE BLOWER BACK
PUT ON LEI
(This is an OK time to plug in GT-3 and balloon)
After FLOWER PETALS,
Then MARACAS, on 2rd pass I start rhythm
After silly string pass, give PAPER LANTERN , get 2nd MARACA and solo……keep playing maracas during paper lantern
Hilly picks up BUBBLEBLOWER
NEXT PASS RECEIVE BUBBLEBLOWER DISH and place far away
THEN DRESS OFF/POUR SHOTS IF NOT POURED YET
RECEIVE 1 POM POM on POM POM round then CATCH ONE AND SET HANDLES UP· on CONFETTI round PREPARE TO LIGHT SPARKLER
After Limbo Rock, light a SPARKLER
SPARKLER
SHIFT CHAIR LEFT and Then give FLAG SWIFTLY when H passes amp and take sparkler with left hand
RECEIVE FLAG WITH LEFT HAND after it passes
POPPERS
DIRT during sirens
AFTER SECOND STORM CLOUD I ADD BIG DRUMS
WEDDING CAR CANS then SPRAY HILLY
MEGAPHONE AND PUT BACK NEXT TO TAPE PLAYER
I THROW STREAMERS AND POPPERS AND MAYBE CONFETTI
After LATIN SHIT, play MEGAPHONE and PUT MEGAPHONE BACK NEXT TO TAPE PLAYER

When Hilly turns volume up, take 404 swiftly out of PA

Hilly rolls half circle then stop 404-C4 and start 202-D1

404-C3 insects during second air horn

D becoming

2 x long skitter
2 x pop
2 x pop and hihat
2 x pop with long skitters
2 x pop with short skitters
2 x pop with hihat
pop until chord change

8 bars after hiss rhythm start drums
TURN UP PA TURN UP PA
TURN UP PA TURN UP PA

THROW POMPOM OVER STRIP LIGHTS on 2 one thousand then HOLD to STOP when they hit the ground. FADE UP 404 if not already and D6

E/I reconstruction

CHECK IF MIXER FADE IS OK
Reroute cube to Gt-3
Align megaphone and tape
Set 202 to B bank
Don’t start E1 until construction stops
REMEMBER BEEPS

Turn on tape and TIMER
text starts, only E1

00:00 balloon solo cube only 20-4
01:30 hilly gets in pile (or writhe on the ground at 1:48) E5 (if she gets in at 1:30, the text runs out as she approaches the table)

02:15 balloon embellishments

03:50(4:08) “whole pig” E9 + KAOSSCILLATOR S.60 bass pour shots if not already
move hilly’s tray over to me

04:58 (5:16) sines E4 on tense chord, switch to J bank, bass

06:00 (6:16) my first blow 648

START J1 kick WHEN SHE SITS UP (around 6:40) possibly use J3 for tension
J12 then HOLD to turn everything off
Turn on police megaphone

I need to be at 202B8 and 404J

BLACK OUT SCREEN

F/J perishing party

202-B8 Then fucking 404-J12

Blowers
Crow
Whistle
Shot/Shaker
Stand up and Move Chair to bottom left corner of table

CROWN
· Turn up little amps during transitional chord
· Volume level for cube at end?
· As Hilly heads back to backstage, I pick up amp, and fade out PA while she’s backstage
· Time fade out of Cube with her balloon finishing, remember J11 is supplementary drone
· Close Laptop

BRING HILLY SHIRT












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Monday, December 6, 2010

complexities.













The Family Tapes reconvened today for some recording and, yeah. It's still hard. Maybe I'll post a recording in a bit.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

tiptoe to the tulip.

















Or hop, skip, jump, etc. Jasper and I are doing a little duet this afternoon at De Tulp (Postjeskade 200), it will be loud and abstract but in a friendly way. I think we're actually playing second, contrary to what the flyer implies, maybe our names were just too damn long...

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LATER: Here's the recording. Also below is a recording from a session two days earlier, this is the very first time we sat down as a duo. Both sessions are effects-free.

Jasper Stadhouders  + Mark Morse: z100e.



Jasper Stadhouders  + Mark Morse: De Tulp.



Jasper Stadhouders: guitar + objects
Mark Morse: guitar + objects
















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Thursday, November 25, 2010

solo studies iv: dirt.





















Tonight I finally turned up the volume knob on my trusty sidekick Le Blues Junior, and together we laughed, we cried, we used ridiculous doubleneck slides. Here are some results, all using one or two "9" mutes. And a couple of them have reverb, yeah sorry.

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Study 19 starts out with pedestrian tinkles, but it's interesting to have 18 strings to use instead of 6; unexpected breathy sounds from rubbing inside of forearm on muted bottom string of top neck; pretty decent clarinet emulation until it's revealed that I'm playing a flute carved from a tree branch, badly.

Solo Study iv-19 (behind bridges twinkles, elbow breathing, pedicure bridge on bottom neck pickup, foil mute on top bridge pickup, ebow).



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20a gradually brings the background into the foreground by exaggerating fret noise.

Solo Study iv-20a (top neck, plastic slide, drinking straw bridge).



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Kind of just a little Sonic Toothish exercise in keeping material on both necks going simultaneously with mostly non-repeating chords.

Solo Study iv-20e (top neck harmonics, bottom neck rhythm).



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Sunday, November 21, 2010

solo studies iii.
















So, yes, more studies and documentation thereof (backstory here). Just because, oh, I don't know, it kind of really is working for me, in terms of actually learning techniques vs. just crashing random shit into my strings.

There will be about 10 in total this time around, I'll be uploading them as I sort through the takes. And then deleting them again as I come to realize they suck (see study 16).

As objects/preparations, they're getting weirder but not necessarily better; but on the upside I seem to be getting a little more efficient/resourceful/ooh dare I say smarter in working with objects. And plus it's keeping me out of trouble, unless you count my dabbling with reverb on a few takes.

SOLO STUDIES III

This first one is a useless freak of a thing, but I've never seen or heard of it before, so I hereby share it with the world, who may already be doing this left and right, WTF, maybe I'm the last to know, who knows. I feel like a useless freak myself for "discovering" it, but you gotta believe me, I didn't spend hours on it, it just happened, you'll see how in 2 seconds.

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So there I was, dorkily taking pictures of preparations when I dorkily realized that hey, my camera makes noise. And not in a bad cell-phoney way. Here are the complicated instructions: turn on your digital camera and hold it right next to your pickups. That's it! Try it!

With my shitty camera I found that there were about 6 different constant/rhythmic sounds, one for each side of the rectangular block that is The Camera. So most of the variation you hear in the study is me rotating the camera around and bringing it closer/farther to/from the pickups. I don't know a single thing about science, but is it probable that the LCD screen is probably the source of this sound?

One way to interrupt the constant sounds is to put something like a finger in front of the lens (with autofocus on), and you get a slightly different sound for a few secs. Much cooler than that (but not really useful on a regular basis) is the sound that happens when you depress the Take a Picture Now button (actual name?) so that your infrared laser thingie comes on but you don't actually take a picture. This is the quick synthish melody you hear towards the end of the first version of the study. Taking a picture sounds completely different and sadly, less cool (you hear this at the end of the second version)...it sounds like maybe the SD card being accessed, you also hear something similar at the beginning, I think this is turning the camera on.

So, nifty. But in terms of a technique you can learn and develop, this isn't it: it's pretty limited sonically if you're not using effects pedals, which we're not. You will notice below that I exploited a loophole in the no-effects-pedals rule and did one take with my amp reverb turned up all the way...yes, I feel guilty about it and would like to say I won't do it again but in fact I know that's not true. I also included a totally dry take for reference.

Solo Study iii-15 (camera with amp reverb).



Solo Study iii-15 (camera dry).



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This one's an orphan from last week, I don't remember what I was doing. What typically happens is, I press REC, play for 2 minutes and quickly decide if it sounds like anything or not and then jot down what I did technically, but I must not have liked this one when I did it b/c I have no jottings, I imagine b/c it's a bit too close to Bela Fleck Plays Gnawa pastiche. But it turns out that now I do like the oud-dy-ness of it all and the gimbri elements in the bass, though I wish I'd left out the one or two most obvious stock "Middle Eastern" articulations that snuck in there.

Solo Study iii-14 (shortened scale on bottom neck and playing behind the capo on top neck).





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The one pictured here and at the top is something I haven't quite figured out yet. It involves using a thundermaker, part of which is essentially a giant guitar string, pressing it up against your pickups, and at least one ebow. The prep as it's currently evolved isn't pictured b/c i've got an ebow in each hand and the camera has to be held innit.

Basically, as notes for myself: there is one ebow that works on the thundermaker, mark it with something: hold that ebow with its front facing upwards at you; optionally put foil on the neck pickup to prevent unplanned loud noises.





















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Awesome name aside, the thunderstick doesn't quite work yet. Plus you look like an ass when you're doing it. Instead, we move on to a wonderfully rhythmic, abrasive, and unpredictable prep. It involves:

1) a large metal baking spatula at around the 2nd or 3rd fret, going UOUOUO (under-over), and then continuing on to the bottom neck, under your top "E" string and over all the rest. It should wobble.
2) a foam mute underneath the bottom 4 strings on the bottom neck.
3) the ebow.
4) technique: keep the ebow on the neck with your left hand, use either pickup, and ebow your fifth string. You will get an unpredictable pitch with a rhythmic component due to the suspended spatula being vibrated. You modify the pitch and the vibration rate by either a) moving the ebow closer or farther from the spatula (changing the string length); b) pressing down on the sixth string (not the one you're ebowing) to tighten the suspension of the spatula; c) moving the spatula to a position directly over a fret; d) changing the string length at the bridge side with your right hand palm or index finger.

The fact that you've got the ebow in your left hand lets you do useful things like work your volume and tone controls with your right hand, or mute the string.





















Solo Study iii-17a (baking spatula, one ebow, foam mute, dry).



Solo Study iii-17b (baking spatula, one ebow, foam mute, reverb).



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Like a lot of wobbly things, the baking spatula is a little unpredictable.Say, what if there was a much more subtle and reliable prep that was almost as good? This is a 1/2 cm-thick rectangle of aluminium foil on my bridge pickup and an ebow. OK, it's not really almost as good, but...if you play this take and the two above at the same time it sounds like Machine Gun's first album at quarter-speed. Try it!!!

Solo Study iii-18a (aluminium mute, bottom neck, ebow, dry).



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I am liking this next thingie a lot, it's reliable and surprising at the same time. They have these everywhere in Amsterdam, and every guitar player seems to have one:











It's some kind of squishable metal scrubber. Pros: it's loud, and you can use it in either hand with different results, plus it's well-suited to playing non-guitar sounding rhythms, with or without a simultaneous e-bow component, held in either hand. It's textures become more diffuse and mysterious with a touch of reverb (but what doesn't really), so we have quickish examples of: a highly unspectacular ebow thing that I need to replace when I find a better take (dry) and then a kind of interesting thing where I hold the scrubber in my left hand and drum on that hand with my right hand (dry), and a thing yeah where you just desperately fret with the scrubber and play like you're a 1986 Marc Ribot recording, something badly recorded and released on Knitting Factory Works probably.

Solo Study iii-16a (metal scrubber + ebow).



Solo Study iii-16b (metal scrubber + finger rolls, dry).



Solo Study iii-16c (metal scrubber + left hand fretting, less dry).



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Speaking of funny-looking things on stage, here's something I'm working on:



















It's the movable one-hand ebow/slide combo. Can almost do it good, the hard part is a) keeping the ebow far enough away from the slide for there to be enough string length to vibrate, and b) at the same time keeping your slide parallel to the fingerboard. But when it works it's pretty unusual.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

solo studies II.














Continuing with preparation documentation, plus pictures to aid my aging memory. This first quick one is another version of the knitting needle trick from the last post. In the photo above you can kind of see my 3rd and 4th fingers on my right hand grabbing and moving the needle while ebowing. The thing I've added here is using fret-changing as a rhythmic component: since it's an unavoidable and loud artifact of what I was originally messing with, might as well do something useful with it.

Solo Study 2c (knitting needle/ebow).



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Almost every prep I do ends up shortening the string length and thus the scale (could that be b/c it's way more difficult to lengthen the string?), but this one is specifically aimed at trying to emulate violin-like glissandos with an ebow and slide.. Here's what this prep looks like as recorded, but you could use anything as your third bridge, I just happen to like the sound of this wooden spatula at the 17th fret. And then you ebow on the nut side of your wooden spatula equivalent. The capo is there to bring the strings closer to the neck so that they always touch the spatula.












Solo Study 8 (short scale, ebow, slide, wooden spatula).



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This one is using a large flat metal baking spatula over the bridge pickups and, yeah, something I can't quite remember is fucking up the 12-string neck (EDIT: I've remembered it's this little cheese knife). I'm also holding a slide in my left hand and picking in front of the slide also with my left hand with some random finger. I might also have an ebow in my right hand. Again, not totally sure. I like this one because the loud weirdness of the spatula hitting the pickup magnets creates a range of attacks that are almost digital-sounding or like a badly-edited cassette.














Solo Study 10 (baking spatula).



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This one isn't much of a performance, but there's something very interesting going on in terms of timbre. I'm pretty sure I'm using two precariously balanced metal spatulas that begin wobbling asynchronously, and at some points there's an odd static-y distortion that pops up. Typically this happens when a mute comes in contact with one of the pickup magnets but I don't think that's the case here. Anyway, the point of these three clips is: take notes.  

Solo Study 11 (baking spatulas).



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Tying up loose ends: here's a picture of the two superball mallet technique from last post, as well as the "hard foam slide":



Thursday, November 4, 2010

arrangements.





















These mixes are out of date, but I just noticed that any other info about this project has fallen off the web, so I'm going to rebuild this little post eventually.

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UPDATE:
Big thanks to Mark at Disquiet for including this mix as one of his 10 Best Downloads of 2005.

Since the music previously posted here has been thoroughly remixed and edited, and was never really as full-fidelity as I wanted it to be...I now present the full-blown arrangements as a unmanageably crossfaded 256kb MP3 (136MB).

Confusingly and unfortunately, the individual tracks in the post below are still older, undermixed versions, and there's one beta section below that's been replaced in the final mix. Point being, the final, not-touched-since-2005 product is only contained in the 136MB file. Regardless, here's Little Jumbo:

(dj) morsanek: arrangements. 136mb.


The credits below refer to naked, untreated, excerpted tracks. There are plenty more inputs used as source material that have been altered to the point where their provenance just don't got relevance.

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btls breaks.
john oswald / maggi payne / greg kelley / jason lescalleet.

black sirens.
michael moore / ab baars / voice of eye / angus maclise / godflesh / senking / jon rose / mark morse / the user / gene moore / badawi / mary oliver / rafael toral / han bennink.

lucifer on lucifer.
john zorn / olivier messaien / anthony braxton / gerry hemingway / pete namlook.

sunspitting.
marcel duchamp / francisco lopez / larry stabbins / christian marclay / john zorn / the remote viewers / chris jonas / chib soo.

metteng excuske v1.2.
squarepusher.

rothenblokked.
jack dejohnette / phill niblock / ned rothenberg / einsturzende neubauten / oval / mark morse / elliott sharp / the user.

love B3.
curd duca.

IMAM.
frank denyer / xerophonics / luigi nono / steve reich / microstoria / sarah peebles / boris / pauline oliveros.

double country music.
lou harrison / steve roach / vidna obmana / taylor deupree / kim cascone / tangerine dream / town and country.

caravan.
the ex / gregory whitehead / mark morse / cor fuhler / electrelane / han bennink.

guidance is in ternal.
criterion & doily.

the shirt i slept in.
beth custer / fernando grillo / john wolf brennan / mark applebaum / keith fullerton whitman / arcane device.

minty william.
william parker / low res / mass / s-core / paul motian / lee konitz.

il ritorno.
ab baars / mark morse / fred van duynhoven / francis dhomont / jeff gerinke / bohren & der club of gore / matt heckert / paul de marinis / charlotte hug / CCCC.

peg dpartures.
wilbert de joode / hilary jeffery / einsturzende neubauten / stephan mathieu.

cumberland.
hills not skyscrapers / günter müller & lê quan ninh / oorbeek / ryoji ikeda / lary 7 / klaas hekman / chris watson.

giant swing.
curd duca.

potomac.
volcano the bear / ellery eskelin / town and country / william hooker & lee ranaldo & christian marclay / einsturzende neubauten / signal / michael linnen & david wingo.

the seed.
jel / bohren + der club of gore / hoahio / pierre henry / rajesh mehta / daisuke terauchi / yannis kyriakides.

gentle superhead.
gonzales / merzbow.

Monday, October 25, 2010

never shall part.
















The Family Tapes seem to have decided to give it another go, this time "without taking it too seriously", which you would find hilarious if you'd seen us barely able to get onstage at our last gig due to lack of a setlist.

But, yes, seriously, this is good news, it's a project that we all loved the idea of but it never really fully developed, so hopefully we take it further this time. Here's a nice post about us on Disquiet.com.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

solo studies.





















UPDATE: Geeky pictures that illustrate some of these things can be found here.

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So, ja, a week or so ago, I played a set of solo improvised no-FX guitar in public for the first time in my fucking life.

Embarrassing, I know. How is that possible. I guess it's two things: my lack of non-failure-based motivation, and plus...I'm shy? I don't know, I guess for a long time I focused on doing creative things with analog/digital processing gunk and over the past 3 or 4 years have kind transferred that interest into doing it without the gunk.

But, so, whatever: I agreed to do this solo thing, mostly because I'd never never done it before. And in the end it went OK, it was fun, but alas, oops, shit: the night's performances weren't recorded. And since I spent quite a bit of time building some preparations to improvise with that night, I thought I'd write down the recipes. Mostly for myself because I'm notoriously bad at repeating inspired concoctions, but also I figured that someone else out there might be at home Googling "homemade superball mallet" like I was last week, and well now here's one more relevant result.

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Quick setting: like a lot of prepared guitar, many of these sounds are the result of creating one or more extra bridges. I'm really starting to dig on soft or fibrous materials for bridges b/c of their unpredictability (foam and aluminium foil are my go-to materials right now) and odd timbres when ebowed.

I'm calling these studies, I guess that's what they are. Basically I fuck around with a technique/setting/set of objects until I can predict some of what will happen, then I press REC and play for about two minutes or so, because this is the default setting for my attention span.

I'm trying to be as musical as possible but in some cases I fail more than others: I was mostly in a hurry to capture my gross sonic intentions so I could retune and restring my ridiculous guitar and get on down the road.

Yes, the recording quality is crap: I could apply some gloss and sweetener via some reverb, EQ, spectral infusionators and whatnot...but also I'm a sucker for ugly-ass guitar, and this is supposed to be the raw naked shit, people! I'm trying to put the gunk behind me. So yeah this is just a guitar, a cable, and an amplifier. And some foam.

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SOLO STUDIES.

Before I lose this tiny crinkled scrap of paper with this 12-string tuning on it, I write it here, yes? Thickest string to thinnest string:

BC GA DB GbEb BC DbEb:

I think it can maybe best be described as Eb Altered? Maybe some kind person who understands harmony can confirm/deny.

I didn't write down the tuning for the 6-string neck b/c in this case the open strings aren't used for distinct pitches, and if you're going to get inspired and retune while playing, the bottom neck is the one to use (listening to or watching someone tune a normal guitar onstage is one of the All-Time Great Boring Stage Events, but listening to or watching someone tune a 12-string guitar onstage is like spending all day at the dentist's office. I can only imagine what it's like watching someone tune their 12-string neck onstage and THEN move on to tune their 6 string neck, because anyone who's ever tried it has probably been killed immediately).

All that's important for this first set of studies is that the 5th and 3rd strings are slacker than their neighboring strings (for ebowing).

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So these first studies are using especially snappy foam mutes under the strings at the pickups and then a capo on the top neck. By snappy I mean foam that is very dense and squeaky (two words you almost never see together, or at least not often enough), not like a sponge, but almost like styrofoam? To get the greatest variety of sounds, it seemed to work well to have the double-muted neck on its neck pickup and the capoed 12-string neck on bridge pickup, remembering to play inside all newly bridged areas (behind capo, between capo and mute, between mutes, behind mutes, etc).

Most of the bass is coming from the lower neck and the harmonics-esque notes are coming from the 12-string neck, which means, if you're careful, you can one-handedly pluck out interesting clusters of notes that you wouldn't have access to on a 6-string neck.

Musically, yeah. The development kind of officially stalls a bit around the two-minute mark because 1) as I mentioned, that's the default setting for my attention span, and 2) I was wanting to slide the capo down a fret but couldn't find a good time to do it.

Why the pretentious Braxtonesque nomenclature: I've had to number my mutes because they're all cut special (for example, this prep idea can also be done usefully with mutes 7 and 9, with quite a different result), and for now it's helpful to remember what goes where. I can imagine getting tired of these names pretty quick, so if they go away, well let's call it natural selection.

Solo Study 1 (mutes 1 + 4 + 10 capo 4).



Solo Study 1a.

That could be some kind of digital glitch at the beginning, because I proudly use Tascam! but it could also be this pickup-palming thing I was doing. This take is not so hugely different from the first, but it does emphasize a new farty bass sound that i like very much (from sliding the lower mute back towards the bridge), and yes also fewer pitched sounds, more metallic timbres, etc. I also include this take to remind me that it can be almost OK to fingertap as long as you don't sustain anything, use vibrato, or accidentally sound like slap bass.



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Solo Study 2 (knitting needle at 12th fret through both necks, ebowing on headstock side of needle while moving needle with ebow hand).

This is a hard-to-do and almost definitely stupid-looking right hand position that involves a) grabbing the exposed bottom (hee hee!) of the 12th-fret knitting needle with your right-hand pinky so you can wiggle it while you ebow, b) holding on to the ebow as far away as you possibly can from the 12th fret (otherwise there's not enough string length for it to vibrate), for me this is around the 7th fret, which leaves frets 1-6 available for non-tempered fretting with the left hand, and c) leaving your right ring finger free to rudely plunk the string you're ebowing now and then. I like how this generates some very Ab sounds (that's Ab Baars, not A flat).



Solo Study 2a (excerpt).



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Solo Study 3 (knitting needle at 12th fret through both necks, ebowing with one ebow on each neck, headstock side, moving knitting needle with mouth).

This is one of those non-musical performances where it's all about documentation. The point here was to figure out how to use two ebows, holding one in each hand, and still coming up with interesting ways to add vibrato and change pitch and timbre. I was really surprised that the 12-string neck doesn't add much here, I was hoping to get 3 simultaneous notes, but without a fretting finger you can't really get the top neck string pairs to sound both notes reliably: thus, you usually hear one ebow note per neck.

The more abrasive timbres here are what happens when you push the needle off the neck via your mouth or chin...and so it's kind of like you're fretting the string from the underside of the string (not with your chin, luckily)?

Note to self: for playing the knitting needle with the mouth, I really have to find a way to not crack a tooth or Mara will kill me, probably just a firm piece of (non-toxic!) foam. I also thought maybe a pencil eraser would work, assuming those still exist. Besides tooth breakage the other downside of this preparation is that it's totally possible to start, eh, drooling, a guitar problem you don't see every day.



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Solo Study 4 (superball mallet).



This is a homemade mallet built from a superball crazyglued onto a metal kebab skewer. Unfortunately it doesn't even do the thing that I made it to do, which is to make an awesome squawky sound when you drag it across a lacquered hollow object like, say, a cello: my doubleneck isn't hollow enough.

BUT, the mallet has a couple of other interesting properties: the skewer has a ring at one end so you can loosely dangle it off your finger and let gravity do most of the work, which actually allows the ball to bounce. Here's two mallets at the same time, both dangling from right hand fingers, which takes some practice. This time I'm also "fretting" with this slide made of hard green foam, that I'll also play by itself in a second.

Solo Study 4b (two superball mallets).



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Solo Study 5 (hard foam slide).



I guess this isn't truly a preparation, I'm just playing slide with this thing I was just talking about, the bouncy green foam that does an awesome job of finding harmonics and letting them ring. I just like the sound of it. The final 30 seconds or so of this are really braindead wanking and I would normally edit that shit out but I was running out of steam and wanted to finish this little project.

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Solo Study 6 (two knitting needles, two ebows).



I could have included this in the knitting needle/double ebow discussion, but this one is kind of different and less versatile. Because you've got 4 bridges now (nut, two needles, actual bridge), the area between the two needles is really resonant and gives you lots of interesting but difficult-to-pitch sounds, which is why it's sometimes useful to use one of the ebows pressed up against the string so that it's fretting a pitch while it's vibrating the string.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

predilection.
















I want to say something here about my weird and recent preference for playing with other guitar players (maybe because I believe they'll "get me"?)...but I don't have time, so I'll just mention some more upcoming gigs.

November 28 I've got a duo with Jasper Stadhouders, one of my favorite local guitarists. It's in a church somewhere in Amsterdam (details forthcoming), expect plenty of abrasive preparations and big volume.

December 7 at Zaal 100, there's a gig with a handful of excellent people that should be lots of fun:

jacob wick (chicago/NYC): trumpet
eiríkur orri ólafsson (reykjavík): trumpet
mark morse: guitar
jasper stadhouders: guitar
onno govaert: drums

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

couples, therapy.


This post is for the good people who ask "why don't you ever tell me when you're playing". Not that I'm answering that question, which is a good one, but I'm sidestepping it by listing some upcoming gigs. Maybe that's the answer to unlocking my inner self-promotionalist: ask me hard questions and I spew evasive information.

Most of what I'm doing these days are duos, but the first couple are not. The first (Monday 27 Sept) is with Dirk Bruinsma (saxes) and Santiago Botero (contrabass) in a kind of semi-acoustic trio at a series called De Oorsprong at RESERVAAT in Amsterdam Noord. I'll be playing doubleneck, and there is somehow a theme of aluminium foil involved in our preparations. There are three sets:

1)
Leo Svirsky - piano
Nicolau Lafeta - trumpet

2)
Dana Jessen - bassoon
Oscar Jan Hoogland - piano
Raoul van der Weide - contrabass, crackle box, sound objects

3)
Mark Morse - guitar, preparations
Santiago Botero - contrabass, preparations
Dirk Bruinsma - baritone sax, alto sax, preparations

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It's a beautiful thing (or at least it should be) when a band or musician you like unexpectedly asks you to make some music with them. In 2006 I was in the audience at the recording of The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation's first CD, and really thought it was one of the best shows I saw that year, and since then we've played the CD quite a bit around the house. So it was a very pleasant surprise to be asked to join them on guitar at OT301 on 07 October for a show (maybe it shouldn't be so surprising since Charlotte joined Hilary and I for a gig way back when). The Kilimanjaro Dark Jazz Ensemble plays afterwards: which, although it's exactly the same people...yeah, it's not totally my thing. But, we see!



On the 14th of October, there's an evening of music/dance duos at OT301: one musician, one dancer, six couples in total. My partner is Ema Nik Thomas, who I always enjoy watching because she's never careless and often gives off a tiny sense of menace. I'll be playing solo unadorned doubleneck guitar, which I never ever do, which is also why I'm doing it. Other musicians that night include Ab Baars, John Dikeman, and that's all I can remember.

In November, two of my favorite duos: this is hardly an invitation with Hillary (12 November at Theater Bellevue), and the return of Sleep Gunner with Jeroen (19 November at OCCII).

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

in the weeds again.










I guess I'm just trying to get these off my chest? Maybe it's a cleansing thing.

These are primarily solo guitar pieces using AudioMulch, recorded in 2002-2003, and stylistically they have almost nothing to do with me anymore. Why am I dispensing them in this seemingly random or at least non-sequential order one might wonder, and the answer is that I'm briefly remastering them in order of easiness, and posting them as they're done.

This block of recordings is kind of an uncomfortable thing to share, because although I think there are a couple of moments worth preserving, my guitar playing was really in a total Shambles of Derivativity at the time, and for me these recordings are largely the sound of frustration, documenting some of the first tentative attempts to start figuring out a way out of the hole I was in, or, yeah, out of the weeds I guess.

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Morsanek: In The Weeds I (1:55), 4.4MB.



Morsanek: In The Weeds II (4:37), 10.6MB.


Morsanek: In The Weeds X (4:41), 10.7MB.


Morsanek: In The Weeds XIV (7:31), 17.2MB.




Mark Morse: guitar, AudioMulch, FruityLoops programming.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

in the weeds vi.












Still cleaning, still turning up old tracks. This is another from 2002-2003. There was a greater concept for these bits, but I was struggling with a multitude of factors at the time and nothing ever happened, a situation which could hardly be more generic, I know. But now that there is no greater concept, especially now that there's no visual component, I'm thinking about detaching that now-not-so-necessary generic beat underneath. I should also just totally ignore this overwhelming compulsion to fuck with old recordings.










Mark Morse: guitar, AudioMulch, programming.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

archival footage.













Just unearthed a couple of old hard drives, I'll be posting some previously unpublished things here in a few, just 'cause. Most of this stuff should be from the period 2001-2005, years in which I was mired in a massive creative crisis and had almost completely stopped playing guitar, except to use it as an input to the AudioMulch patches I was semi-obsessively building.

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Mark Morse: guitar, AudioMulch.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

what's happening, peter.













Minimal activity here other than a few weeks of vacationizing in London, which was luxuriantly expensive but ultimately good nonetheless. TIHAI is back in action this fall, but before then July and August will hopefully be dominated by going to the beach and the manufacture of a Sprawling Low-Key Pop Masterpiece, though it remains to be seen if one can just decide to do that, the masterpiece part I mean.

This week's audio is from LYSN, Hilary Jeffery's exploratory drone project. Hil and Alfredo and I and at least five others (for sure two saxes, bass, trumpet, and drums, but maybe more) just played an unexpectedly LYSN-ish set this past weekend at 4am during the all-night gig at MLK in Amsterdam, and the unsolicited positive feedback by non-musicians after the show reminded me how important it is for us to try and play this music for new audiences instead of for the same old fifty improvisors.

LYSN: Suspension (10:35), 24MB.









Hilary Jeffery: trombone and tromboscillator
Chris Long: accordian and electronics
Anne Wellmer: analogue electronics and harmonium

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

rummage sale.














Photo: Andy Moor. Cleaning out an old DJ hard drive and found this mix that's a good snapshot of what I was listening to in 2004. Features alva.noto, Peter Warren & Matt Samolis, Senking, Xerophonics, Leviathan, Philip Jeck, Suicide, David Dunn, Paul Lemos, Porter Ricks, Dymaxion, some Sardinian acapella shit, Dalek, Merzbow, Broklyn Beats, Team Shadetek, Moblin...and that's just what I can identify/remember. This was mixed live @ OT301 in Amsterdam in late 2004, I also seem to remember running this whole thing through my guitar effects rig for "added excitement", but due to poor planning by me the recording was straight off the laptop so we just get the unmolested tunes.









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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

remix repost.













Since my other blog that used to host this info is now toast, I'm reposting a pocket of info about the My Life in the Bush of Ghosts remix I did in 2006 for Disquiet (here's some background).

Listening to the remix now, I find it to be an encapsulation of most of the recurring problems with the Morsanek approach circa 2006: arresting, pretty cohesive beginning; weaker, meandering middle; practical but unsatisfying ending.

I'm not sure that I ever did figure out how to avoid these pitfalls, but if I ever decide to learn from my mistakes, this is as good an illustration of them as any.

Here's most of the original post.

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This post is mostly to make sure that everyone is credited properly....large thanks again to everyone who donated their music to this mix. Any sound not sourced from the below is either from the Eno/Byrne tracks or my guitar and/or digitally mucking about.

Initial bewildered feedback about the remix suggests that I should mention a couple of things: I didn't really listen to more than a few seconds of the originals before I started (no remixes either), only the multitrack source files...a few seconds after I started listening to the originals I realized I didn't want to know what parts were where in the originals...start, finish, foreground, dominant, etc. I wanted everything to have equal potential value.

Thanks again to Marc at Disquiet for initiating this exercise and for asking me to participate. Here's the finished version.

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morsanek: the black isle (full version). (192kbps)









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Source recordings:

"Sociologist", "Artist", and "Blindman" from Wordless by Yannis Kyriakides, (c) 2006. Used with permission. Yannis Kyriakides: electronics and field recordings.

"Shell Fish" and "Wet My Shelf" from All by Myshelf by Alan "Gunga" Purves, (c) 2005. Used with permission. Alan "Gunga" Purves: percussion.

"Madang" from Krang by Ab Baars, (c) 1989. Used with permission. Ab Baars: tenor saxophone.

"Solos #1", "Solos #3", and "Solos #4" from Solos by Michael Fischer, (c) 2002. Used with permission. Michael Fischer: tenor saxophone.

"Zombie Love", composer Hilary Jeffery, (c) 2005. Used with permission. Vanessa Vromans: violin. Elisabeth Reiter: violin. Yoos Moghaddam viola. Kumi Kondo: cello. Hilary Jeffery: electronics.

"Krimp" from 7 CC in IO by Cor Fuhler, (c) 1995. Used with permission. Cor Fuhler: prepared piano.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

in the silvery moonlight.











UPDATE: Jeroen has uploaded a few properly-normalized excerpts from the gig on his new blog.

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Until I have time to do something friendlier to it, here's the unadulterated audio from Sleep Gunner's last gig at DNK. Unadulterated in that you get two minutes of crowd chatter before we're even onstage.

The tempos are sprightly, the sound is very honest, and the highlight is probably the encore, a pretty funny never-really-played-before omnichord/feedback version of Satan's Jeweled Crown at 28:56. Also nice to hear people giggling at hocketing @ 7:45. Really, only at DNK do you get props for hocketing and feedback.









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