surprise and composition

There is the strong desire to simplify; to begin with almost raw, acoustic sound and see where it leads. It’s not orderly or even predictable but by immersing oneself in, for example, sounds of rubbed or bowed metal surfaces, and waterphones, the sounds themselves begin to suggest new ways of proceeding and sometimes the outline of composition. Surprise becomes one of the windows of creativity.

5 waterphones made by richard waters

5 waterphones made by richard waters

the physicality of playing music

The sound of struck glass cider jugs tuned with water will form the bass line of this new song. I’ve been using a bouncy ball impaled on the end of a knitting needle as a mallet, allowing me to literally bounce from note to note with the odd double/triple bounce for ornamentation.

Someone asked “why go to all the trouble of collecting glass bottles, cleaning them, tuning them, training oneself to play them, when one could easily record just a single note into a computer and access this sound with a keyboard?” Well, the physical act of playing the jugs, of making the sounds, would be lost. And this would also affect the way I write the line.

But essentially, much of the emotion one hears conveyed by music is derived from physically producing the sound.

tuned vinegar jugs.minden duo

new recording of songs and found sounds

as I’m writing this I can hear the mellow sounds of the French Horn. Carla is writing a new line for the song we have been working on.

During the last month we have been living in a world of splendid acoustic sound: vintage waterphones, bowed saws, blown bottles, struck floating bowls, toy piano and voice.  Exploring the words and sounds of a new project which we plan to record in a month’s time. More about that soon.