Ahh well, Eric has gone back to Boston, thus ending for now one of the funnest musical projects I’ve had in a while. rreplay recorded our last-for-now session on July 1. It was a bit out there for a number of reasons on my part. First, I had not regularly practiced in a month while I was away in Kolkata and Japan (more on the sounds from there later…), so the ideas were bubbling up but the fingers were a bit sluggish. Second, I had just returned from Tokyo, where Monisha and I stayed a few extra days so I could catch the avant gard Japanese experimental guitar festival (also about which more later). So what’s to listen to? My favorite for weird factor is “squelch.” What is not bass is manipulated guitar echo. “drip grind” has a cool wash thing going that mutates over time. I think my favorite is “nothing to declare,” though “spider camp” and “flow control” are kinda cool in an experimentalist sort of way…all three are in the key of z. That leaves “low town twilight” where I was trying too hard to evoke a particular mood instead of just going with it, and “neither flotsam nor jetsam.” Not bad all in all. I’ll certainly miss rreplay-ing. We’ll put together an album or two more from it…if you find anything in the rrepository particularly compelling, in part or in whole, let us know in the comments here!
Just a couple more weeks to go and I leave for India and Eric goes back to Boston. For last week’s session, go to the rrepository and look for files dated 080505 at the bottom of the list. My favorite for the moment is Hoffman’s bicycle ride [fixed link, 5/14/08]. Besides some timing issues here and there the whole session came out well so check out the other eight cuts too.
The last three rreplay sessions are online in the rrepository, for April 14, April 25, and April 28. Let’s see, from the April 14 session, I kinda like cello panetta for its faux strings (all mangled guitar, btw), steel driver for its beat, and round the perimeter for the synth line following the guitar around. From the 25th, aoomph takes a while to get started but then closes out with some sicko guitar-following synth stuff. This one will probably turn up again in edited fashion. There is also convolution blues, which tries to go straight, but ends up, ummm, convoluted. A couple more blues, this time with slide, start off the April 28 session. Here’s one, and here is the other. The rest I need to listen to a little more before making a recommendation, but you can check ’em out in the rrepository, along with most everything else we’ve recorded. WHy so much blues? Maybe just got back from Chicago….
rreplay ventured into the public ear for the first time this past Sunday evening, hauling our gear down to Ong King‘s open mike. In case you don’t know about it, Ong King is as combo gallery/multimedia/music/event space, probably the coolest place in town. We played a short set after a smoking jam from Quadraphonix, Drummer/percussionist/vocalist Shazam, and awesome ukulele player Taimane Gardener. Jonathan Heraux, Quadraphonix’ (awesome) drummer, owner of Ong King, and mc for the open mic commented “that’s a lot of wires” once we were set up. He also said that when he got the cd he popped it on in his car, and by the time he reached his destination, he was on the phone to us to see if we would come down for open mike as a sort of proof of concept…I guess a few other times laptop oriented bands would come for gigs and not be able to get the software running, so he wanted to see if we could do what we do live. We could, cuz basically everything we’ve recorded is live, just minus the audience…no overdubs or post-processing other some “mastering polish.” We did our thing, it seemed well received. It sounded like us but louder than usual, going through their PA, people clapped, it was fun. Taimane Gardener then followed with an awesome set showing a voice to match the uke chops. Good company we got to keep!
Hopefully it will lead to some gigs before I leave for India and Eric has to go back to Boston. Gotta book this incarnation before mid-May, if anyone is interested. The leader of a dance troupe heard one of the pieces and is planning on choreographing a performance to it…either “amazonia dub” or “pilaf,” not sure which….hmmm maybe they’d do something with us live? Have to find out who it is first though. We were so busy setting up I didn’t get a chance to exchange numbers. I forgot to press the record button on my computer, so don’t have a digital recording of the event, but Eric got it on his mini recorder, so if that came out, we’ll post it later this week.
The 3/24 and 3/31 rreplay sessions are now in the rrepository. From 2/24, I really like “sizzle” and “summer shirt” — see if you can figure out the pun in the title of the latter one from the music. From 3/31, I like “basspace” — that’s all Eric’s bass other than the drums. No guitar until the bat sonar near the end. This came out of a mis-connection in the program that was sending Eric’s bass through all the guitar effects by accident. Once we figured out what was happening and fixed it, we went back and did it on purpose, with Eric playing and me knob twiddling the drums and bass. “Sand garden” is an introspective piece that gets chopped up and reconstituted at the end. “Pali night ride” is another moody piece that I like. We’ll probably eventually fade it out after the first few minutes of guitar cuz while the keyboard textures that follow are interesting, I think the guitar section captures a better feel.
- rreplay home page, including our first album, rrepertoire, which you can listen to and download free.
rreplay’s first album, rrepertoire, is now out. You can order it on cd by donating $10 to way.net using the amazon paybox and sending us an email with your address or just download the mp3 files for free. The rreplay home page has also gone live.
Also, there are a whole bunch of new mp3 files from the last week in the rrepository. A lot of the new stuff explores granular guitar and drum chopping. There are some swampy psychedelic slide blues, some Latin inflections, and one attempt to run three different echo units through each other, among other things. Enjoy, we did!
As always, check out way.music for more free tunes.
Eric and I are putting together a demo cd to get gigs, and we will sort out what we think are the best cuts from our recordings here. If anyone is out there, we would love to know what you think of the songs. We have decided to call the band rreplay. We had been initialing all the songs rrep for Eric (EP) and me (RR), and Karen came up with a whole bunch of song titles punning on words beginning with “rep.” We thought rreplay sort of captures what we’re doing then, no? Anyway, on to the music.
My favorite thing we’ve done as of right now is a very loose cover of a chicha song by Los Mirlos — “Sonido Amazonico.” Ours is going by the name of “Amazonia Dub” right now. Chica is hybrid pyschedelic surf twang cumbia music played by hard partying Peruvians who had come to the oil boom cities of Amazonian Peru in the 1960s. Great stuff. You can find out more at Los Mirlos’s website and at Barbes Records, where you can hear a whole collection of Chicha songs. Once I heard it I had to get the album!
My second favorite song that clocks in under ten minutes is this one, which for now is called “cool keep” (We have to figure out what to do with the longer stuff, like this trip-hoppy kind of thing). I also like this little slide blues from last week. This is its rowdier sister. We’ll probably put one blues thing on just to mix it up.
Well, that’s all for now. As always check out all the free music on way.net if you like what you’ve found here.
Eric Parker, from Boston, is in town for a few more months. He is a great bass player and we have been having weekly jams. You can hear him in his Boston outfit, a free form music project back east called Rabid Owl. We are probably going to set up a few gigs under the “way music” moniker (alternate name: rrep) as soon as I can get the laptop stable enough to take out. Here are some cuts from a recent session:
- “outer time” bass and granulated guitar
- “rreplay“– I’ll probably chop of the end jam a bit as it gets rrepetitive.
- “B&D” — don’t worry, it stands for bass and drums, the latter of which get a bit dubbed out.
- “Eric in the Evening in Reverse,” a 40 minute jam that we think progresses in the opposite way from Boston Jazz DJ Eric Jackson, who has a show called Eric in the Evening on WGBH. Jackson starts a set with some mellow jazz and gradually, imperceptibly, edges the music toward more and more out there. Monisha and I used to regularly put him on for dinner thinking “this is nice” only to be lured into a squawking, raucous, usually really interesting excursion. We start with the rawk and mellow out later, hence the title.
All the songs are mp3, stereo at 192k, recorded in one take, Eric Parker on bass, Rich Rath on guitars and computer. As always, share them, download them tell your friends. If you are interested in hearing more of my various projects, check out Way Music. We’d love to hear from you if you listen to us, so leave a comment.
Just read this interesting piece on a new synth called ReacTable that has caught Björk‘s eye. It is a light table with a projector and a video camera under it. The video monitors what is going on on top and using the OSC protocol (I think) it sends instructions to sound producing software. The projector sends light to the table, in order to connect and modify the various objects put on the table and moved around to make sounds. Here is a demo movie, and another one with multiple players live in Berlin.
This is part of an exciting field in computing called human interface design. Most of the HID folks are visual/tactile oriented, as in Jeff Han’s light table controller which is a minor YouTube hit. The key point is that these HIDs are multi-touch, so you can use all ten fingers, or multiple people can work on the same surface. Ultimately, I agree with Han that they will replace the monitor/keyboard/mouse configuration. Here is the YouTube presentation from 2006.
You can find a newer demo (and nothing else right now) at his new startup, Perceptive Pixel.
Musicians are on the forefront of this revolution, though I am not sure they know it, or that the computer people have quite realized yet either. In music, the HIDs are called controllers, like the pricey Lemur, which is multi-touch but not touch-sensitive, and the STC-1000 (which I own), which is not multi-touch, but is touch sensitive…and about a tenth of the price of the lemur. What Han and ReacTable are doing that is new is making the surface responsive rather than just an input device. I’ve emailed Han asking about audio applications a year ago or so, but got no reply…guess he was too busy even then.Another place where the arts will influence HIDs is the connection between dance (or more limited motion) and music. My favorite example is Laetitia Sonomi‘s Lady Glove which is a glove full of motion sensors that control synthesizers. It looks sort of like her nervous system has been turned inside out, with the nerves on the outside, which is not a bad metaphor I think.There is also a growing DIY music controller movement, where people hack up toys or build from scratch their own versions of something that will control music. I think what the musicians don’t yet realize is that their search for more sensitive and interactive controllers is something that translates well to other realms.
As always, please check out some of my free music at Way Music.