I neglected to post the video online, but here it is. View it in fullscreen with good speakers if possible!
An Irish drinking song, rescued recently from cassette tape. Written and recorded as a lark to 4-track cassette in winter of 92-93 (20 years ago!) by my then-girlfriend (may she rest in peace) and I during my college years in Dublin.
Lyrics taken from Flann O’Brien’s poem “The Workman’s Friend” in his marvellous book At Swim-Two-Birds. If the head on the pint of plain looks frothy, that’s because it’s a home-brew Irish stout I made with a friend and not a Guinness properly poured by a Dublin barkeep. Uploaded for St Patrick’s Day 2013.
And, here’s a spoken version of the same poem that I just found today, by the Dubliners.
My third (or fourth?) entry to the Disquiet Junto is a 2-minute narration that was uncomfortable to do. I initially resisted doing this “audiobiography”, as I generally dislike the self-consciousness that arises from talking about myself or hearing my voice, but as so many others in the Disquiet Junto have done it, I felt like I was cheating by skipping it. By the time I was finished, there were many things I didn’t talk about that contributed to the whole picture that didn’t make the cut : Indian music, analog synths, field recordings, Autechre, My Bloody Valentine…. but I was already several minutes over the allotted time when I started editing.
I also created a new SoundCloud account to post works from this site. I’ll be retroactively posting all the tracks from this blog soon.
background music: Chef Menteur – “Io” (edits)
More on this #60th Disquiet Junto project at:disquiet.com/2013/02/21/disquiet0060-audiobio
More details on the Disquiet Junto at: Groups – Disquiet-junto
More details on the SoundCloud “audiobiography” project at: blog.soundcloud.com/2013/02/06/audiobiography/
this is a track I composed for the 50th disquiet junto project.
my grandfather was a big time ham radio operator who had talked to every country in the world, and he convinced me to get my novice license as a young kid, where i learned morse code. he passed away about 10 years ago but i am always thankful for his interest in electronics and tinkering that he passed on to me. the call CQ or “seek you” is what ham operators use to initiate conversation, that is the foundation of the pulse of this piece. the other signal incorporates a simple message from my (expired) call sign to my grandfather’s, whom his friends called Wallace and we called “Pops”. his call sign was K4TJL.
i used max/msp to generate the morse code messages, (a little rusty to do it manually) and i ended with a sample of the Radio Tirana (from communist Albania) interval signal that I could pick up on my Heathkit ham radio, and was magical to me as a kid.
Note: I first found out about disquiet and its founder/former NOLA resident Marc Weidenbaum when he reviewed my band Chef Menteur’s earliest mp3s and wrote about New Orleans’ burgeoning electronic music scene in the early 2000′s (See this 2005 piece he wrote right after Katrina). He’s only gotten more involved in the electronic music community since moving to San Francisco, keeping regular dispatches up and engaging via his twitter account @disquiet. His Disquiet Junto project on SoundCloud is now one year old; and this is my first entry, posted near the end of year one…. Congrats & thanks Marc!
Tonight is the closing (there was not an opening) for the Duets show at the Collins C. Diboll art gallery at Loyola University in New Orleans. David Sullivan and I put together a piece for it. It’s the same as can be seen at the Ogden but the presentation is closer to our intention here: the display is much larger (projector) and the audio is full range (speakers with subwoofer).
David made the video; I made the audio using analog synthesizers, field recordings I made of tree frogs in the neighborhood, Max/MSP and Max for Live.
I used Max/MSP to filter and mix semi-autonomously a couple of video loops I shot in Greece, and put it to music, that being the Chef Menteur song “Narconaut” (the first track off the new record).
Music by Chef Menteur | Photography by Alec Vance
(c) 2012 Backporch Revolution Records
I worked on a piece with David Sullivan that was accepted for the Louisiana Contemporary exhibition at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The show will be free and opens this Saturday, August 4 (6-9pm) for White Linen Night.
For my part, I used Max/MSP, a Korg MS-20 (classic analog synth), and some field recordings of tree frogs I made on Adams Street by the graveyards in my neighborhood.
A slightly different version of our animation can be seen on vimeo.
My second contribution to the Backporch Revolution mix tape series: some African jams melt into a summer haze….
Former Offbeat magazine editor Alex Rawls was kind enough to sit outside in the heat and talk to me for an hour about psychedelic music, krautrock, Terry Riley, generative music, Murmur, and what’s going on with Chef Menteur.
Listen to the podcast interview on his new music site My Split Milk.