Prepared Guitar Project

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Prepared Guitar Project

Postby Seby on Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:52 am

This might be pretty left-field for a lot of folks here, but what the heck : )

I have been interested for a while on the relationship between technology, movement, sound, and music. From work songs and field hollers that emerged out of hoe-lines, rhythms that work with the movement of a person whilst riding a horse, to the syncopated rhythms that emerge from the "thunk-thunk, thunk-thunk, thunk-thunk" of a rail car, more than one for of music has emerged out of our relationship with tech.

So I did this:

I went around to construction sites in Sydney and I made field recordings of the construction sounds. I then transcribed the field recordings into improvisation charts that used graphic notation a la John Zorn. Then I jammed on them with a friend. The recordings are live, and there are no effects on the guitar at all. Just one guitar, one cable, one amp. But there are a lot of extended techniques. Cello bow, slides, wooden mallet, battery powered milk frother, and so forth. My friend was using supercollider in real time for live audio sculpting.

There is a proper description of the graphic notation in the description of the tracks. The tracks are here: https://soundcloud.com/ss-grayson/sets/ ... ovisations

I am going to be trying to do this in front of an audience solo in less than a month! : )
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby madstrat on Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:44 am

Well, I listened and if there was a Grammy, ...for pure rubbish, you'd win.

These folks, that u are gonna play this for, they are alive?



Sorry for your lot.
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby Seby on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:47 pm

Oh so very alive.

Thank you for listening! :cheers:
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby Clanger on Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:50 pm

So that's what a supercollider sounds like.. :lol:

Seby, I can dig it, a lot of work goes into stuff like that. Not everyone appreciates stuff without a beat.

I like this stuff most when merged with some traditional structures, or maybe some dynamics soft - loud - soft maybe.

The best thing that you tend to find is that one thing leads to another, so .. carry on...
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby Seby on Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:06 pm

Thank you Clanger! :highfive:

Carry on I shall. You are right that has been a lot of work, but it has also been very rewarding.

I have some more field recordings and some transcriptions. I tried recording some movements through the city on my bike, but I need a windsock for the mic. It would also be cool to take the project international, with recordings from Beirut and Tokyo and so on.

Since a lot my other playing involves developing hypnotically repetitive rhythmic cycles, the total lack of repeated structure within the field recording pieces is, for me, exhilarating. Perhaps both aspects will meet somewhere in the middle eventually?
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby madstrat on Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:18 am

Ok, clanger, is on to something, .

Try adding some types of temporal substance, rain drops, machine rhythm, ,...abstract is only cool for a while.

Sorry for the quick judgment, but could you make it familiar, art connects, ..and I feel no connection.
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby Pacafeliz on Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:48 am

well, Thurston Moore would surely approve! :lol:

must be fun to do/see/hear live. something completely different.
good luck!
oaklandanny too wrote:Pat...
This is way late in posting... but I want to say that she's beautiful, man!!! You are blessed and the world will be a better place because of your little girl. Mark my words... She will live in a better world than we live in now... because she will help change it. God bless!!!!

RIP OaklandDanny, thanks for EVERYTHING! God bless you, always!
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby Clanger on Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:30 am

Seby wrote:Thank you Clanger! :highfive:

Carry on I shall. You are right that has been a lot of work, but it has also been very rewarding.

I have some more field recordings and some transcriptions. I tried recording some movements through the city on my bike, but I need a windsock for the mic. It would also be cool to take the project international, with recordings from Beirut and Tokyo and so on.

Since a lot my other playing involves developing hypnotically repetitive rhythmic cycles, the total lack of repeated structure within the field recording pieces is, for me, exhilarating. Perhaps both aspects will meet somewhere in the middle eventually?


Good stuff, maybe you should check out some of the Harold Budd / Brian Eno stuff. Eno in particular.

Also King Crimson were great at band improvisations, which is something I experimented with over the years, here's one with my old prog band Yak from 2004, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSGdr0J6iTM the great thing is that such improvs represent a non-repeatable summary/statement of a point in time and can be uiniquely good (or bad) but can never be said to be contrived.
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby Seby on Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:58 pm

Hey Pacafeliz, it is certainly never boring! The gig is this Friday.... :shock:

Clanger, that Yak vid is great! There is a melody that creeps in towards the end there that reminds me of something, but I cannot put my finger on it. I shall listen again and have a proper think. Great point about unrepeatability. That is the risk/reward rush with improv, no? Catastrophic failure or unrepeatable brilliance are the two extremes.

Madstrat, you raise a good question about whether or not the content or meaning of an artwork (and I use that term here deliberately) should go beyond its aesthetic properties. Of course it can do so, but that is a merely descriptive point. It is, at this point in our culture, truistic. But may it do so, or should it not? If not, then the resulting retreat to formalism will make the understanding of the content of works immediate. Immediacy is good because it is fast, and speed is economical. But fast conversations are not always the most rewarding, and art strives for rewarding communication above everything else. Everything else is decoration. If on the other hand the content or meaning of a work may go beyond its aesthetic properties, then the understanding of works will be slower. This understanding will be slower because there will now be a burden of labour on the part of the judger (viewer or listener or reader whatever it is that might be going on). The burden is, of course, that we must now go beyond the aesthetic properties of the whatever the work in question might be. The goal here is, or would be, an accurate or truthful moment of feeling the world as the artist feels it, through the medium of their work and through an understanding of both their motivations and creative processes. We might decide that such a burden is worth carrying, but shirk any responsibility towards the goal. This frees us from the risk of being wrong in our understanding, but it robs us of the possibility of communication. For what it is worth, I think that chance of communication is worth the risk of being wrong. The post-modernists were just lazy. My audience is alive, and so is the author.
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby madstrat on Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:10 am

Well sir, only time will tell.

:old:

But, never give up the dream, as I have seen quite a few that folded shop way to early.
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby Seby on Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:22 am

I am happy to report that the gig went rather well! I recorded all of it, but the louder prepared guitar pieces clipped the levels of the field recorder by...well by a lot.

But the earlier acoustic pieces came through well enough I think. : ) For fun, here is one original, and one Marc Ribot cover.

https://soundcloud.com/ss-grayson/sets/ ... -july-2016
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Re: Prepared Guitar Project

Postby Seby on Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:28 am

Hello everyone : )

So, I am embarking on a new improv project. The idea is to take my guitar and a field recorder around to various places in the city, and to incorporate the sounds at those places into the live improvisations themselves. That is, the city itself is a contributing member of the improv, which is played live and on site, so to speak.

Here is the first one, recorded at Museum Station in Sydney. Sometimes the sounds of the city are the background to the sounds of the guitar (Museum Station 1), sometimes the sounds of the guitar are the background to the sounds of the city (Museum Station 2), and sometimes the sounds of the city and the sounds of the guitar are in conversation (Museum Station 3).

https://sebastiansequoiah-grayson.bandc ... um-station

Hey Madstrat, you will dig this I promise!

*Ducks and runs for cover*
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