a tonal cloud (shō study)

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i have always been interested in building up atmospheric drones and have lately become obsessed with the traditional japanese instrument known as a shō. the free reed instrument is powered by breath and uses metal reeds tuned with wax attached to the bottom of 15 bamboo pipes (17 pipes total). the instrument traditionally serves the purpose of ‘freezing’ a melody into a kind of floating cloud for other instruments to occupy.

this audio work attempts to approximate some of the tonal qualities of the shō using a harmonium transitioning between the traditional chords ‘ge’ and ‘otsu.’ once an atmosphere of floating tones was created, improvised violin and acoustic guitar were interwoven using a stereo tape feedback loop and a closed tape loop.

morning music

[vimeo 25748954 w=400 h=225]

mm-cc - 06.26.11 from Jared Smyth on Vimeo.

From a series of gatherings put on by artist jared smyth where friends get together and make music, art, video etc. This video documents an excerpt of a long-form improvisation involving myself (david andree), john keston and jared smyth on 6-26-2011.

my instruments for the session included acoustic guitar, melodica, brushes, contact mics, 2880, modified 4-track loaded with cassette tape loops, and a reel to reel with a closed tape loop. john keston was playing the roland june-106, triggering the roland mks-80 with the gms, and playing acoustic piano. jared smyth was running grainslide and cutting live loops from everyone’s signals. jared smyth did the final mixing, shot and edited the documentation video.

see the original post here and many more wonderful sessions with different artists over at mm-cc.org

john keston’s work can be found at http://audiocookbook.org/