Posts Tagged ‘2007’

It’s Too Damn Startling #4!

December 16, 2007

I’ve uploaded the 4th edition of “It’s Too Damn Startling,” my continuing to Tony Youngblood’s ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible radio show, which airs live from 2-4 AM, this December 16 on WRVU-FM.

This week, Tony has no pre-conceptualized theme, so I thought I’d play with the idea of going into things blindly– which also perpetuates my approach to this morning’s “It’s Too Damn Early” broadcast.

For this short mix, I utilized extracts from some of the tracks I broadcast this morning, with the exception of Neil Rolnick’s “Breathing Machine,” which I had not used earlier. Selecting my extracts purely from the appearance of each track’s waveform, I began assembling the mix without the benefit of any sound output– using only the “look” of the waveform as my guide. It was not until after uploading the finished product that I allowed myself to listen to it– so what you hear is the first result, just as I heard it.

You may download the 4’15” long mix by clicking this awkwardly-rendered link, or simply content yourself with the list of sound sources below:

Neil Rolnick — Breathing Machine
Leo — Cute Drops
David Watson — Dexter no.1
Tom Nunn — Skatchmat
Judy Dunaway, Tom Chiu — Etude no. 1 for Balloon and Violin

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 12/15/07

December 15, 2007

Update pt.2: The full playlist is now posted. Net trouble at the station did not permit liveblogging, but at least you can see what I played. Overall, I enjoyed this show, and the few enthusiastic callers as well.

Update (from home) : The station computer was running very poorly this week, so I couldn’t maintain any sort of decent connection for liveblogging. Naturally, the recording failed– but I’ll post the remaining playlist later on today. This was a very good show, and another example of why you should always try to catch radio live!

So far, I’m not too sure where I’m taking this week’s show– or more likely, where this show is taking me. I’ve got a mix of old and new in my bag, so I’m just going to hold on and enjoy the surprise.

US Maple — Songs That Have No Making Out
US Maple — La Click
Flies Inside the Sun — White Walls
Kim Cascone – Statistically Improbable Phrases
The Mighty Vitamins — Kaw River Suite: Loops and Spirals
The Mighty Vitamins — Kaw River Suite: Stoppages
The Mighty Vitamins — Kaw River Suite: Turbulence
Thanos Chrysakis — Immanent Distance
Thanos Chrysakis — Isabelle
Thanos Chrysakis — Nekyomanteion
Judy Dunaway — Etude no.1 for Balloon and Violin
Tom Nunn — Loose Change
Tom Nunn — Skatchmat
Danielle Palardy Roger — Nnaaaooon
Neil Rolnick, Joan La Barbara — Body Work
Leo — Multiple
Leo — Cute Drops
Leo — B. Bill Bell
Mudboy — Lost
Mudboy — Running
David Watson — Dexter pt.1
The Free Players — All Time Sunrise
The North Sea — Albino Deer Transmission

Darren McClure — ST Fence
Darren McClure — Pink River
Darren McClure — KG Court
Naing Naing — Le Coq Megalo
Naing Naing — Brosse a Danse
Naing Naing — La Grenouille qui Veut Se Daire Aussi Brosse Que la Boeuf
Naing Naing — Webbed

What would you miss?

December 10, 2007

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking a vacation, just tossing around a variety of ideas with my family. In the front-runner position is taking a cruise; it’s pretty laid back, the weather is nice, and having a warm beach to fall asleep on sounds particularly nice.

An interesting sound-related thought occurred to me today, though– what would it sound like? Specifically, what sounds would be missing?

Original photography by DaveX

I realized that I am quite accustomed to paying attention to new sounds when I travel, but the opportunity to spend a significant portion of my life off land made me realize that there is a very real possibility some sounds I regularly hear will be entirely absent.My first thought was that probably wouldn’t hear cars. I’d be on the water, right? Still, I don’t always hear automobiles now. For some of my childhood, I grew up in a rural setting; the sound of a car was uncommon enough to be more cause for concern than to be any sort of normal background noise. Hearing a car usually meant someone was lost, or that family was returning home.

Clearly, the loss of automobile-related sounds wouldn’t be too interesting.

Any cruise ship will obviously be full of people, bringing with them all the associated sound-baggage. From what I understand, birds are well-represented, with pelicans doing their usual bit of beggary.

Wondering if I might find reprieve from an otherwise-omnipresent sound was such a compelling conceit that I was growing disappointed that I was unable to figure out what such a sound could be.

Finally, the answer occurred to me– insects! Unless I’m mistaken, there shouldn’t be a significant insect population on the open waters of the ocean. For at least a couple nights out to sea, the perpetual companionship of insect call will fade from my life.

In my experience, insect sounds are part of the “silence” John Cage experienced in his famous anechoic chamber. Whether I choose to recognize them or not, insects are always present. Scientific estimates of the sheer number of insects are staggering– with an estimate of eight quintillion (1018) individuals in existence at any given time! Surely, there can be no escape from their sound on land… and maybe not even on the ocean.

Regardless, it’s an interesting concept. In the places you’ve been, what sounds did you miss?

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 12/8/07

December 8, 2007

Update: The download for this broadcast is now available. As always, I implore you to turn from your churlish ways– please visit the linked musicians and labels in the playlist below– and most importantly, support those you enjoy by purchasing their albums. Feel free to name-drop your favorite DJ when placing your order. I can’t guarantee you a 75% discount on your bill, but philosophers assure me that things can’t be proven not to exist, either.

I don’t have a lot to say this week, so I’m leaving the commentary rather sparse. Earlier, I answered the phone: “Yes, your radio is broken, whaddya want?” so you can see how it’s going around here. On the upside, I might have turned someone on to the Last Visible Dog label with the Vapaa disc– and that’s always a good thing.

Had to play a little Stockhausen on today’s show, obviously… gets me thinking about the media term “gatekeepers,” and how difficult it must have been to hear someone like Stockhausen when he was younger. I imagine if you weren’t in a major city, you probably couldn’t even order one of his recordings, could you? It’s a wonderful world in some ways now– it’s going to be very interesting to see how the simple availability of materials such as these affect our collective appreciation and understanding of the greater “whole” of art.

Some new stuff arrived from Lona Records yesterday. I had to check out the Maurizio Bianchi album “Zyklusters” first. I’m really digging it, but I’m not certain the description on the back isn’t a put-on, at least not without a dictionary. If anyone is “seeking the tumorigenic antithesis of the embryonal context in the dissonant framework,” please stand up.

I keep promising to write reviews, and I keep being a chump about following through. Can I call a truce? I’m tired out! My next review will definitely be Charlie J. Moneybags’ “An Evening With…” disc, even though it may not be a proper release. I don’t care. I have things to say about it, but I also have a lot of dishes to do. Surely, you can see the problem: Dishwater + Keyboard = Electrical hazard

Hot damn. George Korein/Naked Mall Rats is so much fun to listen to. Gotta love the track “I Just Wanna Pwn You,” with all the variations on how to pronounce “pwn,” lol. Speaking of things I can’t pronounce– “Phon°noir,” anyone? Seriously, folks… why do you do this to me? Between the Finnish, the pseudo-electronic IDM track titles, and the ASCII symbols; you’re killing me.

You can type degree symbols at home, though, and be just like your favorite experimental music blogger: activate your number lock button, hold down ALT, and type “167” on your number pad. º, easy!

Garth Kunkle — Shake it Like Jello and Make it Say Hello
Metis Yeti — Verdun Massacre
Hong Chulki — Without Cartridge 1
Mike Hallenbeck — Eventualities 01.1: Voice
Mike Hallenbeck — Shuffletronics #1: A Beginning, A Middle, And an End
MurmurDiscovery of Mother Voidness
Vapaa — Varjoista
Muck — On Any Given Day The Inspection From Within
Karlheinz Stockhausen — Kontra-Punkte Op. 1, For 10 Instruments
Maurizio Bianchi — Zyklusters
Charlie J. Moneybags — Hope
Naked Mall Rats — There Must Be Somewhere
Naked Mall Rats — I Just Wanna Pwn You
Naked Mall Rats — Moved By Your Emoticon
Naked Mall Rats — Stop Trolling My Life
Phon°noir — Embryo
Phon°noir — From Time to Time We Change Our Minds
Phon°noir — Airplane Traces in the Sky
Phon°noir — No More Sad Dreams
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:04
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — from Henry who just wrote
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:03
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — :57
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:05
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:02
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 3:08 Cranking up it’s pathos
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:02
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:03
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:05

RIP Karlheinz Stockhausen

December 7, 2007

I just heard that Karlheinz Stockhausen died today. For a proper obit, you can read the Guardian Unlimited article. I just figured that since I was playing Stockhausen’s work last week, I’d write a little bit about why Stockhausen matters to me– this is, after all, a blog.

I first heard one of Stockhausen’s works just over ten years ago, having been “introduced” to the master by Tony’s older brother Wess, who has long had a serious passion for modern and avant-garde composition. Tony and I could enjoy groups like Negativland, but on a deeper level, I guess I always wanted something more personally meaningful. When his brother started telling me about a German composer who would work months intricately splicing tape shards together, only to discard the resulting few moments as unacceptable… well, I knew I had better find out more about the mysterious Stockhausen.That first day, Wess let me make a copy of his “Elektronische Musik 1952-1960,” which he had ordered from Stockhausen’s own label. With the earliest of his electronic and tape pieces, including the amazing “Gesang der Junglinge,” it was a great place to start. Every track was exciting, full of new sounds, and very much what I wanted to hear.

It wasn’t long after that I found copies of “Mantra,” “Hymnen,” and “Mikrophonie,” all of which took numerous listens. I didn’t even like Mantra for quite a while, being unable to understand the ideas behind the music.

Of course, doing some reading helped. Hearing more of Stockhausen’s contemporaries helped. Even John Cage helped, as odd as that may seem.
It would be foolish to try to enumerate the many ways in which his work has influenced music, but it is amusing to see the unexpected ways he manages to pop up– it was only a few years back that I was remixing Harold Schellinx’s “Vicki’s Mosquitos,” a computer-read story set during one of the yearly Stockhausen summer courses.

There’s a lot more to hear, and a lot more to learn… and that’s the way I’m choosing to look at this. I’m still on my journey with Stockhausen, and perhaps you are as well. Good luck,

–DaveX

Update: A memorial booklet from the Stockhausen Foundation can be found here.

It’s Too Damn Startling #3!

December 2, 2007

I’ve uploaded the third edition of “It’s Too Damn Startling,” my small contribution to Tony Youngblood’s ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible radio show. This week, the theme is “Degenerates,” which can be read as a noun or a verb– and will surely be used both ways in the broadcast. As always, I recommend you catch it live from 2-4 AM, this December 2nd on WRVU-FM.

If it does happen that you find yourself unable to operate a mouse until tomorrow afternoon, though, feel free to download the mix here.

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This edition is exactly 6 minutes long, and features portions of the following:

Billy Murray — Save It For Me
Ross Bolleter — Piano Dreaming
Rune Lindblad — Party
Scott Smallwood — Debris
Mike Hallenbeck — Silent Night (Shepherds Quake)

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 12/1/07

December 1, 2007

So far, today’s broadcast has been a lot of fun. I was surprised to learn that yet another DJ has been given the killer timeslot just before “It’s Too Damn Early,” this being “Sweet Action Radio Hour,” with Nick. Of course, I say “killer” because this timeslot seems to feed on the blood of DJs– between being trainwrecks of one show following another (remember when I came on after hip-hop and before vintage cowboy songs?) and the late hour, a lot of otherwise-fine shows have gasped their last in the early hours before ‘ITDE.”

I’ll admit, I hope “Sweet Action Radio Hour” makes it. I had a nice drive in to the station while listening to David Bowie, and got turned on to a new solo track from Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood, who was apparently turned on by Penderecki.

Listening to this track, I knew I had to follow with Stockhausen’s “Helicopter Quartet,” having recently heard an excerpt of this at the master’s site. Just for kicks, I let the Greenwood track come back in afterward, and play to a close. Nice!

What was most interesting was how open Nick and company (he had a couple guests) were to experimental music and methods. As I’ve noted before, circuit bending seems to be reaching more and more people now, and Southern Illinois is apparently no different. We discussed noise a little bit, and Stockhausen, and netlabels

It’s nice to find new people willing to check these sorts of things out, so naturally, I’m inspired to continue bringing these sounds into the area– and yes, for you too. (link to more below pic)

(more…)

An offer you can’t refuse

November 28, 2007

Music industry/tech collision blog Hypebot has open nominations for music blog awards right now, in four categories. Since nobody sent me any presents to commemorate the one-year anniversary of STARTLING MONIKER some thirteen days ago, I will safely assume you’re all broke.

That’s why I’ve decided you can nominate me for “Best Niche Music Blog” in lieu of sending expensive gifts.

Hypebot prefers that you leave your nominations in the comments area– and I’ve even made it easy for you– just copy-paste the text below and fill in your other 3 nominations. If you’re not registered with them, you may want to send an e-mail instead.

If you enjoy reading my blog, I’d really appreciate it if you could do this. THANK YOU! –DaveX

———–copy-paste———-

Best Music News Blog:
http://

Best Music Discovery Blog:
http://

Best Niche Music Blog: STARTLING MONIKER
http://startlingmoniker.wordpress.com

Best Band Or Fan Blog:
http://

———-thankyou———–

Update: Noiseblog is now throwing it’s support for niche music blog nomination my way. My blogroll isn’t a suggestion, folks– it’s required reading. Go check it out now!

Update II: Thought I should let you know: my vote for Best Music News is “The Listenerd,” Best Music Discovery Blog is “Mutant Sounds,” and Best Band Blog is “Shakey Ground.” In the case of the latter, it’s not quantity– it’s pure quality.

*puts down crackpipe*

November 28, 2007

Somehow, I deleted the link to the really awesome “decay and pianos” themed “It’s Too Damn Early” broadcast I am offering in the previous post… I’m not really sure how this happened, but it’s fixed now. Sorry for the confusion.

Get your fix of DaveX’s vintage radio broadcasting here.

Also, here’s a photo I made this morning. You will need to view it in full. Quick, I need Photoshop lessons!

Original photography by DaveX

DaveX apparently has abandonment issues

November 27, 2007

With downloads of my most recent “It’s Too Damn Early” broadcast (11/24/07) quickly tapering off, I can only assume you all need some new listening material. Or you’re bogged down with my old shows. Or you hate me.

Anyways, despite your bewildering lack of interest in the link above, I’m going to take a chance and share *gasp* another radio show with you. One that’s not even my own!

Before you nominate me for “Most Selfless in a Dramatic Blog” let me make you aware that I have a vested interest in this other program– I’m on it! Yes, I’m referring to ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible, a program of experimental music and free improvisation hosted by Tony Youngblood.

As you may recall, I’ve been tapped to create an ongoing series of short experimental mixes for this incarnation of ~ORE~. This has resulted in my “It’s Too Damn Startling” mix series, the latest of which was broadcast during Tony’s 11/25/07 broadcast.

Original photography by Tony Youngblood

But wait, there’s more! My recent release, “Tenex,” also found it’s way into the broadcast– alongside the Evolution Control Committee, Gyorgy Ligeti, US Maple, John Cage, and an excerpt of some Nashville-based free improvisers from the previous week’s broadcast.I’d love for you to check this out. The show download is available here, with the complete playlist below. Enjoy! –DaveX

The Evolution Control Committee — 5000 BC
Louis Barron, Bebe Barron — Battle with Invisible Monster
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band — I Wanna Find a Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have to Go
US Maple — Mountain Top
The Evolution Control Committee — Toot
Davenport — Dear Skull
DNA — Not Moving
Teenage Jesus & The Jerks — Baby Doll
Mars — Puerto Rican Ghost
The Evolution Control Committee — Lunch
John Cage — First Construction (In Metal)
Gyorgy Ligeti — String Quartet 1-2, Metamorpho
Louis Barron, Bebe Barron — Robby Arranges Flowers
Karlheinz Stockhausen — Struktur IX
Pan Sonic — Groundfrost Being
Throbbing Gristle — Tanith
DaveX — Tenex
DaveX — It’s Too Damn Startling! #2
~ORE~ Theatre Intangible — Angry Beavers (episode 11/18/07, excerpt)

It’s Too Damn Startling #2!

November 24, 2007

I’ve uploaded the second edition of “It’s Too Damn Startling,” my (hopefully) regular contribution to Tony Youngblood’s ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible radio show. Of course, I recommend you catch the broadcast live from 2-4 AM this November 25th on WRVU-FM– but if you miss it, or just want to add my every sonic leaving to your archive of DaveX-y goodness, you may download it here.

This edition is a little over 12 minutes long, and features portions of the following:

Sarah Peebles — Fast Kitchen
Joan LaBarbara — Solo for Voice #45
DaveX — Waiting at the Start
Boyd Rice — Untitled #2
Steven Flato — 48v
Ryan Gregory, Christine Jeanine — Rain
Frank Rothkamm — Temporarily Unavailable OR Descent Into LAX
Anna Lockwood — Rod Against Edge of Pane
Anna Lockwood — Deep Water Gong

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 11/24/07

November 24, 2007

Update: This broadcast is now available for download. As always, I ask that you do not use this as a substitute for the actual recordings– instead, I encourage you to seek out the artists and labels linked throughout this commentary and playlist. Thanks for listening! –DaveX

I started today’s broadcast about 15 minutes early. With three hours of sleep, I’m actually feeling better than you’d think– of course, I did little yesterday except eat leftover tofurky and watch “The Office”…

I kicked everything off with Hong Chulki’s “Turntable” double 3″ set from Seoul-based label Balloon & Needle. I played from the “no cartridge” disc last week, so I aired the “with cartridge” disc this time around. I have a tremendous soft spot for experimental turntable work, and Chulki’s generous and straightforward recordings certainly fit the bill. Currently, I’m playing from “Hum and Rattle,” featuring more of Chulki’s turntable, as well as Choi Joonyong’s work with manipulated CD player.

Like Otomo Yoshihide‘s turntable recordings, these are both noisy without being “noise” recordings, and are seemingly quite interested in many of the smaller sounds able to be generated with such sources as well as the more obvious louder ones. As a side note, I’m also really impressed with the design of both releases– “Turntable” features a subtle set of triangles to help listeners match the otherwise-featureless discs to their respective sides; “Hum and Rattle” is displayed nicely in a bit of folding cardstock that cleverly grasps the disc on both sides.

How’s this for a cool release? Uton and Valerio Cosi! I’m playing from their Fire Museum Records release “Kaarmeenkaantopiiri,” which I have no hope of pronouncing correctly on-air. This disc isn’t nearly as mysterious as previous Uton recordings I have encountered, with a much stronger musical bond between the two musicians than I would have guessed. This ends up sounding quite a bit like a more dramatically-layered My Cat is an Alien, very cool!

Moving to the Last Visible Dog release “Hum Hum Hum” from Vapaa… the track “Varjoista,” so we’ll have some time to get into Keijo Virtanen and company’s mindset– not always the easiest thing to do on radio.

It’s been a while since I last played an Ernesto Diaz-Infante/Chris Forsyth collaboratition– “Wires and Wooden Boxes” is actually among the first I heard from either artist, so I’m happy to be able to play from this one, “(As Is Stated… Before Known)” on Pax Recordings and Evolving Ear. I’m planning to do some new reviews this coming week, so look for some more information about this disc in upcoming blog entries.

Also new this week from Pax is another album from The Abstractions! Truthfully, this is a split-label effort, with help from Edgetone Records as well… so it’s a real pastiche of Bay-area improvisers and sound artists– Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Rent Romus, Bob Marsh, Marjorie Sturm, Matt Davignon… you see where I’m going with this!

There’s a lot of left-wing political lyrics here, which sort of turns me off– not that I don’t agree that Bush is a complete moron, I just don’t like mixing politics and music… it’s like putting dirt in a grilled cheese or something. On the other hand, for those of you who don’t mind a bit more fearsome gnashing at the bit of straight society, (and dig strange flavorings of music) The Abstractions’ “Novo Navigatio” might be just the thing for you.

I ended up playing a lot more of Frank Rothkamm’s “LAX” disc than I thought I would have– this is a real infectious release, and I’ll definitely have more of it for you next week. Don’t be surprised if some Rothkamm makes its way into my “It’s Too Damn Startling!” contribution to tonight’s broadcast of WRVU-FM’s “~Ore Theatre Intangible”

“Hey! You got Rothkamm in my podcast!” Sorry, I had to do it.

I also played a long selection from Gianluca Becuzzi and Fabio Orsi’s “Wildflowers Under the Sofa,” which is available through Last Visible Dog Records. This is a really enjoyable disc– a great blend of the drone and avant-garde elements LVD is known for.

Hong Chulki — With Cartridge 1
Hong Chulki — With Cartridge 2
Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong — hr
Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong — ua
Uton, Valerio Cosi — Silmaympyrakolmio
Vapaa — Varjoista
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — The Sun is Shining
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — How Little Observed… Half a Mile Distant
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — Tomorrow
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — Some Years Since (The Moon, Supposing It To Be Uninhabited)
The Abstractions — Lament the Fallen
The Abstractions — Take Off Leave Now Never Come Back
The Abstractions — Christian Bush
The Abstractions — Take Yourself Seriously
Frank Rothkamm — Temporarily Unavailable OR Descent into LAX
Frank Rothkamm — Los Angeles OR LATV
Frank Rothkamm — Beehive OR Focal Point of Masonic Meditation
Frank Rothkamm — Digital Signal Processor OR Earthquake
Frank Rothkamm — Still Random OR Burial of Music
Frank Rothkamm — Digital Feedback OR Highland
Gianluca Becuzzi, Fabio Orsi — No Flower
Gianluca Becuzzi, Fabio Orsi — Last Flower

Thank you!

November 23, 2007

For the 57 readers who shared their Thanksgiving day with me, here at STARTLING MONIKER–

Thank you for your continued readership and support! –DaveX

I got a Tofurky!

November 21, 2007

tofurky.jpgTomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I’m going to do my once-a-year bit about being a vegetarian, which is something I hope all you meat-eaters will try out someday for yourselves.

First off, I’ve been a vegetarian since 1997, and I don’t plan on going back to eating meat. Although I probably pay more attention to animal welfare than most, I can honestly say that it was economic reasons that attracted me to vegetarianism first.

Simply put, meat production is an inefficient use of plant and water resources, which are used for livestock before the livestock can be fed to humans. I’m sure there are varying statistics for those of you interested in the exact numbers, but the main idea is that as long as there are starving human beings, it makes very little sense to use food resources inefficiently.

For all of you who urge your children to clean up their plate, or are upset to see the amount of food wasted by restaurants and groceries, please consider this as a good reason to give vegetarianism a shot. (more…)

Improvisation for killers

November 21, 2007

A while back, I got hooked on playing Grid Wars 2, a freeware PC ripoff of an Xbox game I’m not familiar with. I’ve never been much of a gamer, having very little patience for the gigantic time-wasting MMORPG’s so popular these days. My taste in games runs two ways– open-ended and self-directed wonders such as Armadillo Run, or classic arcade action where you can play until you’re sick of it and then just switch it off and forget it for the next six months. Grid Wars 2 is a perfect example of the latter.

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A few weeks back, I decided to replace all of the sounds in my copy of Grid Wars with various sound samples so I could use the game as a musical source for improv work. After trying a variety of different sounds from around the net– guitars, bass, vintage drum machines, other video game noises– I ran into a webspace of the South Holland-based gamelan group Marsudi Raras, who offer public-licensed and full-resolution gamelan samples.Kyahi Paridjata gamelan, a 200+ year-old holding of the Museum Nusantara in Delft, is played by Marsudi Raras each Saturday… on the off chance I ever make it to Delft, I’m going to have to check this out.

Anyhow, back to Grid Wards. After checking out over 250 individual samples of Kyahi Paridjata, I settled on 36, all I needed to replace the original sounds. Technically, 37 sounds are needed, but I discovered early on that whatever sound was assigned to the “auto-fire” function would quickly grow annoying, so I had begun using a file of audio silence for this purpose.

Commonly, improvisational music is thought of in terms of constructive teamwork. An improv ensemble works together to build upon one another’s soundings, with listening being a key ingredient for players who wish to contribute something worthwhile. It is a rare work, such as John Cage’s “Indeterminacy,” or Al Margolis’ more recent “An Innocent, Abroad”; where sound elements and players are unaware of one another– it is far more uncommon that the players to be directly antagonistic.

But that’s how it was with my improvisational “partner,” the Grid Wars engine, constantly putting out a stream of cold-hearted villainous space creatures focused entirely on my destruction. How odd it was to find myself locked into this strange duet– with one half of my brain calmly allowing numerous enemies to sound into existence to create a more interesting ensemble, and the other half screaming “KILL! KILL! KILL!”

And of course, I had to pay attention to both. My enemy had to be listened to, and often, allowed to continue existing for the sake of the piece. On the other hand, if I wanted the piece to continue, I had to slaughter parts of the ensemble in order to survive.

In short, not exactly your usual performing environment.

In the end, I was pleased with many of the results, and decided to share my favorite recording with you– an 8-minute gamelan-sampled adventure pitting man against machine hilariously* titled “Game-lan”. Enjoy!

* Actual humor may vary.

DaveX on Nashville’s WRVU-FM!

November 18, 2007

As you may recall, I was invited by WRVU-FM host Tony Youngblood to contribute a regular feature to his experimental program ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible. I finally got around to actually following through on this, and have whipped up a 10-minute mix worthy of Commodore Vanderbilt himself.

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This recurring feature, which I’m calling “It’s Too Damn Startling!” for lack of a better name, will center around a single theme or idea related to experimental music. This first instance was inspired by a recent e-mail exchange with School of the Art Institute of Chicago professor Eric Leonardson. In response to my questions about the nature of his “Locofone” broadcast, he said:“I’ve been touting the idea of radio as a medium better for ‘evoking the imagination’ than providing “information”.

Leonardson’s take on radio is very similar to how I approach my own show– less a clearinghouse for music trivia or hits, and more of an opportunity to bewilder and inspire.

Too many words hasten failure
Cannot compare to keeping quiet”

-Tao Te Ching, translated by Derek Lin

I am making this first edition of “It’s Too Damn Startling!” available for download, but I highly encourage you to hear it in it’s natural environment as well. ~ORE~ airs this morning, from 2 a.m. until 4 a.m., CST. Enjoy it live, or check the archived stream later on. Regardless, enjoy!

Triplets!

November 16, 2007

I suppose you’re all wondering what’s been keeping me so quiet lately– I missed blogging at least one day now– so much for NanooBlopPopoo or whatever it’s called. My dog had her puppies this morning, three healthy little creatures intent on doing little more than sleep and eat.

So yeah, after after 5 years, we finally have confirmation that our dogs aren’t gay.

Here’s a couple pictures. Feel free to leave naming suggestions in the comments section!

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Go away, please.

November 12, 2007

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In the spirit of blogger-helping-blogger, I’ve written a little something for my good friend at “Hollow Tree Experimental Music Report,” who has been quite busy maintaining his stable of blogs lately.

As much as I like you, I have to ask that you go away now to read it– but feel free to open in a new window if you think you’ll be lonely without me.

Expectations

November 11, 2007

It’s funny how time sneaks up on us. Here I am, badgered with every conceivable variation of people’s endless fascination with it being 11/11 today, and I almost failed to realize that in just over three days it will be STARTLING MONIKER’s one-year anniversary.

Duuuude.

Yeah, I know. I can hardly believe I’ve managed to stick with this for a year either. Like many of my projects, STARTLING MONIKER exists in the kind of push-pull relationship– usually caught between guilt and duty; but every so often, ambition and resignation.

Before I properly began writing this blog, I had the vague idea that I would enjoy sharing some of the sound-related ideas that seem to pop in my head each day. At the time I had been thinking a lot about my formative listening experiences, both recorded and natural. In my mental picture of the blog, I envisioned me writing mainly about these topics.

As all creative projects are wont to do, though, STARTLING MONIKER took on its own life– less a personal diary of sound musings, and more of a tightly-integrated facet of my radio broadcasts and my own musical work. I was surprised to see this happening, and am still surprised that many of the stories I fully expected to share within the first week of writing are still untold.Why I continue to hold these back, I cannot fully understand.

I’m fairly sure that one good reason is simply that such stories are difficult to tell. The vaporous nature of memory leaves too many gaps, especially in the area of sound. I know what it felt like to hear The Dixie Cups’ version of “Iko Iko;” with its alien lyric, oddly moaned “oh-oh” backgrounds, primitive percussion, and handclaps. What I can’t seem to describe is how it made me feel– confused, excited, swept up in something impenetrable?

My listening habits were equally strange. “Iko Iko” was in heavy rotation alongside the radio edit of Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” following my instant obsession with this song after hearing it on local radio one evening in the family car. I remember my dad calling my grandfather, who was by then a long-time record collector, to inquire about the name of the band who did this song. Of course, I soon learned an 18-minute version existed, though I wouldn’t own a copy of this unwieldy beast until high school.

You kids growing up with p2p have it SO easy.

For me, exposure to music arrived piecemeal, and often without context. To my elementary-school mind, The Surfaris’ “Wipeout” existed in the same time frame as Young MC’s “Bust-a-Move,” a tape I once borrowed from a friend, now deceased. My naivety about the origins and histories of these songs (and others) worked to my advantage– the unexamined connections, proto-mashups, and mental associations have led to all sorts of neat conclusions– and indirectly, to my enjoyment of experimental and difficult music.

It’s expectation and assumption that keeps us from greater ideas, and new paths, whether we’re blogging or listening to music. Hopefully, there will be a lot more wonderfully unexpected things to come in our next trip around the sun! –DaveX

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 11/10/07

November 10, 2007

I’m getting off to a tiny bit of a late start this week, as I was trying to sleep as much as possible before I came in for the show. I’ve been a bit under-the-weather, and had to debate with myself whether I would come in at all. That’s the peril of such an odd-timed broadcast, so I hope this week is worth it!

I’m not in much of a writing mood this morning– I’m a bit worried about one of my dogs, who injured her eye somehow yesterday. First thing on today’s agenda is getting over to the vet… until then, my heart’s just not in the blogging. I’ll keep up the playlist, but don’t look for anything fantastic to happen otherwise.

Update: My dog’s eye is doing a bit better– the vet says its a simple eye infection, and not injured. Some meds should clear everything up. As for the downloadable mp3 of the show, it didn’t come through quite as well; it starts midway through Sabrina Siegel’s “Flutter: Embodiments,” though I’m not exactly sure in exactly which track. Enjoy it, and be sure to support the artists and labels listed below! –DaveX

Bob Marsh, Theresa WongLive at the Luggage Gallery
Sabrina Siegel – Flutter (no.1)
Sabrina Siegel – Flutter (no.2)
Sabrina Siegel – Flutter (no.3)
Sabrina Siegel – Flutter (no.4)
Eddie the Rat — Lip-synching At Zero Gravity
Eddie the Rat — Calling Mr. Stratosphere
Bitrate — Disinformation

–following tracks taken from Public Guilt / Epicene Sound Systems / Underadar release “Untitled,” a 3-CD set–

Guilty Connector — H0wling at the Moon 39.2 As Emerges From the Depths of Ikoma Yama First Ikoma Attack
Teeth Collection – 1 Untitled Track
Wether — Sting & Sweat
Thurston Moore — dickraymakerz

–END “Untitled” 3-CD set–

Scott R. Looney — Rumination
Scott R. Looney — Janus
Scott R. Looney — Intermittent
Scott R. Looney — IuxtasEnTempore
Jess Rowland – The Waves Sound Sometimes Close and Sometimes Far Away


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