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Field Recording

Saturday night, no plans and not much spare dinero. So, home projects it is. Fired up my “rig.” Ended up tweaking a nice arpeggiated patch on the Korg MS2000R. Meanwhile, my dinner is done cooking in the background. So’s I got me to the kitchen to have have’s me some chow. It’s at this point I notice the parakeets (or at least one of them, Azul) chortling along with the synth. I’ve noticed this before; they like short notes with a sharp filter on it. Probably sounds just a little like a tweet to them perhaps? Just from a very, very large bird with impeccable timing.

I put the Tascam DR-03 recorder on top of the cage, more or less right over the birds. The bird song is off to one side not by design; it must have been slightly off center. When the recording was amplified to bring it up to respectable levels, you notice the mics were pointing at the fridge by accident, thus the compressor noise I didn’t really bother to remove, it adds to the authenticity… yeah, that’s it. Authenticity.

So call it a modern twist on a new-agey “nature” recording. Whomever’s gonna listen to the non-stop arp, some chattering birds, and me eating dinner for five minutes is anybody’s guess. I will, though. Simple is good.

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I’ve been looking to do something musical with others locally for ages, but it’s just a desert here for me. This town is actually a very musical place but it’s all country, heavy rock, with some folk and hip-hop mixed in. Our regional classical symphony just closed its doors by way of financial collapse after decades of presence, due to the economy being the way it is; otherwise “classical” would have been added to that list of the usual suspects. So what my town has “everything but” the styles of what I’m interested in.

It seems there’s no synth-based fellas around my age with similar musical interests in the area. So I’ll just keep working on the synth stuff solo. Maybe random guitar stuff with a local rock-n-roll buddy of mine, but that happens about once per decade. More likely with a like-minded collaborator from Pennsylvania and/or the electro-music gang via Skype and Dropbox. But I’m trying to think locally musically, like local food (sort of a weak analogy here).

The goal is to round out my musical diet, and the best move is to try different musical thingees outside my comfort zone. Off to the local craigslist.org musician posts we go… and the usual suspects were there as expected. However one ad did catch my interest. I’m not gonna go into the ad. What matters is the outcome of my answering the ad.

I’m avoided the collaboration portion altogether by signing up as the bass player for the pit band in a local community theatre project (thus avoiding all that messy business of new-band-member ego-clashing). The name of the community group is D.R.E.A.M. Freedom Revival (DFR). The music is already written by somebody else; I’ve got a few weeks to learn parts for 5 songs. It’s enough of a musical challenge (since I can’t read music); it’s outside of my comfort zone (bass players have to be spot-on, can’t hide behind technology!); and I feel like I’m involved, doing something positive. Which feels good musically and otherwise.

Here is the direct link to DFR’s blog: http://dreamfreedomrevival.org/
Or CLICK HERE for their Facebook page.

This is a recent rehearsal recorded on a Sony PCM-D50 field recorder in the center of the rehearsal space. I’m on bass plus singing a little bit (that’s not me singing here). The song is entitled, “The Time Is Now.” You’ll hear everything you’d expect to hear from a community theater practice (mistakes, direction, etc). Sidebar: wish I had an acoustic electric fretless–it would sound great in the mix.

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