September 2, 2014

8.30 am. I watched a video recording, made at Elstree Studios this year, of a triple-drum solo by the latest incarnation of King Crimson. Robert Fripp (the leader and only member of the group who has played in every line up since its inception in 1969) has placed the drummers in the front-line. In so doing he has reversed the usual order, in which the principal instrumentalists are situated at the front of the ensemble and the percussion section (as they are in a western orchestra, and have been in the tradition of jazz and rock n’ roll bands) at the back. Now, the drummers are positioned in the manner of percussionists in a gamelan orchestra, and are perceived to be co-equals with, rather than an accompaniment to, the guitarists and saxophonist. And, its good to see grown men of my age and older still having a bash.

The new Pedalboard III is looking good. But one shouldn’t be beguiled by appearances. A pedalboard is only as good as it sounds. All other considerations — ergonomics, weight, the quality and cost of components, their order, and the visual aesthetic — are secondary. I ‘look’ at it, first, with my ears, then with my feet, and finally with my eyes:


A piece of advice to an earnest, sparky, and up-and-coming young scholar of my acquaintance:

A lesson that I’ve learned: never compare yourself with anyone. Our particular blend of gifting and limitation — never the one without the other —  is the making of us (email, 02 08 14).

I began processing sound files for Matt. 20.15 in the background. At last, an end to the project is in sight:


Over lunchtime, I made a number of minor adjustments to Pedalboard 3. I decided to introduce, temporarily, a bit-crusher into the effects loop of the Synth Engines. But its texture was out-of-keeping with the sonorities of the other effectors. The Art/Sound  lecture preoccupied me throughout the afternoon session.

4.30 pm. I saw Magritte through the skylight:


Following practise session 1, I suspended my principle of working for no more than two sessions of a day on the same project, and returned to the Art/Sound lecture, with the Pedalboard III trials in tandem, during the evening. (Sound files continued to be stretched in the background.) Using a combination of Audacity and Sunflower, I’m now able to capture any sound that passes through my computer.  This is a significant time saver.

9.40 pm. Practise session 2.

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September 3, 2014