Martin Parker

Thanks to Julien's need for some distortion, I discovered Logic 9's amp cabinet modeler today and think it has the potential to sound pretty good. I sneakily put some of Rick's bass through it while no one was listening and think I might make a mix of Julien's piece with some of these sounds if I get a chance before the week ends (notice, I'm not promising here but really would like to have a stab at it if there is time).

Julien's piece juxtaposes material similar to Bernard Hermann's score for Psycho with echos from American minimalism. The contrasts worked well. At times the band really found the slippery madness of falling from a New York high-rise in some of their playing. A difficult thing for the band must be "representing" danger whilst remaining in control.

I found working on Julian's piece less stressful than Amble's but it was not without its challenges. We ran everything through Apple's Logic 9 and didn't go anywhere near MaxMSP. This meant that all settings were reproducible and storable (or so I thought) but it turns out that Logic's Midi Learn function does have a tendency to forget things too, plus I've discovered that I have a problem with my Behringer BCF2000 which means it is no longer safe to gig with it.

Anyway, on the matter of remaining in control whilst going wild, I noticed that it took Julien quite a while to get the settings he wanted for the electronics elements and I think that this was because of a timid approach to fader control. Once we'd assigned faders to settings within the patch it would have been good to really throw the settings around to get some musical gestures that worked well. As live electronics performers, I think it is important that we are able to "perform" in similar ways to the acoustic players and this requires the ability to exaggerate, to put your body into the music and not just stare at a computer screen while the music is going on.

We struggled to get a presentable mix of the live electronics and instruments on the day so it is over to Julien to spend some studio time getting the piece to sound the way he wants, I'm looking forward to hearing what he comes up with.

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