Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stop/Run up

I got a little attached to this building, an abandoned pharmacy on Dominick Street that played host to one of the most interesting, challenging and satisfying things I've done musically: Ed Devane's Stop/Run project. When I came through the door of the place for the first time I had only the vaguest idea what I would do. It involved the use of other instruments I was infinitely more familiar with ie guitar, keyboard, pedals etc than the mysterious and awe-inspiring thing Ed had constructed. I decided I wouldn't listen to any of the examples of the previous Stop/Run performances, so I could come to it with a clean slate I guess. But I soon realised (after hearing the tinkle of the door chimes and the loud buzzing from the many display-case light fixtures) that I didn't want to involve so many external instruments. By the second or third day I had completely dispelled any notions of using anything other than what I could find in the pharmacy or what sound I could coax from the instrument. Thuswise began the laborious (word of the day today) but enjoyable process of exploring the pharmacy and recording the sound of various objects found therein such as: a foot spa; several 20p coins; extractor fans; taps; fridge shelves; phone tones; door creaks and so on. Also there are several snippets of Ed assembling and testing the instrument, as well as some of my fellow participants jamming on the yoke. Eventually I ended up with a 15-minute track that I then played back at the show through the zither's speakers while playing some semi-rehearsed music on the zither-machine's strings. To my absolute unending glee, I found a cassette tape in a drawer entitled "Lipotrim - Refeeding and Maintenance" which I played over everything and which added some nice, comical (hopefully...) moments to the whole yoke. The backing track can be heard here, if you're into that sort of thing. The recording of the performance is here, if you are into that sort of thing also.

 The resulting show was excellent, yielding five entirely different responses from each act, a really interesting couple of hours indeed... A couple of videos can be found here (Triúr) and here (Bitwise+Madek).

Stop/Run is off to Cork next, then Belfast.