Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Temporary Field

Another collection of recordings. This time it's a series of short instrumental improvisations on a beautiful Bontempi chord organ (looks a little like this one, and of the distant sort Daniel Johnston uses on 'Yip/Jump Music'). The fan/motor on this thing is so noisy, and I think when I first got it I never thought I would record with it because of this failing, but after a while I grew to love it and of course there is no reason in the world not to record with it. If anything, there's more reason. That background hum of the fan fundamentally shapes the sound (as well as, y'know actually producing the sound), and is an irrevocable part of the object's character. It's like its heartbeat. Or its lungs, if we're being anatomically accurate with our analogies. I love the sound of it starting up, the clunky switch and the slow build-up as the fan does its thing. Keeping the keys held down while starting up leads to a lovely fade-in effect, and the reverse effect when shutting it down. 

I bought  it in the SVP a few years ago, and have since passed it on to Dave, who I'm sure will get much use out of it. In fact, this particular chord organ has already made appearances in some of his Raising Holy Sparks albums. 

These recordings were very straightforward; a matter of just deciding to sit down and do something for an hour. The only editing was for the sake of cutting out the clicking sounds of switching on and off the recorder. 

The prints that can be bought along with the music are experiments I made with a macro lens, out of date film and some nicely coloured objects; plastics and the like. They're pretty much blatant attempts to ape Wynn Bullock's beautiful 'colour light abstractions'. I made a post with these and more photos at the time, viewable here and here

 'Temporary Field' occurred to me as a name in the same way the decision to sit down and record, and take photographs occurred to me. Which is I don't know what. I suppose it refers to the moment of having an idea or an urge and then following through on it immediately. Ideas like this feel temporary; 'motivation' and 'inspiration' are blurred together sometimes; often it's hard to tell which came first. I see ideas as something like the worlds found at the top of Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree; the ideas are there all the time, constantly shifting and rotating above the door into the creative mind, or whatever it is. Each time you open the door there's a different idea, and then it's just a matter of stepping through and seeing what's in there. You inhabit it for a time and then come back out in time for tea. Or maybe you don't and you never leave it. No more tea for you then.