So last night was the first Phasmatodea down at Bickett Gallery as part
of the 919noise show. Phasmatodea is me and badger
All in all, it went pretty well. No technical problems and no
major mind exploding gaffes or anything.
We got started fairly early, being 4 groups (all duo’s interestingly…)
with lots of gear to setup/teardown. So we started around 9:20 or
I was a bit nervous, not having done this in ten years or so. But
jumped right into things. One thing I’ve noticed when doing this
kind of improv stuff, is if I’m nervous, I tend to be a bit more
prolific in ideas. Or more accurate, I tend to jump from one idea
to another quicker, where normally I might let an idea or motif
settle in a bit more. I think its possibly a subconscious, overreaction
to trying to avoid being too repetitive. In other words, I was being
a bit more noodly that usual. But it seemed to workout.
Since some other folks actually heard, saw this session, I
figure I’ll dive into some details of what I was doing.
First piece was kind of a drony pulse. In my head it was kind of
a vaguely ambient minimal space blues, but I suspect that wasn’t
perceptible. Used the new line6 fm4 on the seekwah setting to get
a sound with a nice pulse. At various point there was also the
digitech delay, and the boss phaser kicked in to create a nice
semi-organic warbly sound. I like warbly sounds. There was a loop
going that was mostly just the pulse as well. Ended with a nice
fadeout and some reverse delay noodling. badger
had some nice loops going, and a cool almost telephone ring
like sound/riff going at one point that I liked a lot.
Before we started we had decided that it would be best to try to
do two longish pieces. With the second possibly being more of a
prepare or tabletop guitar/stick thing. Aka, throw the stick on
your lap and attack it with implementents. That was basically the
only thing we “planned”. Turns out I didn’t even follow that plan ;->
Started the second piece by attacking the guitar with a small polished
steel rod, process though the octave effect on the digitech space station.
Built up a nice loop of kind of a sonic ebb and tide, and let that
percolate in some form for most of the piece. badger was created
long drones using the ebow on his stick. At some point, I decided
my theme was going to be 8bit video game sounds, and started making
liberal use of a decimator sound on the space station, and the step
phaser with the speed cranked up into ringmod land. If you heard
sounds that started off as blips and then morphed into atari 2600
explosions, thats how ;->
I kind of fell back on a few of my aural cliches doing the second
piece. Namely heavy use of the reverse delay, and the use of the
upright acoustic bass sound on the guitar synth ( I like that
sound way too much…). For the most part, the acoustic bass bits
were heavily processed and probably unrecognizable.
One of my favorite parts was abusing the acoustic bass sound
plus the dod “meat box” (aka, a subharmonic synth thing… makes
everything sound huge) and the reverse delay. This was the section
where I had the light fixtures rattling a bit.
Ended with a slowly decaying sample of something or another
that was decimated, iirc.
Performance wise I was a bit nervous and kind of subconsciously
did a few odd things. Namely repeatedly turning away from the
audience and facing the wall. I tried to stop that whenever
I realized I was doing it though. Also, me and badger should
probably of setup on opposite sides, since I spent a lot of
the showing working pedals and what not on the right, facing
the wall. I only occasionally turned directly towards steve,
usually when he introduced some new motif (habit… I tend to
do that, again, mostly unconsciously, to kind of signal
“cool, new thing, I hear it…”).
I also only managed to look up at the audience once or
twice during the whole set.
Probably should of had a clock or timer of some sort so
we could see how we were doing on time. Since I had very
little concept of passing of time once we started playing.
I missed most of the “7 Years In Space” set since I was
chatting folks up, but I’ve seen them play before. Sounded
pretty good though.
“To Kill a Pretty Bourgeoisi” was up next. Very nice set,
despite some technical problems. Sort of reminded me of
Portishead but a bit more ambient and sonic.
“Harm Stryker” was up last. I was expecting a loud noise set,
but it was more of a laid back atmospheric thing. Pretty
cool. Interesting seeing them reference neatly drawn diagrams
of effect settings and whatnot, considering i tend to the
“randomly spin the knob” and start playing approach. Did
some gear geek talk after the show of course. Got home
about 2:30 or so.
All in all, pretty successful, and now that first show is
out of the way.