Karen Gwyer

Parallel Anthology, Whitechapel Late show Live Recordings.

Hello,

I’ve been busy working on several live projects recently and thought I’d take a moment to tell you about one of them. Along with Patten and Karen Gwyer I was asked to devise and perform interpretations of two folk songs originally recorded back in the 50’s and now out of copyright. It’s part of a project inspired by musicologist, record collector, and artist Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. Eileen Simpson and  Ben White who organised the show have collected parallel public domain versions of the anthology recordings not closed down by copyright – from non-attributed folk versions, to commercial recordings whose proprietary interests have expired.

For the first tune I stuck a contact mic onto a hi-hat and played it with my hands, a bow, and a vibrating Cappuccino foamer. The sound of the contact mic is fed to max where it goes through a plug-in i’ve been working on which can make chordal clouds of sound.

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Our Goodman – Leafcutter John, live at Whitechapel Gallery.

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Our Goodman – Originally recording – Thomas Moran, 1954, Ireland

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For the second song I used a wooden box with a contact-mic inside it. The outside of the box has lots of sound making things attached to it. For the show I attached a very brilliant music box which is programmable using punched cards. I transcribed the melody of the original song, punched it out and again fed all the sound to my max patches which were used here to re-arrange the original melody.

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No Sir (Oh no John!) – Leafcutter John, live at Whitechapel Gallery.

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No Sir (Oh no John!) – Originally recording – Emily Bishop 1952, England.

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It was a fun show, thanks Eileen and Ben!

For more information about the Parallel Anthology project look here.

J x.

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Leafcutter John at the Whitechapel Gallery Fri 30th July

Sunday, July 25th, 2010 | Live Shows | No Comments

Open Music Archive presents

PARALLEL ANTHOLOGY

Friday 30 July

Whitechapel Gallery

77-82 Whitechapel High Street

London E1 7QX

8pm – 11pm

£7 (£6 concessions)

out-of-copyright versions of songs from Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music

covered, reworked and remixed

featuring exclusive Parallel Anthology sets by:

Leafcutter John

patten

Karen Gwyer

plus:

out-of-copyright/copyleft Open Music Archive DJ set

The 1952 release of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music was a compilation bringing together a selection of Smith’s personal collection of 78rpm folk records. As such, it was effectively a bootleg and operated under the legal radar until it was digitised, re-mastered and fully licensed in 1997. The recordings in the anthology are those from the early days of the record industry, a time which saw the establishment of a system that fixed collectively-authored folk lyrics and melodies to individual authors in an attempt to control the flow of this previously fluid cultural material.

Artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White have collected alternative public domain versions of anthology recordings not closed down by copyright; from non-attributed folk versions, to commercial recordings whose proprietary interests have expired.

For this event musicians and producers have been invited to perform new covers and remixes of the collected material for a night of plugged and unplugged performances.

The project re-envisages Smith’s anthology as a series of nodes in a larger network and employs a kind of sonic virology – tracing songs across spatial and temporal distances. A parallel collection is proposed: a new roots and future anthology, collecting and generating rich material that remains open for use and reuse.

Free Parallel Anthology source CD gift will be presented on entry.

more info:

http://www.openmusicarchive.org/parallelanthology

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