music box

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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