Tuesday, December 20, 2005


A Dip in the Lake

What better way to get through some recordings I am not exactly looking forward to than cleaning up for my trip home while listening? :-D   Tomorrow is a 7 hour drive to Birmingham for the rest of the holidays.  I plan to listen to a few things on the road, probably Alphabet and some unrelated opera.  I hate opera, so the only reasonable thing to do is make myself sit through it for 3 hours or whatever, and maybe I’ll like it.  

I had a pretty infuriating experience trying to record a portion of “Art is a Complaint or Do Something Else” today, as my microphone produced scratchy garbage instead of a reasonable recording.  I reduced the gain to near-zero, same problem.  Eventually it worked perfectly, after I did nothing, and then apparently realizing it needed to be consistent, the scratching reappeared (again, after I did nothing).  Very, very annoying.  

At one point, I came close to damaging my ears with feedback (and I probably REALLY annoyed my neighbors, too).  However, now that I have a feel for the appropriate volume levels, I should be able to do my own performance of One3 without much difficulty!

A Dip in the Lake: Waltzes Nos. 1 – 31
Wow, I actually detected a slight waltz rhythm among some of the recordings.  That was pretty cool, even if I don’t know if it was intentional.  Some of it was recorded at the lakeside, I believe, and others were recorded in direct public view (at a train station, I think).  It’s good to hear some human voices in these recordings, considering Chicago is a big city.  It was odd the last one lacked them!  The human sounds dominated at the beginning, but towards the end it was back to mostly traffic sounds (and a car alarm, interestingly).  A lot of recordings seemed to be just of the ambient breeze.

Freeman Etudes Nos. 17 – 24
When mentioned recordings I was not looking forward to hearing, I’m sure everyone guessed Freeman Etudes!  Fortunately, there’s only another half hour of these things to go.  I think Cage could have just written like 5 of them and my curiosity value would be satisfied...I am really running short on things to say about them.  Various tones, some long, some short, some painful.  The violin sounds depressed, I think.  I just realized that some of the shorter squeals sound a lot like the squeaking of shoes on a basketball court.  For whatever that is worth...

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