Tuesday, July 03, 2007

EXPLANATION OF "EXPERIMENTAL" SHOW

A week or so ago, I played a show that differed from a typical "BB/SS" show. Normally, the sounds veer towards a country-ambient hybrid, with multiple guitars creating a uniquely humming listen. This time, I decided to explore drone music.


I first started with my own creation, the "drone guitar." The guitar is a double necked Epiphone, one neck a 12string, one neck a 6. I tuned the 6string to an open E, flicked the selector so that only the 6string would be audible, and strummed an E on the 12string, varying the voicings every 30 - 40 seconds. The open tuned 6string resonated with what I was strumming on the 12string, and creating wave on wave of strange floating tones. No attack, just hovering swells of golden notes. The effect was achieved without use of any effect. Wait, that's kind of a crazy sentence. The effect was achieved without use of an effect pedal, I mean.


To underpin the drone, I spread two synthesizers around the 4 corners of the room. Each synthesizer ran into a single amp, which was then daisy chained to the next amp. The effect was a sort-of "surround sound," although to me it seemed like the walls were humming. In addition, the modulation of each keyboards bounced off the amp to which it was daisy-chained--- creating a sort-of ping-pong of microtones, bouncing all above the blaring "E" note that had been taped down on each keyboard.

The show started with just me and "drone guitar" for several minutes. Then Sam Sanford turned on the keyboards and amplifiers spread through the room. After letting the drone settle deeper, a 5-piece band joined me on stage:

Jordan Johns on drums
Sam Sanford on bass
Willis McClung on pedal steel
Joey Koehl on lead guitar
Paul Sisler on dobro

We droned further and played a 4 song medley : two songs of my own ("The End of the World" and "Bright Blue Dream") and the last two songs on the Beatles "Revolver" ("Got to Get You Into My Life" and "Tomorrow Never Knows"). Sam contributed harmony vocals on all tracks.

Overall, the set felt strange, new, and decently satisfying. I think we can certainly do better, and will, but I ws especially happy to try a number of bizarre ideas and have them even marginally succeed. A new template has been set, and we now have an experience to build on if we wish to further pursue these more "experimental" type shows.


Here are some links to write-ups of the event:

Austinist
Gorilla VS Bear
My man Dave


Links to artists involved:
BILL BAIRD AND SILENT SUNSET
SAM SANFORD
JOEY KOEHL
JORDAN JOHNS
PAUL SISLER

2 comments:

PAUL SISLER said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PAUL SISLER said...

this was fun,thanks bill