inevitably, every new HIO recording becomes my favorite thing we've done, and the new one -- provisionally entitled metal elephant salvage (after the max ernst painting "celebes" which t. horn said he was reminded of by the sound of a bowed cymbal with a contact mic on it, run through a phase shifter and overdrive) -- is no exception. hickey has already (and quite hilariously, as is his wont) described the session on his blog, but that won't stop me putting my two cents in.
we recorded at the lena pope home's marty leonard chapel, where i'd heard joey carter play solo vibes at a wedding a few months ago. terry and hickey brought along several recording devices, at least a couple of which functioned sporadically, so we have five minutes of video currently available on facebook (only from a link on my wall at present; gotta love fb's foibles), and the full 51 minutes of audio, which will, i suppose, be posted to virb.com in the fullness of time.
the first five minutes or so are just me and big marcus warming up while terry and hickey get the recording gear situated. i'm playing the distressed autoharp and the aforementioned cymbal with contact mics attached. the cymbal sounds like _the thunder of god_ when played with the violin bow, or when the wind-up toys are released on it. i like the way my "main axe" keeps changing. during this sesh, i also played a cat-catching cage that charles the soundguy provided, with metal spring-loaded candle holders, and a bag of pot lids that terry bought from the thrift store.
marcus plays the diddley bow and discovered how to make feedback through the tee-tiny amp, which sounds like flutes on the recording. he also played the kids' toy flutes, terry's new instrument (aka "the box"), and the contents of terry's big suitcase full of percussion implements. hickey plays bass guitar as well as electric gopichand, while terry performs on cigarbox guitar, turntable, digital recorder and laptop.
the performance is episodic in the same way as the 10.17.2009 house recording was, with transition points usually occurring when one of us changes instruments. around 25 minutes or so into the performance, some lena pope students and their teachers came in to watch us play, and i reprised some of the sounds from earlier in the piece, which i thought worked as a structural device. terry stopped us at around 35 minutes without a visual cue, just winding down the sound. then we talked about the instruments and let the kids handle a few of them. it must have seemed very odd to them, but i'll bet they were happy to get out of class.
charles the soundguy offered to work for free if we want to record there again -- an offer too good to pass up. our next planned live action is a recording sesh behind doc's records for a release to be entitled exile on montgomery st. (after that rolling stones album people have been talking about again). terry and i went out to shoot some photos for the cover collage today.