Thursday, April 19, 2007

preferably a #2 soft...

they may not be the type of japanese fans I wish I had a million of but they are the type of japanese fans I have often used as percussion instruments*. on records such as house of cards, bumpity bump, and bird in a box those were the main percussion sounds. back in the 80's when performing in san francisco most groups (talking heads, krimson) stayed in japan town at a lovely hotel called the Miyako. it was everyone's favorite then and still a great place to stay now. right down the street is a small mall called japan center. I would always stock up on these fans at japan center. you see, if you tap them with a pencil they don't seem to make much of a sound, but if you put them right up to your ear and tap they have a remarkable variety of tics, tacks, and thumps. you can play them all around the sides, on the fan itself, or even on the stems; all different sounds. and they sound even better on a vintage stereo AKG C-12 microphone like the one I've always recorded my vocals with. I move them around while I play to create natural stereo effects. and you play them with a pencil! they're too delicate for even the lightest drumstick. the trick is finding the right fans. each one sounds unique. I wonder what the japanese store clerks must have thought of the strange man who would come in every year or so and spend an hour tapping on their fan selection with a pencil...

*more about odd percussion choices coming up in the next download pygmies, an unreleased track loaded with oddities including a frightening-sounding pig.


  1. Your just a little creative, ha.

  2. The sound meister reveals his secrets! It's fascinating to discover the unusual and creative ways you choose to create your outstanding art. Impressive to say the least. Thank you again(and again... and again... and...)

  3. Hi A,
    Hey, i called recently and left a message on your cell, if you would like to connect, please call me. There are interesting (positive) things to talk about. 925 274 9731 I recently resigned my President gig with a college in Sacramento.
    Hey, A, I love the blog. But man, I don't like the term "blog", it sounds obese to me or something. Anyway, I enjoyed reading your tales! Maybe we'll talk soon?

  4. Perhaps it's just me, but when you said you would tap on fans with a pencil, I pictured you grabbing different sized and shaped members of the audience and assaulting them with a pointed stick!!!

    Now if that winds up on a future project, I'd like a credit please.

    Thanks for the countless hours of sonic revelry.

  5. a.
    if you were using a Stereo Microphone to record your fans, then that would be a C-24, wouldnt it? the C-12 is the regular, mono version, and you would need 2, panned hard left and right.
    a technical observation, kengineer style :)

    im totaly digging your blog. loving the stories. and you mentioning ken from time to time. comming up on a year... gadz.

    take care. come back to florida.

    ps) i cant believe platt left his number...