Sunday, August 12, 2007

Neptune Pool

neptune pool
volume 3 number 21

when asked for advice on how to compose music
Igor Stravinsky recommended placing parameters
on the size of your intentions.
for example, you might state before beginning
'this piece is for these 15 instruments, and nothing more'.
I have often tried to utilize his rule of thumb.

neptune pool began as a finger-picking exercise I devised
for the dobro which, as always, was tuned to DADDAD.
it's tricky to play the melody over the continual bass line
which is played with your thumb.
to orchestrate the music I added 14 more instruments:
piano, string bass, tympani, thundersheet*, theremin,
harp, muted trumpet, two trombone, two clarinets,
flute, oboe, and bass clarinet.
all the orchestration except piano and string bass,
was emulated with my trusty gr-700 guitar synth.

this is one of my personal favorite pieces I've written,
in fact it was played at our wedding and I would like it
played at my funeral when I'm 85 and a half.

neptune pool was only ever released as a hard-to-find
"CD-5 Maxi Single" for pretty pink rose which included
the LP version of oh daddy as well as the acoustic guitar/vocal
version of shoe salesman.

frank zappa was infamous for long 3-hour soundchecks which were often recorded to be used later. on one such occasion we were at the Hammersmith Odeon, a magnificent hall in London. the second day there frank ordered in some special instrumentation to record within the sound of the grand hall. I was asked to play a "thundersheet", a long piece of thin sheet metal with handles at one end. I was positioned in the balcony with the thundersheet hanging over the front of the balcony. at frank's signal I would gently rattle the giant beast which sounds like wind. I'm not sure where this sound ended up but you can bet its on a zappa record somewhere.

dobro, piano, string bass, guitar synth: adrian

engineer: rich denhart

assistant: dan harjung
recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis. on december 19, 1989

length: 3:04


  1. Neptune's Pool is one of my favoriteas. I was forunate enough to find the original CD-5 Maxi Single when it was first released. I am glad you chose to release this on Dust. I never understood why it wasn't on Young Lions.

  2. Sounds like this is the same version that is on the CD-5. Is that correct? I already have that so if it is a different version, I will download, otherwise, i think this will be the first download I miss since you started. Thanks for the downloads, they are fantastic and make my iPod very happy!

    I had the pleasure of also hearing you perfom this at one of your acoustic shows in Buffalo back in 1993. I believe someone from the audience shouted it out as a request and you thought for a minute and said you'd try, but you had never performed it live before. It was grreat! I hope you continue to make music until 85 1/2!


  3. that sound probably ended up on "teenage wind" from you are what you is

  4. Nice hop brewboy.

    DADDAD is expanding me brain. The gold-finches in my back yard seem like they're listening to me play, I swear they stop munching on seed and listen. I don't have a dobro, but I do have a chubby brother who had a red fox stop in his backyard, sit down, and listen/watch to him play his 12-string – for several minutes 20-30 feet away. There's something very natural and wild about this tuning. The DADDAD tuning makes me feel like I'm playing wind-chimes. Fat sound. Dope, bro.

    Great tune, too. I likes it.

    + ... I just listented to plegmcharlelledontleavemylegouthere , very funny. My old band had a song called 'lung butter' about the same subject. Mmmm, lung butter. Almost that season again.