Monday, October 15, 2007
Collage for Girl With Clouds
collage for girl with clouds
volume 3 number 8
according to Random House's Word Menu
musique concrete is defined as a recorded montage
of electronically manipulated and transformed natural sounds
presented as a composition.
there was one giant leap for radiokind in the mid-sixties,
the briefest of moments when it was acceptable to add
bits of musique concrete into your pop songs
and still have them played on the airwaves.
most notably it was the beatles of course,
(who at that time could do no wrong)
who were able to sneak in conversation, laughter,
backward sounds, radio noise, and other
musical non sequitur into the pop vernacular
and still be appreciated by housewives everywhere.
musique concrete was born in the 1940's by a small group
of mostly french avante garde composers headed by Pierre Schaeffer.
it was never "popular" but did manage to create outrage.
one night spent at the zappa abode,
frank had put on a record from Edgar Varese,
(I think it was poeme electronique)
one of frank's favorite pieces of musique concrete.
he wanted to introduce me to music
which he found inspiring.
as with most of this type music the sounds seemed random;
electronic and organic.
frank had two large dogs who were barking outside.
I said, "the dogs fit right in, frank."
frank said, "you're beautiful, adrian."
I have always had a soft spot for musique concrete works
and began including them in my solo records from the very start
with a track called hot sun on lone rhino.
others include (my favorite) cruelty to animals from mr. music head
things you hit with a stick, nude wrestling with a christmas tree,
and the return of the chicken from belewprints,
pause from side one,
cinemusic and the red bull rides a boomerang
across the blue constellation from side three.
for the bears song girl with clouds from rise and shine
I wanted to enhance the lyrical imagery of a daydreamer,
someone who always seemed distracted,
always had their head in the clouds.
the poster child for ADD.
voila! time for musique concrete.
"found sounds" and bits of tapes randomly spliced together
are quintessential ingredients for such a piece,
and when blended into the background of an otherwise "pop" song
it can create a sense of distraction.
so I put together this little collage from things
we had at hand in the studio control room:
some backwards snippets of various bears songs,
a drunk hillbilly comedian, Japanese folk music,
a percussion ensemble in concert, and my favorite,
a somber explanation of an SSL console meant for
recording engineers trying to figure out such things.
then we mixed this track into the background of
girl with clouds.
the collage was never meant to be heard on its own
but I think it has an interesting moment or two
so I'm including it here.
engineer: rich denhart
assistant: dan harjung
recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis.
on November 28, 1987