Archive for February, 2012

Bach + Byrnes: Discussion 1

Posted in Duos, Resources, Themes with tags , on February 29, 2012 by glenncbach

Believe the hype: the egg sandwich at Euro Pane is delicious.

Ted and I met for lunch at Euro Pane in Pasadena on February 28, 2012. (The actual location was the third of the sites I charted on Street View.)


Ted Byrnes

We discussed our recent moves (Eagle Rock to Pasadena for Ted, Long Beach to Mar Vista for me), percussion, and ideas about improvisation and approach.


Chilly Pasadena sky

An edited transcript will follow. In the meantime, a couple of themes have developed:

* Density

* Trace/Stencil (a visual resource guides the improvisation, then is removed/erased, leaving the resulting sound events to stand on their own)

* Studio ambience


Pasadena ambience

Bach + Byrnes: some questions

Posted in Duos, Themes with tags on February 28, 2012 by glenncbach

What can be identified as a percussive instrument?

Can free improv co-exist with a separate “track” of sound-to-film performance? And what if that visual stream is no longer present, leaving the sonic trace of its disembodied soundtrack?

What of the slippage between what we perceive to be true and our ability to map it? Between what we hear in our heads and what can be translated into sound?

Bach + Schlarb: the recording factor

Posted in Duos, Resources, Themes with tags , , , on February 28, 2012 by glenncbach


What role does recording play in where we place ourselves along the composition/improvisation continuum?

Will the fidelity of the recording(s) determine the direction of the project?

Can the studio as place be incorporated into the raw material of the project?

Glenn Bach and Chris Schlarb

Posted in Duos with tags , on February 25, 2012 by glenncbach

Chris Schlarb at (photo by John Kannenberg)

Chris Schlarb will join me in the second installment of Atlas Sets, with an initial meeting on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, at Hole Mole.

I first met Chris in 2000 when I shared a gig with his band Create! as part of an experimental music series at Sacred Grounds coffeehouse in San Pedro. Chris brought me on to jam with Scott Cornish and Andrew Pompey for his series, Notice, at Fendi’s Cafe in Long Beach. I later curated I Heart Lung in, and Chris used some of my sounds for his Twilight & Ghost Stories album on Asthmatic Kitty. I’ve followed his work closely (I curated a live performance of his soundtrack for the Nightsky videogame for the 2009 Slow Sound festival), and we’ve been friends for a while, but have never directly collaborated until now.

I’m looking forward to what I’m sure will be a wide-ranging discussion of music, practice, and inspiration.

More to follow.

Euro Pane

Posted in Duos, Maps, Themes with tags , on February 23, 2012 by glenncbach

What is actually here?

Ted picked Euro Pane for our lunch meeting on Tuesday, February 28. GoogleMaps reveals the above image to represent the Street View of the bakery’s address.  What I believe to be the actual location is several storefronts up Colorado Boulevard, on the other side of Mentor Avenue.  The gap between the two locations, the virtual suggestion and the actual site, reveals a lapse in the expected preciseness of contemporary mapping software, another example of digital doubt similar to our encounters with GPS devices that tell us to turn left when there is no left.


This is probably it…

This afternoon, in my lecture on Digital Audio, I was sharing with my students the perpetual gap between the infinitely continuous analog representation of a sound and the discrete, one-snapshot-at-a-time approximation of the digital sample of that analog waveform. How the fudging of a single amplitude’s location to the nearest available digital slot represents a compromise and a subsequent introduction of noise into the original signal. We identify a point in space and time, and we map it as best we can.

So, we begin with an imprecision, some noise added to the system.

The photograph at the top of this post was taken by a Google camera car in September 2011. Has a new business taken over the vacant furniture store or travel agency? (Did Euro Pane move, or open a new outlet, like Starbucks?) Certainly the cars parked on the street are no longer there. Trees have grown and have been trimmed. Cracks deepened in the sidewalk. Asphalt worn down beneath the weight of five months of vehicle traffic.

At what point do we abandon the map and make our own way? How far can we zoom in before we lose our bearings? What potential lies in the spaces lost to the periphery of our attention? What noise there, and how to hear it?

5×5 (score by Ted Byrnes and Ari DeSano)

Posted in Duos, Scores with tags , on February 18, 2012 by glenncbach

x 5
x 5

10 mins
-soft textures, start with some long tones
-becoming more aggressive over the course
-staccato ‘stabs’
-theme begins to develop, hinted towards

10 mins
-theme fully realized, played out and through, thoroughly composed
-improv begins, as a branch grown from the theme
-solo accordion with electronic accompaniment at end of section

10 mins
-low percussion joins accordion – mainly floor placed cymbals, etc. ‘aggressively pastoral’
-evolves into more aggressive percussion
-percussion solo at end of section (with staccato electronic accompaniment – so, read percussion with accompaniment)

10 mins
-everyone begins section together
-completely free and open improv – multiple feels – staccato, density, lack of density – all explored

10 mins
-THEME played joyously and rambunctiously!!!
-in repetition, textural improvisation throughout
-disintegrating in on itself to a forgone conclusion

CM18 (Graphic)

Posted in Duos, Scores, Themes with tags , , on February 18, 2012 by glenncbach

score by Christopher May, A Scratch Orchestra: Draft Constitution

The score Ted and I used for our 5 minute performance as part of Scratch Orchestra: Pilgrimage from Scattered Points. The notes for the score:

Coloured lines in four colours zigzag along in apparently random fashion like erratic markings on a temperature chart. Sometimes three are interwoven, sometimes two. They proceed from left to right through five systems. Sometimes a line abruptly changes colour. The following is a description of the sequence of events: Top system, line 1: green to yellow to red. 2: blue. 3: (starts two thirds along) green. Second system, 1: red. 2: blue to yellow. 3: green. third system, 1: red (ends halfway along). 2: yellow. 3: green. Fourth system, 1: (starts after an inch or so) blue. 2: yellow 3: green to red. Bottom system, 1: blue (ends a couple of inches before the end of the system). 2: (starts halfway along) green. 3: red.

Obviously we were working from a photocopy of the score as it appeared in the book, and so all color information was lost. What happens when you approach a structure with only some of the information? At what point does the score disappear and pure improvisation take over? Was the score merely a node of data to inform the context of the performance?

Glenn Bach and Ted Byrnes

Posted in Duos with tags , , on February 18, 2012 by glenncbach

Ted Byrnes as part of Sound. at Fiesta Hall, Pilgrimage from Scattered Points.

The first set in Atlas Sets has been scheduled: Tuesday, February 28, with Ted Byrnes in Pasadena. I met Ted in Eagle Rock at the rehearsal for the Scratch Orchestra event sponsored by SASSAS. After pairing up for one of the small scores, we noticed an instant musical connection. The event itself was very successful and a lot of fun. Ted later invited me and Steuart Liebig to join him and Ari DeSano in the performance of their score, “5×5,” for another SASSAS-sponsored event at Kings Road Park Pavilion in West Hollywood.

Ted and I have been planning a duo jam ever since, and now our planning takes on extra layers of context as part of Atlas Sets.

More info, and documentation, to follow.

Atlas Sets

Posted in Structure on February 16, 2012 by glenncbach

Atlas Sets is the latest, and most musically-oriented, installment of the Atlas series.

For my 50th birthday in 2015, I plan to release a box set of recordings from collaborations with my musician friends. Beginning with a planning/brainstorming lunch meeting, each collaboration will be an experiment in performance, structure, intention, and the creative process.

I plan to include a companion catalog of the various drawings, sketches, notes, snapshots, scores, and session details from each project, all documented here in what I hope will be a noteworthy collective conversation about music, place, collaboration, community, and artistic inspiration.