A few years ago, I was working on my M.A. and had almost no time to play music. In order to work on something musical when and where I could, I asked my friends to send me individual recordings that I planned to put together into tracks. I had hoped that this process would be somewhat akin to improvising, and would produce a rather coherent set of material. This isn’t really what happened, and the project sat on my computer for a long time.
A couple weeks ago, I remembered all of these tracks that I never did anything with, and I mixed them together all at once in a day or so. The result is not coherent, but has a character of its own, I think. The sounds are from places as diverse as Thailand, Korea, Scotland, Los Angeles, and Columbus, and were either sent by friends or recorded on my phone. They each bring me back to places and times that are now far gone, and I think each track has some moments that are really nice. (In particular, I am kind of blown away by the way track five came out, where this cymbal bowing that I did in five seconds made a melody that I could never have intentionally made–IN THE KEY that Aaron’s track is in.)
I’m happy to say that I am playing music again, but at the same time, my friends are as scattered as they have ever been. I think I might like to try something like this again, in order to keep exploring what Cage called “musicircus” (simultaneity of unrelated intentions) through pre-recorded material. It is a way to make music, perhaps, with far away people.
You can click on the individual tracks to read about what source material was used in each case.