Friday, April 12, 2013

Waiting for other people to come in and post, please; otherwise this class will become moribund, a word I don't use lightly (and have no idea where it comes from) -

What I've been thinking about is singing. I can't sing and can rarely even match notes with an instrument. There seems to be a disconnect between my brain and my ears; I can tell if others are in tune or not, but for myself, it seems almost impossible. So instruments have to sing for me, but I have to learn to play them 'in the small,' that is without thinking about the voice. What's external to the body - the instrument - has to be internalized; what's internal - song/voice production - has to be externalized and forgotten. I play through the clumsiness of beginning to listen and hear through my fingers in conjunction of course with 'normal' hearing. When I hear a song sung, I can't reproduce it either. I don't hear harmony well. But when I'm playing, when I'm 'within' the range of the instrument, I do well, I know the neighborhoods of the notes, the distant regions, and how to get there and wander through them musically with my fingers. It's strange, it's a different world than almost any other musician, but it's what I have to work with. I used to play with Al Wilson (the Owl in the group Canned Heat) who had incredible hearing and incredible voice; he was amazed I could do anything at all given that my tonal range was less than an octave. I worry my speaking voice might be monotone but that doesn't seem to be the case from what others tell me. On top of this I have serious tinnitus and  there doesn't seem to be any way to control that either... And sadly, Jonathan Winters just died, it just came over the air :-(

- Alan


  1. Alan,
    As it turns out, I'm singing a little bit at our show on tues. Amy said one of my midi pieces needed words, so I tuned some lines yesterday... I have the tendency, because it is so challenging to sing & play at the same time, to have the vocal more or less match the musical line (which I don't think is how it's usually done by pros). At any rate, do what I can!
    As I mentioned on FB, it has been a busy week for me, doing 2 live demos plus 2 rehearsals w/Amy. improvising the entire time. practicing a couple of days ago, I did put together an interesting combination of strings & strums, which I just posted to SC at
    this is entirely raw material-- I can imagine hitting it with studio effects & really making something intense, but that'll have to wait.

    little x little

  2. Quite like this piece, I do hope eventually you'll be able to explore the higher ranges of the bass, so that it doesn't rumble so much. One way is to use hiss removal and set it at maximum - the sounds are 'based' on what you play but become completely different and bird/orchestral-like.

    I really like though the growling on this - which is quite nice, and might have something to do with my interest in cave art, and Clark Coolidge, whose work early on was related to geology and stratigraphy, caves in particular - which is why I think I called one of my early theory books Strata.

    If you're out here, come and play! I was thinking re: the "Waiting" above, not about you, but there are others who seemed to have dropped out, you and I are having conversations of whispers and moans which isn't all bad. -- Thank you -

  3. Alan, Appreciate your technical feedback, & here's hoping for better sound quality! I could set up a better studio environment, recording directly to disk via Ableton, but on a day-to-day basis prefer the simplicity of handheld.
    re: growling, you'll hear quite a bit of that in the new track I'm about to post on SC. growl!!

  4. What's Ableton? By the way there's a company I met at SXSW that puts out single lp vinyl disks for $50 each - the records include a cover and everything and it sounds like it would be great for a limited edition run -