All of this said, it
is somewhat ironic
that most of the work
I've been doing
lately is oriented
toward ten minutes of
improvised noise.

I've been using mostly "organic" sources, with           "Organic Industrial"
minimal electronics.  On a good night, I'll              is a beautiful
fill the outer studio with mechanical                    oxymoron, don't
contraptions, pieces of scrap metal, kids                you think?
toys, anything I think will make interesting

The excuse for all this is I call this the "Play
Along With Doom" feature, and invite
people to make their own noises while I
make mine.

And if it sounds boring... well then it's your
own fault for not making it more
interesting, isn't it?

This approach is partly a matter of
necessity:  I don't have access to a lot of the
electronics available at KZSU, and I
personally don't have the money to spend on
a lot of it.

In an odd way, it's also connected to my
thoughts about the oxymoron of live techno.
If you're going to do something on stage, it
had better be more visually interesting than
just tweaking knobs on some electronics
boxes.  Einstuerzende Neubauten style
industrial makes more sense...                      PERFORMANCE

Except that this isn't on stage.  No one can
see what I'm doing.  But maybe I'm working
out the details for a performance.  Working
toward some live show, or maybe a video

There are a lot of unspoken contraints on
what I'm doing:

For example, I'd consider it cheating to use
a conventional musical instrument.  And I
dislike inviting another person to help: on
some level it's supposed to be demo for solo
performance concepts.

I also consider it cheating to play a tape as
part of the performance, because that's
something I wouldn't do live: it's too boring
to look at.  Since this is radio after all,
sometimes I'll do this when stuck for time.

On the other hand, I often use tape echo,
which I consider barely acceptable because
running a tape between two tape players,
one of which can be wheeled back and forth
to change the delay loop seems like it would
at least be visible enough to be
comprehensible to an audience.

For various reasons, part of the sound has to
be automatically generated.  Working by
myself, I can't really do more than a couple
of things at once, not without a lot more
practice, anyway.

I've made a lot of use of the ordinary
sweep fans we have in the studio, that
are needed to cool the place, especially
in the summer.

I started out with them sweeping back              CHAOTIC_SOUND
and forth, blowing against some borrowed
wind chimes.  I also played with them
blowing against suspended aluminum cans
which are light enough to make a
tremendous racket.  I've attached a boom         No, I haven't tried
to the fan that pushes against things as         jamming screwdrivers,
it sweeps back and forth.  I've attached         baseball cards, or fingers
strings to the boom, and run them                into the blades.  It's not
through pulley arrangements to tip               my fan.  And they are my
something back and forth.                        fingers.

Working with fans can be frustrating:
the gearing that sweeps them back and
forth can't put out a lot of mechanical
force (I presume they're designed that
way for safety reasons).

But they're always available,
and as of yet I've resisted
the temptation to sink a lot
of money in noise machines.

I do have lots of ideas for nifty gadgets that
only require time to build...  But time ain't
free either.

It sometimes seems to
me like I should be doing
more work with words.  I'm
much closer to being a writer
than I am to being a
musician.  I feel like I've
fallen in with a bad crowd
interested in Sound to the
exclusion of Meaning.