Check out how fun listening (and talking about sound) with others can be...here are our October highlights.
Hope to listen with you soon,
**Register for November's Listening Lounge to receive the information about how to join us.
October Lounge Highlights (courtesy of Ben):
Jocelyn welcomed attendees stylishly sporting a wool blanket – a reminder that she was zooming from a great deal north of DCLL’s geographic birthplace. Unseasonable DC temps in the hi 70s made the contrast even greater. The night’s prompt was "what was your first live music performance experience?”
Henry – Falls Church, VA
Beverly Sills in Massenet’s Manon in 1970 at the NY City Opera. He still can feel the joy of being enveloped by a cloud of fog that was part of the production.
Greg Kelly – Charlottesville, VA
The comedian Gallagher in St. Louis. Knowing that he might be challenged on the musicality of watermelon-smashing, he quickly followed up with the band Yes. Henry asking and getting confirmation that it was, indeed, the configuration having band member Jon Anderson.
Ben – Annapolis, MD
Was gonna start by saying Elton John, Merriweather Post Pavilion in the 70s (his dad did a drop-off and pickup), but remembered even further back, while in Germany, his parents taking him to see Van Cliburn who was all the international buzz after winning the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow during the cold war.
Tanya - Walkersville, MD
Seeing her violin teacher play at the Kennedy Center; an experience which possibly helped inspire her interest in composition.
Jenifer - Washington, DC
Liberace in Western Mass, which was part of the celebration of her mom’s marriage. The iconic chandelier was not really as memorable as the six amazing costume changes.
Jocelyn - Minneapolis, MN
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra at an outdoor venue. She also remembers going to the Billy Joel River of Dreams stadium concert with her mom and was struck how she became part of a giant sing along – perhaps sparking her present-day passion for interactive audio experiences.
Barry – Gaithersburg, MD
Led Zeppelin in the Chicago Black Hawks Stadium. Possibly as notable as the performance itself was the overt drug use.
[We later welcomed Ana Maria (Alexandria) and Ishy Viray’s avatar]
Further pleasant conversation revealed Jocelyn as an oboist – immediately prompting Henry to inquire weather she had ever tried a shawm – to which she replied with a smile – “you mean one of these?” as she held one up. Things got amusingly lost in the reeds when further discussion centered on double, quad, and triple-reed configurations.
WE LISTENED TOGETHER:
Henry – set up his sound offering by describing it as an “electro-acoustic dark ambient” piece that he produced and is shared on Bandcamp. Listeners were treated to an atmospheric conversation between a reedy instrument sound and a low, oscillating drone, thematically conveying “love/myth/environment” with an overriding idea of “space.” We later learned that a “Shnth’ was used; an instrument somewhat akin to a kalimba in stature but with amazingly creative possibilities. Henry also shared that he is working on a composition using a Ciat-Lomdarde Tetrax organ, another touch-sensitive electro-wooden instrument.
Tanya picked up on the “space” feeling and explored the presence/absence of narrative; stating that she didn’t think it had an identifiable narrative, which made it even more appealing. Furthermore, another listener felt that there was a distinct cinematic quality to it. Further discussion on contemporary electronic/experimental/free jazz composers including the Toshinori Kondo Quintet and the Peter Brotzmann Quartet and performers were discussed and links to works shared.
Barry - whipped out his geophone; a device originally used by geologists for exploratory geologisty kind of things but now showing endless possibilities in the sound art world. He used his geophone to record the performance of a cable attached to a pole that anchored traffic lights over a road. Joc observed that she “felt the sound” instead of “sensing the pitch” and others experienced the piece at a “microsonic level.” For Barry’s next project he’s going to tackle an enticing set of pylons holding wires that cross the Potomac over the C&O Canal. He already has heard the audible hum of those wires, so no telling what a geophone will reveal when added to the mix.
Ben – shared the first audio piece he made called “Olga” which arose from attending his first DCLL meeting roughly 15 years ago. A prompt was assigned to “ask someone about their first best friend.” With little technical knowledge on recording (with a minidisc) and editing (with Garage Band), he got lucky capturing the charms of his mom which led to an unexpectedly sad story involving the Holocaust. Ben attributes DCLL for showing him the joys of sound and for helping him realize that profound discoveries can come to light by simply taking the time to ask someone something about themselves.
Some thoughtful discussion followed with Jocelyn observing that there’s “time” and then there’s “audio time” and Henry, referencing William Maxwell’s writing, noted how “the past and present can be remembered simultaneously” and how “stuff just comes up.” Henry also observed how Proust captured it so well (on page 44 of his edition) of Remembrance of Things Past of how “biting into the (madeleine) triggered memories.” Really nice sharing-of-thoughts to round-off an evening of listening.
CONCLUDING WORDS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND SHOUT-OUTS:
It's never to early to plan, especially when it comes to putting on a summer weekend of interactive sound & fun; Sound Scene, so Jocelyn put out the call for volunteers to be on the planning committee.
Jocelyn is also seeking input on on-line collaborative performance software that minimizes latency and was wondering if anyone has used Jacktrip software? Barry also mentioned that there’s other software out there; for example Audiomovers. Any input appreciated.
Henry recommended, highly, the movie “A Night in the Garden” a short doc that consists of footage of a “pro-American” rally that took place on 20 February 1939 in Madison Square Garden.
There was another shout-out for the 2020 docu-drama “The Social Dilemma” which is about an insider whistleblower in the tech industry.
And we said good night.