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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Windy tunes and cookware

So it's a frigid 6ºF below zero with a wind chill of -27 at the moment. My roommate is also a musician and one of the first things she said to me this morning is "how do you like our door playing overtones?" The back door isn't sealed perfectly and when the wind gusts it plays tones. Somewhere between the sound of a Native American flute and a French Horn. Of course, being the music geek that I am I had to grab a guitar and figure out the notes. It's playing Bb-C-Eb and F, pretty well in tune. Guitar in hand I joked that I was going to go jam with the door. She suggested my next song title, Door Jamb Blues. I think she's on to something.

I also had to mention this morning how I found the skillet to have a nice bell tone to it. Just give it a whack with a hand, knee, head, whatever is handy and you get a cool ringing. I've always been one to make instruments out of whatever is at hand. I like finding that pan or box or table that has a cool tone. I guess I am fascinated by sound. The other day I noticed the shower was dripping in a clave pattern. To me, music is everywhere, in every sound. I wonder how much of my fascination with making music out of every sound in hard wired in my brain and how much is the result of all my musical training.

Whether hard wired or experiential, I think this aspect of me is a key to my love of prog, and all forms of music that push boundaries and go outside the formula. I'm always looking for something new. I want to hear that thing that I've never heard before. I think that is a central quest of my songwriting. Can I take my experience and training and all the thoughts in my head and condense them in to a song that sounds new and fresh, that says something new. Or says something I've heard before, but in a new way. I think keeping open ears is essential. I might hear a new song of Progulus that does it for me, or it might be a water clave. In either case I think I am always staying open. That musical part of my brain is always on because I don't know where the next new sound will come from.

(No Seans were harmed in the writing of this blog)


Zaii said...

In one of my student houses, we had a toilet that made a loud humming noise whenever it was flushed. A friend studying music who had perfect pitch came round and declared or toilet was in Bb.

The boys at Top Gear - a motoring magazine for the TV in the UK - recreated the top gear theme tune (which is a bit of "Jessica" by the Alman Brothers) using engines. James May who has a degree in music spent the day revving variuos cars until he got the perfect notes from each one. Hear the results here:

T-Bo said...

Strange Land 3 better have a "Gates of Delirium", if you're thinking what I'm thinking.... :0

MAVIII said...

Thats insane!
Hehe . . .
I have always wanted to make a HUGE Drum kit out of Round or Tube Boxes/Containers, think of all the "Dragon Drums" the kit would have :P
I say Sean, RECORD the sounds for us to hear! :D

I'll have to check out that YOUtube vid, I just saw my 1st episode of Top Gear the other day.