muted tones

october 03


Toronto's Craig Fraid Dunsmuir thumps with Kid Sniper, jumps with CITUS and hurrumps with the Nouns; he is the Guitarkestra.

curator log:

Tracking: Monday, September 8, 2003

september 08th, 2003

It’s done, and it’s nothing at all like what I planned on making. Thanks again to Sandro for his recording/remixing/co-re-remixing help. “Somethings” by the Craig Dunsmuir Glissandro 70 Duo Guitarkestra will be right here come October 1st…

Tracking: Friday, August 8, 2003

august 13th, 2003

I practice earlier in the day to make sure we can cut right to the chase once I get to Sandro’s house, seeing as we only have a few hours before he has to go to band practice (he plays lap steel in the terrific Great Lake Swimmers—if you like Will Oldham or Mark Koselek at all, then come on in, the water’s warm). Practice doesn’t help much, though, as the nerves and heat make me restless and distracted. We do a take of a new song that I decide to tentatively title “Spindli”, because its polyrhythms are a bit more interwoven than most of my pieces in terms of every part being a slight rhythmic variation on the next instead of a mere harmonic change as usual. I play that one off the looper into his computer, whereupon he asks me to try another piece, but multitracked, with each part recorded live for the duration of the take; this way, he’ll be able to more easily do a re-mix of the track if any ideas arise. Although it took far longer to record and was infinitely more exhausting to perform (and, as such, more fraught with imperfections) than using the looper, hopefully the piece (which I think I’ll call “Monolit” because of the vaguely alien dissonance that gets added a few minutes in) breathes a bit more as a result; Sandro’s generous patience and mixing wizardry hopefully won’t hurt things, either…

Tracking: Thursday, August 7, 2003

august 12th, 2003

Several weeks ago, I proposed to Sandro Perri that the two of us collaborate on my upcoming Muted Tones month of audio curating. Sandro’s a great local producer and lap-steel guitarist who synthesizes his loves for dub, drone, crackle and twang in his various aliases, the most well-known of which being Polmo Polpo, whose new album is set for release in September on Constellation Records. Before putting out his first full-length on Alien8/Substractif, he put out several 12"s on his own Audi Sensa label; incidentally, this related BBC label-profile link is how I found out that not only was this guy similarly fascinated with the late disco producer/avant-cellist Arthur Russell, but dude had scored a copy of the Holy Grail of Toop-approved singsong headfuck ambience itself, “World of Echo”! Anyhow, months before today, I traded a burn of a live Guitarkestra recording for a copy of said rare record, and we promised to hook up some time. Fast forward to today, and now was the time, only I absent-mindedly left the charts I’d wanted to focus on at home, keeping them separate from the others specifically in order to not lose them. As it turned out, though, such a gaffe was for the best, since it gave us an excuse to break the ice and just jam for a while. As most introductory jams go, it was awkward and not necessarily that great, but eventually pretty fun. The most promising part of the afternoon arrived when Sandro suggested we play drenched in delay and reverb, which was quite the lesson in improvisational reward through upended expectations and forcing oneself to adapt to new conditions; the effects made us change our approaches, and our playing soon became more sympathetic and less showy and strained as we quite literally barely scraped by, or rather our picks did, to be more specific, as our strings’ increased sensitivity forced us to play likewise. Luckily, both of us are free the next day, so I promise to bring the right sheets this time and come back to his studio tomorrow…

1 2 3 4 5