muted tones

january 05

this entry is from january 05. click here for more information about the curator, and to hear the finished work.

About the piece of music, titled “Finger-painting with Feedback”:

january 24th, 2005

(picture is a graphic representation of the sonic flow of the piece)

One day, about a year ago, my pal Rich Pontius let me borrow his rehearsal space so I could record some loud viola-feedback tracks, just for experimentation, and for the pure love of huge cathartic waves of sound… the kind of noise that I could maybe get away with for about 7 seconds in my apartment. I was in my first band with Rich in college, around 1987 or 1988. It was known (or UN-known) by 4 or 5 different names, but mostly as “Your Fabulous Ass”. Now Rich is in two bands: an improv-jam band called “Sunburned Hand of the Man”, and a garage-rock band called “The Touch Me Theres”.

I saved those raw feedback tracks for something not yet known. I decided to build my Muted Tones piece around them. There is an almost 5 minute “calm before the storm” meditation with singing saw, acoustic guitar, viola, turkish folk-fiddle, trumpet, and loop samples, all leading and blending to a thick sonic noise-fest of 4 tracks of feedback placed strategically in the stereo field, followed by a creaky and haunting end.

My recording setup on the laptop is not so fancy, so I am only able to layer tracks upon each other one at a time, as opposed to a more advanced simultaneous multi-track system. For a solo composition, this is fine for me, and perfect for this project, where I have a foundation track that i can then add to, one layer at a time in a reckless, spontaneous way - much like finger-painting… hence, the title.

There’s an elusive, improvisatory vibe that I lean towards with this piece, and similarly, when I play with friends in the Empty House Cooperative, where that vibe is shared with or added to by others. With a solo composition of this nature, it’s all coming from my own head, so I can improvise with myself quite easily. With a group, in contrast, there is the challenge of unspoken musical communication, and hopefully, a flow like breathing, very natural, but almost unconscious.

End of music-philosophical rant.



Emil Studzinski

january 24th, 2005

This sounds like it’s gonna kick ass! Can’t wait to hear it. :-)


january 30th, 2005



february 04th, 2005

But is it finished? In progress? When or where can we hear it?

-D McMaster


february 04th, 2005

hey D,
if you click one of links beneath the piece’s title, you can either stream or download it. (note: from this comments screen you can’t get to those links, so click david michael curry’s name, over to the right and the title and stream and download links will be at the top of that page). enjoy, it is an amazing work!

Paula Spurr [ web site ]

march 04th, 2005

i always liked finger-painting. or at least i imagined i’d like it. i wasn’t really allowed. musta been too messy. this piece of sound is messy, but beautiful. a beautiful mess. HAH! kind of like my life…..

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