recorded February 4-11 2005 at Railyard 1 in Santa Fe
big drum, thump, squat, basuka, pilon, twoslide, steel flute 1/2 straight, crank, wheely wheely, steel reed curved, kalimbent, phorques, sir gamelan, steel flute 3/4 straight, blow drum, scrap(e), la bas, dish, kyzyl kum, copper whistle 1, paired, trinidad & tobago, basicable, bosco 3, bosco 2, pedal guitar, one slide, steel reed bent, pig, mckeytoo
played by: Alex Ferris, Linzi Arundale
I had to cut a single track in two to fit the upload size. Later (after some sales) my account was upgraded allowing the full piece to be uploaded as a single track.
The recordings I had made to this point had examined particular facets of Anarchestra, essentially extracting chamber groups from it and exploring a single idea at a time. In the interest of maintaining immediacy I recorded each piece in a single session. I believe music (particularly tracked music) tends to lose it’s freshness when it gets worked over and I wanted to avoid that as much as I could.
I was socially isolated in Santa Fe, aside from Linzi I had only a few casual acquaintances. That didn’t bother me, I was very content to concentrate on my work without distractions. Throughout the life I have enjoyed (particularly in retrospect) the periods when circumstances permitted me to keep my own company. I am not anti-social, but as Bukowski says in Barfly, “I like people, I just feel better when they’re not around”.
Anarchestra had not been played live for nearly two years. There were many new instruments and the overall sound (owing to the magnetic pickups) was far clearer than it had been at Labyrinth Speakeasy. I found myself wanting to hear the whole orchestra played in flow. Ideally, I would have imported Charmaine, Paul, Scott, and Rod to New Mexico for a month, but that wasn’t remotely possible (they all had lives and none had the money to blow a month off).
In my dreams I would have had a crew of players, capable of both improvising and accepting direction, willing to commit their lives to making music with me. (One of the great benefits of spending a lot of time by oneself is the freedom to imagine impractical situations). Naturally, this led me to think about Sun Ra, whose ‘Arkestra’ had contributed to the name I had chosen for this ensemble.
I read Space is the Place, John F Szwed’s excellent biography of Sun Ra, and listened a lot to the Arkestra’s music from the mid 60’s, particularly the longer works –Other Planes of There and Magic City. I felt then (still do) that the immediacy of the relationship between pure sound and music in them (as well as the interplay between composition and improvisation) is as close as anything extant to what I envision for Anarchestra.
With all this as context, I made …terofourdis… The primary challenge of it was to get a flow in the music when, because of the length of the piece and the number of parts, I had to record them over a week. Aside from the final transition (which I think happens too quickly), I feel like I did pretty well with that. I tried consciously to generate an imaginary band, to endow the instruments and their parts with individual personalities (who all miraculously understood my relationships to sound, intonation, and meter). Linzi came by for lunch one day and I got her to play a part.
I price all of my music at $0.00, but Bandcamp only allows a limited number of free downloads per month. If you see a price it means that the free downloads have been used up for the month. If I set a price lower than the $7.00 default, there won’t be any free downloads ever. If there are more sales there end up being more free downloads. I’m not trying to get anybody to spend money (I loathe capitalism and the comercialzation of everything, especially the arts). I make music, not product. If you end up buying something, at least you have enabled 2 other people to get something for free (which is a good thing). Or check back until it’s free again. Please feel free to duplicate and pass along.