New Music: Flowerdew’s Timeslip Ensemble

I just finished a track with Scott Bazar and made a playlist over at SoundCloud for our collaborations.

I’ve now played music with Scott for about two decades, and I’m hoping I get to work with him on stage again soon. Some of the most fun I’ve had playing live has been while performing Scott’s improv/video pieces.

I never know what Scott’s going to send me. For example, this track was built from an improvisation he did with a guitar, an equalizer, and battery-powered Christmas lights. One of the earlier tracks we made was built from a similar set-up, but instead of the lights, Scott used a microwave rotator.

I usually hear vocal qualities in his playing, no matter the gear and I tend to build the tracks around that. His work on the improv track that is the basis for “Flowerdew’s Timeslip Ensemble” reminded me of the vocal quality in Javanese music. Initially, I started building a track with that idea, but with the thought of building something like a sound environment that borrowed textures more than scales or songs from Javanese music.

I originally built a low-pitched ohm chant, but never liked how it rested with everything else. Then I heard a kind of marching band sound and developed that track separately and then attempted to make it sound like the band marched through the soundscape.

I was thinking of film music and field recordings along with Charles Ives’ memories of and attempts at recreating two marching bands playing at once. Instead of two similar bands, I wanted to work with dichotomies: noise (density? texture?)/melody, East/West, songs of life/songs of death, stillness/motion, etc.

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