There are no such things as accidents
Another great episode.
Dan, I just love the way you speak (and interview).
Good stuff all around.
There’s something about @marcus_fischer ’s music that fits this season. Last year, a lot of you shared how the snowstorms you were homebound by formed the perfect backdrop for Marcus’s reflections. As another year closes, I am so excited to share another conversation with this wonderful artist. This isn’t something I expected, but Marcus has been really giving of his time and it was his suggestion to do a follow-up. In the spirit of the season, I’m very thankful to have gotten to know him better over the last year.
Since episode 5, Marcus has been for lack of a much better word, busy. He completed the Rauschenberg Residency and released the follow-up to 2010’s ‘Monocoastal’ — Loss, which is absolutely stunning. He established an experimental power trio with Paul Dickow and @wselman called Wild Card, which toured with High Plains at the end of this past summer. He’s been performing with Lisa Schonberg’s Secret Drum Band. He recorded another collaboration with 12k’s Taylor Deupree called Lowlands. And I’m sure I’m missing something.
This episode digs beyond his output as an artist to explore the internal processes that inform his approach, eatpecially as an improviser. The stuff @ 38 mins and onward is just gold.
As always, the music from each of these projects and partnerships weaves throughout the episode, which can all be purchased as digital or characteristically breathtaking physical objects on Bandcamp.
Grab a warm cup of tea and dive in.
Yes yes and yes! Will carefully listen to it this afternoon. Thank you!
Gonna listen to this soon. Marcus’ episode was the first episode I heard from your podcast, so I’m excited that there’s a part two.
Another terrific podcast. I think I’ve only listened to about 4 of these now, but I’ve loved every one of them. Inspiring stuff, and I’m diggin’ Marcus’ work. thanks!
nice yay always
Great listen, thank you both!
Interesting to hear how Dupree and Fischer first met. I love ‘In a place of such graceful shapes’!
The part about improvisation was also very interesting to me. ‘Know your tools well’ is definately something I’m going to work on the coming months.
Thanks for the inspiration both of you
Just caught up on the last 2 of these. Great stuff as always, thank you!
just become a patreon!! great work and thanks
thanks all for checking out the new episode and for the feedback!
I think the stories about the Revival Drums show + Simon Scott’s set are some of my favorite anecdotes thus far. I’m so glad Marcus shared those bits, as they highlight what @nuun connected with – understanding your tools is key. That knowledge helps keep the ego out of the equation, so that opportunities for exploration and play don’t pass unnoticed / unfulfilled.
It’s funny: before the conversation, I had written a sprawl of thoughts because I really wanted to nail down the “secret sauce” of his systems and process. I kept thinking that there had to be a larger structure to his live performances. And it really does feel like comes down to mastery of tools. Then, with all improvisation, listening and reacting…but I wonder how well we can listen when we’re grappling with the barriers erected by poor understanding of the objects we’re using? My own thoughts of “new box will make me better” definitely stand in the way of learning what I’ve got. And what happens when we use these half-learned tools in front of others? @Rodrigo sums this up really well in a blog entry I seem to reference every other post:
Having a figurative or literal “bag of toys” is fantastic as an improviser. You have access to worlds of sounds and performance techniques that wouldn’t have otherwise. But it’s very easy to get sucked in to an accountant-like housekeeping when playing with objects and unusual performance techniques. Musicality gets left behind as a consideration and it becomes more about cataloging the objects/approaches, often in a subconscious way. Improvisations don’t need to be a survey of every possible sound or approach.
As someone who largely hits things with other things, this is of particular interest. Each stick/beater/actuator takes some housekeeping to set up, and moving between playing surfaces equally requires some physical/mental overhead. It takes a keen discipline to override this tendency and desire to “make the most out of it”, but I have found that listening with “real-time ears” instead of “performer ears” makes a huge difference here. Sometimes the most perfect use of a toy is when it is used only once.
Discipline and restraint, then, seem related to this mastery.
Beginner’s mind is also something that I come back to a lot. The first few days of exploring new thing, we’re caught in this boundless joy. It’s easy to think that everything we’re doing with new thing is the best stuff we’ve ever done. Of course, to paraphrase something @tehn recently said, the 10,000 other people who just bought new thing are likely making the same discoveries. Persevering past this and THEN past the internal script that gets established when you use thing to get to a point of substance seems to require balance between discovery and disciplined use.
Marcus can make wonderful textures with a fuckin’ pinecone because he knows his tools. At this point, I don’t need another plug-in or module, I need to learn the shit I’ve got.
sounds like you need a pinecone.
also, so folks know:
The Sound + Process Patreon page is currently paused. Nobody has been charged since July and no new rewards have gone out. Before the end of every month, I evaluate whether funding is necessary to continue the project and whether I’ve got enough to share beyond the next episode.
I will communicate a month before if the processing will start again, but so far so good. At this point, a pledge on the Patreon is a show of good faith and encouragement. If I need to restart the charge cycle, it will be for good and transparent reason.
Deep gratitude for those who have helped keep the project alive, both publicly and offline. I am humbled and insanely lucky that all of these artists have let a stranger on the internet into their lives, even briefly. This is a real bright spot in mine.
I’ve (half) joked/wondered with a couple of friends who use pinecones quite a lot, that if pine tree’s development and spread is now coupled with the human aesthetic mechanism, via becoming sonically pleasing to humans. That by picking up the odd pinecone, using it in a performance, and having small pieces break off in different places, we become the tree’s bees, as it were, in an aesthetically entangled evolutionary dance like the Bee Orchid or the Vogelkop Bowerbird.
Cue this classic comic:
At the tail end of last month, Gohan Tapes (@mobbs + @Nedavine) released ‘Spring’ — a new full length album from Joshua Saddler / @ioflow. On ‘Spring’, Josh combines field recordings, modular synthesis, and piano improvisations to capture memories like aural photographs. The sparse arrangements interplay with sounds of wildlife from the California landscape. This is an essential album, especially if you live somewhere that’s cold right now.
‘Spring’ is additionally unique because it was made during the most physically painful phase of Josh’s struggles with congenital hearing loss and neural degradation.
Faith is important to him and it’s obvious that he shares his work as a celebration of life and in gratitude for his own.
This episode is structured a little differently. I’ve removed the interview elements and chosen to focus solely on Josh’s reflections. He’s underscored by selections from ‘Spring’, available at https://gohantapes.bandcamp.com/album/spring
A few thoughts.
Listened in front of a fire looking out over a snowy wooded yard. The voices and the music/soundscapes were perfect for tonight so thank you.
Piano and field recordings made me realize what tools I’ve been letting sit aside for too long. we’ll see where that goes. Interesting that the first disquiet I felt compelled to engage in I used audio field / media and piano. Hmph. I guess this lesson is obvious in hindsight like most
Finally getting to the point, I can’t imagine the challenge and courage to find a way to make art in the face of such medical challenges. Thank you.
Thanks to Dan, I really like the format btw.