The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

March 16, 2010


4 hopeful pieces with descriptions

http://www.alansondheim.org/city.mp3
I've been thinking about the infinity of cities, the depth of soundscapes
and the romantic plenitude of nature. This is out the window of our loft;
every sound in the city contributes, every cough or whistle miles away,
every tire on asphalt. It always amazes me: this is the murmuring of a
technological world coming to an end, perhaps, within a century. There are
sub-bass harmonies here as well - harmonies which dominate the aural
landscape, but which are inaudible to human ears. Even in this recording,
one senses them. I've just finished Lamartine's uncanny Raphael, a book in
which the natural world of meadows and streams runs through emotional
states, tending towards both exaltation and cessation. I can imagine Julie
at walk among the Brooklyn forests of streets, still listening, but with a
greater hunger. HOPEFUL: The depth of the city revealed as a new cosmos
with everyone present, all the time.

http://www.alansondheim.org/melodeon.mp3
Recently acquired this 1847 melodeon thanks to book trading. The bellows
are bad; the vacuum box won't hold a vacuum; three valves are broken; the
vacuum box needs to be opened; several reeds won't sound. So it's in great
need of repair. In the meantime, furious pumping and a lot of reverb makes
this odd sound file; you can hear the bellows working. It's actually quite
a beautiful instrument, and will sound great once it's restored. HOPEFUL:
A melodeon sounding like it did in 1847, when it was in someone's parlor.

http://www.alansondheim.org/hybrid1.mp3
http://www.alansondheim.org/hybrid2.mp3
Playing around with the rishi on the oud, alternating with finger-picking.
It's difficult to keep the rishi (pick) available if I'm using everything
else on the strings. So it's rishi in the mouth, rishi on the floor, rishi
on the knee, rishi held sometimes with two fingers, with a curled finger,
with a thumb and finger, rishi sometimes dropped. On the other hand the
sonority of the two interacting playing modes really interests me.
HOPEFUL: Smooth transitions in-tune make for wonderful textures, melodies,
and harmonies.

HOPEFUL: The CITY SYMPHONY will make me rich; the MELODEON will bring
untold pleasure to millions; the HYBRID OUD PLAYING will set new standards
in improvisation world-wide.

I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
I will die
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine
But I will shine

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