The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

October 14, 2012

the new bow (best for listening)

bows can make all the differences, often more than instruments
this is a bow i once had and have again, Anton Schroetter,
quite old, a short cello bow with wide horsehair and lightness
similar to violin. the result is relative smoothness on
difficult instruments; here are the Afghan sarinda (or suroz),
violin played in an Arabic style and tuning, and sarangi. I
quite like these pieces; perhaps you will too. I'm still not
used to the right hand rarely touching the strings, but
instead working through the intermediary of the bow; there's
something uncanny about it, and about the continuous sound
that doesn't always require accompaniment or drone, even if
a single string is being played.

solo pipa slightly in the chinese style (easier)

the original background had a mess of sound from
a vaporizer, traffic, subway, street-stuff; I
took it out with hiss reduction which makes for
an oddly beautiful clarity to the instrument.

I'm so worn out and clumsy these days, it's a
wonder to me - when I can think at all - that I
still can play like this. I imagine sinking into
the ground, leaving behind this archival legacy
of noise, which itself will disappear if ESP-
Disk decides to close it down.

Dark thoughts for clumsy, muffled days. My
tinnitus hardly gives me space and place to type,
much less make music.

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