Monday, November 29, 2004

My Educated Remains - "I Have Made A 40 Minute Sonic Mess"

This fellow Douglas Wolk, a man I know little about, cooked up the idea that November would (now and forever more) become known as National Solo Album Month. It's a play off of the National Novel Writing Month idea and a damn good one because, let's face it, not everyone has the same skills. Can the butcher also paint a bungalow? Perhaps, but not always. In fact, maybe we should just declare November to be National Use Your Talent To Create Some Sort Of Substantial Artistic Endeavor Month. Whether it be a book, an album, a bird house, or a comprehensive family tree. But damnit the acronym would be too long. Let's not get too far off course. Let's let Wolk define the parameters.

I took part in this project because I am always eager to justify more recording projects. Here, with NaSoAlMo, was another reason not to schedule that dentist appointment or get the leaves out of the gutter. To the basement! And with good reason!

My completed solo album is titled "My Educated Remains." Here is the [unfolded] sleeve artwork:



MER consists of three songs totalling about 40 minutes. I would like to state right now that it is one of the weirdest things I have ever heard. It's a sprawling sonic mess and I can't tell if it's unlistenable or one of the best things I've ever recorded. At some point I decided I didn't want my contribution to NaSoAlMo to be anything like what I usually do therefore the logical thing was to throw my idea of 'songs' out the window. I was also multitasking. I had been planning on creating some sort of sound scape that would play during live shows when the Stairs had to tune their instruments. I decided MER would be my solo album and function as that soundscape. There are now two birds, dead on the ground, and I have only used one stone.

Some of the tools used to create "My Educated Remains": Electric Air Organ, Hamer Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar, Gibson Acoustic Guitar, Recorder, Sticks, Harmonica, Melodica, Voice, Samples, Rogue Moog, Thumb Piano, Samsung Television, Milk Crate, and Typewriter. I limited myself to a maximum of three tracks for each song and each subsequent track had to be a response to the previous one without any second takes of anything. I recorded this record on November 15th 2004. I woke up around 9 AM. I had some coffee and set up my equipment. It was a lovely day with lots of sun coming into my bed room. I believe I was in my pajamas the entire time. It felt pretty close to approaching pure creation instinct and it was a really freeing project to take part in. Congratulations to everyone who completed their solo album. This was fun.

On the off chance that you would actually like to subject your ears to "My Educated Remains" you can email me for my mailing address [remains at thestairs.com] and send me a blank disc and I will mail MER to you complete with the cover sleeve. I gurantee you, at the very least, this music will get a reaction out of your cat.

Here's to loud noises and the beauty of atonal swirls in my bedroom.
-Ryan Walsh

2 Comments:

Blogger J. Gannon said...

Maybe November could be Two Birds Dead on the Ground month.

December 19, 2004 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger DailyLinks said...

Very nice blog, hard to come by these days,

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Thanks

October 2, 2005 at 12:38 AM  

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