Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spare Ass Annie

Much as Dante Alighieri's guide was Virgil, Burroughs has proved an important sounding board to myself; if such bloated swill as this ever be (re)deemable as a claim from such amateur a pen as my own. 

Fear not though, for all perceived agonies thrust upon those I dare to tar with my feathered hand shall be fleeting, as the post originally destined for this page has since been doused with cold water; a grander idea blossoming from its contemplation ...

All shall be unveiled next Tuesday.

T'would be a shame to waste the photograph originally intended to accompany the non-existent blathering merely hinted to in the above excuse for text though ... 

This collection of William Burroughs' output (sadly abridged through various unreturned borrowings over the years) is far from comprehensive of course, in fact it's downright meagre, but as a bookend to a new blog post it might at least salvage some purpose for itself.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sol Gabetta amongst the hush of zombies

At first glance, this pairing of entities might seem rather odd ...

Firstly, (and in the mind's of movie directors certainly) zombies are renowned for being a fairly raucous breed, and secondly (in a far more concisely-put fashion): what the shit?!


We received Sol Gabetta's 2008 cantabile album in the mail today; my wife had discovered her a month or so back and ordered the disc. If you haven't heard her before, here she is performing the 3rd movement "Allegro" from Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto Number 4 f-moll "The Winter" (unfortunately embedding has been disabled).

But anyway, back to Sol Gabetta and zombies ... a whole room of them, in fact.

One of my favourite things about orchestral music (having only recently become an avid listener, hence no technical term to describe the following) is all of the surrounding noise associated with various musicians shifting in their seats, the moving about of instruments, coughing, breathing, and whatever else happens to be captured; such miscellany a constant reminder of the performers behind the work itself: ghosts in the machine. And whilst all of this background clatter remained part of the performance and on tape (again, my knowledge of the recording techniques employed in classical music is zero) what caused a mild sense of unease at the closure of each piece was the lack of any applause, which (due in no small part to the Fluoxitine Blues) had me imagining the orchestra playing before an audience of corpses; the scene awkwardly reminiscent to the band performing as the Titanic sank ...

Of course, my limited exposure to classical music doubtlessly accounts for a considerable quantity of stereotypes at present, so this could hardly be considered a reprimand of the album - merely an amateur observation.

This portrayal (of simultaneous beauty and of death) also tied in with another image I'd similarly-conjured earlier this morning whilst listening to The Cure's Hanging Garden, whereby the garden was viewed as an open cemetery with recently hanged cadavers gently swaying about in a moonlight breeze. 

And so it was that Sol Gabetta's album served as a pleasant dichomatic after Pornography in its entirety - and another accomplishment of cantabile was to restore my faith in the medium of compact discs, which I'd silently vowed to give a wide berth from here on out. 

My thoughts on the wholesale pillaging of dynamic range in contemporary music has been well documented in previous posts here on Nosebleed Cinema, to the point of actually attempting to set up a new system called VAMP as a transparent counter-movement (see here and here). 

Below is what Sol Gabetta and The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra's O Mon Cher Amant looks like in wave form: 


And I thought Canute Whispers was recorded at a low volume (the average RMS for a track being approximately -21dB). 

The song pictured above, however, has an average RMS of -28.8. 

AND no peak rises above -7dB! 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

All actors die at the curtain's close

Get thyself across to The Deviant Flux’s bitch-spanking new blog: 
All actors die at the curtain’s close

The current list of contributors are Further, DS Sex Machine, Nosebleed Cinema, and the generically labelled Deviant Flux, whose moniker is presently justified by his role as general spokesman for all band-related announcements. 

All four members of the band will be vomiting all manner of verbiage across its pages.

There is no theme.

‘Nothing is true. Everything is permitted’ - William S Burroughs.

Nosebleed Cinema

The primary focus of Nosebleed Cinema would thus far appear to be dedicated to various musical endeavours, and whilst such comment is both infallibly correct and indefensible, the initial motivation behind my purchase of the domain name was to provide an eventual storefront for my novel - upon its completion. 

An accurate indication of the delays involved (the most telling of which must surely be the lack of dedicated time afforded solely to the manuscript) is that this domain was actually bought more than three years ago and simply parked, a lazily thrust stake in the ground to mark intention at the very least. And, seeing as the novel is still incomplete, ‘the very least’ is a claim it's most assuredly upheld.

The first paragraph of the novel proper was recorded circa. March 12, 1999; the basic idea formulated a couple of months beforehand courtesy of Kerouac’s inspirational Book of Dreams; a statement not meant to imply that this particular book of his is an inspirational work in the grander sense of that word’s context, merely that to me it subjectively whispered possibilties; a deeply set undercurrent as opposed to a surging wave’s collapse at one’s feet perhaps.

Prior to deciding to write a novel, poetry was all I’d seriously attempted (if anybody at all’s still truly serious about poetry these days) and the occasional section of prose and cut-up works. 

Several copies of these terrible little booklets were actually self-produced under the name of Proud Teeth and sold through Cashel Mall’s Wyrd Gallery back in the mid-90’s for the princely sum (total) of fourteen dollars, which might only’ve equated to a mere seven copies, but such an audience was seven more people than those who I’d previously managed to coerce through the natural duress of friendship to read my shitbox ramblings and nod according glances at it. 

The cover art was constructed in the old-school fashion of the newspaper where I was employed at the time: with paper, scapels, a hot-wax roller, and a photocopier. The pictures were harvested from a series of royalty-free clipart books that were scattered around the paste-up room for use in advertisements.

[ ... Awkward segue alert ... ]

So, after having completed Irvine Welsh’s Filth within about a week of having my first hip replaced (once my cognitive stamina was allowed to return after some hefty morphine use), I was left with a further seven weeks of prescribed recuperation and little to keep myself amused, which seemed to offer the perfect opportunity to make a start on some serious writing.

But that was then.

Significant progress has of course been made throughout the ensuing years and Nosebleed Cinema will soon be an entity unto itself; devoid of any ability to cause me cold sweats and aching hair follicles. 

Emily’s currently in the process of editing each completed chapter as I move onto the next (this is the novel’s fourth draft) and the result, once any and all quirks have been thoroughly discussed and altered accordingly, will be the final product: another chapter struck off the list.

Progress to date (as calculated only a few minutes ago) currently sits at 48.23%, which is far more respectable than initially feared; especially when considering that the run from here to completion should be relatively swift (‘swift’ seeming an ungainly word to employ after eleven years of often painstaking progress). This feat certainly won’t be done to the detriment of various other projects mind you, but as far as seeing the book finished by year’s end goes, it’s not an impossibilty. In fact, it’s not this at all (and never has been) but rather implausibility which may eventually prove the most dominant factor in it’s perpetual delay.

Research has already been undertaken with regards as to whether this will be a self-published affair (with my narcissistic self) or whether publishers will be accosted and favours offered. Printing it myself through a local firm is remarkably cost-effective, although (upon last asking) there were physical limitations relating to the size of the book they could actually produce; in fact, one company replied to my quote request by asking me to confirm the number of words, suggesting that perhaps I'd meant to put 40,000 in my submission form, and not 400,000 ...

This largely masturbatory total is continually being whittled down however, with large chunks being brutally edited; anything that’s not working is discarded. Several months ago, at the last count (an admittedly terrible practice!) it was down to approximately 377,000.

I think it was originally allowed to accrue such hefty wordage on account of me subconsciously adhering to Noel Gallagher’s philosophy with regards guitar solos. Now, this is quite possibly not the most accurate account of the conversation which I saw discussed in a documentary, but when he was approached by the producer of a song who enquired as to which of the song’s seventeen solos would be the one they’d be keeping, his reply was something along the lines of, “What the fuck do you mean? All seventeen!” 

The sheer presence David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest exudes by simply sitting on our bookshelf is very possibly another contender ...

Anyway, I’m planning to post a brief chapter on here in the next couple of weeks or so.

There'll be no free Dr Pepper.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Deviants on the loose


The much-heralded debut performance of The Deviant Flux has been officially scheduled to take place on April 23 at the illustrious Wunderbar in Lyttelton. Proceedings shall commence at approximately 9pm (roughly and with much vigour, and possibly without foreplay if no opening act is found) ...

So get thyself prepared for some dirty rock excretions with occasional lashings of melodic discharge, strap on your shiniest ball-gag and head along.

And cover charges suck, so there won't be any.
Spend your money on buying us beer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

From parasite to host: a presence is felt

Until now, Nosebleed Cinema's presence within the corridors of Freesound had been a largely parasitic one; its only redeeming feature being the placement of a couple of pleasant comments upon the pages of others.

Now however, having thoroughly plundered all available soundscapes and ambiences created by Further and myself (at The Crunge/Groovy Guru Studios and the TNB Outflow No.2 Studios respectively), and having subsequently utilised all those found to be appropriate for various projects, the remainder have now been made available at Freesound under a Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 Licence.

Pack 1
The offal which'd been discarded into a pit of ambient despair during the creation of Cnut is now freely available for those who see fit to make use of as they may, courtesy of the sample pack titled Manipulated Acoustics:

Pack 2
The second sample pack pre-dates Cnut by quite some time and faithfully captures that which at the time we weren't aware of being captured, the wailing cries of a band undergoing dismemberment. Aptly named Harvesting Feedback, this group of sounds involves a shitty SG guitar being thumped and otherwise mishandled in front of a replica VOX AC-30 amplifier in an effort to generate feedback:

The aforementioned album which utilised various captures from this session (though largely not appearing here) shall be left unnamed, as it's currently undergoing a bloodfest of surgery in Rutherford Street Studios.

A resource to plunder (and attribute) ...

The Freesound Project is a resource which no artist should ever be without. In short, ‘tis a website built on the ever-broadening shoulders of countless individuals who’ve dedicated their valuable time to gathering high-quality sounds and ambiences (of all varieties) specifically for the use of others via a range of Creative Commons licences.

And so it was here that I turned when (after many frustrated hours of manipulating digital splinters around my computer screen during the mixing stages of Cnut Whispers; and still the lowest ebb doth run...) it finally became evident that the original concept behind the album was slightly beyond my means; the originally intention being to have it contain nothing but sounds generated with my acoustic guitar. And whilst a healthy collection of soundscapes were created and subsequently used, it seemed pointless to persist for the sake of sheer bloody-mindedness when others far more adept than I had already harvested such a wealth of sounds for me to feast upon.

I’d specifically like to extend thanks to the following users, who unknowingly contributed to this album by way of their generosity (they appear in no peculiar order):

And below are several photographs of the specialised technology behind some of the more involved Freesound members expertise and dedication; neither of which I could ever possibly hope to emulate in equal measure. These pictures are taken from this thread, which discusses a variety of audio equipment and techniques.

User: Microscopia

User: Microscopia

User: Microscopia

User: Corsica_S

User: Corsica_S

If you do choose to join up, please contribute some of your own audio samples, because (as mentioned in the link above) approximately only 0.34% of their current users have actively supplied material to the project ... !