Wednesday, May 08, 2013

elegy for George (remix)

In 1984, I was the featured performing artist on the radio program Studio Live on WCBN-FM Ann Arbor. (Disclosure: I was a longtime volunteer programmer on CBN, and had a couple of regular shows. This was a special event, a live performance show that I was invited to be on.) I just found the cassette master recording of that broadcast, which also includes the tape music piece I made from part of that broadcast in the WCBN Production studio later.

It was during the live broadcast, when we were playing a tape piece of mine, that a phone call came in informing me of the death of my George Cacioppo: good friend, mentor in music composition, founding member of the ONCE Group of experimental music composers in Ann Arbor in the 1960s, and philosophical gadfly. I then made the rest of the live show into a memorial elegy for George.

The piece I made from that evening, "elegy for George," was later broadcast on WCBN, and also played as a tape piece at a memorial concert in George's memory, at the Unitarian church in Ann Arbor. William Albright, my advisor as a composition student, and one of the most important mentors in my life, organized the event, and when he heard I had a piece, he had it included. So my music was performed alongside the music of some of my heroes in modern, experimental, avant-garde music: Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, George's own music, and other members of the ONCE Group and Fluxus.

Last night I digitized the cassette without difficulty into my studio computer. Tonight I spent an hour cleaning up the digital version, then making a new piece of music out of it, a remix. Consider the musical category to be trance, drone, ambient, meditation. But the piece itself is a very emotional piece of music, and it can get under your skin.

This version is digitally edited and remixed. It is stretched to three time its original length, then heavily processed in Sony Vegas using heavy-duty reverbs and processors like Lexicon Pantheon and Waves Enigma. Essentially this is an extended, blurred remix. I can also hear maybe adding Tibetan bell sounds to this piece, in another version. Fodder for another ambient/meditation album, an idea I've been working on for a few months.

elegy for George (enigma blur remix)    

George Cacioppo

"Cassiopeia," by George Cacioppo
A marvelously sensual and beautiful piece of aleatoric music that I have performed a number of times.

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