Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Harmonic singing in an Anechoic Chamber

The University of Wollongong has installed an anechoic chamber in the Creative Arts building for various research. This was my third time in. Of Which i must thank Eva Cheng for making this possible. Yes you hear your ears and blood rather quickly. One becomes over aware of just yourself which is probably why they use it for torture. Actually the sensation reminded me of various experiments I did with Erv Wilson when his Scale-A-Tron organ was working. Because it manifest it pitches from a very high crystal driven pitch, if one picks the right key one can have chords in 'absolute' as opposed to just tunings. By absolute meaning not a beat in say 10,000 years. but i have digress, i guess to touch upon the similarity. During the second time end i tried doing some harmonic singing, not that i am a singer at all, but found afterwards, i felt quite altered on leaving. This time i went in with that purpose and had my pettersons tuner to give and allow me to see how steady my pitch was. Due to the quiet one can hear much higher harmonics in ones voice but as these get closer and closer, it gets harder to find the perfect resonant position to accent it. I found myself though for the first time moving much closer in between the harmonics and began to explore the space in between these strong points. Here were all types of subtle shifts of timbre that i hadn't been able to hear before. For today i picked Meta-Mavila to be the base pitches. In the 1/2 hour i recorded i sang only nine tones over a range of an octave and a third. i plan to put these together in the future. next i and planning to record on the subharmonic series to see how it all sounds when it is all put togethersince there will be one pitch all the harmonic series will have in common.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

P is for Pope, P is for Plastic

Having a Lebanese stepfather, descended from Catholics, of course I at the age of 9 became one. This lasted till 12 but can say I did get things out of it. Seeing how the church has changed in the half theater put on in Sydney (the first night drove the in-laws at whose place we stay when in town away, all the way to Bathurst). We went to one event cause there was supposed to be dancing, but none was happening. We did see a Jesus Store and a statue that was going to be auctioned later, painted in a fake aboriginal pointillism. An ambulance taking someone away. There was group yellings and wavings of red and white (how Masonic!) flags. A hippie tambourine at one point. We missed the passing of the Pope pass all the people who lined the streets to see him. But at 90 Km a hour, there was much disappointment we heard. All night yelling like at a football game. Obviously the church has regressed, not like what I was exposed to. It was cheap evangelism.
How come they don’t do this for the Dalai Lama?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tokyo- for the first time

Somehow i made it to one of the places i always wanted to go, Japan. I had an introduction to Japanese music when i was just 20, but took to it like a duck to water. So yes here i am seeing Noh again (there is a previous entry here of one that came to Wollongong) and then later some Kabuki. Both by the top artist in the city. Somehow even on an entertainment level, i preferred the Noh. The Kyogen sections seem to be enough to carry the weight of the more dramatic that follows it, and despite to reading translations of Zeami's book and hoarding every recording i could through the years, here for the first time did i experience all the different layers that takes it out of just drama into a more far reaching theater combined with music and dance each on an equal level. In between this and the Kabuki a day before we left, Carl Stone took us to the favorite bar of Takemitsu. It was barely bigger than two pool tables put together. a very small crowd at at time with people turned away for lack of room. One person came in and turned out to be the lyric writer for the tune A Man and a Woman. [ Ba ba ba da ba etc. ] well it worked somehow! The Kabuki we saw was a more modern one but there was no schism with it own past. There was some projected film on a scrim along with some prerecorded Buddhist chant at the beginning. The whole play had 4 people yet one was aware that there had to be numerous ones in back of everything just to have mountains flying around as the actors traveled. It created a field in which one becomes aware of greater forces beyond ourselves always acting around us.
We were staying a block from one of the busiest station Shinjuku station. Maybe the most crowded place i have been in my life [minus some demonstrations i have been to]. But here was a never ending flow where no one bumps into each other. Yet a great calm underneath it all... maybe the whole country is that way yet one knows that the opposite exist here just as hidden.