antboy10 - Ernie Althoff - "Colour Chart"

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Eighteen electrically-powered kinetic music machine solos

Antboy10 - Limited Edition CDR
Duration: 55' 32"
Limited edition, Ernie Althoff homemade cover, each different - 10euros

I'm always aware that I hear a much richer sound-world from my music machines than a live audience does, due mainly to proximity and an often uninterrupted listening space. On this CD, I am trying to share that richness through careful, close-miked recordings of solo devices.

Most of the sounding materials (and the beaters) are home-made or simple found objects. Knurled rollers rotate inside the opposite ends of a horizontally suspended bamboo tube. Table-tennis balls spun by a rotating T-arm structure bash against tubular vertical aluminium tines. Plastic detergent bottles strike a table-tennis ball pendulum as they rotate on a turntable platter. Flexible leather discs strum the two wire strings of a large tambura-like instrument.

The machines fall into two categories: those powered by small, high- speed DC motors, and those using the AC motors in record players (and occasionally just their motors), cassette players and a muscle-relaxant vibrator. They can also be separated into those which play continual textural frequency bands, and those which play erratic and unpredictable 'melodies' of pitched material. With installations and in concert, the compositional challenge is deciding which melodies complement each other, and which textures can underpin them. In this context, each machine is allowed to reveal its individual sonic complexity.

For me, it's the resulting sound palette that is of primary interest. The mechanics is just a necessary means of getting there – master one, and you have access to the other.

Ernie Althoff - 2010