Ambrosia

swampmessiah on October 14, 2012 15:09

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    Draft 1—10/17/1996. Fostex XR-5. Tweaked in ACID 9/9/2007. Tweaked and mastered 5/7/2010.
    Draft 2—12/28/1998. Roland VS-880.
    Draft 3—7/4/1999. Roland VS-880. Tweaked in ACID and mastered March/April, 2010.
    Draft 3.2—9/10/2012. ACID.

    Ambrosia began with a very silly joke: what if we were the food of the gods and life itself were nothing but a ride through a divine digestive system (this is the poem read at the end, as the sounds are suspended in space…a more literal minded person would have concluded with a splash and flush). The words earlier on are mainly an improvisation.
    Draft 1 was done on a 4-track cassette portable studio. The first draft of The Naming had all been recorded live performances. As I began working with a sampler and sequencer (Roland MS-1 and MC-50, respectively) I recorded a collection of water and “frog” sounds (or swamp sounds)—all of them used on Ambrosia and about half used on The Naming. There were drips; bubbles blown through a straw; splashes made with plastic stacking cups that I borrowed from the kids; and odd smacks and squelches made with my mouth.
    The recording of draft 1 was somewhat frenzied as I tried to fill up the sonic space with prerecorded (MIDI) synthesizer and samples, and live sounds (voice) in one pass per track.
    Drafts 2 and 3 were calmer, using the same prerecorded synth and sample parts, going to a digital 8-track with 64 virtual tracks. In fact, draft 3 is little more than a remix of draft 2. I tried to recreate what I’d done on cassette, but cleaner and more controlled. There’s much more latitude for the placement and volume of individual “instruments” (mixing) than when tracking to a 4-track analog recorder.

    Life stinks! That’s all you ever say. Nothing. There is nothing. Nothing to see. Nothing to know. Nothing to find or lose. That’s life, a lot of nothing. Just the stench. Life stinks. It goddamned stinks…Purity and oblivion are outside of life. Essence. Eternity. An odor free escape. The absolute at the end of the tunnel…I never thought I’d see it. Up ahead, that dim glow. I can just barely make out a brightness. The light, I never thought I’d see it. The light. There is a light. There is a light. I never thought I’d see it. There is a light!

    Some people view life,
    others death or dying,
    as darkness—
    a soul slung
    by brute peristalsis,
    suffering the brilliance
    at tunnel’s end.

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