| is about being
quiet, being open, being non-judgmental, being alert, being ...
other hand, if there is nothing to compare to - there would be no music
at all. Music is not born in a vacuum, but rather in the mix
influences we are exposed to and the unique voice that is found within. Instrument
of the biggest
differences you may hear in these albums is the
instrumentation. In place of normal set of drums is a grouping of handmade drums:
Africa, and two which I made quite a few years ago - one from a giant
cheese crate which originally housed a sixty-five pound wheel of
cheddar, and the second from a nail barrel - together I've called them
cheese congas. The set is rounded out with a couple of given symbols
and a cow bell. They are played mostly with the hands with a modified
tabla style, though sometimes sticks are used.
the first two
CD's, there is no bass guitar; the music is filled in in other ways,
but it makes for a very different sound. Two instruments used
which you rarely hear in conventional pairings are the baliphone
and the kalimba, (kalimba on top).
on these albums - the first tracks recorded and recorded together are
the voice and guitar - or in one case, voice and piano, or voice and
bass. The recording is done this way because it is more
to how it was written, it is more natural to play, and it gives a more
live quality to what in all other ways is clearly a studio
What is interesting about this process is that I think it better allows
for the kind of improv which is ordinarily reserved for group play.
Throughout these recordings one can hear conversations between
instruments, conversations between voices, conversations between voices
and instruments - all of which takes place while listening and playing
at the same time.
things which will set this music apart from other music is that it is
all played by 1 dan - interacting like a band but having the advantage
of musical intimacy that comes from being both author and performer.
In addition, it is recorded at a home studio (Outhouse Studios) and
despite what I believe to be very impressive sound quality for such a
studio - it cannot be quite as good as what would come from a much
better invested professional studio. Although one would probably only
know by comparing.
And to top it off, it is all music which is uniquely Dan Beck: the
sense of melody, rhythm, life experience, musical abilities, and
Sound vs. CD Sound: My feeling here is
that mp3's sound pretty good ... until you compare them to their CD
On their own, which is the way they generally are listened to, they
sound ok and are about a quarter of the file size of a CDDA,
which is the type file found on a typical CD. I suppose it is
surprising that the bigger file would have the better sound.
The parallel in this recording process was the use of the reel to reel
tape deck. By mastering on to a reel to reel before encoding
to CD, the signal to noise ratio as well as the dynamic
range, were increased. The tape can take more sound before
distorting than the CD Recorder is able to. I found this to
quite surprising - but I can tell you this, that by the reel to reel's
being broken at the beginning of the "About Time" project, it became
clear what a valuable asset it really is.
It's part of that need for comparison thing.
So if you haven't already, please go listen to some excerpts.