Sunday 25 September 2011

Tablehooter - Constraints Aid Creativity

Some years back I decided it was time to re-connect with the pleasure of music making. One day I realized that this was something that I had lost along the way, subsumed perhaps into the screen based DAW activities that seemed to dominate the compositional process. It occured to me that most of my time was spent staring at progress bars, twiddling and fiddling with an infinity of plugin settings and generally not feeling very satisfied by any of it. Worse than all of this was the dawning realization that it sounded pretty much like every other DAW inspired composition out there. Welcome to the homogenization of music, made in the box. In a desperate bid for musical enjoyment I made the bold decision to pick up an electric guitar, buy myself some fx pedals and stop looking at any screens whilst playing my instruments.
With computers safely out of the way I was able to connect with the visceral, immediate and spontaneous joy of creative sound. To put ones real physical being into the twiddling of knobs whilst shutting ones eyes and LISTENING is a sadly neglected art these days. To be physically re-active and sensorily dynamic is what music is all about IMHO.

Simultaneously, I re-kindled an old love affair with cheap Casio keyboards, ebay and carboot sales providing endless possibilities for the musician on a budget. Various MT's and SA models were procured (the sa-35 is a beast and the mt-68 is the sweetest of them all). Anyway, there I sat, creating little vignettes on my EHX Hazarai and dumping the results onto an ancient minidisc recorder. Once the disc was full I did use a computer and audacity to edit the loops together into individual soundscape voyages with the rule that they should be no longer that 20 minutes total run time each, (a rule adopted after reading Tony Buzan's Use Your Head where he talks about attention spans, correlates nicely with the length of a side of vinyl too strangely enough.) I like to think of these works as snapshots of where I was at during those years huddled in my little room in the night. I was studying my Fine Art degree then and many of the titles reflect upon critical references that were cogent at the time. I like to think they give the listener a little seed to go on.

Tablehooter was a good experiment but for now he has been put to bed to make way for the next great thing! Must keep moving on you know....

In the meantime all Tablehooter mini albums are available here:
The Tablehooter modus operandi is as follows:

1.Get some old Casio keyboards a guitar and some fx pedals.
2. Make some
interesting loops on a looper pedal, remembering to keep a light touch and be spontaneous.
3. Dump results onto a mini-disc or somesuch. (live overdubs allowed at this point)
4. Repeat.
4. When mini-disc is full post results on bandcamp as a short album. 

Remember: Constraints Aid Creativity !


Wednesday 2 March 2011

Tablehooter Casio and Guitar Session

A long minidisc loop session, painstakingly edited down into individual segments for you to observe how I layer up my silly tunes..of course I left on the guitar rock out section at the end...well just a bit of it.