Sunday, March 8, 2009

Imagine a membrane...

Imagine a membrane... a membrane say, a mile across and four or five miles long. This membrane is solid and crystalline, and perhaps a foot or so thick. Now imagine shining a heat source on it, like the sun, so that it begins to expand. But it is fairly rigid, being crystalline; how does it relieve the stress of expanding ever-so-slightly in the weak Scandinavian winter sun?

What we have created is something your average bass-box Escort driver with 10k+ watts driving 18" kickers couldn't even begin to conceive of.... and without the distortion.

My friend Magnus had taken me upcountry a bit inland from Stockholm to visit an archaeological site he was currently working at; in the summer there's a small ferry, but in the winter you walk out across the ice to reach the island. When we got about halfway there, the wind suddenly dropped, the sun came out, and the ice suddenly began to sing and reverberate with long groaning noises and rifle-like cracks. The video embedded above gives no idea of the kind of subsonic shudders that come up from the ice through your boots - something like whale-song, but felt in your bones. I was utterly and completely gobsmacked, and had to keep stopping to listen.

I can't begin to tell you how lucky I felt. I've heard it before; but faintly, almost as if I was kidding myself because I wanted to hear it. Not like this. The whole show finished when the entire valley echoed with a sound like rolling thunder that lasted about 20 seconds as something major re-arranged it self the length of the lake. The old Gods awaken. (try pasting that last phrase into Google for a positive embarrassment of sad Goth/Fantasy/New Age sites... something else to explore, I suppose)

I've now spent days trying to find the sounds again, but I'll just have to go back....

I have now put up some of the tracks from the Chelmsford gig on the brand shiny-new Riprap site on Myspace for your listening pleasure. The strange thing about that gig was how well it went compared to my playing a week later trying to run some in-character straight post-bop for Chris Ingham's Rebop effort. I just couldn't make the switch in styles fast enough. More on this soon.

More soon - just trying to do something with the Holy Goof... it seems like marimbas are go.

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