Communauté électroacoustique canadienne
Canadian Electroacoustic Community
GM-500 — 1455, boulevard De Maisonneuve Ouest, Montréal, QC, H3G 1M8, Canada
http://cec.sonus.ca - cec@sonus.ca

Whenever I listen to this piece, I am somewhat amazed about the sound quality of the bed-tracks, and amused about where they were recorded. This piece was partially made around 1991 after I had moved to Montreal. In fact, the move to this city had occurred in 1987 and I had not made any recordings simply because I was without a studio per say, except a corner in my room for a drawing board. Yet the bed-track of this recording was made in the hallway on the third floor of a house I was rooming in. And how it was created was partly done with the sound equipment of my roommate, who was a former “sound-guy” for local bands. He had a collection of audio recording equipment that was just sitting around getting dusty. If there is another subliminal element of influence, it may be explained as to both he and the landlady were members of an occult fraternity. Whether or not there was an arcane influence when I was recording beside their former temple, I prefer to say that plain old curiosity motivated me to check the capabilities of the old sound equipment at my disposal [1]. There was an experimental approach to these recordings motivated by spontaneity. I recall recording several tracks using an old mono mixer, which had knob type faders about the size of your fist. Along with an Akai two-track reel to reel and a delay, was an old mono reel to reel that I used for the overdubbing of tape loops. The loops were stretched to ceiling hooks. The house cats would watch the white splicing tape with the upmost predatory attention.

After I moved to my own studio, Mad Children was completed on a Teac four-track reel to reel with a couple of those earlier recordings for the bed-tracks. The spontaneity of the creative process was renewed along with the use of the tape loop. The method of recording the spoken word was with two mono reel-to-reel decks and imitating Brian Eno’s technique. A tape loop was made and spooled from one machine to another resulting in a delay effect. The oral word is based on a writing method called “cut-up” [2]. The literary source came from some newspaper headlines that caught my eye and interspersed with spontaneous uttering during recording. The voice track was re-recorded preserving pitch flaws and audio disintegration. Another type of oral use was a belch that was recorded on a tape loop at 3 and one-third ips. When the playback was recorded at 7 and a half ips, it was processed through a reverb and a delay slap -back effect and mixed in as the rhythm. Once the synthesizer was recorded, it was time to get it to the mixer and juggle the faders.

Mad Children was mixed during the studio time of Maldoror. This archive selection is the original mix.

1. During this period my interest of study was to learn more about the rituals of ancient Grecian religion. In particular the cult of Dionysius, which gave a conception for the title. The study of the cult was beneficial in the sense of my thespian interests and propelled me further into the research of hermetic art that discussed the esoteric conceptions about symbolism and music. Otherwise I have no interest for participating in occult rituals. Growing up Catholic was enough. But in retrospective I find the study of occulture somewhat interesting for imaginative reasons and like many artists investigating the arcane, it seems to have an integral part with the creative process where symbols, numbers or tonality are connected to the process of cause and effect or as a supernal language that may be used as an explanation of circumstances, such as coincidences. But my earthly nature likes to keep things at a level of constructive progress. By which on the human level of interest where investigation upholds facts relative to spiritual conceptions, there has been some scholarly research about the relationship of sound to the mind. What scientific parallel that may be considered in the same sense of hermetical theory is used in sound therapy and gives some fundamental idea about tonal effect on the imaginative process. Otherwise, in my case if there was some magical connection that energized my will power for discovering the hidden self, it may be the combination of studying the aesthetics and esoteric. Some say that those ideas can be fundamental knowledge to heighten the awareness of life, or they are connected to chance operations that unveil advance techniques for artistic expression. In relative truth of this commentary, my creative activity forged a link that began with my visual art and by the way of a mailing list provided by the café/gallery. By which, it was by chance that an invitation about my exhibition, led to being offered a residence from the fore mentioned landlady. With access to her home library, I indulged during my leisure time with books about artistic theory, imagination, esotericism, intellectualism and the psychology of the mind. On the other hand, my creative experiences sought out further potential between a job and paintings, by removing a veil of dust on the roommates’ sound equipment that was left by the air of the past and scattered throughout the house. I gathered the electronics to reunite my interest with sound and recording.

2. Brion Gyson and William S. Burroughs developed this writing technique after the Dadists.

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