Monday, July 18, 2016

Tone Wood Le Grande Arche


Le Grande Arche

Most steel string guitars use about 12 braces for the top and 4 heavy braces for the back. These braces are absolutely necessary to give the thin top and back enough strength to withstand the 700N force from the strings. 
 


 Yamaha Guitar - Examples of bracing

Archtops only use 2 braces for the top and no braces at all for the back. From the 700N string tension only about 150N will be converted to down pressure on the Archtop Bridge. The way the string force acts on an archtop top is completely different from the way they act on steel string top. Two braces, a little arch of about ¾” (19mm) and a thickness of the top of ¼”(6mm) is enough to deal with the down pressure of 150N on the bridge. 

 

Archtops are inspired on the violin family, the sound post is skipped but the whole concept is pretty much the same. A good example of natural evaluation. I always have my doubt about the arched top on the . It doesn’t give any structural advantage, it makes it much more expensive to produce and maybe most important “it looks so dammed good!” The picture shows the back of my Avant-garde top model archtop. Glossy, shiny and arched.






Friday, July 15, 2016

Morton Felman remembered by Tom Johnson




Artwork: Central Asian (mainly Uzbekistan) rug patterns
Remembrance
by Tom Johnson


I studied privately with Morton Feldman in his apartment in New York City, before he was to take the University post in Buffalo. During the period 1967-69 I would often visit him, whenever I had some new scores and enough money to pay for a lesson. It was a valuable experience for me, and 20 years later I still have a folder where I used to file notes of things Feldman told me. When I heard of his death, I dug out the folder, which I had not looked at for some years, and found a renewed significance in the words of my teacher, who now can no longer speak for himself. The majority of the notes I had made had to do with specific things in my own early compositional efforts, but I also found a number of quotations that are of general interest which I wanted to share, particularly since very little of what Feldman talked about during this period has been published. May these fragments help to preserve the memory of one of those extremely rare cases of a man who truly knew how to think for himself.

Tom Johnson, September 1987



The traditional sense of proportion is a hang-up. The usual Mozartean concept of how long an idea lasts becomes too predictable. Some of the composers who talk the most about avoiding predictability are the ones most victimized by this predictable traditional sense of proportion.



The extremely fast psychological time in Stockhausen's music, for example, is a result of electronic music. Working with dead sound creates this tendency to keep speeding up. Simple sustained sound is not effective the way it is in instrumental music.




The lower register is gravity. If you omit it and use only higher registers, there's no gravity. The music remains suspended and ethereal. Verdi knew about that.



Those elaborate rules that Christian Wolff used in his game-like scores form an aura of concentration around the sound. The players are not able to devote their full attention to sound production, and ironically they achieve a kind of sound sound as opposed to musical sound. But it is music, of course, and a completely unique kind of music. The sounds that result are less artificial than in other kinds of music.



Most music is metaphor, but Wolff is not. I am not metaphor either. Parable, maybe. Cage is sermon.



Timbre and range are the same problem, and both are more important than pitches. When one knows exactly the sound he wants, there are only a few notes in any instrument that will suffice. Choosing actual pitches then becomes almost like editing, filling in detail, finishing things off. Isn't it curious that in the classical period the selection of range and timbre, i.e., orchestration, was the secondary finishing-off thing. Just the opposite.



Music can imply the infinite if enough things depart from the norm far enough. Strange "abnormal" events can lead to the feeling that anything can happen, and you have a music with no boundaries.



The reason I don't like theater pieces is that one usually has to sacrifice some of the musical for the sake of the theatrical. I wrote a solo trumpet piece where the player talked, removed valves, talked through the horn, and did other actions, but theater is not my medium, and I've dropped this piece from the catalog. It works for Cage, though, as in his "Music Walk," where there are instruments all over the stage and David Tudor moved all around playing continually. That is the finest kind of integration of music and theatrics.



One of the fallacies of our chance music in the '50s is that we sometimes failed to realize the difference between the experience of performing and the experience of listening.



You have to find a place for everything. Every idea needs to find its place in time, its context, its environment, a world in which it can exist. Sometimes you can write something that doesn't seem to exist in any particular place. That is better. But much harder.



All we composers really have to work with is time and sound - and sometimes I'm not even sure about sound.






MORE in PREPARED GUITAR

SOUND: CONFRONTING THE SILENCE by Toru Takemitsu (June 02, 2016)
Gardener of Time by Toru Takemitsu (May 31, 2016)
Le Picadilly by Erik Satie (1866-1925) by Ya-Ling Chen (May 25, 2016)
Sound Aesthetics: Xenakis (January 7, 2016)
Pinhas Deleuze Sound language (January 21, 2016)
Angle(s) VI John Cage (April 30, 2015)
Morton Feldman (March 16, 2015)
Morton Feldman and painting (October 3, 2014)


Morton Felman remembered by Tom Johnson




Artwork: Central Asian (mainly Uzbekistan) rug patterns
Remembrance
by Tom Johnson


I studied privately with Morton Feldman in his apartment in New York City, before he was to take the University post in Buffalo. During the period 1967-69 I would often visit him, whenever I had some new scores and enough money to pay for a lesson. It was a valuable experience for me, and 20 years later I still have a folder where I used to file notes of things Feldman told me. When I heard of his death, I dug out the folder, which I had not looked at for some years, and found a renewed significance in the words of my teacher, who now can no longer speak for himself. The majority of the notes I had made had to do with specific things in my own early compositional efforts, but I also found a number of quotations that are of general interest which I wanted to share, particularly since very little of what Feldman talked about during this period has been published. May these fragments help to preserve the memory of one of those extremely rare cases of a man who truly knew how to think for himself.

(Tom Johnson, September 1987)



The traditional sense of proportion is a hang-up. The usual Mozartean concept of how long an idea lasts becomes too predictable. Some of the composers who talk the most about avoiding predictability are the ones most victimized by this predictable traditional sense of proportion.



The extremely fast psychological time in Stockhausen's music, for example, is a result of electronic music. Working with dead sound creates this tendency to keep speeding up. Simple sustained sound is not effective the way it is in instrumental music.






The lower register is gravity. If you omit it and use only higher registers, there's no gravity. The music remains suspended and ethereal. Verdi knew about that.



Those elaborate rules that Christian Wolff used in his game-like scores form an aura of concentration around the sound. The players are not able to devote their full attention to sound production, and ironically they achieve a kind of sound sound as opposed to musical sound. But it is music, of course, and a completely unique kind of music. The sounds that result are less artificial than in other kinds of music.


Most music is metaphor, but Wolff is not. I am not metaphor either. Parable, maybe. Cage is sermon.



Timbre and range are the same problem, and both are more important than pitches. When one knows exactly the sound he wants, there are only a few notes in any instrument that will suffice. Choosing actual pitches then becomes almost like editing, filling in detail, finishing things off. Isn't it curious that in the classical period the selection of range and timbre, i.e., orchestration, was the secondary finishing-off thing. Just the opposite.



Music can imply the infinite if enough things depart from the norm far enough. Strange "abnormal" events can lead to the feeling that anything can happen, and you have a music with no boundaries.



The reason I don't like theater pieces is that one usually has to sacrifice some of the musical for the sake of the theatrical. I wrote a solo trumpet piece where the player talked, removed valves, talked through the horn, and did other actions, but theater is not my medium, and I've dropped this piece from the catalog. It works for Cage, though, as in his "Music Walk," where there are instruments all over the stage and David Tudor moved all around playing continually. That is the finest kind of integration of music and theatrics.



One of the fallacies of our chance music in the '50s is that we sometimes failed to realize the difference between the experience of performing and the experience of listening.



You have to find a place for everything. Every idea needs to find its place in time, its context, its environment, a world in which it can exist. Sometimes you can write something that doesn't seem to exist in any particular place. That is better. But much harder.



All we composers really have to work with is time and sound - and sometimes I'm not even sure about sound.







MORE in PREPARED GUITAR

SOUND: CONFRONTING THE SILENCE by Toru Takemitsu (June 02, 2016)
Gardener of Time by Toru Takemitsu (May 31, 2016)
Le Picadilly by Erik Satie (1866-1925) by Ya-Ling Chen (May 25, 2016)
Sound Aesthetics: Xenakis (January 7, 2016)
Pinhas Deleuze Sound language (January 21, 2016)
Angle(s) VI John Cage (April 30, 2015)
Morton Feldman (March 16, 2015)
Morton Feldman and painting (October 3, 2014)


Thursday, July 14, 2016

David Kollar The Son RMX 2016



The Son RMX 2016
by David Kollar, REMIXES by Terminal State


"I decided to record the album Son in the beginning of this year, when my son David
was waiting for a second surgery. It was very difficult and painful period, which I also took as a challenge to move somewhere else.

I recorded the feelings that were inside me and around me. I wanted to conceive the album differently than I did before.

I used only electric guitar on which I made all the noises and sounds; mandoline,
which I play with bow, Gamelan, a voice of Lenka Dusilová and India Czajkowska.
The compositions are based on improvisations, which I recorded in Warsaw in a studio of Tadeusz Sudnik and later in my studio in Slovakia.

The final material was longer than three hours. From that I chose what is on the album.
  • David Kollar - guitars, bowed mandoline, effects, gamelan, vocal
  • Lenka Dusilova - vocals
  • India Czajkowska - vocals


David Kollar (1983) is a young artist, guitarist and film music composer with a unique and personal musical vision.

Pat Mastelotto - KING CRIMSON
"David in particular is one of the most innovative and driven young guitarists on the scene today.
 


Album released at 30 Jun 2013.




David Kollar 13 questions

http://www.davidkollar.sk/

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Guitaret by Ernst Zacharias




The Guitaret is an electric lamellophone made by Hohner and invented by Ernst Zacharias, in 1963. Ernst Zacharias (born 21 June 1924) is a German musician and engineer. In the 1950s and 1960s, he invented various electro-mechanical musical instruments for the German musical instrument manufacturer Hohner, including the Cembalet, the Clavinet, the Guitaret, and the Pianet.



The Claviola, a modernisation of the sheng and the Harmonetta, a mouth-blown concertina-keyboarded instrument, were also invented by Zacharias. DEPATIS lists 90 patents by Ernst Zacharias for Hohner, including plastic recorders and watch and clock mechanisms.




It was only produced for two years. The Guitaret has a tone something like an electric thumb piano (kalimba) and a plucked guitar or banjo. The instrument itself was not popular, and was dropped from the product line in 1965, presumably because it failed to excite the market.




It was one of a number of experiments that Zacharias made converting non-standard musical instruments to modern ones. Guitarets that have survived have problems with the reed dampening system, which means that the instrument has come to be played with two hands.


 

Despite its obsolescence, its distinct tone has made it popular in both retro- and colourist settings, and it has experienced somewhat of a revival. It has been featured in soundtracks recently for this very reason.The Guitaret's sound is that of a thumb piano. It is plugged into an amplifier, and sounds like an electric thumb piano.


Guitaret at 1'02''

Instrument layout and playing

The Guitaret is a rationalised lamellophone, making use of metal reeds or tines which are arranged in three rows within a white painted metal rectangular case approximately 30 centimetres long. The ends of the tines protrude slightly above the level of the casing.


The player takes the guitaret with the left hand on the handle and uses the thumb of the right hand to pluck the tines. There are hidden tines that resonate with the plucked tines to swell the sounds. Although there are 3 rows of 12 tines each, there are only 15 actual tones, ranging from G♯3 to E5 owing to repetition.



A handle at the left-hand end of the instrument contains a large lever, called the "damper button", which operate a damper mechanism. By pressing the spring-loaded button, a damper mechanism lifts a series of felt pads which rest on the tines; by releasing the button, all the tines, including the resonating tines, are simultaneously muted.



The instrument is amplified up by an single electromagnetic pickup which is wrapped around all of the tines. The coil is directly connected to the output to the amplifier, it has no built-in amplification. The sound of the instrument on its own is very soft.


Michael Peters

The three rows of tines are laid out in the cycle of fifths which permits easy performance of chord sequences, and they are arranged in such a manner that three- or four-note chords can be played with ease. At the top of the instrument case, these chords are laid out for the convenience of the player. The chords are major, minor, diminished seventh, major seventh, diminished, augmented, minor seventh and sixth.



An alternative method of two handed multi-finger playing is listed in the Facebook Guitaret Page as being invented by Lalli Barriere with the damper button held down with elastic bands, while Ivodne Galatea has created a five finger right-hand style for playing classical music, with the left hand being used for damping.



Galatea has also created a tablature for playing the instrument classically and has arranged a repertoire for it from Bach, Beethoven and Debussy, as well as an arrangement for Guitaret consort of Reilly's In C.







Scale view of the Guitaret notes.