Fading into Existence

As mentioned in Gypsy’s recent post, I performed at the Asheville Electro-Music Festival last month, and gave two pieces their live premiere: “Fade To Blue”, a live improvisation for solo iPhone, and “Fade To Red”, a live performance on solo iPad.

These two tracks join “Fade To White (Glimpse)”, which appears on the CD sampler for the 2015 festival (available for purchase at Greg Waltzer’s Kunaki store), “Fade To Green” (on the beautiful charity compilation This Music Plants Trees, downloadable at The Sound4Good Bandcamp site), and “Fade To Silver”, yet to be released. All of this music was performed on iOS devices, with different apps and controllers and workflow (except for “White” and “Red”, both in Gadget).

So what, you ask? Well, I have to be honest with you… this whole “creating music on an iOS device” thing was an early interest of mine, but it’s only been recently that the tools have gotten to where I am comfortable with them and the iOS devices themselves have gotten powerful enough so that I can use them the way I want to. I’ve been making music on iOS since the first iPad was released, but iOS music didn’t really start to take off until the A5 chip was released, and didn’t really get seamless until the A7… and the A8 and A8X in my current devices are amazing in that respect. Sure, iOS 9 will come out and screw everything up this fall, but until then, I’m making music at a pace unheard of in my recent history. (So much so that I haven’t had much time to blog, alas.)

The current plan goes something like this: “Fade To White” needs to be expanded to full length (there were time strictures on the sampler CD that limited its length); “Fade To Green” needs to be revisited and possibly polished and expanded; I need to capture a good rendition of “Fade To Blue” without clams — it’s done live and recorded in stereo, one mistake means I have to start over; “Fade To Red” is very rough and messy and needs a proper arrangement and mix; and “Fade To Silver” needs to be recorded (and possibly released elsewhere)… once that’s done, I have enough for an entirely unexpected and unforeseen metlay! album, which I will probably release on Bandcamp/Kunaki (in addition to reuploading CD versions of my free albums on the Earth Mantra netlabel). Between that and getting the second Labrathisattva album out the door, I’ll be plenty busy for a while…

…but not too busy for Internet Radio and Second Life. My show has moved to 8 PM EDT/7 PM Stillstream time/6 PM MDT/5 PM Second Life Time every Sunday evening, and I may have a big announcement about a Second Life performance coming soon. Thanks for sticking with me.



Concrete Mixer Live – it’s all in the mix!

Concrete Mixer PosterAre you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. Musique concrète, according to our friendly Wikipedia: “can feature sounds derived from recordings of musical instruments, voice, and the natural environment as well as those created using synthesizers and computer-based digital signal processing.” In other words, it is music formed from processed sound, rather than a sound made directly from an instrument you’re seeing right in front of you. Sounds are recorded and messed with, then spat out again for your listening pleasure. Why do you need to know this? Simple – so that you can be prepared for a singularly unique experience when Spiral plays musique concrète at Concrete Mixer IV on Friday 30th January 2015 at 8pm Pacific, 9pm Mountain, 10pm Central etc.

Whether you are close enough to Denver to attend at the Walnut Room, whether you want to just listen via Radio Spiral, or whether you would like to join me in Second Life to listen, there’s a way for you to be there and a way for you to connect to others attending. Be prepared for loud, improvised and very unusual music from a collaboration of some great names in ambient and synthesised sound.

I hope you’ll join us whichever way you can, and enjoy the unique experience of Concrete Mixer. Spiral’s chat room (in the sidebar) will be open for business, to, so I’ll see you there!

«Gypsy Witch«

EEK! Mr Spiral and friends play live… don’t miss it!

You’ve got less than two days to clear your calendar! With the holiday season on us, there are plenty of offerings for your seasonal entertainment. If you wanted to go to a club and listen to the latest winner of The X Factor, you’d not even be reading this blog, so chances are, you’d like something a little different. Well EEK!

EEK! It's music, but not as we know it...

EEK! It’s music, but not as we know it…

EEK! for your information, is The Eklektik Elektrik Kolektiv – a group of some of the great and good of the electronic music community in the Boulder area of Colorado. Along with our very own Spiral Sands aka Mike Metlay (whose evil genius masterminded the event) the Kolektiv will be playing live at La Vita Bella in Longmont. Home of some of the wickedest desserts to ever tantalize your tastebuds, La Vita Bella will be hosting the Kolektiv for most of Saturday 27th December 2014 at 6pm SLT/ PDT, 7pm Mountain Time (local time), 9pm Eastern… and you’re invited!

“But Gypsy, I’m not in Colorado!” I hear you cry…

Never fear, you can join us in Second Life and hear it all streamed live there, as well as get a taste of the new set I’ve been slaving away at building (more on that later).

“But GYPSY! I’m not on Second Life and you can’t make me go and I don’t want to… but I want to hear EEK!” I hear you say (you did, right? Please keep up!)…

Well, yet again, never fear. You can now listen to the live, improvised performance via the computer you’re using to read this, and don’t you dare tell me you haven’t got one of those, ‘cos I know you have! Yes, you can listen right here on this page, just click the “Radio Spiral” widget in the sidebar when the show is due to start and off you go!

The Mystery Skybox

So, having assured you that you are not excluded and encouraging you to listen, let me tease those of you in Second Life that are planning to come. If you know Spiral’s HQ, you’ll know it’s a building with a small stage, comfy chairs, free mugs and lots of light and space with a decent view to the sea. Well, that’s where the show is normally streamed from and where you might be expecting to hear this show. You’d be wrong.


The Mystery Rings

Up in the skies over Spiral’s HQ is the mystery skybox you’ll see in the picture. What’s in the skybox? Well, right now, it’s what you can see in the picture below, complete with a grid, what looks like a fried egg, and me. Not impressed? Not even by the mystery rings in the picture to the right that’s there simply to make the page a bit more interesting?  Well, I think you might enjoy what’s in the skybox even more now you’ve been teased… so you’ll have to come along to find out! As a sweetener, if you think you like the look of the EEK! shirt I’m wearing, then you can pick one up free just for attending! In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the SLURL, although you can click the button on the widgety sidebar for speed, too.

Mystery Grid

The Miss in a box

So, to summarize: this is a performance not to be missed, a Second Life set that’s worth the trip (not to mention the very coolest free shirts for those that make it) and a rare chance to hear this talented group of musicians. So what are you waiting for! EEK! on the 27th!

«Gypsy Witch«

Paws for a new release!

I’m delighted to be the bearer of good news and announce that Mike has a new album out on the excellent Aural Films label. Continuing with its collection of “Fog Music”, Mike’s album (under his solo name of metlay!) is titled “on little cat feet” and is number 27 in the series. It’s beautiful. Evocative, easy to listen to but still nicely evolving. I was charmed, and I hope you will be too. Let’s find out, shall we? Listen to it right here, and see what you think! Please do take some time to comment, Mike’s keen for any and all feedback. If you have time to Like or contribute via the various ways the label offers, it would be much appreciated. I hope you enjoy this lovely piece of descriptive and atmospheric music.

«Gypsy Witch«

A New Look!

Yes, we’ve cleaned up our act a bit… the new theme is much clearer and easier to read, without sacrificing any of our features. We (and by that I mean Gypsy) have also added a videos page and a simple chatroom for use during shows on my own radio station when I’m not using Stillstream.

Wait, what? New radio station? Stay tuned… lots to tell you about as the year winds down.


You Have To Have A Plan…

…even if you know it won’t survive long enough to tell people about it.

As I prepare to wrap up another issue of Recording, I am looking at a bunch of personal/musical items in flux right now, which I must remember to bring to your attention as they come to fruition. Between them they represent most if not all of my musical endeavors for the rest of 2014, not including my weekly Sunday night shows on StillStream and possible gigs in Second Life

I have two albums in the pipeline right now. In addition to on little cat feet, my contribution to the Aural Films netlabel’s Fog Music series that will drop in December… dear heavens, did I just say “that will drop” on my own blog? Gah!… I am currently looking at a release on the revitalized earthMANTRA netlabel, a sequel to one of my more popular albums with details to come.

My next live show will be another gig at La Vita Bella on Saturday, September 20, for the last ArtWalk of the summer; I will probably be playing solo, but may have a surprise or two up my sleeve if circumstances favor it.

I am preparing to explore a new way to do online-assisted music collaboration, from a service called JamKazam. I have friends already exploring it (some of whom are there because I asked them to join me and who are now waiting on me to catch up!), and hope to get there myself soon. In the meantime, there are rumblings of a new NINJAM server being built (to replace the old one run by Darrell Burgan that’s now offline), which could result in a number of cool new releases down the line….

Last but not least, watch this blog for upcoming announcements concerning, of all things, the Different Skies concert series.

Busy busy busy…!


Palace Of Lights

Well, knock me over with a feather!

Palace Of Lights is a reborn incarnation of the exceptional small experimental-music label of the same name from the 1980s, headed up now (as then) by K. Leimer, whose early LP Closed System Potentials I treasure (not to mention a few of his very early cassette releases). This is some of the best modern music out there, and I was stunned to learn that my playing is featured on one of the label’s newest releases: Tourbillon Solo by Gregory Taylor and Darwin Grosse, two dear friends who do amazing music of the mind-expanding vein.

The label’s writeup is as follows:

“Not a solo effort, Tourbillon Solo — Gregory Taylor and Darwin Grosse’s new Palace of Lights release –– folds in on itself in intriguing new ways while connecting to the larger world and body of Gregory’s earlier releases including Dua_Belas and Amalgam: Aluminum / Hydrogen. Admirers of clockwork everywhere will also note the reference to the tourbillon, a 17th century innovation that defeats the effects of gravity and extraneous motion by creating a rotating cage to enfold the escapement and balance wheel. Here, Tourbillon also refers to an alternate name for the city of Surakarta, one of the great court centers of Java.

The big news isn’t the sweet pelog barang tuning that suffuses the outing — rather, it’s Darwin Grosse’s move from the mastering engineer to producer of Gregory’s earlier work to collaborator on this recording, reflected in a wider range of materials, from the elegant analog synthesis that underpins Gregory’s usual restrained clockwork, to the inclusion of new sources: Andrew Pask’s reed work on “The Velocity of Rumour” and Mike Metlay’s Mellotron and secretly-sourced sampling on “Weaving All Night”. The titles of these tracks conjure the ghost of a narrative that harks back to an era when recordings were understood as a sequence of pieces whose implied storyline functions as a kind of travelogue for imaginary fieldwork — A headlong gallop to nocturnal communities who live at the base of the holy mountain and tune their radios to mysterious transmissions, resulting in valuable research which must be returned to the security of the hotel safe at all costs.”

A lovely writeup for a brand-new release that I can’t wait to hear… but in the meantime, I’m just going to quietly do the Happy Finn Dance (sorry, Otso) where no one can see me. I’m on PoL! I’m on PoL!!