Rag Dun is the culmination of my 'hunter and gatherer' stage in the pursuit of creating a kind of spiritually based experimental music. I have spent some time assembling a portable instrument (aka 'prepared computer') that has the instantaneous flexibility of a variety of old big and bulky electro/acoustic arrangements that I used with the group Life Garden.
This project began with the idea of assembling a convenient live set up. It has since evolved into what amounts to a compression of 35 plus years of experimenting into a set of immediately assessable options. Work done under this name is not what I call experimental in the sense that the processes are set, the individual sound generators/instruments and the equipment is generally set.
What happens from here is a controlled chaos. There are probability modifiers scattered throughout this setup that apply various degrees of randomness to notes, velocity panning and so on. So playing something similar is an option, but just the same not so much. Additionally many sounds come and go based on velocity meaning one note can have many layers of sound...
Continuing with the idea of being able to play something similar but not the same Rag Dun will have repeated themes or little mini genres. For instance on Sun Spots there are a few tracks with an abstract hint of some fragmented jazz thing. I normally try and steer clear of an obviously repeated 'style'. But I really happen to enjoy working with that sound a lot and with this 'prepared computer' they may sound/feel related but still stand up on their own. Or so I hope.
I have been fascinated with Tibetan Culture and Buddhism for many years. So I tend to lean towards using concepts, images and sounds from here in my work in general. With that in mind the concepts of 'wrathful, peaceful and joyful' deities enter into this work. So Rag Dun mixes between these concepts, sometimes punch your nose noisy, then put you to sleep peaceful. And some of these tracks are kind of funny. #9 was suppose to be a dance/rock thing but as usual I failed miserably at that attempt and end up sounding more like a Swans rip off. But again, I happen to enjoy working with that type of sound so that will be repeating in different ways.
This recording here 'Sun Spots' is my first multitrack studio project using the prepared computer. I have made this available for listening before completing the official release as a kind of personal report card. The final version of this will be available as both digital download and double cd. The 2nd cd will contain track(s?) only available on disk.
Thank you for looking...
released May 9, 2016
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