In an ongoing effort to make my art and my life as close together as possible, like always, during the month of October 2018 I carried with me at all times in my pocket one of four Sony ICD-PX470 stereo digital dictaphones and recorded sounds of my day to day life.
I recorded sounds while walking my dog Stanley (including our encounters with human neighbors, squirrels, crows, and other dogs; airplanes and helicopters overhead, automobile traffic including emergency vehicles), miscellaneous sounds from my job, restaurants, grocery stores. I also recorded spontaneous and random thoughts, reflections on and readings from books and articles, plus emails I had sent to Leslie Singer. I also recorded interactions with family members.
I held two Apartment Music shows during the month of October, and I recorded sounds before and after the shows, as well as in-between the performances. On October 25th two of my nephews arrived for an 8-day stay with my brother Mark, Stanley and I. During those days we spent a lot of time at my mom and dad's house, because Mark and his sons were busy constructing the yearly McGee Halloween Extravaganza. Mark transforms my parents' yard into a haunted graveyard. This year's theme was Freak Show. Lumen K joined the project as a participant, playing the part of a fortune teller. I made numerous recordings on Halloween night, which included the sounds of Halloween trick or treaters getting the bejezus scared out of them! Plus Lumen and I played iPhone synth and voice-changing apps through belt-clip amplifiers. Costumed in a black cloak with a hood I played the Korg Monotron Delay battery-operated analog synth and helped create a spooky ambience to the Freak Show.
Early on the morning of November 1st I connected the four dictaphones to a Behringer mixer and set all four on continuous playback, the mix of which I captured in a direct transcription as the event unfolded. All of the recordings that I had made during the month of October assembled themselves into simultaneously juxtaposed layered constructions that I hope would make Richard Hülsenbeck proud. I started out with no preconceived ideas, no story I wanted to tell. Letting the assemblage happen IS the story you hear here. Afterwards I divided the 75-minute assemblage into six parts for the listener's convenience to give them access points, and slapped the six parts upside the head with titles.
Most artists with any amount of good sense ALWAYS maintain a cultish MYSTERY about how they create their art. It would be anathema to many people I know to describe in this much detail how they did what they did to make their artistic creations. With me it's different. The mystery comes not from me withholding info on how I did what I did to get these results, but from your perceptions as a listener as you listen to the assemblage reveal itself to you. You create it as you listen. It is my greatest wish that these assemblages will bring you lots of amusement, happiness and fun as you experience the month of October along with me. Art like life, lifelike art.