Dec 122013
 

 

DigDeep5Crop

I had some time this week to finish up five new podcasts that I’ll be cranking out in the coming weeks. I also recently treated my room with homemade sound absorption panels, and the new podcast intros are my first tests of the panels. I normally record the spoken intros with an SM58 dynamic microphone.  I wanted to really test the limits of my absorption panels, so for the these intros, I decided to use the ultra-sensitive Rode NT1000 condenser mic. The result is pretty nice with higher fidelity and WAY less room reflections than the previous intros.

My new homemade sound absorption panels.

My new homemade sound absorption panels.

Today’s podcast is episode 106: Dig Deep.

On July 22nd, 2013 the Dig Deep Light Show performed an improvised light show in the basement of Noa Noa house. Members Scott Sanders, Dave Shamban and Brian Miles use overhead projectors, clear glass serving plates, transparencies, and multi-colored liquids to create beautiful abstract images at concerts and multimedia shows. Normally, they’re taking cues from whatever band they accompany, but for this show, we wanted the visual artists to take the lead for a change. So Scott and Dave performed an improvised light show (Brian attended but did not participate that night) while a group of musicians sat in the back of the room and created a score to the visuals. That musical improv is what you’re about to hear.

DigDeep4Crop

This was part of a lineup that also included the bands Insect Factory and Public Speaking. I also recorded their performances, and I’m offering those recordings as free downloads. Download the Insect Factory set here and the Public Speaking set here. Note that these are mixing board recordings. There may be some un-mic-ed acoustic portions that are not very present on the recordings. You can also check out video clips below.

The Dig Deep Light show improv featured Tim Carey (84001) on synths and guitar, Alan Fey on Marimba, Matt Hamilton on guitar and effects, Mike Hiegemann on Analog Synths and Bass guitar, Craig Schenker on Alto Sax and Flute, and Chris Watts (Most Amazing Century of Science) on Alto Sax and Glockenspiel.

DigDeep1Crop

 

Tyler Blankenship put together a wonderful video that links the music recording with video of the light show. Check it out below.

Oct 172010
 

In keeping with Halloweird! October, we bring you Frankenstein 1986, , a new synth-pop soundtrack to the 1931 horror classic Frankenstein, starring Ken Soper, Lawrence Crow, Tommy Stangroom, Cody Bottoms, and JJ Jones. There are some great moments, such as Cody’s electric guitar samples, Ken’s haunting Hammond organ lines, and Lawrence’s Casio SK1 leads; but listening back, I fear we may have been having a bit too much fun. I had the brilliant idea of incorporating a cheap toy drum machine that wears out its welcome . . . oh. . . after about 5 seconds. That’s not the fault of its wielder JJ Jones (who knocked it out of the park with his vocal work on the episode). I even played the drum machine somewhere in the middle of the show. The blame lies with the machine’s downright annoying timbres, which weren’t apparent to me until playback. Tommy Stangroom, who did various percussion and synth sounds, claims it was apparent to him from the beginning. He elected not to play the infernal drum toy.

There’s enough good material here for a decent 30 minute show. In it’s full hour + run time though, I recommend you only listen in sync with the film. Seeing the classic film with an 80’s synth pop soundtrack is a strange, comical, and not unpleasant experience.

What do you think? Does it stand up to the Dracula or Freaks soundtracks?

Stay tuned next week for the Third Annual Halloween Extravaganza, which will focus on the intersection between fear and arousal.

If you like the show, tell a friend and leave us feedback on iTunes.

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Oct 162010
 

Because of a week-long work trip, I wasn’t able to post this episode last Sunday. Never fear though, for another Halloweird! October episode is coming tomorrow evening!

“For the love of beauty is a deep-seated urge which dates back to the beginning of civilization” Freaks opening disclaimer

For episode 36, we created an improvised score to Tod Browning’s 1932 horror film Freaks. The episode stars Ken Soper on Moog synthesizers; Tommy Stangroom on percussion and xylophone; JJ Jones on voice and various toys/chimes; Lawrence Crow on Theremin, Casio SK1, and various toys; Cody Bottoms on laptop, keyboards, and Korg sample pad, and Craig Schenker on saxophone. There are quite a few golden moments in our Freaks soundtrack, and I encourage you to sync the soundtack to the film. Be sure to mute the tv and turn the subtitles on! Syncing instructions in the podcast intro.

We recorded this improv on Thursday, October 7th. Directly after, we recorded an “80’s synth pop” soundtrack to a beloved horror classic. Find out what that film is when we release podcast 37 tomorrow night.

Halloweird October!

Mar 282010
 

On October 18th, 2009, seven of us got together and created a new soundtrack to the 1931 film Dracula, directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Legosi.  This is one of my favorite episodes to date.  The orchestration is extremely lush, and the performers were especially good at knowing when and what to play.

Before the show, we paired a performer with a character in the film and had that performer come up with a character theme.  Ken Soper on keyboard provided the theme for Dracula, for example.  Things really started to get interesting when the characters interacted with each other, and the performers had to find ways to mix the themes together.  Aside from coming up with some themes in advance, the show was completely improvised.

You can listen to this episode in sync with the film (and I’ll tell you how in the podcast intro) or you can just listen without the visuals.  If you can get a copy of the film (and the version we use is the 2004 Universal Legacy collection dvd) I highly recommend you use it.  But if you can’t get the film, don’t let that stop you from listening to the show on it’s own.  The improv still works great by itself.

Dracula Improv features Ken Soper on keys and Theremin; Jamison Sevits on Fender Rhodes; Craig Schenker on saxophone and flute; Charlie Rauh on electric guitar; Cody Bottoms on percussion; Melody Holt on musical saw, autoharp, and Theremin; and myself on a circuit-bent Cool Keys keyboard, musical saw, autoharp, and wind chimes. We had a small audience that also participate by making screams, etc.  They were Mara Bissel, Amanda Tucker, Pimpdaddysupreme, and Deklan.  I did the live mixing and post-production.  Enjoy.