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Jun 132011

Outsider music legend GARY MULLIS joins a free jazz quartet for recitations on life, love, and the Ryman Auditorium, recorded June 9th, 2011 at Theatre Intangible studios.

Gary was featured alongside Captain Beefheart, Shooby Taylor, The Shaggs, Daniel Johnston, and Wesley Willis on the 2 volume compilation Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music. Check out the music and the book penned by WFMU DJ Irwin Chusid. Fantastic stuff.

Gary doesn’t sing so much as speak – his recitations run the gamut from economical biographies on country singers – “Recitation About Roy Acuff” and “Recitation About Hank Williams” — to songs on religion, patriotism, and Gary’s favorite holiday: Christmas. Usually, Gary is backed by a country-western band; but on today’s show (and for the first time ever as far as I know), he’s backed by a free improv jazz quartet assembled especially for this recording: Eric Fritsch on guitar, Reagan Mitchell on saxophone, Jamison Sevits on trumpet and keys, and John Westberry on drums. In addition to his most famous recitations like you’ve never heard them before, Gary also tells us life stories about growing up on the farm and visiting country music Mecca The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

I have plenty of favorite shows; but this one is really special. Thanks to Austin Cliffe from CMKT4 for putting me in touch with Gary. CMKT4 is releasing an album with Gary in the near future. You can preview some of the tracks at http://soundcloud.com/thegarymullisexperience

If you like the show, tell a friend or write us a review in iTunes.

“Gary Mullis Theatre Intangible Improv. Thursday June 9th, 2011”

From The Gospel According to Gary Mullis, posted by Tony Youngblood on 6/12/2011 (7 items)

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May 312010

Florida-born percussionist John Westberry and engineer Zack Gresham join us in the studio to discuss John’s new album of free-improv duets Tyrjedza.  We also talk about recording techniques, where to find free-jazz in Nashville, and more.  You may know John from the T.I. improvs The Sound of Teeth and Helpless.  Zack is the owner of Scoliosis Studios (where the album was produced) and is co-founder of Cephalopod Records.   He also plays in the Nashville power-rock trio Umbrella Tree.

Tyrjedza features John Westberry on drums, Imer Santiago on Trumpet, and Tyson Rogers on Fender Rhodes.  The completely-improvised album was recorded in two sessions and then cut into tracks.  It bristles with dynamite energy, and it’s really worth your listen.  If you like what you hear on the podcast, you can purchase the album at CDBaby and iTunes.

Discussed in this episode:  The University of New Orleans Music Program where John and Imer learned under music legends Ed Petersen, Ellis Marsalis, and Harold Battiste.  John’s musical influences John Coltrane, Mary Halvorson, Anthony Braxton, and Brian Blade.   The shepherd’s pie and music of Nashville venue The Family Wash.   John’s nightclub-playing with jazz bassist Chris Donohue.

If you’re wondering whether Theatre Intangible has strayed too far from its mission of experimental improvs, worry not.  We’ve had some great opportunities with artist showcases lately, but there are several really incredible improvs in the can and in the works.  Stay tuned next week for an insane circuit-bending improv with CMKT4, Austin from GetLoFiLaurence Crow, and Craig Schenker.

Mar 022010

From left: Wess, pds, Paul, Jimmy, Charlie, & Tim. Taken by Paul.

Here’s an episode that almost never happened.  It was designed as a simple photo-op for an article The Tennessean is writing wrote about local podcasts.  In order to make the deadline, they had to shoot a photograph for the story by the end of the weekend.  The writer Dave Paulson thought our show would make for an engaging picture.  I quickly called in the troops; and we assembled last Saturday in my basement, squeezed tightly together to make for a nice picture and blindfolded because it looked cool and because . . . well . . . we’ve never done that theme before.

I’ve been working on a computer program that reads Twitter messages aurally via an open-source speech synthesizer called Festival.  I’m preparing that program for next Saturday’s Podcamp Nashville.  We’re doing a live improv for the conference where audience members can tweet to the hashtag #pcn10ore and hear those tweets in the mix.  This little last-minute improv was a perfect vehicle to test that program.

It was a complete coincidence that last Saturday happened to be the day when all hell broke loose.  Saturday was the day after the Chilean earthquake; the day of the tsunamis; and, if you searched for the keywords earthquake and tsunami in Twitter like I did, the end of the world as we knew it.  I fed those two keywords into my tweet synthesizing program, and the resulting narration became the backbone of the show.  Some of the tweeters posted on-the-scene updates, while others joked about the impending disasters, and others prayed for the areas affected and called out to loved ones.

The theme was being helpless in the face of tragedy.  The blindfolds seemed fitting, though, I admit, they weren’t practical.  Most of the performers had them off within 10 minutes (exception being Charlie Rauh whom Jimmy had to poke to make him aware the rest of us had already de-blinded).

I’m quite fond of this show.  We were in the right time, the right place, with the right performers and the right technology.  Helpless features John Westberry on drums; pimpdaddysupreme on records, vocals, and effects, Paul Cain on accordian, saw, and water bottle; Charlie Rauh on guitar; Jimmy  Thorn on keyboard and chaos pad; Tim Carey on keyboard and mandolin; and Wess Youngblood on guitar and delay pedal.  I pressed the buttons on the laptop feeding the tweets and did the live mixing.  Portions of the show were edited for pacing.  The show ended before the tsunami reached Hawaii, so I continued recording the tweets for about 20 minutes after the show was over and inserted the most fitting ones into the show.

Special thanks to Jayesh Salvi for writing the initial Python program Talking Twitter Client and to Bryan Kemp for helping me modify it to suit my purposes.  Thanks also to the developers of Festival, to Tennessean writer Dave Paulson and to photographer Jeanne Reasonover.  Thanks to Paul Cain for taking the above-photograph.  A big thank you to all the performers!

Jan 112010

Starring Charlie Rauh, Chris Rauh, John Bohannon, John Westberry, DaveX, and Tony Youngblood.

It’s Sunday, January 10th, 2010 and today’s episode is The Sound of Teeth.

We recorded this episode in my basement on August 22nd, 2009 live on a Tascam 80-8 ½” 8 track reel to reel.  It’s taken me this long to edit it.  The Sound of Teeth features Charlie Rauh on Guitar, Chris Rauh on Bass, John Bohannon on Accoustic Guitar and Effects, John Westberry on Drums, and myself on Jenn Analog Synth and Field Recordings.   Some of the field recordings were pulled from Freesound.org. (See below for Freesound contributors.)  DaveX contributed the show narrative.  I did the live mixing, the post-mixing, and the editing.

The Sound of Teeth was the second episode we recorded on the reel to reel and the first of which to premiere on this podcast.  The sound of the tape gives the episode a real organic, textural quality – further explored by the addition of various forms of hiss & pop, such as vinyl clicks, mosquitoes, frying oil, and dirt in the volume knob of an old electric organ.   All of the performers on this episode really shine, and it’s one of our best yet.  It was a hell of a job to edit.  Enjoy.

The following samples were used under a Creative Commons license from Freesound.org.  The usernames of the sound creators follow the number in the track titles.  Extra special thanks to Freesound and the contributors.