# # American Idle - Part the Second; Still In The Basement

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

American Idle – Part the Second; Still In The Basement


Sharon's Basement 2006


The last few months have seen my return to music creation at the cost of much else in my life. I remain obsessed with regaining – and then hopefully surpassing – all past musical endeavors and, as such, have spent much time in pouring through the audio diary I’ve kept (more off than on these last five years) since 1991.

Thinking quite correctly that the better bits would be at the end rather than the beginning, I started transferring the most recent tapes to digital and sifting through the resulting tracks for nuggets with which to kick start the practice and aim of my renewed passion.

With 60+ 90 minute cassettes and limited time at my disposal, suffice it to say that there have been nearly as many nuggets of worth (in my admittedly biased opinion) as there has *not* been time to transfer, catalogue, and relearn all that I would. Luckily the dross outweighs the nuggets or I might truly go mad.

With well over 70 separate pieces coming to light and begging my attention after having only successfully perused 14 of the tapes, this obsessive madness I speak of has been growing at a pace that outweighs any hope I might have, at this late stage in the game, of truly grasping all that has gone before. I find myself wondering if it is not, in fact but a fools game. Shouldn’t I rather focus on the future? Perhaps.

Still, to leave these bits of creativity lying half-formed and forgotten rubs me the wrong way and so I persist, though I have, on the typical day, less than a couple of hours to spend on the obsession. If I am lucky.

Every once in a great while, I come across something nearly formed and feel the urge to share, though I know my talent, even at its peak, was wanting.

CAE - For HomeThe first is a bit of soapy fluff that is too short by half and demonstrates my interest in the ambient movement, even though the piece doesn’t qualify. Instead of ambient, it is somnambulent but what the hell. I give you “For Home,” a piece originally whistled (ugh) into the tape recorder in late 2001, then worked out on bass and drum machine to be recorded in a pseudo studio environment in early 2002. Hotcha.

The next bit is so much more representational of my creation style (if not necessarily musical style) in that it is an improvised piece that sprang from my fingers in 2002.

I mentioned in my previous post that I have used a Digitech RDS8000 digital delay as a compositional tool and here you can hear it at work as the recording begins and continues with a sampled loop of my playing as a rhythm.

The m.o. of this recording, and virtually 95% of the recordings captured in my musical-diary since mid-1993, is that I sit down with the guitar and, not having a particular aim, plink around on it with various effects and through the digital delay (which can sample up to 8 seconds of loop) until an interesting rhythm presents itself which I then attempt to construct something on top of. If I feel I have found something interesting, I push record on a little boombox located in my rack and wail away, usually wasting between 2 and ten minutes of tape but occasionally capturing something worth (in my estimation) developing later.

I have a foot pedal hooked up to the delay which allows me to open the gate, if i wish, thus altering (or adding, if the delay is set to feedback) the underlying rhythm.

CAE - Crawling Towards EcstasyIn this particular recording, which I have dubbed “Crawling Towards Ecstasy,” you hear me playing with an idea over the initial loop and then, feeling it is played out, rhythmically stomping on the pedal to erase bits of the existing and allowing in bits of what is being played over the top. The result is an altogether different kind of rhythm which I proceed to noodle and whang over in some resemblance of what has gone before but not exactly. I did do some light editing to the content but 99% of what you hear here is what was initially recorded.

The piece, an almost pure improvisation, is far from perfect, reflecting its composer quite well but I like it and hope you might as well.

Here’s to more discoveries as well as the new.

Brother, I can see your skull!

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