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StuartEstell

New Album Of Ambient Jeffries Duet

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Ambient Jeffries duet? A contradiction in terms surely? :)

 

I've released an EP of two long minimalist pieces for solo concertina entitled "Mr. Jeffries' Laptop" under my Lachenalia moniker. I adopted the name when I still had some Lachenal instruments, and the fact that "Lachenalia" is also the name of a rather pretty genus of South African bulbs rather appealed to me.

 

This is recorded live with digital post-processing, but no overdubs or editing - all done in one take. 26 minutes of music, which you can stream from Bandcamp; if you like it and want to download it, it's just £2.

 

https://lachenaliamusic.bandcamp.com/album/mr-jeffries-laptop

 

post-6870-0-52102700-1400442066_thumb.jpg

 

P.S. if anyone is interested in how I got these sounds I'm happy to discuss...

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Hi Stuart,

 

good to read and hear from you!

 

I'm just playing part 2 as provided for streaming on your page..., already liked what you posted on SC... and really dig the "live" approach... will come back to the topic later on!

 

Best - Wolf

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Cheers Wolf. I've been keen to incorporate concertinas into my more experimental music for some time. I don't expect it to be to everyone's taste, but I think there's a lot of scope for processing the sound of the instrument to bring overtones to the fore etc.

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Hi Stuart,

 

While I find what you are doing with Mr. Jeffries' Laptop 1 very exciting aurally, the result is so droney and repetitive that I wonder how you might turn this into a more interesting piece of music? Perhaps add another line or two above what you have in another timbre? Pipes comes to mind, or penny whistle, auto-harp or other plucked instrument like mandolin or guitar? Vocals? These could also be processed if that's what you want, but variation in your sound palette seems lacking. Lyrics would go a long way in holding my interest. Or... how about a bass element? Trance is good but content and variation is lacking, if you know what I mean.

 

Also, some kind of structure imposed on this cool sound would help. Chorus and verse? Something that was returned to after departure? Could this be a part of something larger? A song? A story? A suite? Just ideas here, but great music IMO is made up of structures and architecture. Interesting timbres such as yours, while cool on their own are really just the icing on the cake. By just calling it "ambient" does not obviate all of that.

 

As an experiment, this is quite interesting, but as an actual piece of music, whole and complete, I think you have to go further with the details of it to satisfy my ears. If you did this, or something like this, I would be very interested to hear what you might come up with. Otherwise, as it is, in listening, I tune out and grow impatient after a short time...

Edited by Jody Kruskal

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Thanks for your thoughtful comments Jody - for a general audience I take your point entirely. But it is intended to be as reductive/minimal and intensely repetitive as you suggest, which, as I said, I don't expect to be to everyone's taste. Changes are always gradual and small.

 

I see this as positioned in a similar sort of area to the likes of William Basinski, Sunn O))), Earth etc., and a continuation of what I do in my drone/doom tuba duo ORE. We've been known to end gigs playing a single note for several minutes just manipulating overtones (and our audiences expect no less ;))

Edited by StuartEstell

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viva the drone! Thank you for the music. The changes are subtle and soothing in parts and arresting in others. Years ago I listened to Fripp and Eno and so I have some enthusiasm for the ambient/electonica sound. Keep posting your explorations. I hope to start working some drony ideas to support some folk songs that I enjoy. Well done! eric in montana

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Just bought your album; funnily enough the band Earth was what jumped to mind too as I heard it, so makes sense that's an influence of yours.

 

I keep meaning to make a thread asking about accompanying concertina with electronica tracks, though such a thread would be 90% asking you for advice since it seems like you're the main guy doing such things.

 

Years ago when I was living in Quebec, I saw a great act where a guy played a duduk (Armenian primitive oboe) on stage while his laptop played pre-arranged loops of drones/bass/drumbeat. He had a remote lapel mike on, so would just wander around the stage and floor riffing over the track, then wander back to click the button for the next loop. I would definitely like to figure out how to do something like that; I particularly like how he kept the duduk straight/unmodified, so you had a pure acoustic (albeit mic'ed) instrument against a digital track.

 

 

EDIT: here's a vaguely similar track, with duduk, guitarist, and a guy with a laptop setting up the electronica: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1MTiwunj_w

Edited by MatthewVanitas

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Thanks Eric and Matthew - much appreciated.

 

Matthew - I don't generally accompany the concertina with pre-sequenced electronics. My use of electronics is generally restricted to processing. I don't even use a looper - I recently sold mine as it was sitting there in the corner grinning at me!

 

What I do like is using effects that draw out harmonics - phasing and flanging work very well, as does harmonic synthesis - I use an EHX "HOG" (harmonic octave generator) for this. Tape delay (or an emulated tape delay) also works really well. I like to keep a clean signal in the mix, even if it's buried relatively low down, just to give some definition, so it can be a good idea to use an effect send from a small desk to enable that. When recording I use Logic's space designer a lot for reverb as it has some tremendously versatile "drone tone" effects built in which you can then customise.

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By the way Matthew and Eric, if you've got recording gear and fancy doing some sort of collaboration over the wires I'd be up for that. There surely can't be many recordings of Jeffries and Hayden duets on the same tracks for starters... :)

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Hi Stuart,

 

last night I came back to your page to listen to the other part...

 

For the moment I'm busy both vocationally and (although maybe I shouldn't, but... no, it's fine with me) playing my own music, so I can't do your ambience/drown thing really justice I'm afraid. I just can say that I quite like listening to that, with some experience regarding pipe drowns and early Ambient (Brian Eno, Music For Airports, wasn't it called like that) behind me. I will take my time to have a more thorough listen on occasion, I'm sure it's worth the attention!

 

All the best - Wolf

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Ambient Jeffries duet? A contradiction in terms surely? :)

 

Seems to me that it fits with at least a couple of the definitions here. :)

 

Well, given the title and my own musical history and preferences, I expected to find it interesting but at least somewhat annoying.

I was wrong.

While I think that I would have difficulty focusing on that piece alone throughout its length, I did find it pleasant to listen to while doing various other things. Considering what I expected, I think that's a compliment, even if not a rave review. ;)

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Ambient Jeffries duet? A contradiction in terms surely? :)

 

Seems to me that it fits with at least a couple of the definitions here. :)

 

Well, given the title and my own musical history and preferences, I expected to find it interesting but at least somewhat annoying.

I was wrong.

While I think that I would have difficulty focusing on that piece alone throughout its length, I did find it pleasant to listen to while doing various other things. Considering what I expected, I think that's a compliment, even if not a rave review. ;)

 

 

Thanks Jim.

 

I take that in the same spirit as Morton Feldman, who used to say that it was perfectly alright with him if people fell asleep during his very long, very quiet pieces. :)

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I can't help thinking you probably want to listen to some of the stuff Jack Talty is doing with Ensemble Ériu

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Well I did say 'some of the stuff' :)

 

 

For anyone else interested : they're on soundcloud here

 

{added] : Or maybe I shoud have linked to their profile : here

Edited by Peter Laban

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