Here's the songs and artists who graciously provided the music and sound for the Bike With 2 Brains … in order that they submitted works to me. I had put a call out to a few musicians in the Rochester area based on how I thought they could interpret the bike project. None of them saw it before creating the music, so it was only based on the description I provided back in May.
Autumn in Halifax
Autumn In Halifax is David Merulla. He does this great work with a digital looping machine and guitar. It's somewhere between experimental and acoustic — his lyrics are richly poetic as well, only subtly providing any literal meaning. He provided 5 tracks and I used them all:
- The Schwin Vista
- Twenty One January
- The Jockeys Last Night
You can recognize his songs as the ones that use guitar and distorted variations on guitar. Also, he asked that I include the copyright information: c/p autumn in halifax/colossal heart music 2003-2005(ascap).
BELBIVDEVOIVOD A.K.A. PAUL BURKE
BELBIVDEVOIVOD A.K.A. PAUL BURKE consists of the real-life Paul Burke. He uses a sampler with a complex array of loops and effects pedals to create droning synthesized sound with very organic variations. He provided the track "Kissyface" which I felt perfectly captured the combination I was looking for: it feels like the Bike With 2 Brains, it has a spirit that is strongly Rochester, and its style is reminiscent of Burning Man itself.
Gaybot consists of Brian Blatt, Chris Wicks, and Matty Sonar. Not only do they have (arguably) the coolest band name ever, they're one of the most laid-back bands ever. They play a cacophonous blend of spoken word, electronic effects, and repetition that makes for a generally good but disorienting experience. When I caught up with Brian and Matty and asked if they were planning to make some music, they said to just take something from a CD. I had their EP from 2004 (I think … it's just a CD-R with "Gaybot" written on it and I got it in 2004) and I liked the second track — which was the reason why I wanted them to be involved, but with that permission, I decided to use "Gaybot EP Track 2" as I named it.
XLTieRack is Jon Peone. He plays synthesizers and guitars through effects and loops, often using sounds created when equipment is pushed beyond the limits for which it was designed. His sound is compatible with that of BELBIVDEVOIVOD A.K.A. PAUL BURKE but his techniques are very different. He provided me with 4 tracks: a mix and the three component pieces that were used to create the mix. I liked "Bike 1" which is the background drone of the mix and I liked "BikeMix," the final product so I included those two tracks.
When I sent out the e-mail I indicated that I wanted to include my own track. I intended to record the sounds of dusk around here because I think it's so commonplace that people hardly notice, but on the Playa, it would be completely out of place. However, time constraints led me to a different path (darn … I'm falling into a pun.) I had been taking a walk around the block near my house to unwind. My street runs from East Henrietta Road (Route 15A) to Mount Hope (Route 15) — the two routes converge about a half-mile north of my house. I walk to 15A then head south to the Erie Canal which runs east and west across New York State … the pathway is now called the "Heritage Trail," but it's technically the towpath for the mules pulling barges. I descend the path to the edge of the canal about 35 feet below street level then walk along to Route 15, back up to street level, and back to my house.
I had noticed that the sound was like some kind of time-machine. In the morning when everyone is busy driving up and down the two streets, the contrast to the canal is dramatic. It is serene and completely decompressing. The sounds of the street fade almost completely away right in the middle then slowly build to the traffic crescendo on the other end.
I mused about the title a bit, but ended up with "The Edge Between 15A and 15." As a nerd, it's a literal interpretation of the city's boundary between Route 15A and Route 15. However, from my photographic background, it can also refer to the space between pictures which are numbered on the negatives alternating between numerals and the previous frame number with an "A." What I think I accomplished is an audiograph of the walk in the morning. As an added bonus, listen for the sound of a squirrel jumping onto a nearby tree with an audible crunch.
Joe+n in this particular incarnation is just Joe Tunis. I met him in college then lost touch for ten years until I happened to go to one of the shows he set up for his record label, Carbon Records. His music rarely falls into any one category, although his forte is electric guitar and drums, usually in experimental-style usage. He also works with recordings and audio illusions. He created a piece called "In Search Of" and provided the following description:
symbiotic relationship: joe+n, tree-frogs and crickets. i just moved into a new house. it was sad leaving the old one. i grew to really _know_ the sound of the background. which insects sounds were around (most of the time), the birds that frequented our trees, the hum of nearby I490, and the railroad slightly further away. but being in the new house for about 2 weeks now, i'm getting to _know_ this backyard as well. the major addition to this soundscape is the return of the tree frogs. i grew to absolutely love, and NEED, these sounds back in my 4 years spent at RIT's Racquet Club apartments. my summers there were spent getting loaded with friends, playing music, and then walking around aimlessly at night, listening to the frogs. it made every summer blissful. but then one summer, they were gone. it was the sadness none-sound i'd ever heard. and now, they're back.