recorded late 4/27/11 into the wee hours of the 28th...
adam goodwin: amplified upright bass, crickets
joe mariglio: homebrew analog noise network, crickets
i built these simple analog synths called crickets a while ago, originally for use in kids' ensembles. they are photosensitive and produce two square waves that gate each other. during typical use, they sound like a single square wave being turned on and off rhythmically. i used these to teach kids about tuning, and was shocked by some fascinatingly difficult questions that came up. trying to explain an octave to an 8 year old was truly mind blowing. as a musician steeped in the culture and jargon, it's easy to forget how tenuous our theories are.
for the recording above, adam and i decided to use six of these crickets. the first 10 minutes or so is a realization of a simple game piece the kids and i came up with, which we call 'swarm.' the rules are as follows: someone picks the first note. in succession, everybody tries to tune to that note as closely as possible. since each cricket has a different range, sometimes the person tuning must pick an appropriate octave of the base note. once all crickets are tuned, someone else picks another note, and the swarm gradually shifts from one attractor to another.
of course, before long, adam and i stopped following the rules and began improvising.
the clicking and static noises at the end of the 5/4 hr session are the results of scanning my computers and strobelight with a magnetic pickup. enjoy!