I am typing quickly to get some notes about this episode online in the next 40 minutes- so I hope you enjoy the typos. Episode 013 is a little different from previous programs. There are only two chapters this week.
Chapter 01. Huw Williams (2021)
Huw went to the Green Man Festival a few weeks ago. I texted him and asked that he record some "non-music" sounds from the festival. He sent me some files and I played around with them a little. This is a collection of manipulated field recordings:
File 1. I think Huw was wandering somewhere near a stage. You really could not make out the details. Just a dull roar and thud, thud, thud. I clipped a two second segment and looped it. One of the audio clips had the voice of a woman saying, "Sorry, sorry, sorry." I added the guitar feedback.
File 2. A short clip of crowd sounds. Some one in the distance yelled, "JIMBO!"- so I looped that a few times. And added more feedback.
File 3. This is my favorite. As Huw described it, there was a small wooded area. He walked in and there was a box. He said the poetry was coming out of the box. The poem is beautiful and the voice is perfect. He only sent me 20 seconds, so I looped it. IF ANYONE KNOWS THE NAME OF THIS ARTIST- PLEASE LET ME KNOW SO I CAN PROVIDE APPROPRIATE CREDIT.
File 4. More crowd sounds, but I distorted one track, reversed another, and added a flanger to the third. I think I hear a frog chirping.
File 5. More crowd sounds. I hear the damn frog again? One track straight and one track reversed. A piano drones in the distance. A woman says, "Yes, Yes, Yes."
Interlude: rift|fault (2017)
Chapter 02. Chad Clark / Beauty Pill (2021)
I do not have the time or skill to accurately summarize the catlogue of Chad Clark's work. I would suggest that you start here:
When we spoke by phone a couple of weeks ago, Chad was with his pal Stanley at the dog park and I was in a forest in Connecticut. Fair warning- the audio quality of our conversation is not great. Because: cellular service is always glitchy.
Technically, this is a conversation and not an interview. It's a little non-linear and I made some liberal editing decisions.
I wanted to tease out aspects of Chad's process in recording. All of the Beauty Pill albums are brilliantly engineered that required a level of attention to detail that only Chad could do.
During this 42-minute conversation, I edited in looped fragments of songs from several of the albums. Warning: At some points the music overwhelms Chad's voice. If you're having trouble hearing him- his voice is on the left side and the music is on the right side. Adjust your headphones appropriately. It was a fun talk.
Here is a basic list of the music playing in the background during our conversation:
Dog with rabbit in mouth unharmed - a beautiful pastoral piece. I looped the primary guitar line that repeats through the entire song. This is playing over the top of Tattoed Love Boys (Goldbaby remix).
So dark blinking makes no difference, from the haunting album Sorry You're Here.
Pardon our dust- an unapoligic post-punk slow burn with some extremely spatial textures and masterful performances. This fades back into So dark blinking minimal.
Here and there the intro to Drapetomania comes and goes as a punctuation mark.
Extended loop of Africaner Barista.
A loop from Ann the word.
Back to another loop of So dark blinking makes no difference.
And then back to a loop from Ann the word again.
And back and forth a few more times.
There are two versions of Ann the word on the album Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are. The closing track to this program is the final movement of the second version. It has one of the most beautifully sad lines that I've ever heard:
...and the world vanished in a gentle breeze...
Thoughtful writing, precise arrangements, and intense performance. If you would like to see art and artistry in action- here is the video for Pardon Our Dust from the album Please Advise. Put on your headphones.