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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:21 am 
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I'm ok with it, but I also think an in depth narrative about the where, when's, and why's and also the nuts and bolts of the work would have been ideal... :smoke:


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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:43 am 
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It's not as bad as when I first read it and it was late and I was tired but it is still a bit naff. Why go on about Dweezil so much? Talk about the music and the story behind it. Instead she talks about her son playing his music and the album art.

I get the feeling (though I can't speak for him) that Frank would be unhappy with somebody dwelling on the art over the music packaged within.

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:26 pm 
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Here's my liner notes

Possibly Randomly
At times it's sort of like the audio equivalent of hurling buckets of paint at a blank canvas. Wolf Harbor , for example, is random sounding, mostly percussion sounds. At one point it sounds like some sort of plumbing nightmare. Clogged toilets trying to flush. Clogged bodies trying to flush. Samples gone wild. Pachuco Gavotte has hilarious key changes with an end result that is possibly jarring. I would describe Goat Polo and Rykoniki as highlights. The track Piano meanders a bit. The first half sounds like FZ programmed, possibly randomly, a bunch of high 32nd notes or whatever with longer low notes. It sounds not unlike Cecil Taylor if he was a machine. Calculus is the last song. It's not too unlike Goat Polo. The title track is glorious. The really really good stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:21 pm 
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FYI: There should be a preview tonight between 10 and 11 PST streaming on weru.org Bangor Maine, Conceptual Continuity with Howie Zowie.

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:31 pm 
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I'm sitting around a table with some folks givin' it a listen...Great stuff man! :D
Attachment:
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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:47 pm 
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DMT has a very Nineties feel, like Apostrophe has a Seventies feel. It would have been absurd to wait until 1995 to release ('), and it's equally absurd - and unfortunate - that DMT has been delayed from 1994 until 2015.

Wolf Harbour could still be a really fine soundtrack for a contemporary dance performance, though!

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:44 am 
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The nuts 'n' bolts

For the folks who haven't seen the Todd Yvega section of the liner notes

Dance Me This is the last album Frank Zappa completed before his death. But this is not a story of gloom or decline. It was my observation that dispite his illness he took joy in the doing - having the goal and feeling inspired. Over the years I had seen Frank jump from project to project often shelving one indefinitely to focus on another. There was an elaborate stage piece titled Dio Fa; An opera titled Uncle Sam (about a dystopian future America with a ludicrously polluted New York Harbour); A music notation book with accompanying audio disc titled The Rhythmic Sadist's Guide to Drum Patterns for the 21st Century. Of course I'm barely scratching the surface and giving none of these their due. My point is that Dance Me This gave Frank the opportunity to rescue gems from these shelved projects and let them be heard. And I think that brought him some happiness.

It's remarkable that Frank was able to construct such a cohesive arc, juxtaposing and superimposing such disparate materials, some of which had been in the works for years while others were the fruit of the previous week's happenstance. Thrown into the creative mix were the incidentals. (it was FZ's bent to be open to changing course and making use of whatever happens along) Earlier that year, the Zappas were graced with a visit from a trio of throat singers from the Republic of Tuva in southern Siberia who were on a US concert tour. Naturally a recording session ensued, and the Tuvan's vocals ultimately became prominent on several tracks. Dweezil had set up his Guitar rig in the studio and Frank decided to take it for a spin overdubbing on the piece we were tracking that day. As far as we know that was the last time he played Guitar.

The final track, titled Calculus, is another case where the spontaneous was intergrated (pun intended). It started as another nightly specimen of what Frank called "burglar music". To explain burglar music requires a little digression - but even this story ties into Frank's appreciation for the sciences (mathematics in this case). We were discussing a musical technique called phasing in which several parts play simultaneously with each looping but with each having a different loop length. Although the individual loops may be relatively short, the piece as a whole doesn't repeat until all the individually looped parts realign in exactly their original orientation. By choosing loop lengths that are relatively prime to each other one can achieve a very long period between exact repetitions (hours, even a day or more). That reminded me of an "application in the field" and I told Frank the following story.

I had been recording daily at a large facility with multiple studios. Every morning we'd discover that one or more of the night staff had scavenged through our room stealing our microwave popcorn at best or borrowing or tampering with our equipment at worst. Hoping to deter the culprit(s) by making it sound from outside the room as if we were still inside working, I utilized the aforementioned technique to divise a special Synclavier piece and let it play all night. It would play some subset of tracks for about 20 seconds or so, stop, wait play rewind noises, wait, restart ... all at seemingly random intervals and never repeating itself exactly. Frank appreciated the farce of composing for burglars. Thereafter the "burglar music" concept mutated such that the objective was intellectual stimulation rather than deterrence, and it became a tradition at UMRK. Whenever I was about to quit for the night, the last thing I'd do was whip up some sort of ditty (using the aforementioned and similar techniques, and usually algorithmically assisted) and leave it on the Synclavier to amuse Frank when he arrived in the morning. The rules were:
(1) If it takes more than ten minutes to set up then it doesn't qualify as burglar music.
(2) It has to have something intricate or intriguing to justify its existence. (I wouldn't waste his time with some insipid jingle.)

One of the artifacts from the session with the Tuvan throat singers was a recording of an a cappella performance by Anatolii Kuular. The syllables and other vocal gestures implied a tempo that varied throughout. Frank wanted to create a tempo map that could be applied to any of his Synclaier pieces causing them to conform to the tempo implied by the vocal. We achieved this by manually placing markers at key rhythmic anchors, nudging them until they felt right, and then computing a spline curve that smoothly intersects the anchors while minimizing abrupt changes of curvature (tempo shifts) between them. The technique is the same used by scientists and statisticians when they "curve fit" a set of empirical data. When the tempo map was complete, Frank had already gone to bed so I wanted to leave a demonstration for him to hear in the morning just so he'd know that it worked. Not wanting to take the time to find and load one of his monstrous pieces, I just cranked out a "foom-fop" rhythm track with Bass and algorithmically assisted Violin Pizzicati as a demo for that night's burglar offering.

I expected that the next day Frank would choose an existing piece to conform to Anatolii's vocal, but when I arrived Ruth Underwood was visiting and she and Frank had become somewhat enamored by the demo. (Ruth told me she loved what I did. I explained that much of it was algorithmically generated in burglar fashion so I didn't really do it in the traditional sense. She replied, "Well then I love what you didn't do.") Frank decided to use that demo as the album closer explaining something to the effect of, "By that point in the album after all the preceding escapades, some relief by way of mindless foom-fop is exactly what we need."

Because the curve fitting involved calculus, Frank named the piece Calculus. I couldn't help but notice that this title subtly ties in with a recurring thread in FZ's creative output. The word calculus has another meaning: it is synonymous with tartar, the mineral concretion removed when scaling teeth. I picture the painting of the teeth under the magnifying glass on the cover of EIHN; the animated Dental Hygiene Dilemma sequence in 200 Motels; raising dental floss in Montana. Maybe the connection is merely a coincidence, but I appreciate it just the same.
--Todd Yvega

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:53 am 
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What a lesson, thanks for taking your time in transcribing it!

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:08 am 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
What a lesson, thanks for taking your time in transcribing it!


My pleasure

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:30 am 
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Very interesting read Ghost, thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:48 am 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
What a lesson, thanks for taking your time in transcribing it!

+1 Thanks Ghosty. Great morning read! :wink: 8)

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:35 pm 
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KAPT.KIIIRK wrote:
I'm sitting around a table with some folks givin' it a listen...Great stuff man! :D
Attachment:
935947_512715865462913_1584497305_n.jpg


Nice Rush shirt, K.K! :wink:

KAPT.KIIIRK wrote:
Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
What a lesson, thanks for taking your time in transcribing it!

+1 Thanks Ghosty. Great morning read! :wink: 8)


+2.

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:47 am 
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"But for those of you who mark time by other means than your heart or your foot" - Gail Zappa.

If I first may state that I have no intent to scold anyone, put pointedly just ask folks to look at how they not only keep time in any level of appreciation or Frank Zappa's work, and but also, critically analysing, that would include comprehending how he created it. I hope that love always finds it's way into anyone's appreciation of Frank's work.

In the case with a portion of his Synclavier Compositions. Be it now in this release, or since Frank first announced he purchased the Synclavier. Many have wanted to understand how he composed on this. We can compare how he composed with notes on paper, made hand signals while conducting at a live show, or composed with a chicken and spider air sculpture with his guitar. What is clear is the ensemble of initial intent. The Synclavier itself. But how glorious it can also be when an modern ensemble performs it live.

But getting back to the Synclavier as a compositional tool and as an ensemble.

While many would like if Frank had talked at length about each and every composition on Dance Me This, it seems as if he never had a chance, time, to get into the finite details of documenting for educational purposes, each and every piece. From my perspective, in what the liner notes reveal, it's all glorious of the heart, and but also, gives us a traditional approach to tap our foot along with the music. Not that serious music ever had a tap for foot quotient but I hope folks get the drift. The liner notes collectively does this all.

While we don't have Frank literally explaining each and every composition on DMT , that's not to say that anyone can not look back on the interviews and video documentaries that show how composed with the Synclavier. Not that anyone has been asking, but I don't think the specific liner note production of DMT should be a overt history lesson or educational lesson of how FZ composod with the synclavier.

In my perspective I get allot out of these liner notes, where they are the icing on the cake so to speak. Thankfully I don't see Gail or the highly respected contributors that had a working relationship with Frank, yes all the folks that get official liner notes ink, over- analysing and stating what Frank did. What we do get it's lots of information that helps preserve the art, without overstating or misstating the composers intent.

If we could all be in the studio for a while, next to Frank when he was composing, my gut feeing is that it's a process over time more than literally in the short moment. It's clear that with this project, some aspects of the process were done in the moment with shorter lengths of traditional time, or pointedly, that some aspects of the compositions did not take long periods of time to yeild their desired effect, but please do not take this as if Frank just whipped this up like a Betty Crocker item. So much of Frank's overall body of work was chiselling away. If he had more time to chissel, it's clear that some of these compositions were intended for larger works.

Wishing all love and peace. Enjoy.

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FZ "Read It And Weep"
April 17,1981

Frank Zappa left the ZFT in Control of his Vaults and Artistic rights.
We the fans are not in control. We have a choice to use our eyes and ears or read it and weep.


Last edited by Trendmonger on Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:49 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:36 am 
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is the above post an observation on your part? Or do you have an affiliation with the ZFT and or Frank Zappa him self? over all your ruminations seem rather presumptuous and or self promoting .

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:09 am 
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i think i want to go fishing with trendmonger.

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:23 am 
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Whatever that was, it was like a taking a shit,... it's hard to get started, uncomfortable to get through and feels like a great relief when your done! :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:41 am 
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lapsed maps wrote:
i think i want to go fishing with trendmonger.



Should I give him the kiss on the lips first Rocko'... :smoke:


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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:43 pm 
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KAPT.KIIIRK wrote:
Whatever that was, it was like a taking a shit,... it's hard to get started, uncomfortable to get through and feels like a great relief when your done! :roll:

What are you talking about? I love taking shits. :P


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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:09 am 
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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:48 am 
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I see nothing wrong with it. She was his wife and by extension is going to put what she wants in these releases. Big fuckin deal. Dont read em. Or better yet- take that page and rip it out. Toss it or wipe your ass with it. These arent the droids you're looking for ... move along. Move along.

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:12 pm 
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Phlakaton wrote:
These arent the droids you're looking for ... move along. Move along.

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:28 pm 
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Call me whatever but I think Gail's notes are the most moving notes I've ever read by her. I get where she's coming from. They're hardly cryptic or surreal, she's talking about loss and what follows in its wake.

NuclearProstate wrote:
... spew shit onto paper ... utter load of bollocks ...
Beyond sad.

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:42 pm 
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KAPT.KIIIRK wrote:
Whatever that was, it was like a taking a shit,... it's hard to get started, uncomfortable to get through and feels like a great relief when your done! :roll:


Let me be clear, this is not a response to the DMT notes from GZ. It's a response to Trendy's interpretation of said notes. :roll:

Got that Mr. Whatever? :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:26 pm 
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calvin2hikers wrote:
I think they're really nice.

I haven't been a fan of gz's liner notes in the past but I agree with Calvin on this one. Very nice.


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 Post subject: Re: DMT liner notes.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:47 am 
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From a somewhat recent interview-
Gail Zappa: " I would have to say that almost everybody I heard be interviewed on this topic--that is a creator, that is someone who has written amazing music, almost without exception—Keith Richards or Frank Zappa or any songwriter of note... I have never heard them say (about their own work) “Oh, that was a really good song.” They are enthusiastic about it but, almost without exception, it is a question of them catching it while it’s going by."

Gail gets it.

Just don't ask me to defend her liner notes, release date teases or her choices/timing for releases.


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