Thursday, May 18, 2006

Obscured by leaves...



After mentioning the FM3 Buddha Machine a few posts back, I began to covet said micro meditative sound object. Fortunately for me, my favorite local record store happened to have one left in stock, which I gladly purchased for $25 this very afternoon.

Since then, I have grown quite enamored with my pocket sized green plastic portable media installation. I spent a good hour at the coffee shop, offering it over to friends and strangers alike, allowing them to discover the cold ambient charm for themselves, while taking notes on the variety of responses. At least half who held the FM3 with their own hands inquired as to where it could be purchased, restoring my belief in the abilities of art and concept to open eyes wide with wonder still, even in the simplest of forms.

It has already begun to slowly change my life.

In similar thought, Markus & Eri Popp, (of Oval and Microstoria), commenced their project So in 2002, and the music heard on their debut is considered unfinished still. Drawing from and reworking song cycles out of Eri's archives, Makus worked his bit-smoldering, hallucinogenic oval process on the warm organic tones of her soft, sensual voice and acoustic guitar textures. The two collaborators continued working on the files until FedEx showed up for the CDR, recording new vocal and guitar parts directly into their PowerBook's internal mic up to the last minute.

To continue the concept, Markus & Eri decided to build a completely customized So Fi-PA-system, that consisted of two Triode amplifiers based on ancient schematics, rated at 6-8 Watts each, as well as a set of homemade broadband speakers created with 1950s movie theater speakers, using an empty bottle as a quasi-backloaded Tractrix (Spherical) horn and mounted in plain cardboard boxes. The sound created was strange and fragile, and the details to replicate the system are apparently available for those interested.

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