First of all….

The Shiny Beast

For all fans of experimental music, a big hand for Sean McCann of Recital Records, California, for the re-release of my CD Electric Landlady. Originally released in a CDR version in 2003, the music has been auditorally tweaked for this new 2020 release. Here the box for CD, composed on the Epson needle printer pictured above:

Here the blurb inside:

On August 29 1952, pianist David Tudor premiered a work of silence composed by John Cage that famously lasted 4 minutes and 33 seconds. The title of the work is essen­tially vari­able, being as Cage writes the “total length in minutes and seconds of its perfor­m­ance,” which at its premiere was 4’ 33”. Almost a  decade later, Cage wrote a copy of the piece in proportional notation for Irwin Kremen, consisting of the numer­als I, II, and II – indicating the three movements – followed each by the Latin word “Tacet”. In late 2002 I scan­ned the score as part of a project working with an Epson 90 dot-matrix printer (other works I used included Beethoven’s “Für Elise”, as well as a num­ber of draw­ings and pic­tures, including the Mona Lisa – the idea being to see what the Mona Lisa sounds like). This particular rendering of Cage’s handwritten score (Track 1) is in fact some­what contrary to Cage’s intentions, because every perfor­mance on the Epson 90 will be more or less identical. For this reason I have titled it differently: “Electric Landlady” – in honour of a felicitous misprint of the famous Hendrix record I once en­coun­­­tered in IT. Tracks 2 and 3, which were played live without post-editing, are based entirely on samples taken from this recording, with the (acciden­t­al) addition of a booming guitar sound that came with the PC programme I was using: amusingly it is a sample for a noise reduction plug-in! However, it provided a lovely drone that underscored the overall im­press­ion in the two variations of a manic hurdy-gurdy. Track four is simply an extended disco remix of Track one, using whatever took my fancy in a DJ programme, plus some groovy stuff I wrote on a synthesiser pro­gramme. A number of other variations are in the pipeline, and will accom­pany the magnificently beautiful version of “Für Elise” my printer pro­duced. As a historical footnote, it was my great fortune to meet and work with John Cage in August 1972 when I was one of  52 tape recorder operators and slide project­ion­ists at the per­form­ance of Cage and Lejaren Hiller’s work “HPSCHD” at the ICES festival, London. Malcolm Green

To get a listen, here a sample (the really hard core bit) on the Recital bandcamp page:

For real die-hards, another chunk on the old Seedy CDs page:

And for anyone with a few bob to spare, here is one of the two (only) original printouts (two A4 sheets with eternally yellowing sticky tape):

Clips from further historic CDRs can be heard here: