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Music Production: Maurice Rickard
09/22/2005 Maurice Rickard: WRCT: a live show (Maurice Rickard and Death Pig)

Announcement
The iTunes Store! WRCT 9/22!

I was going to delay these announcements until I got everything moved over to the new email list program, but since my solo appearance on WRCT is this week, it's best to get this out now.

The iTunes Store!
First up: My latest disc, Music for Dance, is now available for purchase on the iTunes Store! Just fire up iTunes (admit it--you were running it already) and download that sucker.

Considering that Apple's holding the line on low download prices (link), there's no reason not to buy! Download copies for everyone in the family. Plus if you're belly dancing, you'll get in better shape. How can you lose?

It's also available in shiny disc-shaped form from CDBaby and from Tower Records, believe it or not. Hey, it was news to me. As always, you can also download it from onezero music, where prices are so cheap, I'm almost paying you.

Live on the Radio!
So that's right--I'll be returning to WRCT: A Live Show, doing a half hour set of the atmospheric yet friendly belly dance music I've been doing of late on electronically processed guitar and ukulele. Can I make this work without dancers in the room? Maybe those of you out there in radioland can dance to it at home. That may be enough. There's only one way to find out, though.

The second part is looking like more abstract beat-oriented IDM. I'll also do a set of my no-input abstract soundscapes--that's right, the return of Death Pig! Very few people have actually seen a Death Pig set, and you won't this time, either...but you can hear it. You owe it to yourself.

This will be a live, in-the-studio performance over the radio (88.3 FM), which will also be streamed over the 'net at http://www.wrct.org/ in both .mp3 and .ogg formats. Even if you're in Pittsburgh, you might want to tune in over the 'net, though, as a transmitter failure on September 6 has signnificantly reduced their range. Thursday, September 22, from 9 to 10 PM EDT (GMT-4).

Report
Well this was a whole lot of fun. I scheduled the SCLF for a gig in October, and it also turned out that the Live Show crew really needed someone to take on the first show of the term, so I volunteered to do a solo set. As prep, I wanted to give myself some additional channels for noise, and add some new percussion lines. I wasn't too attracted to the idea of filling an hour with the kind of stuff I've already done, and I didn't want to get partway through the set only to find I was out of ideas. I'd always rather have too much material than too little, so I thought of this second section, in which I'd remix the first. I added some deep bass drum beats to one channel, and sparse percussion to another; it all seemed to work in rehearsal.

I'm glad I did one of these in-studios with the Funkies in January, as I realized I could load in from the loading dock--not so important with my usual light rig, but add all the Death Pig pedals in there and it gets too heavy to do in one trip or over long distances. My January experience also helped me find the station once I got inside (some people who work down there have no idea where it is). I loaded in, moved the car (free parking in the nearby garage after 5), and came back in to set up.

I'd brought the music stand for the PowerBook and the preamp, so that I could reserve their table for the DP effects, and that plan worked out as I'd hoped, although I had to be careful not to whack the guitar's head into the table. My own sound check went well, and then we learned that no sound was going to the console--turns out, someone had removed the batteries from the DIs. That fixed, we got levels and were ready to go 15 minutes before showtime. I chatted a bit with Jason (Underwater Culprit) and got focused, although I felt pretty focused already.

Showtime came, and I started with the usual belly dance rhythm and volume swells (well I am technically promoting a CD that people haven't heard yet). I kept my 20-minute time limit in mind, and quickly brought in uke, grabbed some loops, reversed them, advanced through the various traditional rhythms and variations. The reverse uke--and reverse-half-speed uke--worked quite well.

I'd thought that some Television-list people might be listening, so I felt a bit more comfortable playing melodic guitar lines, and got somewhat spirited at one point. Also helping was my inclusion of the pitch-shifting delay, set to two delayed octaves, which gave me a canonical bassline to play against. Quite exciting in the moment. The most "solo-y" solo I'd grabbed as a loop, and so was able to scrub over it immediately. One mistake here was that I'd ended on a series of one-per-bar low E hits, which worked well enough in context, but when I looped just that section, it quickly got out of sync and didn't sound so hot.

At 20 minutes in, I signalled a shift so that Jason could do a station ID, and I slowly introduced more noise without breaking the flow--buffer overrides, hard gates on the percussion, and introducing the newer bass-heavy patterns and sparse percussion patterns. I did play some guitar in this section, but generally it was obscured by the buffer override. I'm pretty happy with the result--it generally was a good twisting of the first section, more spacious, more abstract, the new percussion section is actually kind of atmospheric, and the new beats maintain the groove well while being distinct from the previous belly dance patterns. What didn't work here was that I occasionally leaned too heavily on the buffer override manipulation (scrolling between parameters; often I should have just left it in one place), and I should have had more variations on the groove of this section--as it is, it's kind of a steady-state thing. Overall, though, I'm excited about this direction for future shows.

After 20 minutes of that, I signalled another change, started taking out loops, and fired up the Death Pig rig, arming recording on a separate input channel in Live. As often happens with DP sets, I didn't have audio at first, and left one loop running to cover the silence. Of course, it wasn't a constant loop itself, so there were a few dead air gaps in there, but that's the nature of Death Pig. Overall a rather quiet set, but atmospheric and at times even harmonious. There's actually a lot of stuff in there to like, including an ominous bass ostinato. Some of this may see the light of day at some point.

A brief announcement from me and one from Jason, and we were done. While I packed up, we chatted and the staff prepared a CDR of the show, which was ready by the time I was back to cart out the second half of my gear. Quite a successful show, I thought, though I don't know how many people heard it--at least two for sure, so apply your standard listener multiplier. A good experience, and I'm looking forward to doing the October show with the SCLF, and possibly some other events here in the Winter term.

Contact:

You can buy my music right now over the 'net at onezero music-- instant music at sensible prices. You can check out free samples before you buy, and there's a discount for buying full albums or EPs.

If you like shiny discs, CDRs are also available. Click below for details:
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Live at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, June 4, 2010
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Live at Garfield Artworks, November 30, 2010
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Live at Garfield Artworks, October 27, 2010
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Live on WRCT, March 23, 2009
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Live at Morning Glory Coffeehouse, March 6, 2009
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The Furbies of Tibet: Live on WPTS, February 18, 2009
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Live at the Thunderbird Cafe, November 9, 2011
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Maurice Rickard: Music for Dance
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Tell Ya One Thing And Then Some
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Death Pig (Live, July 2, 2003)
Death Pig: Death Pig (Live, July 2, 2003)
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Circuits of Steel Tour 2003: Chicago, St. Louis, Muncie
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Guitar Clouds
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Lady of Pain: Live, June 2, 2003
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Live at the Quiet Storm, November 2, 2002
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Tell Ya One Thing
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How to get this music? Head on over to onezero music and get your hands on some downloads.

If you prefer CDRs, multiply the price listed above by the quantity of each CDR you want. You can email the funds to me using PayPal, by clicking on the link below. At the moment, I'm not taking credit cards. Put the following in your email:

Your name
Your mailing address
The quantity of each CDR. (Multiply by the prices above for your total.)

Click here to order.