December 2006. Lisa, Joseph, TJ, Irene, Rhys.
Students from CM (Community Music) studying music production came for a few sessions to create a piece. We all come from various musical backgrounds, jazz, rock, hip hop, folk, rap, and were interested to find out what kind of pieces could be made with the Sonic Bed.
TJ - "I was quite sceptical at first, not knowing what to expect. We were asked to come along and didn't really know what we were coming to. But when we got here, we listened to a piece that had been written already and found that the whole experience was really interesting and relaxing. I like the fact that all the sounds came together very randomly, and that was something new for me compared to listening to traditional music which is more structured."
Irene - "I was fascinated by the design and the fact that the double bed could be brought out into a public space, with large glass windows that looked out into the street - which means of course that people could also look in! I like the idea of challenging the stigma around the privacy of the bed."
Lisa - "I really enjoyed the bassy pieces, for me that's the main part of the experience - feeling the vibrations on your back whilst hearing the higher, more random parts of the music around you. I loved the beat-box style pieces that we made, with the harmonies underneath."
Rhys -"I found the technology involved in the bed very interesting and enjoyed directing the sound through the different speakers in the bed. It was cool processing the different noises to make completely new sounds and then directing them through the speakers."
Joseph - "I had only ever used FL Studio software and so was really interested to use only my voice to create music."
The piece 'Be Careful What You Wish For' is quite a dark piece, TJ imagined a dark wasteland and felt that it was a vision of future. When Irene first heard it, it felt really contrasting, really unmusical and unrhythmical in the beginning. Towards the end she enjoyed it when it became more rhythmic and melodic, She felt it needed more bass as a foundation. On a sensory level, this would have been more relaxing and satisfying.
Lisa - 'I threw out my expectations of 'music' as I know it - a song with a beginning, middle and end and melody line that has some predicatbility. Kaffe works with experimental music, so I tried not to expect to know what was going to happen next. But since the music is played through a bed, I guess you relate it with relaxing and passivity. Here those expectations are challenged by some of the sounds which make you feel uncomfortable."
Kaffe.. ' The title came from something Rhys sang in an improv which just came spiralling through the woofers in this beautifully fluid way when I was processing some of the sessions we had done later.
Overall it was challenging to make a piece to fill the sonic dimensions of the Bed just from voices. Finding the density for bass or sub was hard and i still need to perfect that. Somehow though, the piece, though yes dark, has this stunning capacity to rise and fall in unexpected but beautifully fluid and harmonic ways revealing too some of the vocal strengths recorded , and what a variety there were!
Yes I agree everyone, we went through a lot of different sounds and maybe too many of them are still in there. Yep, some sub needed as well as a little weeding.
Thanks its been great. '
'Be careful what you wish for' was created over three half day sessions at Rich Mix in Nov/Dec 2006.
Premiered Feb 2007, at Rich Mix Open Day.