1. seconds of words…………………………12:19
2. Romeo, do you like anchovies?………………7:52
3. a mysterious abundance of quinces………….27:16
4. neon meat dream of a Beefheart machine……..10:23
Steve Adams – sopranino, alto and tenor saxophones, bass flute, electronics
Vinny Golia – bass and contra-alto clarinets, baritone and G soprano saxophones
All compositions by Steve Adams © Metalanguage Music 2018
1-3 recorded by Bruce Kaphan on March 22, 2015 at Niagara Falls Studio, Niles, CA
4 recorded by Myles Boisen on May 9, 2018 at Guerrilla Euphonics, Oakland, CA
Mixed by Myles Boisen on May 18 and 29, 2015 and May 9, 2018
Mastered by Myles Boisen on May 15, 2018 at the Headless Buddha Mixing Lab, Oakland, CA
Cover photo by Myles Boisen inside photo by Charles Smith
Layout and Design by Ted Killian
The Philosophy of Air
seconds of words, like most of these pieces, has randomized electronics, so the general character is determined (but the details are unpredictable) to create an environment for the improviser that encourages creativity. For this piece, the pitch material of the electronics is taken from the melody, while moving through several textural zones. Interestingly, the electronics have performances where they seem to be locked into to the improvisation, and ones where they’re not. This piece is dedicated to Bennie Maupin.
Most of these pieces were recorded to present a representation of how they sound live, with a small amount of editing. Romeo, do you like anchovies?, in contrast, was constructed out of two takes, a free improvisation and a re-generated electronics track, and is more of a collage than a captured performance. This was my first experience working this way, and led to my project with Tim Perkis, A Few Eccentricities, where every cut is a reconstruction. It is dedicated to collage genius Max Ernst.
I had the original idea for a mysterious abundance of quinces decades ago, but it took lots of background thinking and technological advances to make it possible. It’s very different from the original sketches, though it is still a long piece for bass flute and contra-alto clarinet with a background of drones and small, repetitive sounds. It reflects my studies of North Indian classical music, and roughly adheres to the outline of raga form. Because of the length and complexity of the piece, the electronics are fixed. It is dedicated, with love and gratitude, to my wife, Lauren.
neon meat dream of a Beefheart machine is the second piece I’ve written that is dedicated to Captain Beefheart, along with the violin/marimba duo Owed t’Don, recorded by Marimolin on their CD Phantasmata. It’s based on a Reaktor ensemble created by Rick Scott that he graciously adapted for me. Here, I am triggering the changes in the electronics to fit the music, though each new pattern is a randomly generated surprise.
Special thanks to Ann and Jack Eastman, stewards and curators of the Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts, where these pieces were premiered, and to Vinny, my musical brother.