SSDL1755 music for visuals: live sessions - an eternal album
release date: 20140517 label: pureambient
last updated: 20160127 current count of tracks: 7
this is another album that is utterly unique within the larger dave stafford catalogue, an album that could not have been planned or executed, had it not been for the almost-accidental discovery of the eternal album concept.
in the world of eternal albums, the content for this album makes perfect sense, after some forty years of playing music in both live and studio settings, in may, 2011, the time eventually came when I had the time and could finally afford a modest video camera, so I decided that I would begin filming a series of live performances over the coming months, and see where it eventually led.
videos became a huge part of my life, it took a few months to learn the skills I needed to make decent music videos, but even after I had "the basics" down, I still found that it often took several hours to design, build and execute a four minute live music video.
the thirty minute live videos are even more time-consuming!
in any case, I began creating videos after filming the performances, and very quickly, within a year, I had developed such a bad backlog, that I may never, ever "catch up". currently, as I write (in May, 2014) the backlog still stretches back to december 2012, I reckon I have about thirty videos left to make for 2012 (and probably more, if I count application-based performances and so on) - and then I can begin making videos for footage recorded in 2013 !!
I have made some headway, some times, towards closing the gap, and I continue to forage ahead, the backlog is so large and goes so far back, that hearing these sessions is like hearing them for the first time - I can no longer recall them directly (because I've done so many, plus, my memory isn't what it was...) so it's often quite a surprise to hear the music that I would record in these video sessions.
of course, each video meant that I had to do a second master mix, the normal audio mixes are usually (but not always!) made when each track is completed, and if I know there is video footage as well as audio, I then make that second audio master, and set it aside until such time as I can work on my video backlog.
that's just part of the ongoing task, but - it has an unusual side effect, that is the thing I began talking about here - it provides me with a ready-made pool of live, improvised loop music, piano and vocal performances, and any number of live items recorded over the past few years - most of which, have never been released in any audio form outside of the lossy, compressed mp4 videos that I use to populate my various you tube channels.
another unexpected benefit, is the discovery of a fairly large number of unreleased audio and video, from the very first video session onwards, so of course, we will be mastering the best of these and presenting them as "previously unreleased" additional audio tracks for your enjoyment.
so now, I can take my best quality audio mix of each video (or, create a new high quality mix for the outtake tracks), which, as a standard, is generally (but not always) 32 or 24 bit @ 48000 hz (sometimes, 16 or 24 bit @ 44100 hz, if, for example, the project was created on the ipad) so these are the highest quality audio mixes of these tracks available, which are uploaded to bandcamp as pristine wav files - and of course, they are trimmed properly, while the lower quality mixes for video, have leading and trailing spaces to accommodate the video format.
for me, mostly - it's about the music, but, perhaps even more importantly, it's about the freedom that these performances represent, the fact that I can turn on the camera, and start the digital master tape rolling...and play whatever music I can imagine given which "set up" I happen to be using on any particular given day or night.
when I began to compile this body of work, I realised that I have covered an enormous amount of musical ground in the area of live improvised music videos! everything from tender peter hammill piano ballads, to raucous, distorted fuzz guitar stylings, to multifaceted multi-instrument live looping sessions like the ones I've been recently been mixing, from the december 2012 video sessions - just some of those that I am currently trying to get "caught up" on :-)
and of course, probably my favourite configuration of all - live ambient loop guitar, using the energy bow or ebow - or, just any live improv that involves guitar, really! alone or in combination with other instruments - it's all enjoyable for me.
so - here, on this eternal album - there will be a very, very broad variety of music, some, very, very quiet, other, midtempo, and still others loud and possibly even annoying! but for me, it was just a lot of fun, and I really, really enjoyed these performances while I was making all those videos - a real pleasure.
for me, though, it was about the playing, and the sound - and usually quite quickly, I would forget the video and dive in with both feet, into whatever improv I was thinking up that day - and some days, I truly let my imagination run wild - which resulted in many, many good audio takes, and occasionally it resulted in tracks that I recognised, in the case of "the haunting" tracks, for example, that the music I was playing was indeed, my next album - this happened a couple of times.
I am very happy now to present them for the first time ever, in the highest sound quality possible, from this latest 2014 release - "music for visuals: live sessions - an eternal album".
I hope you will enjoy this music twice as much as I enjoyed playing it (which was an enormous amount) :-)
20140518 initial upload - 3 existing tracks
20160127 upload - 4 new tracks
released May 17, 2014
energy bow guitar
[virtual] keyboards - piano, electric piano, organ, mellotron
application synthesizers (via ipad)
application synthesizers (via full size keyboard)
korg kaossilator (handheld x-y pad looping synthesizer)
custom looping and guitar effects processing (many different setups)
all tracks composed, arranged, engineered, recorded, filmed, edited, mixed, mastered and produced by dave stafford for pureambient records.
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