So, I’m on my way to lunch and the weather is put-it-in-your-mouth delicious and I hear what I think is the familiar plinks of the first few notes of Johnson’s “Come in My Kitchen” and I’m looking around and it’s just the noise some loose wires are making as they hit some other wires over my head.
And I’m thinking about an interview I read once with some old blues artist and the interviewer had asked him why some song sounded the way it did and the blues guy was all “That’s just the rhythm you hear when you’re walking behind a mule all day.”
So, I was thinking about that, what it would be like to listen to the world as a collection of noises that could potentially be songs and just then the fire trucks and an ambulance came by and I thought, “You know what would be so awesome I must remember to mention it to folks? Music for a marching band to do as they marched down the street that was made up of the sounds you hear on the street.” And so, as I walked, I was trying to decide what instruments would play what music.
And then, at lunch, I got free brownies.
And then, walking back from lunch, I saw a guy’s ball cap blow off and under it, he had the most beautiful yarmulke, blue with embroidery. And the shock of seeing, on this frat-boy looking kid, this beautiful, delicate, artistic stitch-work just tickled me so much that it made me happy to be alive.
I know that’s kind of corny, but that’s what I thought: “I would have been sorry to have missed that.”
this morning I listened to the soundtrack to Atonement, in which the typewriter is used as a percussion instrument. It was quite satisfying, I must say. Although odd at first, somewhat jarring, it starts to make sense and feel right a few more seconds into the songs.
I guess I’m focused on everyday sounds turned into musical instruments rather than making music out of everyday rhythms. So in that vein I’ll continue with the odd joy of Malcolm Arnold’s “Grand Grand Overture op. 57” (1956) because it is scored for three electric vacuum cleaners, one electric floor polisher, rifles and orchestra. He’s more well-known for his work in movies, especially the Bridge on the River Kwai. Definitely someone for whom space, place, and life figure prominently in his composing.
“the weather is put-it-in-your-mouth delicious ”
That is wonderful.
Butch Hancock says he started out writing songs while driving a tractor. First gear hummed in G, and second in C (or vice versa; I don’t remember) so chord changes came along depending on where he was in the field.