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March 13th, 2007

Sounding the Red Sun



a picture of a black-eyed susan-eye turned green and planetary

A resource I use to locate Creative Commons music for free download is the Yahoo Group Netaudio.
In the Fall of 2005, I read about a release that sounded interesting to me, called "Past Andromeda", by Peter Koniuto.
I downloaded it, and found it the best kind of ambient music, filled with intervals of melodic drone and keyboard samples amid a silence as still as space.

I wrote a review of "Past Andromeda" at ambient_review, and ultimately I requested and received permission from Peter to sample the work in some remixes I did over at ccmixter. One remix into which I incorporated his sample was "Night Rain in April", which was selected an "Editor's Pick" on the ccmixter site.

Peter lives in Albany, New York, and runs the Red Sun Soundroom as his avocation/true vocation. Over the past couple of years, we e-mail one another once in a while. When verian and I started our Creative Commons netlabel, Negative Sound Institute, I asked Peter if he'd like to submit to us for release. In a few months, we will be releasing an album by Pseudophone, an ambient duo between Peter and a guy named Hobie, perhaps like the sailboat.

This past weekend, Peter and his wife were in the "mid-city" (i.e., between Dallas and Fort Worth) of Euless. After work, I drove out to Euless, picked up Peter, and headed over to Pasand, a wonderful nearby Indian restaurant (surprisingly, neither spouse wished to lose a weeknight to droning discussion of ambient music). I had a wonderful dosa, that dish which looks a bit like a giant crepe cigar. We talked about music and how we got to where we are. I liked Peter's story of the first recording session in which he was involved, for Torn Karn Bozzio's Polytown, an ensemble featuring Mick Karn, the bassist whose work in the band Japan fascinated a zillion people, including me. I like that although Peter's work is often beatless, his musical background is as a drummer. I liked that "Past Andromeda" featured virtually no synthesizers, but instead three notes on a processed bass guitar and little melodic finesses on a toy keyboard. We shared ideas about sharing music, and the great virtue in two minute pieces. It was a great evening.

I still am pretty much of the "put it together with virtual bailing wire" school of making music.
My most exciting purchase in weeks has been a five dollar remaindered book designed to teach elementary school children how to make their own musical instruments--I'll be assembling one of the selections there any day now, to create samples to synthesize and morph. Yet this music-making hobby, limited a reed though I be, has introduced me to the nicest people. I am glad I met Peter, and look forward to working with him on the upcoming doings at NSI.

rowlett creek



Today I read a little fifty page biography of Beatrix Potter, whose story intrigues me, as it strikes me as such a period piece. At lunch, I took a brief walk at the little lake park in nearby Rowlett. The weather was warm--winter seems a distant memory now. I like this time of year because of all the miniature flowers--tiny, pristine, almost un-noticed. I passed a fisherman on the creek bed on the edge of the park. I thought at first he did not understand my question--but then it turned out he was telling me that his bread sack was filled with catfish. I walked back to my car as killdeer called in shrill tones and flew by.



By the end of the afternoon, a heavy rain fell--it looked and felt so grand.