Taking Away +

by Keith Fullerton Whitman

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First digital release for this suite of late “Playthroughs” for guitar, synthesizer, & computer, issued in part on a small-run cassette release by Brad Rose via Digitalis Limited in May of 2009.

The “Side 1” half is the tail-end of said improv, run through a low-pass filter taking its cut-off frequency from the relative “Loudness” of the audio (i.e. the louder it gets, the more high-end it lets through) - a nice & simple piece that turned out well (there’s even a bit of “dry” guitar playing at the end there). The “Side A” half covers the beginning of the improv, with the computer essentially “Playing” the Doepfer, recording the output, then re-introducing filtered variants of the recording back into the mix minutes later. This builds into a frenzy of over-laid pointillist synth blips that coalesce into the drone that makes up the “Side 1” half, loop and repeat. This digital edition includes the two edited & "Composed" 32-minute halves, exactly as they were sent to NAC for duplication.

The remaining material consists of similar attempts recorded during the same two-week stretch while putting the tape together; varying combinations of Guitar & Modular Synthesizer played in a loose, improvisatory style into a Max-MSP patch, then recorded "Live" to glass, including a concert at Night Light in Carrboro, North Carolina on the evening of the 12th of April (Track 11). Track 9 is the actual raw take of the material edited down for the "Taking Away" cassette; the rest I'm including for those curious about the Composing, Recording & Editing processes for this sort of project, and how many seemingly dead ends at the time can sound like fully fleshed out ideas years, in fact close to a decade later.

This essentially covers the very tail-end of the "Playthroughs" era, coming in 3 years after "Recorded in Lisbon", and just before I began focusing solely on the Modular Synthesizer as the main component.


released May 29, 2009

This doozy has been a fleeting idea in the cosmos for a while now, but finally has poked its head through the electric ether and made an appearance. "Taking Away" is massive. Two side-long 32 minute pieces for Modular Synthesizer that harken back to '70s minimalism and muted exorcism. Each ride is like a golden river of dreams pouring through electronic excess. Pointillist forays fall in-line perfectly with the hypnotic whirrs of subtle, synthetic manipulation.

In all, Whitman is at his best here. he finds the cracks between the crevices, lighting a new path along the way. Edition of 200, pro-dubbed on high-bias cassettes.


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