[NetBehaviour] Music Inspired By Big Air Super Half-Pipe Slalom Ski Jump

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Jan 24 01:59:01 UTC 2022

Music Inspired By Big Air Super Half-Pipe Slalom Ski Jump

https://youtu.be/a53rrAv4C0w Video!

Watching pre-Olympics ski competitions in half-pipe or just
launching into space, trick variations given a specific
architecture. The architecture would scare the hell out of me.
So there's a structure - half-pipe on a tilt for example, so the
skier enters it at the upper end, gravity builds up momentum,
skier rises maybe fifty feet above the lip, tricks - many turns,
grabs, spins, etc. in combination - on the way down. Maybe four
but one time I saw five. The momentum peters out, there's got to
be resistance. I can't imagine doing this or the big air ramps
either, split second landing decisions and what control do you
have really? A lot apparently. In any case it brought me back
with a crash considering high-speed music, where I couldn't
possibly get hurt. I wanted to do variations within or without a
fast beat, variations at a furious level breaking the beat and
then returning to it as if corralled. And doing that over and
over with an obvious fair amount of mistakes. But at least
simultaneously safe and creative. The first instrument is the
Albanian qifteli (various spellings); mine is large with three,
not two, strings, and I have two in unison, the other a fourth.
This particular qifteli is difficult because the strings (metal,
thin) are fairly high off the neck. I worked out of a sequence I
practiced earlier, looping in and out. The second instrument is
the cura saz beautifully set up by Amir Vahab; it's faster with
six strings, three pairs, in a circular tuning of mainly fifths.
I worked with roughly the same note sequence. There are a lot of
errors in both parts but I'm fascinated by the form, pushing my
ability into something teetering on collapse (a familiar theme
to be sure, but different here - collapse or not, the sound
keeps coming). Again this is body w/ instrument played straight,
some resonance added in post, but that's all. Again this "deals"
with awkwardness, among other things. I do recognize it's hard
to hear the individual notes; that's what happens if one records
only with a Zoom H4n on a couple of books on a stool facing a
chair where I sit with qifteli or saz. That's my studio; if I
could afford studio time, things would be different but then in
this weather, taking somewhat delicate older wooden instruments
out in the cold might be a problem. So for the results - you'll
have to play with bass/treble controls to hear what's going on,
if anything. My own feeling - I love the piece for all its
attempts, as if it had a life of its own, always on the verge of
disappearance. Now for the images - probably google maps of West
Jordan and the Great Salt Lake in Utah. I know these places.
Some of the Wasatch Mountains as well. I've recorded music and
videos at the sites. The raster isn't particularly sharp. They
repeatedly cycle through, as if the music were somehow tied to
their rhythm.

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