Improvizone

22nd gig: 25 March 2009 at The Plough E17

Andrew Booker 2009-03-19 23:15:01

Live music in Walthamstow next Wednesday 25 March 2009 will, at the Plough at least, be provided by Improvizone, that is ourselves, we, the first person plural... or to put it another way, us. Yes. Gosh I'm really getting good at these opening summary paragraphs.

For this one we'll be welcoming back Simon Taylor on trumpet, in addition to deploying the regular Plough lineup of Mike Bearpark (guitar), Os (signal processing and textures), Nick Cottam (bass), and your host on electronic drums, vocal looping and exactly one pint of cheap lager. Or expensive lager, if Mr Cottam is buying. Just kidding Nick :)

I sure am looking forward to not having to record this one. Hell yes. Last time, my laptop made it through the first hour, at which point I should, in pointless hindsight, have rebooted. But I did not, and it munged the rest of the evening's recording by liberally scattering glitches all over the WAV files. If I fancy knuckling down to some applied mathematical C++ programming, I might try and write a de-glitcher. Glitches in the audio are easy enough to spot visually once you've zoomed in on the correct microsecond, and it should be easy to write some software that can spot them. It's also easy visually to smooth over the glitch with the editor pencil tool. The head-bending will be working out exactly how to smooth them out using software, using some kind of polynomial approximation maybe. Dunno yet.

For the first time, this evening I positioned a small pile of Improvizone fliers on the windowsill at the Plough. These I printed onto scrap paper with an old inkjet, and carefully cropped and trimmed this morning. Next week I'll see if anyone picked them up, and more importantly, turned up to the gig as a result. I predict very little action here, but I know that people do pick up fliers, and I really should be extending coverage to local record shops, libraries, YMCA centres, massage parlours and crack dens. OK, maybe not the YMCA.

Starting at the last gig, we are giving out free CDs again, plus we will try and keep the doors open for as long as possible so people can see in to watch our usual video projections, crafted from whatever interesting guff I capture to mp4 between now and next week. The current fine weather has yielded a few nice early morning sky time-lapses, which I might use, although the most interesting details to decorate a cloudless sky are in fact the regular criss-crossing vapour trails along the Heathrow and Stanstead flight paths.

For fun, I've ordered a USB microscope from Maplin, which should work like a regular webcam, and will try that out this weekend if it arrives. Apparently it can magnify up to 200 times. If anyone does instantly recognise the underside of my fingernails, well, I think I'll be fairly spooked. Otherwise, it should yield some suitably abstract and ambiguous images from the pile of everyday objects cluttering up my desk. Or perhaps from the interior of my nasal cavity, if it fits.

Also I might go and play in the traffic and record some more time-lapse video. There's a rather photogenic flyover system near where I live, where the M11 meets the A406, which I've been meaning to photograph properly for years. God I'm weird. It looks best in sunlight and blue sky, and there's been quite a bit of that recently.

As you can probably tell, I am a little bit more motivated with sorting out some visuals than I am with preparing what I do on the drums. Drum preparation is something I seldom seem to be talking about. The truth is I very rarely set the drums and work on them here in my pokey little house. On the other hand, all I need for doing the visuals is my laptop and some processing time, which is silent, and during which I can be off doing something else. I was all set to rectify this imbalance when, several months ago now, I started a software project to random-generate my own drum sounds. After one aborted attempt to gig this a couple of months ago, I went off this for a bit, but I hope to be ready again in the next few weeks.

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