Pat Metheny’s Orchestrion

Pat Metheny’s Orchestrion

Pat Metheny is a musical powerhouse and here’s some new delicious proof… his Orchestrion album, which is absolutely brilliant.

In this project Metheny has combined old 19th century ideas such as a player piano with state-of-the-art machines that are an extension of Metheny’s own playing, making his guitar performance the centre piece of this one person ‘orchestra’.

This is how he explains his work:
‘ “Orchestrionics” is the term that I am using to describe a method of developing ensemble-oriented music using acoustic and acoustoelectric musical instruments that are mechanically controlled in a variety of ways, using solenoids and pneumatics. With a guitar, pen or keyboard I am able to create a detailed compositional environment or a spontaneously developed improvisation, with the pieces on this particular recording leaning toward the compositional side of the spectrum. On top of these layers of acoustic sound, I add my conventional electric guitar playing as an improvised component.’

The resulting soundscape is unique, subtly complex and utterly enchanting.

Here Metheny explains how it all comes together and you get to see the whole orchestrion in motion 🙂

‘I have always been fascianted with the idea of music and the way it ultimately comes to exist’ says Metheny… indeed, his Ochestrion project puts a new spin on this fascination!

the fun stuff…

the fun stuff…

I might have 3 jobs at the moment but I’m proud to say I still manage to squeeze in quite a bit of fun stuff too 🙂

Haven’t talked much about my violin playing here, perhaps I’ve been waiting to see how it was going to pan out. Well, I really enjoy practicing and playing some simpler folk tunes. Chris is helping me on the way but I also enjoy just picking up tunes, scales and ideas on the way by myself. My technique needs to get way better and I want to play more complicated things, but truly I enjoy the really simple aspects of just creating sound, adding small things to my skills etc. This photo here is me playing some tunes at my parents’ place 🙂

The top photo was shot at Mardi Gras Fair Day a few weeks back which was pretty awesome: catching up with lots of friends, checking out the stalls and trying out my new Nikon camera on the wonderful queer eye candy around.

I also managed to squeeze in a party at the Red Rattler (last photo). I didn’t march in the MG parade this year so instead I checked out an afterparty at this new queer women’s venue. Surprisingly me and a friend ended up on stage engaging in a short salacious routine replete with cropping, which was really really fun.

Slightly older wolf-fox, not-quite-so-old routines, some new wonderful tricks 😉

Teaching at Macquarie Uni

Teaching at Macquarie Uni

Tomorrow is my first 2-hour lecture this year in Intro to Social Science. It’s kinda nerve wrecking trying to squeeze in so much into one basic lecture but I’m vaguely enjoying the exercise. Just hope it’ll go down well.

It’s going to be on the beginnings of the natural and social sciences and the nature of social scientific knowledge. One big epistemological lecture brought down to first year level. Then 3 new tutorials in a row.

I’m slowly getting used to my part-time university teaching life with all its quirks and pressures. It’s nice to roam the campus at lunchtime looking at all the student activities going on and it’s nice to chat with colleagues and feel a vague sense of intellectual culture at least. The rest is called work 😛

I’m starting to hatch some ideas for new research and writing projects, though I also have to start preparing more materials for a new course in the second semester on the history, politics and sociology of environmentalism. New courses take a lot of energy to set up, hope I can continue teaching them next year so things can get a bit more settled and easy after my first year here.

*update: lecture went really well, was rather happy with my work 🙂 then went home and collapsed*