NQN, details part 4

Thursday, 19 February 2009

The fourth track of ne quid nimis (in this iteration anyway) is “the poisoned lambs 2”.

I feel some sort of strange relief that at last at least one of the versions of this song is available again. There are, at this date, three different recordings with the name “the poisoned lambs”. Part one appeared on the album “fall” by the Unseelie Court, which was an album worked on by myself with caerie and with Dr. Terrence 13 (here’s his newly acquired MySpace profile). I’ve intended to re-release “fall” for years, but I haven’t taken the necessary steps yet. The third part of this trilogy appears on my drone masterpiece (still waiting for a label to release it!) called I’d’ve.

The poisoned lambs trilogy is named after a news story I heard sometime in the nineties that affected me deeply. Some rancher was annoyed at activity by coyotes on his land, so he laid out some bait… several lamb carcasses laced with poison. Wildlife management people found many dead predators around the baited carcasses. The whole story just seemed horrible to me. More proof that man is a bad animal, as if we needed more. That some guy thinks his being annoyed is worth huge physical suffering and death on the part of however many animals… it’s just unthinkable.

A similar story has been in the local news here about a rancher who was so irratated with his neighbors’ herd of bison occasionally trespassing on his land that he shot them all, leaving many of them to bleed to death for hours or days. Thirty bison dead and the man responsible was charged and sentenced to TEN DAYS in jail. Our culture places no value on the suffering of a living being if it is not a human being.

The instrumentation in this song, an instrumentation shared in the two other versions of the song, is as follows: 1.) Bass guitar… played by rocking the guitar body back and forth without actually touching the strings at any time… 2.) A specific piece of scrap metal that I found while working on a construction site in Golden, Colorado in the early 90s: it’s a 1/4″ thick plate of carbon steel with about twelve two inch holes cut out of it with oxy-acetylene torch… leaving very little metal left over. This piece of scrap is mic’ed via piezo-electric contact mic and fed through a gain and flanging reverb. These two elements are in all the versions of “the poisoned lambs”. In the piece on display here, there is also the sound of the malfunctioning Alesis SR-16 I described in an earlier post.

There are a couple of very special moments in this recording, when the contact mic’ed scrap metal acted like a real microphone, picking up the sound of birds chattering outside the window a few feet from where the piece of scrap metal was hanging when I recorded this track. Listen for them! I did highlight those moments in this mix.

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