Monday, September 7, 2009
Arnold Dreyblatt - Nodal Excitation
I'll let Mr. Dreyblatt give an explanation of his working methods and theoretical background of this, his debut recording.
"In the spring of 1979 I was approached to perform at a downtown performance festival in New York. I had been developing a repertoire of isolated percussive and bowed attacks, and these evolved into a continuous rhythmic technique in which I could excite chords of overtones above the fundamental. This technique is a combination of bowing and striking, in which a short portion of the bow is brought into contact with the string in a forward and backward motion. If the striking aspect is emphasized, the inharmonic nature of the attack overwhelms the sound and little resonance is excited. If a long section of bow hair is brought into contact with the string, the resulting sound is lacking in resonance.
"The performance is a careful consideration of the location and influence of the acoustic Nodal Regions as identified on #12 and #11 unwound Music Wire stretched on a double bass (40.5" speaking length). The integrity of a fundamental vibration is maintained for both strings at all times; all movement of pitch occurs in the overtone structure. A shorter speaking length is never created through "stopping" or "fretting" techniques. Rather, harmonic, partial vibrations are calculated, coaxed, and are occasionally isolated at the nodes of the string." - from program notes, 1979.
"The 1996 album entitled Animal Magnetism is a logical progression on the work presented here, where repetition and rhythm are explored to fastidious degrees. Nodal Excitation could be said to be a quintessential study in minimalism with a small ensemble performing on Dreyblatt's modified string instruments, which are hammered in art-brut fashion, resulting in a deep and complex array of overtones and harmonics. Nodal Excitation is a vital recording, essential to listeners with both passing and in-depth interests in minimalist and avant-garde music. The eight untitled tracks form a deeply hypnotic suite over a total length of 38 minutes and result in a piece that is overall as strong as his other recorded works, such as The Sound of One String and Animal Magnetism. " - Skip Jansen