Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Avant-Americana's Native Leanings

Mesquite Treason is my solo side project most closely relating to my collaborative efforts in Tears of the Moosechaser.  Beyond searching for Pioneering Techniques in the acoustic world of folk music, this project also plays heavily on my electronic and noise background.

I have drawn from a number of sources,  from Scandinavian Folk, Irish folk to Tuvan throat singing, and the pulsing trance world of the Navajo nation distorted by drifting in and out of range as you drive across the Mojave Desert late at night.   I have also leaned close to Harry Partch in the construction of my own instruments both acoustic and electronic,  though I primarily use the electronics for the manipulation of acoustic sound.

Ride that Raven is so far one of the most commercial pieces I have released under the moniker Mesquite Treason, and I have yet to find it suitable companions to accompany the track on the Album "Shadows Of The Wind". So it currently exists as a stand alone.

I cut the video using archive footage from D.W. Griffith's "Battle of Elderbush Gulch" against footage I shot out by Joshua Tree and Processed using Jitter. In my version though, the natives win.

Whether representative of the whole or not,  Ride That Raven Flies as Mesquite Treason's flag for the masses.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How to EQ - frequency guideposts:

1. Increase to add more fullness to lowest frequency instruments like foot,  toms, and the bass.
2. Reduce to decrease the "boom" of the bass and will increase overtones and the recognition of bass line in the mix. This is most often used on loud bass lines like rock.

1. Increase to add a harder bass sound to lowest frequency instruments.
2. Increase to add fullness to guitars, snare.
3. Increase to add warmth to piano and horns.
4. Reduce to remove boom on guitars & increase clarity.

1. Increase to add fullness to vocals.
2. Increase to add fullness to snare and guitar ( harder sound ).
3. Reduce to decrease muddiness of vocals or mid-range instruments.
4. Reduce to decrease gong sound of cymbals.

1. Increase to add clarity to bass lines especially when speakers are at low volume.
2. Reduce to decrease "cardboard" sound of lower drums (foot and toms).
3. Reduce to decrease ambiance on cymbals.

1. Increase for clarity and "punch" of bass.
2. Reduce to remove "cheap" sound of guitars.

1. Increase for "clarity" and "pluck" of bass.
2. Reduce to remove dullness of guitars.

1. Increase for more "pluck" of bass.
2. Increase for more attack of electric / acoustic guitar.
3. Increase for more attack on low piano parts.
4. Increase for more clarity / hardness on voice.
5. Reduce to increase breathy, soft sound on background vocals.
6. Reduce to disguise out-of-tune vocals / guitars.

1. Increase for vocal presence.
2. Increase low frequency drum attack ( foot / toms).
3. Increase for more "finger sound" on bass.
4. Increase attack of piano, acoustic guitar and brightness on guitars (especially rock guitars).
5. Reduce to make background parts more distant.
6. Reduce to soften "thin" guitar.

1. Increase to add attack on low frequency drums ( more metallic sound ).
2. Increase to add attack to percussion instruments.
3. Increase on dull singer.
4. Increase for more "finger sound" on acoustic bass.
5. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.
6. Increase to add sharpness to synthesizers, rock guitars, acoustic guitar and piano.

1. Increase to brighten vocals.
2. Increase for "light brightness" in acoustic guitar and piano.
3. Increase for hardness on cymbals.
4. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.

1. Increase to brighten vocals (breath sound).
2. Increase to brighten cymbals, string instruments and flutes.
3. Increase to make sampled synthesizer sound more real.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Basketball With The Animals

Making animations with Dave Quion is one of my most rewarding undertakings. The following has pretty much been our routine since we were Suite mates at CalArts and worked on our first short "Lobster Shmobster" together.

Day 1. 
He comes to me with some absurd script and we spend hours in my studio recording voice overs and Improvising around the theme, laughing at our own silliness.

2 Months later.  
I get the animatic and seeing the characters shape and form start to lump together a sonic landscape. 

8 Months Later. 
Receive Dave's meticulous one man hand drawn animations and starting cutting in sound effects.  The overall process and collaborative element of our projects together is truly one of the most rewarding working relationships I have.

The fruit of that love and labor has resulted in one of our most polished and sleek shorts to date. "Duckhammer and Beavkid Get Buckets",  Is the story of two roommates,  a slacker Duck, and an average Beaver.  In their Universe all problems are solved with Basketball.   In this first Episode Duckhammer Learns how to dunk and Beavkid coerces him into face off against Rhino and Iguana for a futon.

Dave's rendering of 2D into 3D camera moves is particularly of note.   We intend to continue this as a web series,  or get a deal with one of the networks.  If you like it, help spread it around.  We are all grassroots here, doing this Independently as a labor of love.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Song of the Open Road - Walt Whitman

82. Song of the Open Road
by Walt Whitman

AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,   
Healthy, free, the world before me,   
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.   
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;   
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,  
Strong and content, I travel the open road.   
The earth—that is sufficient;   
I do not want the constellations any nearer;   
I know they are very well where they are;   
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.     
(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens;   
I carry them, men and women—I carry them with me wherever I go;
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them;   
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)   

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mesquite Treason Releases Etudes In Construction Of Timbre

Etudes in Construction of Timbre is a study in layering recordings of building and experimenting with a series of new instruments, including a guitar turned cello, aluminum pipes turned chimes and bowed children's toys and a microtonically tuned Autoharp.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Bluebird - Charles Bukowski

The Bluebird

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see you.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that he's in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess me up?
you want to screw up the works?
you want to blow my book sales in Europe?

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be sad.
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him die
and we sleep together like that
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man weep, but I don't weep,
do you?

Charles Bukowski