Thursday, December 4, 2008
Glank, The Newspaper, and Found Art.
Today I was drumming on USA Today and LA weekly newspaper stands. The USA Today was so warm and busty I felt like taking it to my studio and putting it next to the floor tom of my drum set. FOUND PERCUSSION OBJECTS are nothing less than miraculous. Everything from the slides of playgrounds, to walls in the bathroom of the SAE Institute, to streetlight poles can be turned into haunting and beautiful instruments. In The Triplets of Belleville, the triplets used a refrigerator, a vacuum cleaner, and a newspaper as their primary instruments. Even using the built in microphone on my Mac Book with Garage Band to capture the sound, I recorded an amazing track using the book MOBY DICK as a drum.
My obsession with found art was super charged when I happened upon GLANK at the Eagle Rock Music Festival. GLANK is a found-percussion ensemble with 10-15 drummers in radioactive jumpsuits banging on drums, saw blades, sheet metal, empty tanks, and much much more to create intelligent and rivetingsoundscapes that make you want to dance. At one point they handed out massive home made shakers for the audience to get in on the action. The industrial vibe with all the shimmering metal and dark tones, mixed with the ominous appearance of jump suits and the earth shattering rhythms, all make Glank The Product highly recommended. It's like witnessing the mutiny of an assembly line.
The heightened sense of creativity and the profound sense of resourcefulness; of recycling as innovation and music are just some of the many glorious benefits of readymades. So next time you buy a newspaper remember you are a midwife, witnessing the birth of an instrument out of another instrument. Pay your respects.