flower & water

steve roden
cd in printed sleeve
edition: 500
dragon's eye

  1. words in the shape of a tree
  2. breadly medly (dry hill)
  3. transparency (red)
  4. if the linotronic could sing
  5. feeling, smelling, tasting
  6. incidental mountain (simply)
  7. on recycled paper
  8. nine stones
  9. when bread is like bells
  10. straightforwardness
  11. wing / ogre / stone

Flower & Water began with an offer to work with the first Dragon’s Eye release – a flexi-disc with a recording of George Winston playing a blues piano composition called “Medley: Bread Baker’s Stomp” – as source material. Since I am not a true remixer, I decided to modify the track via physical manipulation. Most of the material began with cutting up some of the flexi’s and taping back together in ‘wrong’ ways. I then played (or tried to play) the broken records that had been taped back together – also putting objects onto the surface of the record while being played with a cheap record player that had a small built-in speaker. In many ways I felt like I was building a series of temporary sculptures, as I wanted the experience to be physical – similar to the use of hands in making bread from scratch. Based on Paul Novak’s bread making book, I felt I should approach my experience with the flexis should feel a bit like a ritual. I then took the stereo “field recordings” of the actions with the objects, putting different fragments of recordings into a sampler so that I could shift pitches and create loops. In many ways the experience of cutting the records into pieces felt related to my visual practice, in that my approach to these recordings were more sculptural in both process and the end results – particularly in relation to the physical building, as well as the messiness of the process… What is beautiful is that the recordings (created with a small stereo field recorder), captured not only the sounds of the record, the record player, the plastic cups, the stones, the scotch tape and other things I set on the turntable, were processed by the natural reverb and echo that existed in the space. So, rather than working within a virtual environment, I tried to keep these experiences as analog activities – with dust and hands (like bread making), with scissors and scotch tape (as if making collages), and with the ways that sound is activated via dropping, sliding, and of course, listening. My hope was that the messiness of my process might offer a few sound pieces that might relate to how a kitchen might look when I might have finished baking bread… with hands covered in flour, dough stuck to the counter, etc. in many ways the overall group of tracks is a kind of hybrid – with short-ish agitated acoustic actions and “remixes” of the piano recordings on the red flexi-disc. The titles were all taken from Paul Novak’s  book – A Baker’s Dozen of Daily Breads and More – via various paths, some were used as found, while others a bit more playful – such as wing / ogre / stone which was made up of the letters of George Winton’s name. The cover image consists of a bunch of cut up records layered and taped to the window of my studio… and yes, it was used in the making of this recording – fortunately, no record needles were harmed during the recording session.