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Inspired by the Danish film "Five Obstructions," the "Over My Obstructions" series seeks to help musicians create in unfamiliar ways by presenting them with challenges in the compositional and recording process. The procedure is as follows:
Two musicians who know each other's music very well, and who regard each other with love and respect, each come up with a list of five obstructions for the other.
The obstructions should be difficult in ways that are productive, focusing on weaknesses that might be overcome and potential for growth. Accordingly, each musician will force her/his partner to write and record music that is especially challenging and illuminating for her/him. Strictly following the guidelines set forth by the other, each will make half of an album, to be released as a split tape or LP. It is hoped that they will discuss the obstructions throughout the process, though they should not listen to each other's project until both are finished.
Because this experiment requires that each artist go outside of her/his normal musical approaches, the listener will more deeply appreciate the music here if she or he is already acquainted with their previous musical recordings. But we also believe that this music provides a valuable listening experience regardless of the listener's prior knowledge of the musicians or the procedure of this experiment. But for those interested in the process, we list here the obstructions:
Andrew gave the following obstructions to C.J.:
1. All songs must be under five minutes.
2. At least one song must contain no "instruments" (i.e. anything created for making music)
3. No song may contain ostinato (i.e. a short melody or pattern that is constantly repeated)
4. The side must include some upright bass, at least 2/3 of which must be played with a bow.
5. There must be at least one consecutive minute with no tonal center.
C.J. gave the following obstructions to Andrew:
1. The entire side (of the tape) must be one piece (i.e. have the integrity of one composition).
2. Only 1/3 of the instrumentation used can be guitar.
3. The composition must include a fugue.
4. A section of the composition must be generated from someone else's music.
5. The composition must include a cover of a song that Andrew very much dislikes.
released 21 December 2010
C.J. recorded his side between May and October 2010 at René Bage's apartment in Berlin, Germany; Tom and Cori Lake's dining room in Rochester, NY; Third Degree Studio, courtesy of Jon Francis & Robert Ryan in Asbury Park, NJ; the Glass House, courtesy of Chris Baker in Lynchburg, VA; Nelly Kate Anderson's studio in Staunton, VA; Mickey Arefaine's living room in Charlottesville, VA; Lindsay Lee's room at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.
Drums on "Crisp Love" played and programmed by Jim Edwards at his home in Austin, TX.
Mixed and mastered by C.J. throughout October in countless locations.
Andrew recorded, mixed, and mastered his side between March and November 2010 while not on tour, at the Porcelain Rose Men's Home in Greensboro, NC.
Additional mastering by C.J.
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