Thursday, October 7, 2010

Coincidence or Magick?

One last thing about the sound engineering lineage (see last 3 posts):

I helped Jason record two of the top drummers of all time, Elvin Jones at Sorcerer Sound for Ask the Ages, and Tony Williams at Greenpoint for The Word. Later, I recorded Tony Williams on my own at Sorcerer for Blacktronic Science. These were all produced and brought into existence by Bill Laswell. When I recorded Williams at Sorcerer, I used the double micing technique on all the toms as discussed in the interview with Jason Corsaro I linked to. Jason had told me about this technique although weren't able to try it when we recorded Elvin or Tony. I miced the toms, top and bottom, with U87's and flipped the bottom mics out of phase. Sorcerer was one of the only studios that had that many U87s. Toward the end of the session during a playback on the big speakers, Tony commented to me that the drums sounded good. High praise indeed!

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Driving to Prairie Sun the other day I noticed numerous Highway Patrol cops on the road in an apparent crackdown on speeders and other vehicular miscreants. Luckily I saw the one on the shoulder shooting his radar gun at us soon enough to slow down. Just outside of Sacramento I saw a motorcycle cop on the shoulder writing someone a ticket and thought it unlikely to be pulled over by him. He must of picked up on my slight paranoia because he quickly jumped on his bike and maneuvered himself to follow me for a long two minutes. Then, just as quickly, he pulled away from me and nabbed someone else in another lane who was obviously pushing the envelope of highway driving propriety.

The job at Prairie Sun was to sweeten the audio on a video short for KSK's documentary on West African music. The video has clips of various incredible African musicians talking about their craft and playing music, interspersed with other scenes of African life. In one shot, I noticed that Sibiri Samake, KSK's resident donso (shaman) was doing a casual sympathetic magick ritual to keep the cops from harassing the KSK video crew as they did their work. Getting pulled over frequently by the police in West Africa is not uncommon as they will do so for any reason to get their 2 or 3 dollar bribe. I wonder if his magick kept the cops off of my back or was it just a coincidence?

Sibiri Samake in donso gear

Back home the next day, I was checking a favorite blog, RAW Illumination, which covers Robert Anton Wilson related news, and clicked on a link posted that day that led to Wilson's unfinshed follow-up to the Illuminatus! trilogy. It was to be called Bride of Illuminatus and was published in the newsletter Trajectories assembled and put out by Wilson fans in the early '90's. My friend, Bob Bachtold, a very competant jazz drummer in his own right, is listed on the masthead as Computer Wizard.

Just now, as I pull up Bride to relate this tale, I see that Chapter One is titled 'Like A Virgin,' - a bit of a coincidence there with this blog. The other day, though, I didn't notice this but rather my attention was drawn to the first character's name which is Winifred. My client that day was also named Winifred. Then I realized that the opening scene takes place, apparently, in a bardo of some kind:

"Great day: I wake up and have to decide if I'm dead or bombed out of my skull. Just like the Tibetan Book of the Dead . . .

I felt right at home!

Not sure what this means, if anything. Synchronicities seem to multiply exponentially around Wilson related material. Coincidence or magick?

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