A Few Words about “Reconstructions – Live”

I said that I would do my best to keep up with things on this blog, and so I will… gradually. “Reconstructions – Live” was an album that emerged from a time of relaxation, followed by a period of complete irritation.

I’ll explain, but first here’s a picture of the cover.

The Soviet Space Dog Project – “Reconstructions – Live”

This is an interesting picture of the Monument to the Conquerors of Space, which sits on top of the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow. If you follow the link to the details of the monument, you’ll find the picture that I used for my first release, “First Orbit”.

The “Reconstructions – Live” release is made up of five pieces that I recorded late at night, as live as possible, and just to relax – and it worked quite well. I would set up a sequencer backdrop, and any simple pad sounds that I might need (a sustain pedal is mighty handy at these times), and then I would improvise over the top. The sequencers were also manipulated live, which does give a bit of life to them.

My personal favourite is Dances with Flowers as this came from absolutely nowhere. I was playing with a simple sequence and pressed record as I was playing, then I (luckily) had a Moog solo sound to hand, and off I went – it’s just those two sounds. It’s very much in that 1975 style from Klaus (i.e. “Timewind”, but nowhere near that quality). The track name comes from the fact that a lot of titles for Klaus box set pieces appear to have been the first thing KDM (Klaus Dieter Müller) saw when he picked up the tape box – and then I saw this picture.

An odd picture of Klaus Schulze from 1973

All of the tracks can be traced back to whatever was going through my mind at the time, or perhaps a relevant picture. For example, PS-3300 in the Mirror was named because I was playing with some of those Korg PS-3300 sounds, and then I remembered this picture.

Klaus Schulze during the recording of “Mirage” in 1977, with a Korg PS-3300

That’s the relaxation bit covered, so what about the complete irritation…? That came about on a Thursday morning when my main music computer failed to boot. At first I thought it was just a small glitch, but it quickly became obvious that it was going to be a bigger job than simply a reboot and a bit of waiting. After a lot of work all in the hope of resurrecting the machine with minimal loss of data, and with the massively helpful, and extensive help of Tony Sawford, I finally had to reinstall the operating system – having first ensured that I would lose the absolute minimum of data.

Just about a week later I had a working machine that needed a lot of time to make it function as it had done previously. I finally got there on the August Bandcamp Friday (i.e. the day when Bandcamp waive their artist fees). I do try to issue something on this day and I decided late on to put out the late night noodles and they have been amazingly popular.

So, lessons learned: good backup regimes (luckily, I lost no actual data, just setups), save lots of configuration setups, know where all of my licenses are, and don’t plan to release anything, rather just issue some noodlely pieces as people will like them.

Since then, I’ve continued to get my setup the way I like it so that I can capture things immediately and as they happen live. I believe that I’m there and to put it to the test I recorded a 60-minute piece that will appear in early September somewhere very interesting. Once it’s out in the wild, I’ll say a bit more about it.

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