I’m back at my parent’s house helping them out again. It’s a lot different this time. Just the same, i will be releasing new music and videos and pushing forward with the release of “Koheleth” and #blacbuc. Coming up on the 19th of this month, keep your eyes peeled for the release of my album “Salo“. Available on all of the usual services. It’s all good. It’s all groovy and i welcome those of you who are new to the blog.
We have a new video 🙂 This will probably be the last of the #blacbuc promo videos until the premiere. The title is taken from Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Compromise speech. I’ve been having a really great time producing these videos. I work in Processing for generating visuals and many of the effects. You can see lots of examples of my Processing work on my YouTube channel here.
The music is the result of my work at EMS this past March/April on the Buchla and Serge systems there. Post production is done in Presonus Studio One wherever i can find great monitoring. The voices heard on in the video are the actual recorded voices of Booker T. Washington and Ayn Rand. The voice of W.E.B. DuBois is performed by my friend (music journalist) Ben Watson.
Hi and welcome back! This is just a brief note to clarify the point and purpose of the #blacbuc videos. These are not previews of actual excerpts from the opera. They are short music videos based on ideas from the opera featuring music composed during the #blacbuc sessions at EMS. Simply put: I composed so much material that I decided to publish some of it separately. Hence: the videos.
The videos also give me an excuse to get back into Processing. I’ve been dabbling in this programming language/tool since 2007. It never ceases to amaze.
Enjoy the videos and keep checking back for new ones – there will be quite a few.
I’m very excited to announce that a new #blacbuc promo video is now available. Just surf over here and get a taste of the latest adventure in sound from the body of work that is #blacbuc. The piece is entitled “Cast Down Your Buckets Where You Are” and references Booker T. Washington’s “Atlanta Compromise” speech of 1895.
Enjoy and stay tuned for more!
Last year, the new music publication The Wire did a feature on me and also previewed some tracks from my upcoming release “Koheleth” . You can read a blurb and listen to the previews here.
I’m especially proud of the album “Koheleth” and for this reason, had refused to release it digitally. As it was conceived and produced as an album – a gesamtwerk – i wasn’t going to compromise it by having it disassembled and lost in the sea of “download only” singles that are all too overabundant on the Internet. I started a crowdfunding campaign on Patreon to raise the money to finance a proper release. It has yet to produce the result i aspired to. I’ve considered abandoning the Patreon campaign and then something happens to inspire me to press on. So, for the time being, i’ll continue working on that.
In the meantime, #blacbuc continues to get closer to a premiere. Watch this blog for updates and info and, of course, more music.
This is the first track of the “Blac Buc” previews. “At The Grave of Albert Ayler“ was composed at EMS in Stockholm, Sweden during March /April of this year. The piece employs a few different synthesis methods. Of course there are the EMS Buchla 100 and 200e modular systems. The main NS Designs bass (which plays the arco melody) is processed through the EMS Serge modular synth. Additional processes and treatments were done in Csound. Have a listen, enjoy and leave comments please!
“Blac Buc” is a work that examines the difference in opinion between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois regarding “the Negro problem” during the post-Reconstruction era in the United States. DuBois was a Marxist who promoted a statist, trickle-down intellectualism as the solution to “…the problem of race and color…” in the US. He founded the NAACP and became the leader of what would become the template for the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s; until he emigrated to Ghana where he isolated himself from the movement he had started and was forced out of. Between 1895 and 1915, Booker T. Washington was one of the most powerful persons in the United States. His perspective on the matter of race relations and the future “Black America” made him a highly sought after and respected adviser to presidents as well as captains of industry. In alignment with the ideals of Ayn Rand, Washington advocated full laissez-faire capitalism for the post-Reconstructionist south as the way forward for both the rehabilitation of the South and also the advancement of Black people.
“… progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing. No race that has anything to contribute to the markets of the world is long in any degree ostracized…The opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory just now is worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera-house.” — Washington “The Atlanta Compromise”
W.E.B. DuBois was born free (to an affluent family) in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He advocated full social socio-political incorporation – to include voting rights and the abolition of segregation in all of its forms – and the implementation of racial quotas (what we now call “affirmative action”) over economic freedom and independence.
“… Negroes must insist continually, in season and out of season, that voting is necessary to modern manhood, that color discrimination is barbarism, and that black boys need education as well as white boys.” –W.E.B. DuBois
Before emigrating to spend the remainder of his life in Ghana, Mr. DuBois also wrote:
“In 1956, I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no “two evils” exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say.”
The point of “Blac Buc” is a simple one: legislation is no substitute for self-determination and economic freedom.
More to come…
Bassist Jair-Rohm Parker Wells composes “Blac Buc” on the Buchla 200e
The realization of the multi-disciplinary work “Blac Buc” on the EMS Buchla 200e system.
NS Designs bassist/Composer Jair-Rohm Parker Wells, in residency at EMS in Stockholm, Sweden, has crafted a significant social/political work utilizing the Buchla 200e modular synthesizer system.
The 50 minute multi-media/multi-disciplinary work is called “Blac Buc”. The title is a play on words referencing the Reconstruction era racial slur “Black Buck” and the name of the modular synthesizer system that the piece was realized on: the Buchla 200e modular synthesizer. The work promotes and inspires the consideration that Booker T. Washington’s “Atlanta Compromise” rather than W.E.B. Du Bois’ “Niagara Movement” held the best solution for post-Reconstruction America and the advancement of its Black people. The work was produced entirely using GNU, free and open source software. The completed work will be presented live as a fixed media performance incorporating projections, the voices of Ayn Rand, W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, dance and live NS Designs bass. A CD of the music as well as digital downloads/streaming will also be available.
…thinking man’s hip hop with cascading political indignation BEN WATSON (Music journalist/AMM-All Stars)
Let it now be known that the modern day “Freak-Bass Philosopher” has arrived – Jair-Rohm Parker Wells. I remember the Buchla well from my days at NYU (in the mid-80s!), so to hear it today through Jair-Rohm’s impassioned and well-informed “techno-logical touch” is a welcome sonic sandwich. Blessings for Bass. Thank you, Mr. Parker Wells. MARQUE GILMORE the inna-most (DRUM-FM / Kult-U-Real™) – April, 2017
“For Jair-Rohm, being called a virtuoso is too limiting. It’s being current that makes what he does so relevant. I think the measure of an artist goes beyond the hands that make the art. Jair-Rohm just doesn’t play the instrument, he creates a language using it.” — JEFFERY HAYDEN SHURDUT (artist/ producer/ director)
“…an innovative mix of electronica, EDM, jazz and spoken word that will move your feet and open your mind.” – KARL FURY (electronic musician)
“Music where acoustic and electronic instruments meet ,and where you sometimes can´t hear the difference will be tommorrows music. This is a good example of it. Nice bassplaying. It fits perfectly into the machines groove.” — THOMAS KLINTEBY (Composer , musician in ‘Upside’)
“…we experience the full range of pitch, timbre, precision, warmth, harmony and chaos, Whiteness, Blackness, noise and music that mirrors the complexity of 150 years of post-slavery social evolution. Prepare for a ride, and not one that brings you back safely to rest. It is meant to shake and move you to a different place, and regain lost momentum.” — LAWRENCE DE MARTIN (acoustic luthier)
“This is a fearless confrontation of history and music technology. It builds on the works of pioneers like Sun Ra & Joe McPhee in terrms of both the embeded social issues as well as the boundless experiments with sound.” — DAMON SMITH
Jair-Rohm Parker Wells and NS Designs WAV electric upright bass at the Buchla 200e system at EMS Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo credit: Henrik Jonsson)