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Monday, August 28, 2006

Jean Jacques Perrey and Dana Countryman Live - Seattle

Remember this post? Well, I managed to make it to the kick off show in Seattle tonight, or rather last night. It was a very FUN show. Filled with quirky bits of music and musings by Jean-Jacques Perrey. Definitely recommend seeing them if you get a chance. Title link takes you to a ton of shots and some short video/audio clips I took with my old digital camera. Apologies for the poor quality.

One of the coolest things about the show was Jean-Jacques' antics during the performances, from pretending to ride a horse to air guitar. Classic, funny stuff. He said his goal was to make others happy and to bring a smile to our faces - to have FUN. I'd say he more than succeeded. What was also fascinating was the stories he'd tell before each piece. I don't want to ruin it for anyone that might make the upcoming shows, so let's just say there was a fascinating story about Salvadore Dali and one about Disneyland. As for gear, Jean played the Ondioline (that brown box in front of him), what looked like a Moog dual manual organ, a couple of synths and a few Moogerfoogers. Dana primarily played a Yamaha DX7 and every now and then he broke out with the Synthesizers.com modular. Oh, and his little elephant mascot joined the show as well. : )

You can read more about Jean Jacques Perrey here, and Dana Countryman here.

P.S. I also had the pleasure of meeting and sharing a table with Blake of Hotels. They use a Casio CZ-3000 and JP8000 in their set up. I just checked out their site and MySpace page. Good stuff.

Update:
OK - SPOILER (do not read this if you are going to the show and want the effect of hearing this story for the first time - this is the story about Salvidore Dali):
Jean talked about how Salvadore Dali asked him what he was working on next. Jean said he was working on 'Flight of the Bumble Bee.' Dali said, hmm.. that's not that special. Jean said, well I'm doing it with live bees! Dali said, oh I must hear this. Jean recorded the buzz of live bees and other bugs. He then sliced the tapes and mapped it to the full range of a keyboard. It took him 46 hours to set this up. He then played it for Dali. Dali was blown away and said he must play it for him again. He said Dali said Mignificent! It was a fascinating intimate story and I really am not doing it justice. You just picture them sitting together and Jean playing this for Dali. Amazing. You can read more on the tape process in this excerpt of his biography.



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6 comments:

  1. Wow, way to go out in the trenches and bring back the goods, that's for all the photos and videos. I hope this show makes it to NY.

    But that's not a Moog Modular, that's a Arrick "Synthesizers.com" modular.

    And you have to tell the Dali story! that's a bit of history that may not have been written down yet!

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  2. OK - SPOILER:
    Jean talked about how Salvadore Dali asked him what he was working on next. Jean said he was working on 'Flight of the Bumble Bee.' Dali said, hmm.. that's not that speacial. Jean said, well I'm doing it with live bees! Dali said, oh I must hear this. Jean recorded the buzz of live bees and other bugs. He then spliced the tapes and mapped it to the full range of a keyboard. It took him 46 hours to set this up. He then played it for Dali. Dali was blown away and said he must play it for him again. He said Dali said Mignificent! It was a fascinating intimate story and I really am not doing it justice. You just picture them sitting together and Jean playing this for Dali. Amazing. You can read more on the tape process in this excerpt of his biography.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Update: here's the excerpt of Jean splicing tape for "Voice of the Beehive": link.

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  4. The little keyboard behind Perrey (beneath the row of Moog modules) looks like a Moog Satellite monophonic preset synth.

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  5. So what's the Disneyland story? The Main Street Electrical Parade was my first introduction to synth music. I saw it again last year for the first time since I was a kid. The music is AMAZING!

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  6. He wrote it with Kingsley: link. : )

    He talked about it and played it at the show but it wasn't the part I remember with that little country style diddy. Hard to describe it but there was that certain piece of music that stood out for me. I was a child of Disneyland as well as I grew up in LA.

    From the wikipedia article linked to above:

    "The idea was to cover floats with thousands of electronically-controlled colored lights and to set the show to music. Paul Beaver and then later Disney musician Don Dorsey helped rework a Perrey-Kingsley composition called "Baroque Hoedown," an upbeat, almost sparkling number best described as "harpsichord gone country." It would become the underlying theme song of the parade for the next three decades at Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and is still in use today at its new home, Disney's California Adventure Park."

    ReplyDelete