Hal Rammel and Steve Nelson-Raney
Rare Sightings: Midwest Eccentrics
Warmer by the Stove series at Lotus Music and Dance Studios
Improvised Music, Intermedia and Free Hot Liquids
January 25, 1997
Hal Rammel solo
Hal Rammel started the concert with his invention the Electroacoustic Sound Palette. The Sound Palette is an oil painter’s palette with wooden q-tip swabs (cotton clipped off) attached around the edge. He plugs this in to an array of sound processing devices including 2 Digitech digital delays, a Lexicon Jam Man digital delay and a Yamaha multi- effects unit. First he tweaked the wooden tines with his fingers resulting in some tones reminiscent of a Kalimba (an African Thumb piano). Rubbing produced a bit more chaos. He then produced a short bow. Bowing the Sound Palette created creaking and howling, a strange and beautiful music I’ve never heard before. He also bowed with the wooden back of the bow and bounced it percussively against the instrument. Sometimes, he caught a sound in an echo and reversed it. Then while the reversed sound looped on, he would bounce more music around the room with stereo echos. Once, Hal played the Sound Palette with an acrylic paint brush in imitation of the palette’s original purpose.
Hal also showed the audience an acoustic instrument called the Triolin. The Triolin has a triangular sound box with a sound hole in the middle. The sound hole is circled by brazing rods. The back of the instrument has what looks like a table leg attached for a handle. As he turned the Triolin, he bowed the rods producing the singing tones of the harmonic series.
After the show, I asked to see the back of the Electroacoustic Sound Palette. Springs, a bell and the insides of a music box were attached as resonators.
His Elsewheres CD sounds a lot like the Electroacoustic Sound Palette portion of this concert.
Check out Penumbra Music, Hal Rammel’s label.
Steve Nelson-Raney solo
Steve Nelson-Raney played Sopranino and Soprano saxophones with seamless circular breathing technique. After playing a few pieces solo, he sat down. In front of the chair were two high hats with small cymbals that Steve played with his feet. Occasionally, he hit a service bell with his right foot. Although the effect could have been comical, it was very musical. Frequently stopping the air flow with his tongue, his lines studdered and stopped constantly. He attacked the high hats so hard that the stands were tied to his chair so they wouldn’t slip away. He also played bamboo flute. Let’s hope we hear him with a band in NYC soon.
During the duet portion of the concert, Hal Rammel also played musical saw. He bowed the saw and hit it with a hammer and even a piano hammer. At one point he even scraped a wire drum brush along the teeth of the saw.
Lotus Music and Dance Studios
This series was titled: Warmer by the Stove. In the summer, the series is known as Cooler by the Shade. I found out about the show through an anouncement in the USNET newsgroups.
Lotus Music and Dance Studios
109 W. 27th St., 8th Fl.
New York, N.Y.
Originally published on line at Juxtaposion Ezine.