Music | Maud In Cahoots interview
It was bit like the piano that could only be played at a single volume, says Butera. To overcome these limitations, Butera introduced pressure sensitivity and a raft of other features, such as velocity and sensitivity in chords. These features enable tuning of the instrument in multiple modes. Thus, you can play in tune, out of tune, turn the frets on or off or play them at different volumes. This also means that you can play the instrument in multiple modes including guitar, violin, mandolin, and harp. The instruments appearance reflects this eclectic mix. Featuring a slot for the iPhone, the INSTRUMENT 1 looks like a cross between a banjo and a violin and has a built-in plectrum. In addition to diversifying musical range, Butera has also simplified the instruments ergonomics. The latest iteration of INSTRUMENT 1 can be used in multiple positions, including legs and shoulders. The thought process is mobility. Based on conversations with musicians in Nashville, Butera says the instrument is ideal for touring musicians because it encompasses a broad style of techniques and instruments.
Music and the Politics of Resistance
People started to listen, and when the Civil Rights Movement started in the 1960s, Aretha Franklin brought her gospel music out into the streets with marching protestors as they demanded “Respect”, and ultimately won it. Curtiss Mayfield united everyone with his epic song of hope, “People Get Ready”, and Stevie Wonder continued that tradition with song after song that uplifted the American spirit. Bob Dylan wrote one of the greatest anti-war songs of all time, “Blowing In The Wind”, and the Canadian Native American singer, Buffy St. Marie, offered a simialr message with her hit, “Universal Soldier.” Even the Jazz musicians used song titles and instrumental melodies to get their social and political messages across. When Charles Mingus composed “Better Get It In Yo’ Soul”, man, he meant it. And when John Coltrane composed the mournful melodies of “Alabama”, it was in honor of the four girls killed in the Birmingham church bombings. Even with just a song title and a melody, instrumental Jazz allowed the listener to create their own storyline in their mind. One of the greatest songwriters of all time, Bruce Springsteen, continues to tell powerful stories about the everyman/woman who struggles for identity in an increasingly corporatized and homogenized world. I often wonder, who will be the next Springsteen, Wonder, Dylan, Franklin, or Holiday? And why are we not hearing their young voices on the radio or on television today? Are we truly listening, or are they being blocked out?
As a child prodigy in 1950s Los Angeles, playing clarinet with symphony orchestras, he sensed that something new was brewing. The miniaturization that led to things like the transistor radio meant you no longer needed a room full of equipment to make electronic sounds. Subotnick and Ramon Sender, his partner in the San Francisco Tape Center (a nonprofit dedicated to tape music), collaborated with electronics engineer Donald Buchla to develop the first compact analog electronic synthesizer. Their goal was to turn people’s living rooms into concert halls. “What I loved about it was I could be in my studio and be the composer, the interpreter, the performer and the listener,” Subotnick says. “It would be like being a painter. I could make my music until I really loved it, just perfect and then it would become a record and go into someone’s home. For me, it wasn’t recording something; it was creating something new for that medium.” Subotnick’s interests in music and technology didn’t end with the synthesizer: He’s moved on into digital media and its interactive possibilities. In 1995, he released a CD-ROM titled Making Music for kids, ages 5 and up, to experiment with sounds on the computer. It sold in the hundreds of thousands. Early last year, he released an iPad app called Pitch Painter, which allows even very small children to “compose” by selecting instruments from different cultures and drawing on the screen. YouTube Subotnick says he believes the making of music can and should be easy and accessible. Even before Pitch Painter became an iPad app, a prototype was installed at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, where it still delights student groups.
Electronic Music’s Godfather Isn’t Done Innovating
How the process been foryou so far? Zoe:At the moment werelooking at our songs and trying to find where the best parts are, what welike most, and building from there. Maud: Were in no rush to finish it. We only moved back to Dublin in January and people are starting to become aware of us, but very few have seen thelive show. Weve played a few festivals and were eager for people to hear the actual sound of the band live because we feel thats our strongest point right now. Were not going to try meet a deadline with the album, and if were not ready as a musical collective I dont think Zoe or I would feel comfortable releasing it. Were going to explore every opportunity we have first, were confident in our half and hour showcase at the moment but it will take some more work for the album to be ready. An E.P can be an introduction to who a band are, but an album can be a lifetime in the making. Zoe: I think thats the interesting part, the story of who we are up to this point. From myself and Maud living in New York to the different experiences weve had since, Maud In Cahoots is a relatively new project but alot has happened in that time and the album, for me, should reflect that change.Its a contrast because were very happy to be back in Dublin and things have taken a different direction, and weve been working with Joe (Clarke) and hes introduced us to the music scene here. Our songs have a lot of tension in them, both the music and the lyrics are quite forceful, so it will be interesting to see what comes out and what we will be writing for this album. Maud in Cahoots will perform in Whelans on October 17th. Doors are at 8pm and tickets are priced at 10, support on the night comes from Leanne Harte.