In search of new musical partners for some contact free improvs I came across this awesome sound of an old Deutz tractor from 1956.
Gladly the owner agreed to make some recordings of the engine sound. In my first recording I had too much wind on the microphone. Also I realized that although the sound itself is wonderful and inspiring, it is hard to play along the recording since there is no development in the “piece”. So I had two possibilities: Either take variable sounds and mix them together, producing a sort of sound collage. Or do another recording where I “play” the Deutz as if it was my instrument.
I decided to go for the instrument option.
The owner agreed right away and let me manipulate the gas pedal as I liked.
From what I remember, I pushed the engine really hard towards the end of the piece. When first listening to it I expected the climax still to come – but the piece had been over already. What happened? I think when playing the Deutz I had been quite aware of the surrounding neighborhood. And although people there are used to engine sounds of all kinds and volumes – it must sound strange to their ears to hear an engine going back and forth in its intensity level all the time.
So maybe that thought was intimidating me a little and making the sound bigger in my perception of the situation as a whole. I mean, imagine me making all this noise outside on a sunny Monday morning in center village.
From the perspective of a listener I wish for much more energy at the climax of the piece. I now am very curious to learn wether my fellow musicians will feel the same and how they will react to that. Will they exceed the intensitiy of the Deutz at this point? Or will they conjure a contrasting atmosphere exposing the Deutz as an insufficient soloist? Or something completely different? A reaction I haven’t even thought of? What will my own playing be like? I heard the piece before, that’s true. But when playing, there will be other aspects in control than rational thought – hopefully. At least that is what I am aiming for – otherwise I would not improvise along the material but compose a piece around it (which could really be a nice idea, too, but different…)
I’m very curious to see what’s going to happen!!