Flesh of the Moon is the first Brutum Fulmen album on a professionally manufactured CD, complete with color artwork. It comprises 60 minutes of (mostly) restrained musique concrete, field recordings, and electroacoustic music carefully composed from the sounds of old manual typewriters, hinges, metal, feedback, and other common and uncommon objects. Unlike previous Brutum Fulmen albums, this one does not indulge in walls of harsh noise at any point and is rather quiet overall.
Lake of Sleep
Manual typewriters. Vacuum tube amp feedback.
First track recorded when I started working on this album. Most of the sound is from the manual typewriters, though that's completely unrecognizable for the most part. A couple little sounds are from a recording of feedback created with an old style vacuum tube guitar amp, contributed by Anthony D-503.
50 plastic forks. Manual typewriter. Metal shelving. Garage door spring. Scrap metal. Fast-forwarded DAT of live performance.
The intro started as an attempt to rip off the theme from the movie Alien, which begins with some creepy violins that alternate between slow relaxed strains and quick tense scuttling. Since I'd decided to do it with plastic forks, I was unable to get any sustained tones. Or any of the tonality. So the end result is really not all that similar.
One of my personal favorite tracks on the album. I really like the quiet little squiggly sounds that come in after about the first minute. These sounds were also from the plastic forks, with a bit more manipulation. The sparkly sounds that blend into these came from the fast-forwarded DAT of a live Brutum Fulmen show, though I'm not really sure what the original sound was that caused this.
Yet another typewriter piece, but with a very different sound than the others. "Moisture" is in three parts, the last of which I did about 6 months after the first two. This is another of my favorites.
The Fire and the Water Jug
An unretouched field recording of me "playing" a campfire with a large plastic tank of water. Listen closely to hear insects, humming, tent zippers, boiling puddles of water, the high pitched whine of moisture escaping burning wood, a nearby stream, and a jet plane high overhead.
I had intended to just use this recording as source material for something else. But I thought it had a nice flow, and since some of the best sounds are so delicate and intertwined with the rest that I thought it would be best to leave it untouched.
For the Brutum Fulmen trivia buffs... That's Linda humming. Jen, who video taped the first ever Brutum Fulmen performance (with the camera on pause) is the one playing with the zippers. I had wanted to capture just the fire and natural ambience, but now I'm not unhappy to have these additional artifacts. Ken (half of the Brutum Fulmen live show) is sitting quietly watching me douse the fire. Tristan is sleeping.
- Stamps glued directly to 10" vinyl album.
- Vinyl mailed from Europe to US without any covering.
- I recorded the damaged record for source material.
- I added new stamps and mailed it to a new listener.
I met Tore H. Bøe when he invited me to play at a gig he had in New York City. There he gave me a virgin copy of his record Serum and asked me to remix it for a compilation he was putting together. I quickly lost that copy but through the magic of the internet I was able to find a person in the UK willing to mail me his copy. His had already been mailed to him with no jacket, presumably from Tore in Norway. He glued stamps to it and mailed it to me, and in a separate package he sent a world map to track the travels of the record. After recording the vinyl, I added a new leg to the map's path and sent it to someone in California. Hopefully that record is still enjoying its journey through the world's postal systems.
Tore's Serum is very minimalistic, much of the time without any apparent sound. The rest of the time a single tone or rumbling, or rustling sound is apparent. In some cases I tried to clean up the record scratches in the sound, other times I kept or amplified them. This is a longer, different version of the "Spore" that will appear on Tore's compilation.
Vacuum tube amp feedback provided by D-503, primarily a single 4.5 second clip.
The second remix track on this album. Anthony D-503 sent me some very interesting, but mostly harsh, sounding feedback that he got from his vacuum tube guitar amp. I remixed it for his Tube Testing compilation CDR. This is a gentler and longer version of that piece.
Refrigerator door hinge. Manual typewriters. Broken music box in a cardboard Christmas tree. Aluminum radiator innards. PVC pipes, metal pipes and scraps on concrete floor in the large underground vault of an unfinished sewer pumping station. Feedback. Sheet metal. Squeaky floorboards. Mic fumbling.
The underground sounds here are from the same recording session as some of the source material used on Collapsing Orchestra. Some other sequences were salvaged from a few less successful pieces that I originally put together for compilations. It's not harsh noise, but is one of the more abrasive pieces on the album.
Computer data files converted into audio files. I left the edges of the clips unsmoothed, so there is a pop every time one begins or ends.
This is the oldest piece here, created in 1998 or 1999 when I was working on Moon Boots and uses the same source material to different effect. I hadn't originally planned to use the piece on this album, but thought it fit in with the dark atmosphere of some of the other pieces. "Mourn", "Spore" and "Anaerobe" are the first pieces I consider heavily loop-based to be released on a Brutum Fulmen album.
Lake of Dreams
Field recordings of: traffic, trucks backing up, and birds near a highway. Material from a live Brutum Fulmen radio performance including: DJ introduction, feedback, metal shelves, and music box. Aluminum radiator innards. Manual typewriters.
I threw a rough version of this together in a few particularly fruitful hours one Sunday, but didn't intend to use it mainly because of the uncharacteristic "song" part at the end from to the music box. However I played it for Ken and he thought it worked well, so I put some more time into it and now I'm very happy with it. I think it has a nice half-dreamy, bittersweet feel that ends the album well.
The music box seems to be playing "Love Me Tender" but technically it's the Civil War tune "Aura Lea". Since it's in the public domain Elvis, the music box maker, and I all get away with using the melody without any royalty concerns.
The radio performance was at UMass Amherst and the DJ was Dan Bodah. Coincidentally, the 3-way-split live CD Massachusetts featuring Brutum Fulmen, Dan Bodah, and Noumena was released withing a few weeks of this album.