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ghost dance -michael giles, jamie muir, david cunningham
music composed and performed by:
michael giles: kit drums, assorted percussion, mouth horns, mouth reeds, bow, voice, keyboard
jamie muir: assorted percussion, hand drums, bow, thumb piano, mouthpiece, conch
david cunningham: loops, treatments, guitar, occasional percussion
'ghost dance', a film by ken mcmullen
'ghost dance' DVD
the collaboration -david cunningham
an interview with jamie muir
michael giles information
david cunningham -discographytrack listing:
1 Ghost Dance 5.41
2 Scratching the Curve 1.35
3 Spillers Village 7.27
4 Cascade 3.52
5 Screenwash 2.51
6 Mouthwork 2.45
7 Snake Dance 2.05
8 The Moving Cymbal 2.51
9 Metalwork 1.29
10 Slow Motion 1.46
11 Cargo 2.52
12 Pascale 2.01
13 Blue Dance 6.01
14 Ghost Dance reprise 4.55
15 The Trial 6.34
we don't deconstruct food, we eat it chew it up, swallow and digest it and we've been doing so all our lives. the attempt by philosophers of the 80s to repackage or 'reinvent' everyday knowledge as high philosophy seemed to have more to do with the internal politics and economics of the academic world, the need for philosophers to appease the new gods and regain the initiative in order to justify their budgets at a time of massive cost cutting in the education system - pumping money rather than iron, getting rid of the flab and becoming a lean mean success machine or so ran (amok) the thinking of that decade, than with any noticeable insight into the human condition.
- and then there is of course ambitiousness and self promotion. like that other indispensable accessory of the new elite citizen, the american express card, you can't go anywhere without it - or so it would appear.
but whichever it is, making sense of the world, like eating, is clearly something we all do quite naturally and though the meeting of the modern post-industrial city with exotic ethnic cultures can be disruptive, there are benefits which are becoming more and more clear.
in 1983 as we began to work as a trio, ken mcmullen commissioned us to provide the music for his film 'ghost dance'. the film was made in a very improvisational way, exploring the collision between ethnic cultures and western cities - the rich inner mythologies of the one and the alienation of the other - and the philosophies that were beginning to explore this odd melée and what it reveals about us.
we approached the music in the same way, but more instinctively than intellectually, as is the nature of music. we produced bits and pieces of improvised music mostly using very simple non-tec instruments, hand drums, kazoo, thumb piano, bells, voice, found things, very simply constructed things and so on, which was then molested with technology till it was thoroughly macerated into some other hybrid shape. we would then take this as the basic material and try to make sense of it and develop it within the context of the film.
Giles, Muir, Cunningham 1996
The recording contains analogue tape distortion, noise and hiss which, besides being unavoidable, at times form an integral part of the music.
Thanks to: Ken McMullen, Robert Hargreaves, Mark Lucas, Jane Thorburn, Rob Ayling
Splash images derived from 'Ghost Dance', a film by Ken McMullen with Leonie Mellinger, Pascale Ogier, Robbie Coltrane, Dominique Pinon and the participation of Jacques Derrida and Stuart Brisley
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© piano 1996