Tuesday, September 11, 2007

upside down zawinul

No, I’m not going to do an obituary here, but (via Night After Night)…

Here’s footage of ‘Black Market’ in which you can clearly see Zawinul’s keyboard with the reverse pitch-mapping. I’d heard that the piece, and that twisty, meandering, unusual melody, had been devised/written on an upside down keyboard, but I hadn’t realized that it was also performed that way (although, a little disappointingly, Zawinul reverts to the right-way-around for his solo). A pretty interesting example of a deliberate physical de-familiarization, and maybe an unusual instance of a body-conscious, technologically mediated gesture decoupling.

4 comments:

KRIS TINER said...

"a deliberate physical de-familiarization, and maybe an unusual instance of a body-conscious, technologically mediated gesture decoupling."

That's how I like to warm up, by the way...

Anonymous said...

aha. so this will explain why back when we used to share a flat that your keyboard was completely unplayable by anyone who was expecting anything vaguely close to a western scale...

Alex

the improvising guitarist said...

Kris, care to elaborate?

Alex, my favorite one, if I remember correctly, was to layer two voices: one with linear pitch mapping and another with inverse mapping. Sounded great with hammond patches (you couldn’t figure out what was the pedal/bass and what was the upper manual/melody).

tig

Peter said...

just to namedrop, i had dinner with amit chatterjee (who played guitar with zawinul for some while) a while ago and he told me about that - i'd never realised, and never knew it went back as far as 'black market'. i dug out a treasured 1973 weather report bootleg the other night and was just stunned at what he could get out of a fender rhodes, a monophonic arp synth and a few pedals. i can't listen to much of the later stuff without feeling a bit sick, but he still had that amazing rhythmic thing going; he used to go on about it being like boxing or something. i dunno.