Noises Of War
- Taped Rugs Productions, Charles Rice Goff III, George Gibson, Killr "Mark" Kaswan, Robert Silverman, Herd Of The Ether Space, HOTES, cassette culture, home recording, Persian Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield, Saddam Hussein, George H. W. Bush, George Bush, Television, Radio, News, Network, Experimental, Avant Garde, Noise, Improvisation, Improv, Oakland, War, California, Psychedelic, Iraq, Kuwait, San Francisco Bay Area, Albany, Protest, Military, Music Concrete, Sound Collage, Live, Art Here,
by Herd Of The Ether Space
From The 1991 "Noises Of War" Cassette Album:
1 Purification/Shifting Sands/The Bombing Of Baghdad/Reaction To War
2 The Duel/Mourning Breaks
4 Arabian Nights
Variant Versions From Rehearsal Sessions:
5 Purification/Shifting Sands/The Bombing Of Baghdad (2/24/91)
6 Reaction To War (2/24/91)
7 The Duel (2/24/91)
8 Mourning Has Broken (2/24/91)
9 Exorcism (2/24/91)
10 Reaction To War (2/17/91)
11 Mourning Breaks (2/17/91)
12 The Duel/Mourning Breaks/Exorcism (2/10/91)
13 Arabian Nights (1/25/91)
A savage war for the control of Middle East petroleum resources took place between the years 1990 and 1991. As the conflict escalated, governments from all over the world got involved, and lives from every corner of the globe were put at risk. By the time that a cease-fire had been achieved in March of 1991, the Middle East was left with tens of thousands of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, a number of unprecedented environmental cataclysms, and a host of precariously unresolved political posturings.
Soon after President George H. W. Bush ordered the USA's military to bomb Baghdad on January 17th, 1991, the members of Herd Of The Ether Space (HOTES) decided it was time to express their disgust for those responsible for bringing so much pain to the planet with their quests for petroleum supremacy. Their ire was not only aimed at Bush and his Republican supporters, but at Saddam Hussein and everyone else responsible for this deadly exercise in greed management: every dictator, shah, prime minister, oil company executive, media magnate, weapons manufacturer, etc.
HOTES members: George Gibson, Charles Rice Goff III, Killr "Mark" Kaswan, and Robert Silverman chose March 1st, 1991, as the date on which they would make their first public statement regarding the Persian Gulf War. This statement would come in the form of an elaborate live performance. In the weeks leading up to this performance, the group compiled a library of audio and video about the ongoing conflict to incorporate into their presentation. They spent hours editing up these materials into forms that could easily and effectively be used on stage. To refine their themes and performance strategies, the Herd gathered to rehearse on January 25th, February 10th, February 17th, and February 24th. All the while, the horrors of the war and the predictions for even more terrible things to come were piling up.
Indeed, the world seemed convinced that this particular chapter in the Middle East war for oil would be a long one, and as a result, the members of HOTES anticipated that their March 1st show would be the first of several performances on the subject. As it turned out, however, the so-called "liberation of Kuwait" took just over a month, and a cease-fire agreement was signed on the very same March 1st that HOTES gave its first (and thus, only) performance in protest of the Persian Gulf War.
The show was hosted by the "Art Here" Gallery in Albany, California. The performance was filmed and the live audio was recorded. Taped Rugs Productions released a cassette album from the performance, entitled: "Noises Of War" (NOW) later in 1991. The tape was co-released by the California outlet of Kentucky Fried Royalty recordings, supervised by Don Campau. A couple of edits from the rehearsals were released by Taped Rugs in the following years on other cassette albums as well.
This archive contains all of the audio recordings from the March 1st performance as well as several recordings from the rehearsal sessions. The rehearsals vary in many ways from the actual performance pieces. Their inclusion in this archive helps define the evolution of the performance pieces and showcases the degrees to which HOTES incorporated improvisation into their compositions. Several of the rehearsal recordings archived here have never previously been made available to the public. This archive also contains jpeg files of the cassette cover art for all of the releases related to these recordings as well as jpeg files of the NOW promotional poster and NOW show program.
The basic framework for the "Noises Of War" presentation consisted of seven movements which followed a somewhat narrative arrangement:
1 Purification (basically an introduction and preparation for what was to come)
2 Shifting Sands (establishing the setting for the war and showcasing some of the events leading up to it)
3 The Bombing Of Baghdad (the beginning of the war expressed through a Killr Kaswan modified folk song)
4 Reaction To War (a violent expression of frustration over the violence of the war itself)
5 The Duel (a metaphorical look at the senselessness of war as expressed through the sonically-embellished reading of a short story by Eugene Field)
6 Mourning Breaks (a lament over the tragedies caused by the war)
7 Exorcism (an attempt to free the mind and body from the torments of the war -- this movement included a reading of some ethereal words written by the late Doors lyricist, Jim Morrison)
Among the instruments and non-instruments incorporated into the NOW audio presentations were: electronic guitars, cello, electric bass, lap steel guitar, modified acoustic guitar, electronic keyboards (some modified), sampling keyboard (loaded by Silverman with battleground sound effects and snippets of middle eastern music), cassette decks, eight track recording deck, phonograph, flutes, whistles, horns, reed instruments, voices, various percussion (much of it created by Gibson), various electronic sound effects, children's toys
1 Tracks 1-3 were recorded at the March 1st performance in Albany, California. Goff spliced about eight minutes from the February 24th rehearsal of "Reaction To War" onto the end of Track 1 to create the version of "Reaction To War" which appeared on the NOW cassette album.
2 Track 4: "Arabian Nights" is an edit from the January 25th rehearsal. This piece served to close the NOW cassette album. Track 13 is the entire half-hour-long January 25th improvisation from which "Arabian Nights" was edited.
3 Track 8: "Mourning Has Broken" (an alternative title for "Mourning Breaks") was included on the Taped Rugs compilation cassette album entitled: "Fjaern," co-released by Hypertonia World Enterprises of Norway in 1993.
4 Track 9: "Exorcism" was included on the Taped Rugs cassette album entitled: "Alternative Transportation," co-released by Ooh Ooh Music of Canton, Ohio, in 1993.
5 Killr Kaswan does not appear on Track 11 nor Track 12. He participated in the first hour of the February 17th rehearsal, but he had to leave before these pieces were recorded.
NOTE NOTE NOTE: This archive features audio recordings and printed materials. A video of the entire March 1st, 1991, "Noises Of War" performance is archived here:
copyright 1991, 1993, 2009
by Taped Rugs Productions
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- 2010-01-04 07:04:15
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