Southern California is suffering from a historical heat wave.
Here in Northern OC, temperatures are hitting well above 100°F far into the evening.
Because of my migraine hyperacusis and tinnitus, I cannot stay in rooms with AC running. My studio is hot. I'm sometimes nude. It's the weekend, so I suddenly decide: for the first time in a decade I am going to write and perform and combine and edit and produce and (to the best of my hearing-impaired ability) master and release a new album.
My only compositional condition will be: these two days of improvisations will be used, period.
During the early morning it is cool enough to work in the garden, succulent health is a big deal when things get hot and dry.
In fact, all the pictures are from my garden. Each track has its own eponymous cover pic.
Enjoy this album, it goes very deep into the queerness of who am I am, and the trauma that led me there.
released September 25, 2022
All instruments performed by Craque.
A good 2/3rds of my Eurorack Modular is SynthDIY.
After the judge ordered my employer at the time to pay 5x what they had offered for Worker's Compensation, I decided to use the unexpected cash to start my very first modular using a DIY bamboo case from Matthew Goike.
This wasn't first time I had been exposed to analog modular synthesizers. In the 1990's as I was working on a masters degree in Opera Performance at the University of Maryland School of Music, I was a member of a male vocal improvisation trio called Comma (with Tom Bickley and Joseph Zitt). We performed a concert at Drew University, where Norman Lowrey showed us the gigantic Moog synthesizer. I was immediately hooked.
Fast forward to my two years in Chicago from 1999 to 2001, where I began my solo performance career as Craque. I collaborated with Achim Wollscheid for a special sound installation at a large space on the south end. He was running a huge quadraphonic system in a huge gallery atrium. Different artists were scheduled to play along with hime, and the guy before me had a 9U Doepfer Eurorack.
I got obsessed with the concept of "original sound" after studying and being mentored on the music and life of John Cage by David Patterson as I was studying to be a Heldenbariton. I ended up doing a research paper on Cage and Pauline Oliveros, who I knew as a close friend and performed with many times with Comma and solo. I ended up getting into learning and building DIY electronics in the early 2000's. after I moved from Chicago to Southern California, where I live now after 20 years and have been married to my awesome wife Kary for 18.
So everything on this list extends from gear I have collected since my undergraduate degree in vocal music and composition and computer music at Virginia Tech (1990-1995), where I first began performing Cage's music. It is also the birthplace of the moniker CRAQUE, having been the name of our crazy eclectic band there in Blacksburg; when we parted ways in 1995, I took on the name for my solo electronic work and later getting a DJ career started in Chicago.
I guarantee that this list is incomplete. I will add more things as I get to them! Many of these devices I built, marked with "DIY":
- The Hunquejarp (an amplified sonic object board) DIY
- Tabletop Les Paul Pee Wee
- Amplified Kalimba (aka Mbira), originally from South Africa
- Amplified rocks, stones, and marbles
- Found objects
- Guitar preparations
- Koma Elektronik Field Kit
- Music Thing Modular Mikrophonie (DIY)