Sound Collage

The "Mix" ... you've seen this describe specialty radio programs, dance club DJ shows, even breakfast cereal. Which is why I have chosen to call my art "Sound Collage." As the name implies, it is a variety of music sources played simultaneously. What could be an overwhelming bombardment of chaos, the "Collage," much like the visual art, comes together as a unique and comprehensible artpiece made up of many different pieces.

Unlike most contemporary attempts toward "mixing," the Magic Carpet Ride was performed live on the air with no previous contriving or agenda. Again, one considers two CD players, two cassettes and two LPs being played without review on the air to be unlistenable, with no distinguishing guidelines musically. However, this is not always the case! In fact, the synchronicity of allowing the "Mix" to happen without grasping for some sort of tight control. It was incredibly rich with intent and focus.

Another variable to the show was the open phone lines. People were immediately put on air to comment, question, and contribute. After a while listeners from an eighty mile radius were calling in and placing their telephones to their TV, some favorite tapes, or just plain freelance poetry/rap. At times up to five callers were on the line, timing their deliveries with the music, joking, and creating conversation.

For instance, the night following O. J.'s acquittal, we had live TV coverage playing from the phone patch while I mixed a cassette of previously aired O.J. madness and put it to an eerie soundbed mix with two new age albums played at different speeds. It generated more caller and the "Mix" weaved on. The callers were great. Especially General Garbage and DJ Little Rock. We have a similar knack at counting beats and measure in music, and interject at the timeliest of times. During severe weather I would mix in the WX station and work muchlike a human sampling device, spinning LPs and skipping CDs, weaving the Magic Carpet Ride through the night.

The Magic Carpet Ride arose after being your basic radio DJ for two years, realizing one day that I could be both a DJ and participating musician through FM. The show was five hours straight, one AM to six AM, on a Northern California public radio station. The buildings used on the show have been demolished. But the tapes of Magic Carpet remain!

I'd say the most important thing to the "Mix" is understanding the timing of music, and to let go! Let the movement move through you. most folks are astounded at the synchronicity and rythym of it, so much so that it appears contrived in a studio. What comes across as smooth is actually a lot of focused attention. Being live you can't worry about mistakes. There's a driving force there that is uncomparable to anything else. I thank General Garbage and all the Magic Carpet Ride's callers for inspiring me to go, go farther, go beyond, into the Mix.

The Magic Carpet Ride is syndicated and available for re-broadcast. Look in this magazine for an audio sample!

Colonel Corn

Colonel Corn is living in North California. He has just released a new CD with Hook In The Ass Records/ZYX Music. Medical problems have kept hhim from performing live on the air for the past four years.