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Old 9th September 2011
  #10
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This is the only known video of TD in the Manor Studio in January 1975 during the Rubycon recording sessions.




Here is a section of the text from those texts by Karl Dallas with Chris Franke explaining Rubycon.

Rubycon

Part I
The beginning is Baumann on Fender Rhodes piano, "playing very lonely notes", with bell-like Moog tones from Franke, joined by an oboe sound from Froese's Mellotron. All three lines come closer and closer together, but there are quiet spaces between the notes. "It's the first time we have put breaks between the notes, but it's very important, so you can get your brain clear for what's coming." A very high melody line on Franke's Moog comes over the long, slow notes, is joined by tapes of mixed voices on the Mellotron with glissandi from Baumann. The Moog melody returns and Froese changes to strings tapes for a brief section of trumpet-like tune and strings.

"Peter has some very nice voltage-controlled bits with the synthi. Sometimes he comes very near with his glissandi, through the well tempered melody line. I like it very much if there are two scales of notes together -- a well-tempered scale and a not-tempered scale producing, like birds, quarter notes, like Schoenberg. "This part gives me the impression of a very big river, at the end of the river coming into a big sea, the ocean. It's very liquid." Wind noise is followed by a cymbal-like tone created by a cluster of 20 or 30 notes very close together and a very low bass, with feelings of fuzz in it. "It's a little meditation tone." After a rhythm sequence, Froese plays the main theme on the strings followed by a remarkable duet between Baumann's Fender Rhodes and Froese's oboe-tapes, in which they swap phrases and halfphrases. The rhythm continues, very ostinato, "a repetitive rhythm like the Negroes make it, very often", Baumann switches to organ and the duet continues.

The rhythm doubles and Franke adds an overdubbed piano tape loop: a backwards tape is joined to a forwards tape so that the sound comes to its attack and then dies away. The rhythm becomes very complex, with Moog tones and snare-drum sounds, plus overdubbed piano, "prepared" with pieces of wood stuck between the strings to give a more percussive effect. Over this Froese plays chords and Baumann plays a very high melody line on organ. A change in the rhythm is overlaid by clashing sounds from Baumann's voltage controlled oscillator, played over a very fast-running Leslie speaker and very long echo delay. Froese plays a reprise of the original oboe melody while the decay of the snare drum sound becomes longer and longer so that the beat disappears. Later Baumann plays grand piano over a Leslie. "In this piece I think all the melodies, rhythms and all the sounds are much, much more complex and much better than on Phaedra. I think it is a step forward, this record." The piece ends with a long sitar-like sound created by scraping the strings of a grand piano with a piece of metal, recording it, cutting off the attack at the beginning of the note, and playing it back on multi-track at different speeds, giving several different pitches. The rhythm becomes simpler and simpler, moving from three to two to one single tone, and the piano loops are faded across to each other, making chords, slowly shifting.

Part II
"The second side is beginning with the sound of contemporary music, a mixture of a gong sound and very complex glissandi sounds made with several synthis, about seven different glissandi, three synchronised on the Moog which is very easy to do, and other made with other generators going up and down at different speeds and between different intervals. So it is like the pile of a carpet, a carpet of glissandi. "I like this beginning because it is very different from everything we've made before. It is really a piece of timbre music with lines so close together that you cannot separate them." The glissandi section is followed by Moog sounds recorded on Mellotron tapes and played by Froese. Baumann's Leslie organ goes to a fundamental major C chord which is picked up by a very fast, almost subsonic bass rhythm. The very percussive rhythm is in fact two sequencers, and Franke is switching from one to the other, changing notes in each sequencer as he changes. "I make accents on several notes by playing the filter which makes the timbre higher."

Over "clouds of chords" on the Mellotron and Leslie organ and synthi and Moog rhythm, Froese overdubs a backwards tape of guitar played with echo. The rhythm has changed to a deep heartbeat tempo, which fades and then returns at a higher pitch, more prominently, under Baumann's fast, staccato organ. A twittering sound is created by oscillators controlling other oscillators. "It is frequency modulation, controlling one tone with the wave of another. That's what the birds can do with their voice, changing the tone so quickly that you get a noise sound from it." The side moves towards its end with concrete sounds of sea recorded on the South coast of England, played on two tape machines with varying speeds so there is phasing, changing the location of the sound.

"This technique is important for the work that Edgar did with the artificial head on his solo album, 'Aqua', because with phasing you can change where the sound comes from, not only from side to side, like ordinary stereo, but also from front to back. "You have only two channels for hearing, so with stereo you can hear everything. Quadraphonics is only a game. It's not really good, only pseudo-space." The piece ends with a relaxed sequence for three organs and flute Mellotron, long, gentle chords with the flute flying at almost stratospheric level, fading like the flute in Debussy's "Afternoon of a Faun".

"This is music that we would like to perform in churches, all evening, without rhythms. Maybe each one of us is playing in a different place in the church, and the natural reverb makes it a very smooth sound. "We bought a generator to make power so that we can make that music outside, in total silence, in forests maybe."