Newbeams

by Andrew Heathwaite

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about

((( Quick note. I live in Springfield, Illinois now and do mostly acoustic children's music! See: andrewheathwaite.wordpress.com )))

There's something Utopian about this album, and I hope it comes across.

I produced Newbeams in the month of February 2012, in response to the RPM Challenge, working almost entirely between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m., with a baby named LQH barnacled to my body and sleeping hard (he turned 3 months old on the 15th of that month). The hardware and software were new to me, and the invitation to make an album meant an opportunity to school myself.

All of this music could be labeled Xenharmonic or Microtonal, which simply means that it uses pitches that are not available on a standard piano. Most music in Western culture uses a single tuning system, which means a single way of defining what's "in-tune" and "out-of-tune." (The pitches on the piano are in-tune, all deviations are out-of-tune, says the standard.) This album explores alternatives to that. On first listen, it may sound odd in ways you can't put your finger on -- or it may not sound odd at all. On second and third listen, it will all make an odd sense.

However! this is not an album "for microtonalists," but for anyone with ears that hear and a mind that opens. There is nothing "inaccessible" about this music, and I sincerely hope it contributes constructively to your existence, as it has mine.

I consider myself a student and this album my teacher. I didn't know what it would look like when I started; it had to tell me. I am still confused, and happily so. Six months from now, maybe I'll understand better, but now I can only speculate.

credits

released March 1, 2012

All songs and lyrics written, produced and performed by Andrew Heathwaite, except: Shimmerwing, which was improvised and performed in collaboration with Chris Vaisvil; and Elf Dine on Ho Ho, which features lyrics by Marji Gere.

Special thanks: X. J. Scott; Jacky Ligon; my collaborators; my family. Cover art by Kaleigh Smith Moorman, Carey Smith, Luca Qrzwin Heathwaite, and AndR.

Hardware: MacBookPro, Axis-49, Korg PadKontrol, Novation Nocturne, FastTrackPro, Shure SM-57, human brain and body. Software: Reaper, Renoise, Omnisphere, Zebra2, ChucK, human imagination and cognition.

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Andrew Heathwaite Springfield, Illinois

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Track Name: Shorn Brown
Shorn Brown went walking
What am I made from? he wondered
Clutching some baby whose eyelids twitch in time
These wrinkles these wrinkles
On the forehead of waiting for something undefined...

Shorn Brown is thinking
This is a puzzle, this living
Luna is hiding; the houses still are there
These evenings these evenings
What has Shorn Brown been eating?
The future in a hair
Track Name: Elf Dine on Ho Ho
Lyrics are a letter palindrome by Marji Gere:

Oh, oh no! Enid flew onto her Go-Kart,
made Rob, bored Amtrak ogre, hot.
Now elf dine on ho-ho.
Track Name: Cardinal
We're eating dusk again, friend.
Track Name: Tumbledown Stew
What are these junk sculpture pieces doing here
In this volcano of aftermath diggings?
(Idiot light.)
I made Tumbledown Stew for the occasion.
(Red flannel hash.)