Um Bucholtz "My Little Cow & Me"

this is an 8 track analog tape composition utilizing an Akai S900 sampler that was realized at Carnegie Mellon University's Electronic Music Studio in the College of Fine Arts. it was my final project for my second semester studying electronic music composition with composer Reza Vali. the year was 1989. i was 18 or 19 and pre-Um.

Reza Vali appreciated my "agressiveness with the devices," but he thought i went over the top when i played the piece in public for the first (and only) time at CFA's Alumni Concert Hall. i accompanied my audio with the projection of a video piece i shot and edited (featuring amongst other imagery a toy cow from my childhood and video of my girlfriend at the time with tape over her mouth, egads!) two performer friends of mine sat on either side of the projection screen doing lord knows what (was fire involved?) the last minute improvised maximalism of the whole thing amused me at the time.

this piece incorporates a sample of my grandmother, Fanny Jean Harrell née Flanagan, speaking to me in 1972 ("What about those paints of mine?"), a James Brown horn riff sample (from "I've Got Money"), samples of people answering the phone at randomly-chosen CMU extensions ("This is Mike Snyder", "Mathematics") and my own voice hooting (in tribute to Lee "Scratch" Perry?), moaning and singing bits of "Blue Skies" (composed in 1926 by Irving Berlin, but known to me from Willie Nelson's version from 1978.)

this version comes from a cheapo audio cassette dub i made of the original 2 track 1/4" tape master (now lost, i think.)

there was a very brief audio drop-out at the end of this dub that i removed using Final Cut Pro.


Um Bucholtz "Chord Organ Improvisation"

this is a solo improvisation on a Magnus Chord Organ Model 670 done in a minimalist style. it was recorded in my 3rd floor bedroom on Hobart Street in Pittsburgh in 1990. it was the summer, i think.

i believe i was inspired in part by Steve Reich's Four Organs (1970.) unlike that famous piece, this piece's rasion d'etre seems to be the changing tonal beats heard throughout as the notes change in proximity to each other and to the constant tonal cluster drone.

it has a mediative tone--which is only somewhat disturbed by my finger flub at almost 6 minutes in.


Um Bucholtz "Fish Woman" (stereo disco mix)

this is a solo recording done live in one take in my bedroom in 1991 (or 1990?)

it's my attempt at a punk pop song.

all of the sounds, except my voice, come from vinyl records that i manipulated to make skip. (the only record i recognize is Tommy James and the Shondells.)

soon after i recorded it, i dubbed it to a cart at WRCT 88.3 FM. it received some moderate airplay.