Monday, September 5, 2016

Tone Wood Stradivari brown


Stradivari brown




The old 16e century Italian masters applied a slightly tinted oil- resin layer on top of an oil varnish filler layer. Red pigment vermilion was used to give the instrument a warm red look. Due to the ultra violet light the wood gets darker when it ages.


The color changes to more dark brown over the years. The red pigments once used will fade away over the years. What stays is what we see now on most Italian Masters.

 

The pictures shows my Jesse van Ruller model with the bare wood all stained with a modern color pigment.

 

About 10 layers of nitrocellulose lacquer are used to give a smooth finish. This guitar will darken a bit more the comming few centuries.





Monday, August 29, 2016

Tone Wood The Nyquist stability criterion


The Nyquist stability criterion

If you want a long sustain you should have very little coupling from the string to the sound box. We can achieve that by making the breakover angle from your string over your bridge almost flat. Almost no force component will drive the top this way. If the string doesn’t have to deliver labor it will oscillate longer. Another method is using a very heavy bridge which causes all the string energy to reflect back from the bridge instead of driving the top plate. 

 

With these techniques you will get more sustain but it will cost you acoustic power (your guitar will not be acoustic loud). Carlos Santana has both, endless powerful sustain. He uses his Mesa Boogie amplifier to feedback acoustic energy into the string. Harry Nyquist came up with the stability criterion in 1932 which is used in control theory and predict if a system is stable. Without Harry it would be impossible that we ever could put our feet on the moon. The criterion is simple: the string energy is converted by a pickup into an electric signal, the electric signal is amplified and converted by the speaker into an acoustic audio signal. Only a small part of that acoustic audio signal will get the guitar in motion and causes the string to vibrate again which in turn is getting converted to an electrical signal by the pickup. 



The criterion says that:
When all the attenuation (conversion from string motion in electric signal, conversion from electric signal to speaker cone movement, the losses of the sound field from your amplifier to the location of your guitar) equals the amplification of your Mesa Boogie amplifier. The system is on the edge of stability.

 

If the attenuation is stronger the system is stable (the sustained tone fades away). If the amplification is stronger than the attenuation the system is instable and the system “explodes” (the sustain tone gets louder and louder).
 


Every note Carlos hits with endless sustain was exactly on the edge of instability. How did Carlos managed to do that for almost every note while he probably never had heard of Nyquist? Certainly don’t try to do this with a hollow body super 400. The brass plate under the bridge of his Yamaha 2000 guitar will also contribute. Every pronounced resonance, whatever it is the wooden body of your guitar (making it form a lot of layers different wood will help to cut pronounced resonances), pickup or the speaker of your amplifier, is not good for producing an even Santana sustaining guitar.








Monday, July 18, 2016

Tone Wood Le Grande Arche


Le Grande Arche

Most steel string guitars use about 12 braces for the top and 4 heavy braces for the back. These braces are absolutely necessary to give the thin top and back enough strength to withstand the 700N force from the strings. 
 


 Yamaha Guitar - Examples of bracing

Archtops only use 2 braces for the top and no braces at all for the back. From the 700N string tension only about 150N will be converted to down pressure on the Archtop Bridge. The way the string force acts on an archtop top is completely different from the way they act on steel string top. Two braces, a little arch of about ¾” (19mm) and a thickness of the top of ¼”(6mm) is enough to deal with the down pressure of 150N on the bridge. 

 

Archtops are inspired on the violin family, the sound post is skipped but the whole concept is pretty much the same. A good example of natural evaluation. I always have my doubt about the arched top on the . It doesn’t give any structural advantage, it makes it much more expensive to produce and maybe most important “it looks so dammed good!” The picture shows the back of my Avant-garde top model archtop. Glossy, shiny and arched.






Friday, July 15, 2016

Morton Felman remembered by Tom Johnson




Artwork: Central Asian (mainly Uzbekistan) rug patterns
Remembrance
by Tom Johnson


I studied privately with Morton Feldman in his apartment in New York City, before he was to take the University post in Buffalo. During the period 1967-69 I would often visit him, whenever I had some new scores and enough money to pay for a lesson. It was a valuable experience for me, and 20 years later I still have a folder where I used to file notes of things Feldman told me. When I heard of his death, I dug out the folder, which I had not looked at for some years, and found a renewed significance in the words of my teacher, who now can no longer speak for himself. The majority of the notes I had made had to do with specific things in my own early compositional efforts, but I also found a number of quotations that are of general interest which I wanted to share, particularly since very little of what Feldman talked about during this period has been published. May these fragments help to preserve the memory of one of those extremely rare cases of a man who truly knew how to think for himself.

Tom Johnson, September 1987



The traditional sense of proportion is a hang-up. The usual Mozartean concept of how long an idea lasts becomes too predictable. Some of the composers who talk the most about avoiding predictability are the ones most victimized by this predictable traditional sense of proportion.



The extremely fast psychological time in Stockhausen's music, for example, is a result of electronic music. Working with dead sound creates this tendency to keep speeding up. Simple sustained sound is not effective the way it is in instrumental music.




The lower register is gravity. If you omit it and use only higher registers, there's no gravity. The music remains suspended and ethereal. Verdi knew about that.



Those elaborate rules that Christian Wolff used in his game-like scores form an aura of concentration around the sound. The players are not able to devote their full attention to sound production, and ironically they achieve a kind of sound sound as opposed to musical sound. But it is music, of course, and a completely unique kind of music. The sounds that result are less artificial than in other kinds of music.



Most music is metaphor, but Wolff is not. I am not metaphor either. Parable, maybe. Cage is sermon.



Timbre and range are the same problem, and both are more important than pitches. When one knows exactly the sound he wants, there are only a few notes in any instrument that will suffice. Choosing actual pitches then becomes almost like editing, filling in detail, finishing things off. Isn't it curious that in the classical period the selection of range and timbre, i.e., orchestration, was the secondary finishing-off thing. Just the opposite.



Music can imply the infinite if enough things depart from the norm far enough. Strange "abnormal" events can lead to the feeling that anything can happen, and you have a music with no boundaries.



The reason I don't like theater pieces is that one usually has to sacrifice some of the musical for the sake of the theatrical. I wrote a solo trumpet piece where the player talked, removed valves, talked through the horn, and did other actions, but theater is not my medium, and I've dropped this piece from the catalog. It works for Cage, though, as in his "Music Walk," where there are instruments all over the stage and David Tudor moved all around playing continually. That is the finest kind of integration of music and theatrics.



One of the fallacies of our chance music in the '50s is that we sometimes failed to realize the difference between the experience of performing and the experience of listening.



You have to find a place for everything. Every idea needs to find its place in time, its context, its environment, a world in which it can exist. Sometimes you can write something that doesn't seem to exist in any particular place. That is better. But much harder.



All we composers really have to work with is time and sound - and sometimes I'm not even sure about sound.






MORE in PREPARED GUITAR

SOUND: CONFRONTING THE SILENCE by Toru Takemitsu (June 02, 2016)
Gardener of Time by Toru Takemitsu (May 31, 2016)
Le Picadilly by Erik Satie (1866-1925) by Ya-Ling Chen (May 25, 2016)
Sound Aesthetics: Xenakis (January 7, 2016)
Pinhas Deleuze Sound language (January 21, 2016)
Angle(s) VI John Cage (April 30, 2015)
Morton Feldman (March 16, 2015)
Morton Feldman and painting (October 3, 2014)


Morton Felman remembered by Tom Johnson




Artwork: Central Asian (mainly Uzbekistan) rug patterns
Remembrance
by Tom Johnson


I studied privately with Morton Feldman in his apartment in New York City, before he was to take the University post in Buffalo. During the period 1967-69 I would often visit him, whenever I had some new scores and enough money to pay for a lesson. It was a valuable experience for me, and 20 years later I still have a folder where I used to file notes of things Feldman told me. When I heard of his death, I dug out the folder, which I had not looked at for some years, and found a renewed significance in the words of my teacher, who now can no longer speak for himself. The majority of the notes I had made had to do with specific things in my own early compositional efforts, but I also found a number of quotations that are of general interest which I wanted to share, particularly since very little of what Feldman talked about during this period has been published. May these fragments help to preserve the memory of one of those extremely rare cases of a man who truly knew how to think for himself.

(Tom Johnson, September 1987)



The traditional sense of proportion is a hang-up. The usual Mozartean concept of how long an idea lasts becomes too predictable. Some of the composers who talk the most about avoiding predictability are the ones most victimized by this predictable traditional sense of proportion.



The extremely fast psychological time in Stockhausen's music, for example, is a result of electronic music. Working with dead sound creates this tendency to keep speeding up. Simple sustained sound is not effective the way it is in instrumental music.






The lower register is gravity. If you omit it and use only higher registers, there's no gravity. The music remains suspended and ethereal. Verdi knew about that.



Those elaborate rules that Christian Wolff used in his game-like scores form an aura of concentration around the sound. The players are not able to devote their full attention to sound production, and ironically they achieve a kind of sound sound as opposed to musical sound. But it is music, of course, and a completely unique kind of music. The sounds that result are less artificial than in other kinds of music.


Most music is metaphor, but Wolff is not. I am not metaphor either. Parable, maybe. Cage is sermon.



Timbre and range are the same problem, and both are more important than pitches. When one knows exactly the sound he wants, there are only a few notes in any instrument that will suffice. Choosing actual pitches then becomes almost like editing, filling in detail, finishing things off. Isn't it curious that in the classical period the selection of range and timbre, i.e., orchestration, was the secondary finishing-off thing. Just the opposite.



Music can imply the infinite if enough things depart from the norm far enough. Strange "abnormal" events can lead to the feeling that anything can happen, and you have a music with no boundaries.



The reason I don't like theater pieces is that one usually has to sacrifice some of the musical for the sake of the theatrical. I wrote a solo trumpet piece where the player talked, removed valves, talked through the horn, and did other actions, but theater is not my medium, and I've dropped this piece from the catalog. It works for Cage, though, as in his "Music Walk," where there are instruments all over the stage and David Tudor moved all around playing continually. That is the finest kind of integration of music and theatrics.



One of the fallacies of our chance music in the '50s is that we sometimes failed to realize the difference between the experience of performing and the experience of listening.



You have to find a place for everything. Every idea needs to find its place in time, its context, its environment, a world in which it can exist. Sometimes you can write something that doesn't seem to exist in any particular place. That is better. But much harder.



All we composers really have to work with is time and sound - and sometimes I'm not even sure about sound.







MORE in PREPARED GUITAR

SOUND: CONFRONTING THE SILENCE by Toru Takemitsu (June 02, 2016)
Gardener of Time by Toru Takemitsu (May 31, 2016)
Le Picadilly by Erik Satie (1866-1925) by Ya-Ling Chen (May 25, 2016)
Sound Aesthetics: Xenakis (January 7, 2016)
Pinhas Deleuze Sound language (January 21, 2016)
Angle(s) VI John Cage (April 30, 2015)
Morton Feldman (March 16, 2015)
Morton Feldman and painting (October 3, 2014)


Thursday, July 14, 2016

David Kollar The Son RMX 2016



The Son RMX 2016
by David Kollar, REMIXES by Terminal State


"I decided to record the album Son in the beginning of this year, when my son David
was waiting for a second surgery. It was very difficult and painful period, which I also took as a challenge to move somewhere else.

I recorded the feelings that were inside me and around me. I wanted to conceive the album differently than I did before.

I used only electric guitar on which I made all the noises and sounds; mandoline,
which I play with bow, Gamelan, a voice of Lenka Dusilová and India Czajkowska.
The compositions are based on improvisations, which I recorded in Warsaw in a studio of Tadeusz Sudnik and later in my studio in Slovakia.

The final material was longer than three hours. From that I chose what is on the album.
  • David Kollar - guitars, bowed mandoline, effects, gamelan, vocal
  • Lenka Dusilova - vocals
  • India Czajkowska - vocals


David Kollar (1983) is a young artist, guitarist and film music composer with a unique and personal musical vision.

Pat Mastelotto - KING CRIMSON
"David in particular is one of the most innovative and driven young guitarists on the scene today.
 


Album released at 30 Jun 2013.




David Kollar 13 questions

http://www.davidkollar.sk/