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Randy Wormhole (Gwilly Edmondez): Your Bolero

Lookup NU author(s): Dr William Edmondes, John Ferguson


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William Edmondes’ most long-standing character-pseudonym is the Gwilly Edmondez project, which began in 1990 with a series of recordings made straight to dictaphone in unlikely, spontaneous settings. These recordings, collated as albums, comprised unaccompanied rock singing, melismatic atonal chants and improvised percussion. Each album would be effectively a collage usually sourced from about two C90 tapes. The use of the dictaphone in this way was an extension of Edmondes’ already established practice to fill pocket sketchbooks with quick, impromptu drawings of diverse settings and situations, a practice which consciously associated the mental imaging of form and line in drawing with the instantaneous conception of rhythm and melody in music. Because the project’s essence was its status as recorded, mediated, performance, the problem arose of how to translate it into an immediate setting, such as live performance as part of a group. Initially the tape and dictaphone were integrated as a spontaneous application of the collage principle - the dictaphone playback would be subject to gestural manipulation made possible by various features of the machine itself (specifically the Sony TCM20DV): subtly applying pressure to the fast-forward/rewind buttons while the tape is playing enables an uncontrollably florid melodising of extreme, fluid angularity; the ‘double-time’ switch provides a radical halving of the playback speed; using the record function while amplified, generating an array of feedback hums. Gradually, ‘found’ material (cassettes bought from charity shops and jumble sales) began to be included, and eventually a Yamaha SU10 pocket sampler was also added, allowing a more flexible treatment of the recorded material. Your Bolero is an example of just such an integration of Edmondez’s practice into an ensemble (a cello, lying on its back, and an unmounted cymbal are also included as ‘improvised percussion’ here). Tracks from the CD have been broadcast on WFMU, BBC Radio 3 and Resonance FM.

Publication metadata

Composer(s): Edmondes W, Ferguson J

Publication type: Musical Composition

Publication status: Published

Year: 2006

Publisher: Kakutopia

Place Published: UK

Type of Work: CD