R. Stevie Moore
Sun 8 July 2001
Audio Midi Files
Converted by Mr. Otis F. Odder
The Bran Flakes Seattle WA
\/ \/ CLICK TO HEAR \/ \/
These chaotic playerpiano-istic selections are taken directly from the original RSM versions via a basic computer midi-conversion program. They are not proper 'midi' arrangements, per se. Some of them work extremely well, some don't work at all. Enjoy picking out the melodies. This is how they sound, there are no defects. Pardon the mess. Sorry, no refunds.
Additional compu-precision specifications from Otis Day & the Knights to be added soon.
(psssttt...hey larry! insert technical data
here, using our secret password! betcha can't
hack me! i dare ya!!)
The execution of 22 songs in 1 hour. In July of 2001, a group of select songs by R. Stevie Moore were converted to MIDI files and the output was sent to Stevie for a good laugh between us.
A very basic midi-conversion program was used, "Music Recognition System" (freeware circa 1998). It was the perfect application to use as it converts the audio waveforms to MIDI files and the output is rather shotty. The creators of the software write in the 'read me' notes that accompany the program, "A sophisticated algorithm is used to recognize notes. Composing of such an algorithm is a very difficult task, so this Program works rather unperfect."
In August of 2001 Stevie burned the chaotic selections to a CDR and sent a copy to WFMU radio. A couple of songs received airplay and the disc was instantly forgotten. Or quite possibly, the disc was stolen, smashed and shoved under a table leg providing leverage to a dated piece of furniture.
Thinking that the project would fall into oblivion, a write up on "Midi-Bran Piano-Rolls" appeared in an article on R. Stevie Moore in the January 2002 issue of Spin Magazine (page 113). Spin thinking that this was a serious project, left us cracking a few smiles when they wrote, "...Moore's cult may be small, but it's devoted. One Seattle band, the Bran Flakes, has even constructed nearly freeform MIDI instrumental versions of a batch of Moore classics. They're somewhere between a piano roll threaded in backwards and Cecil Taylor operating on a full bottle of apricot brandy, and they sort of miss the point..."
AMG REVIEW: More of an interesting curio than a proper album, Midi-Bran Piano Rolls is nevertheless rather fascinating for adventurous R. Stevie Moore fans. The album consists entirely of 22 original performances by Moore (over a third of them from 1976's Phonography album) fed through a simple MIDI-conversion program by an old friend of Moore's, Seattle-based sound-art composer Otis Fodder of the art-pop group the Bran Flakes. These are not those lame, cheap-sounding MIDI "arrangements" of popular songs that anyone who has spent time on low-tech homemade websites would be familiar with, which consist of the main melody played on a reedy-sounding monophonic synth patch. These conversions bear a striking resemblance to the work of 20th century avant-garde composer Conlon Nancarrow, who spent much of his career laboriously poring over rolls for player pianos, creating often-chaotic waves of sound that sound organic but could never be played by human hands. These conversions sound like Moore's songs given the Nancarrow treatment, in some cases to the point that the original melody is almost lost in the chaos ("Hobbies Galore" is particularly dissonant) but sometimes resulting in delightfully odd reimaginings of familiar tunes. Only diehard R. Stevie Moore fanatics, and those with an interest in the experimental fringes of popular music, will really be interested, but both groups will find much of interest here.
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