I spent most of the day leading up to the evening performance with Don Hassler at Railroad Earth (excerpted here) developing a Self-Playing patch that could be deviated from for the show. Most notable between these two recordings, the performance excerpt, and “A Difficult Embouchure” (recorded two days later) are changes to control of the Lopass Gate and function generator patching. My goal with each of these patches, was to avoid the easiest solution – some method of randomly addressing 250e stages. In these 11.27 recordings, a pair of function generators controlled aspects of the 266, which were fed back to the 281, as well as to the 259s. I scaled back further for “Embouchure” which began as an experiment to see with how few cables I could achieve a sufficiently interesting Self-Playing structure – but instead led to the elimination the function generators and gating altogether, instead using a rapidly changing fluctuating random voltage to pulse the quantized and distributed sections of the 266 patched to a single 259.
The video, of a descent in the elevator of Smith Tower in Seattle, seemed to be a fitting match and a fun way to deliver a Self-Playing track. Seeing that Self-Playing work is relatively valueless in the time domain, the counting down of the floors here seemed to me to function nicely in place of any discernible dynamic in the overall recording. Thus you know – at least approximately – when you may expect it to end.