Drive To Discover

Unconventional music duo stops in Berkeley

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Berkeley was recently the final stop for an unusual concert tour. The two performers make their own instruments in a quest to transform noise into music.

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What sounded like thunder came from a drum, just one of the conventional instruments used in unconventional ways by Tim Feeney, a percussionist from New York, and Vic Rawlings, an instrument maker from Massachusetts.

They perform on tour and they have their own CDs yet they don't even have a name for their duo. In fact, they don't have a name for the kind of music they play.

"This music is all about timbre," says Rawlings. "It's all about the character of the sound."

Feeney explained the unpredictable nature of what they do saying, "I can control when it turns on and off. And then, I'm hanging on for dear life as it goes after that. So, the sound sort of has its life beyond what I'm doing with it."

Rawlings concurs, "It might be the sound that I intended. It might be a different sound. And, whatever it is, it's out in the room, and I have to work with it."

About his partner, Feeney adds, "Vic uses technology in a little bit more overt way than I do, I think. You'll see that he sort of built his own instruments."

One is lovingly referred to as "Frankencello."

"I'm using electronic feedback," he said as he demonstrated for ABC7. "This is the input for that board. This is insulation from a wire. This is a mixer for the speakers. You can see that it's difficult for me to know exactly what sound is going to come out."

The sounds that closed the evening in Berkeley and their whirlwind tour, were made with Bay Area musicians and friends Ken Ueno and Matt Ingalls. Afterward, summed up what they all felt.

"The ritual of a live performance is something that is eternal. Unfortunately, it's becoming more and more rare, and it's a precious thing that we all need."

------- Links -------

Center for New Music and Audio Technology UC Berkeley
http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/

Vic Rawlings Home
www.vicrawlings.com/vicrawlings.com/home.html

Feeney/Rawlings Home
www.timfeeney.com/feeneyrawlings/bios.html

Vic Rawling on Mimaroglu Music
www.mimaroglumusicsales.com/artists/vic+rawlings.html

Tim Feeney on Mimaroglu Music
www.mimaroglumusicsales.com/artists/tim+feeney.html

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