Introducing UFOverdriver

My new sound collages now have a project name – UFOverdriver

ufoverdriver_machine

That’s pronounced “You-Eff-Overdriver”… and the U and the F are initials that stand for lots of different things… but that’s something we’ll discuss sometime later down the road.

Here’s the first sound collage created under this name (even though my previous sound collage called Area 5150 is being retroactively added to the UFOverdriver project); it’s called:

Integratronic – The Obscure Transmissions Mix.
Running Time:
9 minutes and 20 seconds

Enjoy!

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About this piece…

“This is Long John once again with The Party Line…”

The basic drum track and the first synthesizer tracks were laid down in just a couple of hours, and then proceeded to get reshaped until I found a mix I liked a couple of days later on Thursday afternoon, January 28th… then I started to add the voices of Long John Nebel and George Van Tassel to the mix.

These voices were taken from a public domain recording of the Long John Nebel’s early morning AM radio show in the mid-1950’s – you can download this recording here: http://www.archive.org/details/LongJohnNebel062157GeorgeVanTasselRidinginaFlyingSaucer

The recording is interesting in pieces, but the audio quality is horrible, so I decided to just make it even more obscure sounding for my collage… I had space transmissions in mind.

Some Quotes Used In This Piece

The following are (mostly) from George Van Tassel

  • These beings are not like us… however, they have many advantages over us… they don’t have to walk around like we do…
  • They move by an act called levitation… uhh, and they don’t have to turn when they go… they’re shaped like, umm, uhh, an electric light bulb…
  • Van Tassel: They don’t have to turn to look, they can see in all directions at once – Interrupted by Long John: Are you talking about about beings from another planet? Van Tassel continuing: I’m talking about intelligent beings…
  • Van Tassel: I’m talking about intelligent beings… other forms of life Interrupted by Long John: From other planets? Van Tassel continuing: I don’t know… I don’t know if I can classify us with them or not…
  • A thought is what it is, it can’t be anything else (statement followed by indistinguishable word sounds…)
  • Long John: Was this at Giant Rock Airport? Van Tassel: Yes, this was at Giant Rock. Long John: Underneath the rock? Van Tassel: Yes, under the rock…

The rest of the quotes I’ll leave as a mystery for you to discover…

About the Integratron and George Van Tassel

Before last March (click here to go to the March 2009 post with photos of our trip to Pioneer Town, The Integratron, Giant Rock and Joshua Tree) I had never heard of a very unusual building that exists in Landers, out the Mojave desert near Joshua Tree called The Integratron

Nor had I heard of it’s creator, a man named George Van Tassel or the huge rock in the desert nearby called Giant Rock where George Van Tassel claimed he had contacted the aliens that had given him the plans to build The Integratron – a body rejuvenation machine.

Here’s some Wikipedia info to fill in the story…

George Van Tassel

George Van Tassel was a former aircraft mechanic and flight inspector who moved out to California’s Mojave Desert to operate an airport and inn. During his time there, he supposedly began meditating under Giant Rock, which the Native Americans of the area held to be sacred.

In August 1953, Van Tassel claimed that he had been contacted both telepathically and later in person by Venusians, who gave him a technique to rejuvenate human cell tissues. Van Tassel, acting on these instructions, began constructing the Integratron in 1954.

Construction costs were paid for by an annual series of successful UFO conventions, the Giant Rock Spacecraft Conventions, which continued for nearly 25 years. Van Tassel was clearly inspired by earlier 1950s contactee George Adamski.

Construction of the Integratron was supposedly complete in 1959, but Van Tassel continued to make minor modifications until his sudden death in 1978.

Sources:
The Integratron – Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integratron
George Van Tassel – Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Van_Tassel

The Integratron

The Integratron is a dome-shaped structure constructed out of plywood and fiberglass by George Van Tassel. He built the structure in Landers, California, USA as a “rejuvenation machine” supposedly following instructions provided by visitors from the planet Venus.

The workings of the Integratron, according to Van Tassel, supposedly rely chiefly on two principles.

The first principle involves the occult sacred geometry of domes, and their ability to concentrate mystical “energies” within the earth. The Integratron is also said to be constructed atop a powerful “energy vortex”. According to adherents of this belief, the dome-shape naturally concentrates the energies of the vortex for the benefit of users. Also, the building is said to borrow design cues from the Tabernacle of Moses and the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Giza, both of which were thought by some occultists to have similar “energy focusing” properties.

The second part of the theory centers around the belief that human beings are truly electrical in nature. It is believed that, though each individual has his unique personal “wavelength,” the multiple wavelengths of energy put out by “focusing and concentrating devices” such as the Integratron will find a “resonance” with the individual’s basic harmonic frequency and “re-charge” his cellular structure, as if he were a battery.

Source:
The Integratron – Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integratron

Also see The Integratron official website: http://www.integratron.com/

Giant Rock

Giant Rock is a large freestanding boulder in the Mojave Desert near Landers, California, that covers 5,800 square feet (540 m2) of ground and is seven stories high.

In ancient times it was considered sacred by the Native Americans of the Joshua Tree, California, area.

In the 1950s it was a gathering point for UFO believers. It is located on land which was at that time leased by George Van Tassel, a purported flying-saucer contactee and organizer of UFO conventions.[1]

Van Tassel also built the nearby Integratron and a small airport in the vicinity, which he operated from 1947 to 1975.

A single large room, which was subsequently filled in, was dug beneath the rock and resided in by a prospector named Frank Critzer during the 1930s and early 1940s. Critzer, a friend of Van Tassel’s, perished in a self-detonated dynamite explosion in this room on July 24, 1942, while being investigated by local police.[2]

Shortly after the turn of the 21st century, Giant Rock fractured in two, revealing an interior of white granite. The entire exterior surface of the rock is now reportedly covered in graffiti.[3]

Giant Rock – Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Rock

FREE Download –IntegratronicThe Obscure Transmissions Mix

Eccentric Activities – 1985/86

What Are Sound Collages?

As a little kid I was fascinated by my parent’s cassette recorder and would play with it all the time, making recordings and dreaming about making what I now call sound collages.

A sound col­lage is like a paper col­lage, but using audio sam­ples, syn­the­siz­ers, drum tracks and other audio mate­r­ial to cre­ate a new work — not a “song” nec­es­sar­ily — but some­thing like an audi­tory adven­ture, made out of the var­i­ous found materials and full of sound textures, chance happenings and odd bits of sound to trigger thoughts, memories or ideas… like soundtracks for stream-of-conscious movies that never existed.

When I was almost twenty I got a synthesizer and finally started making some of the things I dreamed about when I was a little kid, and twenty five years later I’m still trying to make those kind of recordings.

About Eccentric Activities

eccentric-activities-original-silkscreen

The members of Eccentric Activities included myself, a Roland Juno-60 Synthesizer, a Fostex X-15 four-track recorder, various sound effects records, and some odd tape machines and half-broken effects pedals.

Sometimes my friend Mark Powell (he sang for several of the bands I was in) would come by and add vocals… and once I spent an evening recording some Eccentric Activities material with a couple of Mark’s friends (tracks 5 and 6 of the playlist below.)

The Juno-60

juno60

I loved my Juno-60! I got it in April of 1984 and it changed my life.

I had a friend at the time name Mark (a different Mark) who had been a Mod with me, but he had become more of a New Romantic (a fashion sub-culture of the time into bands like Visage, Adam Ant, early Duran Duran, Simple Minds) and he talked me into getting this synthesizer.

We both got synthesizers and we were going to be the new Depeche Mode or OMD (Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark) – that never worked out…

I sold my Juno-60 so Tania and I could have some money for moving to Minnesota in August of 1987 (We had a big moving sale and sold everything we had – but that’s a story for another time).

I used to miss my Juno a lot, but now I have a software version on my computer – so that helps. I’d sure would love to have an original though…

The Ol’ Fostex X-15

fostex-x-15

I had a girlfriend in the early 80’s named Angela and one of the last things she did for me was buy this four-track recorder so I could try and make better recordings of my keyboard ramblings, which, I was convinced at the time, would lead to musical fame and fortune…

I made a bunch of recordings with the machine but it had a fatal flaw, a low-hum around 120-130 Hz that was really annoying and just got worse when you made tape copies of tape copies, like we did back then.

Lucky for you, now, with the Magic of Digital Recording I can clean up the tracks somewhat (I’m not a professional) and so what you hear on these versions have had noise reduction with a better frequency equalization than the original copies. You can hear my clumsy keyboard playing much better now.

Back in 1988, while Tania and I lived in Minneapolis I traded the four-track recorder to a heavy metal band for something “herbal”, and that was the end of Eccentric Activities.

The X-15 had been the heart of the project, the Juno-60 was the voice, and I had been the hands.

While working on this post I found this listing of a Fostex X-15 just like my old one for sale in Minneapolis on craigslist… I wonder if it’s the same one? And no, I don’t want it back…

About The Selection of Compositions

This is only seven out of over a dozen different compositions from the time. I’ve deliberately spared you from having to hear any tracks with my thin, young voice and bad singing.

Unfortunately that does mean you don’t get to hear my cover version of Joy Division’s She’s Lost Control unless I can figure out how to do a good “vocal-removal” from the original mix.

To Download MP3sRight click (with your right mouse button), and choose “Save link to…” and then select where you want to download the MP3 file. Click enter and the download will begin.

1. Driving In The Rain – This is the first piece I recorded when I got my Fostex X-15 Four-Track. I used sound effects records to attempt to create a rhythm because I didn’t have a drum machine most of time…
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Click Here to Download an MP3 of Driving In The Rain

2. Industrial Symphony – Recorded right after Driving In The Rain. Another attempt at creating a “industrial” rhythm with various bits from sound effects records. I didn’t have any Sampling machines, Drum machines, Sequencers – Just multi-tracking my Juno-60…
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Click Here to Download an MP3 of Industrial Symphony

3. Dance of the Turbulent Mind – a sound collage-like piece of music. I’m not sure where the melody came from… I’m sure I’ve heard it somewhere before. This piece had 3 tracks of the Juno-60 and one track of sound effects…
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Click Here to Download an MP3 of Dance of the Turbulent Mind

4. Thursday in the Park – This song I wrote and recorded at the time I met Tania – this is the sound of me falling in love with her…
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Click Here to Download an MP3 of Thursday in the Park

5. Corruption – Recorded with Mark Powell and his friends Andrew and Pat on November 8th and 9th, 1986. Andrew programmed the drum rhythm and played bass, and Pat added some guitar…
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Click Here to Download an MP3 of Corruption

6. Into The Deepend – Recorded with Mark Powell and his friends Andrew and Pat on November 8th and 9th, 1986. Andrew programmed the drum rhythm and played bass, and Pat added some other keyboard sounds.
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Click Here to Download an MP3 of Into The Deepend

7. Deeper Than First Glance – Another piece with just 4-tracks of the Juno-60, with a soundtrack feel…
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Click Here to Download an MP3 of Deeper Than First Glance

Misc. Notes

The Eccentric Activities “scratchy writing” logo is from a little sketch I drew (that little guy was called “Content Guy”) which Tania used to hand-cut a silkscreen in her class at school (she was in her senior year of high school when we met) and then she surprised me with some Eccentric Activities T-Shirts she had hand-printed – so cool!

The graphics for the songs on this playlist are images from photocopied contact sheets of photos of me and my friend Betsy, taken by artist Zane Ott sometime in 1985. I used these same photocopied contact sheets for the insert of the cassette tape of Eccentric Activities I made in late 1986…

eccentric-activities-original-tape1

Above: Cover and side of Eccentric Activities Cassette Tape from 1986

A Seven Song Playlist…

So you can just kick back and listen to all 7 songs, one after the other…

Enjoy!