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Ash Can Blues
An Acoustical Electronic Sound Environment Performance
Composed, Designed and Performed By Leonard Ellis
Section One - In The Midst Of The Rain
Section Two - Ash Can Blues Theme Song
..........every can has a silver lining.
Presented Saturday April 10, 1976
at the Institute for Dance and Experimental Art in Santa Monica, CA.
The idea for ASH CAN BLUES came to me in the winter of '75-'76 when one evening after a rain I was awoken in bed by a stream of water pouring over my feet. Previously, over the years, many of my friends had been in the same situation. The house a jumble of pots and pans catching the water from the numerous leaks. Even multi-millon dollar buildings such as the art institute I attended, were plagued by the rains which would filter down through several levels, caving in ceilings and warping floors. The reason for all of this, I discovered, was the architects. After some research into the matter I found that architects simply do not believe it rains in California. Thus they have proven themselves negligent in their design concerns. And thus many buildings are unprepared for the drench of rain that occasionally falls on their roofs. In light of this I had decided to make use of this basic sound, the drip...drip....drip....of the leaking roof.
Fully realized ASH CAN BLUES is an environmental meditation of rhythm and density in a sculptural setting. It is a study in counterpointbetween the naturally occuring acoustical rhythms and their electronically altered varients.
In ASH CAN BLUES, the drips are generated live from instruments of my own design, that allow for precise control of meter and tempo. The drips descend into six silver lined trash cans where they are amplified. The amplified signal is then sent to a bank of electronics where I manipulate the sound to create synthetic rhythmic structures and sound densities. ASH CAN BLUES ends with a brief sound collage of popular rain songs.