Charles Rice Goff III
by Charles Rice Goff III
Calumet was produced between May, 2023, and January, 2024. All performances, recordings, editing, production, cover art, etc. by Charles Rice Goff III. No artificial intelligence was employed in molding this presentation.
Kikkerland “Make Your Own Music Box” Kit
Korg R3 Vocoder/Synthesizer
Yamaha VSS-30 Sampler/Synthesizer
Boss RC 20X Loop Station Loop Duplicator
Panasonic Portable Cassette Tape Recorder
Canon Digital Camera Recorder
Amazing MIDI Wave-To-MIDI Converter
Polysoft MIDI to Mp3 Converter
Midisoft MIDI Scorewriter
Musescore MIDI Scorewriter
Roxio 2011 Sound Recorder
Cool Edit Pro II Multitrack Recorder
Audacity Multitrack Recorder
Several Plug-In Audio Sound Effects
The Kikkerland “Make Your Own Music Box” kit is akin to a miniature player-piano. The device functions entirely without electronics or spring winding. Music is composed by punching holes into strips of paper. The strips are loaded into, and hand-cranked through, a small device in which the holes trigger chime sounds corresponding to musical notes. Alternative versions of these paper-strip compositions can be created by simply loading the strips into the device upside-down, backwards, or upside-down AND backwards. In addition, tempos and rhythms can be altered by simply altering the manner in which the hand-crank is turned.
Goff began this project by punching out patterns of holes on four paper strips. He “played” each strip in various ways, recording all the variants through the open-air microphones of a digital camera.
He converted some of the digital recordings into MIDI files, which he then modified with score-writing software. This process allowed the chime sounds to be transposed into sounds produced by a variety of virtual instruments. Goff also used score-writers to orchestrate and rearrange some of the converted sounds.
He recorded some of the digital recordings onto cassette tapes, which he then played through a vocoder, run through a loop duplicator. This process employed a wide variety of sound and rhythm-altering effects to create new textures and atmospheres from the original music box compositions. Several improvised sessions were recorded during this process, each producing unique results.
He input short bits of the recorded cassettes into a sampler keyboard, equipped with its own small bank of sound effects. He plugged the keyboard through the vocoder and the loop duplicator. Playing the samples through this set-up resulted in producing entirely new melodies and textures from the original music box compositions. Several improvised sessions were recorded during this process, each producing unique results.
Finally, Goff edited together the finished recordings of the Calumet collection by strategically mixing together select portions of all of the above sound experiments.
The naming of this collection and all of its parts was an ever-evolving process. The preliminary raw recordings were given names corresponding alphabetically to the names of fruits (Apple, Banana, Casaba, Durian). In October, 2023, Goff offered one of the mixes from the still-incomplete collection of recordings to Aural Films for its “Horror Films 2023” compilation, entitling it “The Sanguinary Hacking Of Torakusu Yamaha.” This title refers to how the creation of the piece involved original methods of playing (ie: “hacking”) a Yamaha VSS-30 Sampler/Synthesizer (Torakusu founded the Yamaha Corporation in the late 1800s).
During the fall and winter of 2023/2024, as the final phases of the Calumet project ran their courses, Goff bore witness to endless media reports of increasingly violent conflicts around the globe. Combatants of all stripes recklessly killed and wounded thousands of people and casually destroyed every other living thing in their vicinity. Reacting to this surge in global violence, Goff chose the album and song titles that appear in this collection.
Some Additional Notes:
1) A calumet is a smoking pipe used by native Americans during ceremonies that establish peaceful relations among groups of people.
2) Some of the improvised recordings created during the production of this album were edited into the soundtrack of Goff’s video: “Sequence Of Non Sequitur,” released in November, 2023, at the link below:
3) The Aural Films “Horror Films 2023” compilation is available at the link below:
4) “Peace is a good idea. Why not give it a try?”