Hubcap ritual 12
The 1st in a series of original works by Eric Stuer utilizing found sounds and homemade instruments..
Listen to Hubcap Ritual 12 (Real Audio)
Download the MP3(better sound)
about the hubcap
This entire piece was made using only this hubcap, with the exception of an "om" which i sang in once, looped, then took down an octave so i'd sound 12 feet tall instead of 6. Technically it's shaped like a frame drum, with a diameter greater than it's depth. It's easy to play as a tar, or on the leg, doumbek style, or between the knees like bongo drums. The facets in the design, along with accidental dents, give the player access to various pitches , mostly overtones of the fundamental which is available from the boss in the center.
about the recording
Recording and compositional tools included Sound Forge and ACID Pro by Sonic Foundry
ACID recording software allows one to raise and lower the pitch without altering the timing or other characteristics of an event. This gave me the luxury of taking the hubcap down an octave for the bass part, and way up for a sort of electronic sound that floats atmoshpherically through the mix in a couple of spots, and so on.
I experimented a bit, but I had to be careful, because when you start changing pitches in ACID it (understandably) uses the frequencies associated with modern (western) equal temperament, and this clearly is NOT an equal temperament hubcap. One interval I originally heard as roughly an octave was after all between a major seventh and an octave, and some of the other intervals seem to be quite elusive versions of their diatonic counterparts. When using various roots, the overtones inherent in the instrument quickly became unmanageably complicated. In the end I only transposed parts by an octave or a perfect fifth, to keep the already strange tuning from running amok.
Once I began to develop the piece, there seemed to be so much thematic material that it was evident that I could proceed in various ways. I began scratch copies, many takes, each different, and this was number 12 out of 15 or so different files, hence the name, hubcap ritual 12. It is respectfully dedicated to the many musician friends I have made worldwide since coming online.
All the techniques used in #12 are hands only, but the hubcap is also quite responsive to various beaters and sticks..We may eventually post some of the other 14 hubcap rituals as well, when they are ready..
The next piece is a Water Ritual,