Rather than get a man and a van or invite one of the many waste management service providers to send a quote I thought something more creative for the jumble in the garage. The boxes, plates, jars, tubes, planks, sports equipment, metal sheets, car parts, plastic tubs and buckets (all in different states of repair) sounded quite interesting as I sorted them out.
Listening to the junk inspired different ideas in my mind and I started to organise objects into groups of sounds. The four main collections were paper and cardboard, odd plates and glasses, plastic in various shapes and sizes and metal items. These sets subsequently became the instruments for separate movements in the composition Solo Recycle.
In the music the sounds are not used to represent existing percussion instruments, the rhythms are written to suit the material, although percussion performance techniques are used to create the different timbres that can be drawn from the junk. As well as striking the objects with hands and feet a variety of beaters were chosen from the garage shelves including nails, bolts, chisels, knitting needles and table tennis bats. One of the main differences in the contents of my garage from those of many others were the boxes of old drum stands and pedals I came across, some were just about able to be used during the performance.
The recording of the performance was completed with two main microphone configurations. One was placing a stereo pair at the “sweet spot” in the room (found after careful listening to the sounds around the space) and the other was a close microphone arrangement with each group of instruments having their own dedicated set of microphones.
The version I have released at https://urbanskyline.bandcamp.com/album/solo-recycle-ep is the multi-microphone set up. I chose this version because the sounds from some of the junk placed towards the back of the stage was getting lost in the heavy curtains that surrounded the area.
The five track EP of Solo Recycle is now available to buy at the Urban Skyline Bandcamp site and, for those percussionists that would like to create their own interpretation, the sheet music is available at http://www.prbpnews.info/buy-best-sellers.html at a very reasonable price (find it under the green recycling logo) but not on the Sellfy download site due to the quality of the .pdf available at the present time.
I hope you enjoy the music and can find your own ways to put those not to often looked at but have sentimental value items to some creative use.
© Peter R. Birkby 2015