Sunday, November 21, 2004

Alfalfa Switzer-land

Gary amongst the Giger

Gary in Gruyere

Marcel Papaux, Gerald Zbinden and Gary in Henry Meyer's Studio Artefax, Lausanne

Click on a photo to enlarge

Sunday Blessed Sunday... and Gerald and I along with genial engineer Bernard Amaudruz are now in the control room trawling through 4 days of running wild in Studio Artefax here in Lausanne. And it is sounding really really good (what a relief, as making such music always entails the risk of boring everyone to more so than ourselves...). We augmented one session with batteur spasmodique Marcel Papaux who perfectly complemented our spontaneous Appel-like creations, mad whirling symphonies of strings strung taut and stretched to the breaking point, electroacoustique guitar gambols across lunar landscapes, frozen tundras, the cool green hills of Earth, whirlpools of molten's all been digitally captured to perfection by Bernard as part our sonic playbook from the last few days. Some of it sounds really demonic, some like the whisper of angels in the belly of the Beast, "although not a word was spoken" (first reader to email me and correctly identify the female artist featured on this classic 50's instrumental album wins a copy of my just reissued career retrospective "Improve the Shining Hour").

And we were doubly blessed with the constant presence at the studio sessions of visual artists-in-residence Henry Meyer and his partner Anne Wilsdorf. Henry is a mad painter and sculptor and Zappaphile whose studio adjacent to us is brimming with a swarm of his 3-D creations; totemic creatures, part animal part mineral, wood and metal and canvas painted assemblages resembling miniature Watts Towers, primitve Gods, walking shadows, the tenticular green head in the boule neige from the original "Invaders from Mars"...a guy after my own heart in other words (plus he had 6 of my cds in his collection! Plus one of his chair sculptures is in H.R. Giger's private art collection in the Giger Museum in Gruyere, alongside Joe Coleman's oil portrait of Charles Manson...Joe is the former squeeze of sadly departed Legshow editrix Dian Hanson...but I digress). Anne is an internationally published children's book writer and illustrator, and the two of them provided us with much visual stimulus in the form of their fantastic artwork as well as their good European bohemian bonhomie for the duration of our stay (they also provided some fantastic communal vegetarian cooking... I am a grease and coca-cola kind of guy on the job as it were, something goes off in my brain whenever I'm on the road that craves such questionable sustenance, so thankfully these cravings were sensibly countermanded at least some of the time here by lentil stews, new salt potatoes in butter--well I had to have SOME fun--fresh salads...also Gerald's wife Danielle was a very good cook indeed back at the ranch up the mountain).

Yesterday we had in a film crew to document the proceedings courtesy of Gerald's son Alexandre and 2 of his young friends, with a view towards releasing a dvd visual analogue to what could well stretch to a double or triple album release, it sounds that satisfying (to our ears anyway) as we listen back to the shapeshifting atmospheres here in the control room by the waning winterlight of chilly Lausanne (a light dust of snow for the last few days on the Jura mountainside, a sunshine-and- snowflake delight to behold as we made the hour or so drive from Gerald's chalet up on the mountain near Gruyere each day along the magnificent primeval sprawl of Lake Geneva and environs (where we stopped for occasional forays into the villages of Montreux and Vevey).

I have plenty of pictures of our studio sojourn and some more of us frolicking out in the countryside (at swim 2 birds) but there are just too many to boot up right this minute, we have to try and listen to everything back now (perhaps I can bribe webmistress Tanya with 5 kinds of swiss chocolate when I get home tomorrow...)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm...Swiss chocolate, the BEST chocolate (I once had a boyfriend who was addicted to Lindt chocolates!). But did you get any booze for me? Just kidding, lol!

I'll get the photos up for all to see when I get them, either here or on the web site.

Looking forward to hearing the new stuff, it sounds amazing!


11/21/2004 9:40 PM  

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