Gordon Clay and
Classical Music, 2002
Audio recording on compact disc with CD player, color transfer on mat board,
Limited edition CDs available
A Synopsis by Gordon Clay
This scintillating mini-opera is presented in 4 acts. Please, don the
headphones, press play, and listen.
Act I: DISCOVERY
( 0 - :42) Our protagonist, Tillie the Dog Artist, approaches her
canvas and begins to feel it out. She searches for the hidden truths beneath
the transfer paper. Tillie uses all her senses to assess the scope of
the challenge before her. And then she begins.
Act II: CREATION
(:42 – 1:42) Tillie works to her own inner rhythms. She circles the
curious square, marking it with her unique shorthand. As her artistic
vision begins to crystallize, Tillie is interrupted by her meddling assistant,
Bowman. Tillie reacts defensively, and she protects her unborn artwork
with a maternal fury. After this disturbance, Tillie takes a moment to
re-connect with the work she’s already started. Once she has ascertained
that she is free to continue in peace, she plunges headlong into the creative
abyss, not knowing what the final outcome will be. She only knows that
she must seek out the elusive treasures that remain unseen.
Act III: METAMORPHOSIS
(1:42 – 3:06) Now Tillie enters the wormhole of psychic abandon, as
she relinquishes conscious thought and fuses her spirit into the canvas.
The canvas is not always compliant, however, and resists Tillie’s single-minded
efforts to shape it. They battle and struggle; they tangle and tussle.
Animal energy vs. objective immutability. But for the canvas, it is to
no avail. In this Act’s climactic scene, Tillie triumphs over her own
inner demons and summons all her canine fortitude to finally conquer the
canvas. Tillie savors victory, but she is mortified and angered when Bowman
reaches in to remove the fallen canvas from her grasp. She briefly battles
Bowman, but then concedes that her work is done.
Act IV: REFLECTION
(3:06 – 3:43) After the heat of artistic battle, Tillie’s concentrated
hyper-awareness simmers down into a more thoughtful mood. As Bowman unwraps
her latest masterpiece, Tillie regards it fondly and recalls a few heart-wrenching
moments from the struggle she just shared with the canvas. As the song
ends, Tillie is calm, but her mind is still reverberating with the echolalia
This song was composed through the combined efforts of Tillamook Cheddar,
Gordon Clay, George Clinton, William Collins, and Bernard Worrell.
Using a hand-held
microphone that fed into a mini-disc recorder, Mr. Clay recorded Ms.
Cheddar as she crafted an original artwork. Then Mr. Clay took portions
of Ms. Cheddar’s audio, and edited them into a
rhythmic cycle, using the computer software, “FruityLoops”. Mr.
Clay then merged Ms. Cheddar’s audio “samples” into a
different rhythmic composition that he had composed using “FruityLoops”. At
this point, Mr. Clay contracted the services of Mr.’s Clinton, Collins,
and Worrell by “sampling” various portions (mostly Mr. Collins’ basslines)
of their previously unreleased recorded instrumental tracks. They
so graciously donated their music via the CD, “Sample Some of Disc-Sample
Some of D.A.T., Vol.2”. After all the legalities were
sorted out, Mr. Clay then selected and placed portions of these samples
throughout the existing rhythmic audio tracks of Ms. Cheddar. Mr.
Clay utilized the computer program “Cubase” for this final
placement of all samples and rhythms. At various points throughout
this process, Mr. Clay also utilized the computer programs “Sound
Forge” and “Acid” for additional auditory augmentation. With
the exception of Ms. Cheddar, all parties involved ingested large amounts
of cannabis indica to enhance their cognitive and sensory abilities.
Lyrics: Tillamook Cheddar (Warp 9/ASCAP)
Music: Gordon Clay (Warp 9/ASCAP)
Bernard Worrell * (* Disc and D.A.T. Music/BMI)
(T. Cheddar, G.Clay, G.Clinton, W. Collins, B. Worrell)