Here we have a selection of MPEG3 audio files, which range from 2.5 to 5 megabytes. The first half-dozen were taken from my imaginatively titled Solo Recordings I self-published CD. They are 100% written, played, sung, and recorded by yours truly, except as noted.
ALL OF THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED BY KEVIN D. KISSELL. RIGHT TO DOWNLOAD, STORE, AND LISTEN TO THESE FILES IS GRANTED FREELY. ALL PERFORMANCE AND RECORDING RIGHTS ARE STRICTLY RESERVED.
Say But I Don't Say is pretty old by now, dating from 1988, but is still one of my favorite projects, and holds up remarkably well for having been mastered on a 4-track open reel and mixed down to cassette before the advent of affordable digital technology. It's an "alternative rock" sort of song with more than a bit of R.E.M. influence.
Lydia is another relic from my 4-track days, and was recorded live in the studio with largely improvised electric guitar over synth drones and ostenato. It shows that I was listening to a lot of Robert Fripp and John McLaughlin at the time, I suppose.
Bottom Rung is a somewhat more recently recorded selection, recorded and mastered digitally in Lyon. It's a composition I worked on in fits and starts over several years which finally came together on December 8, 1994. The tracks were all recorded in one furious burst of activity that night. It features layered tracks of Takamine classical and Stratocaster/GR-1 guitar synth (and a rather perverse meter).
On a less serious note, Heavy Metal Machine is a rock'n'roll tribute to the madness of high technology engineering projects. It features a lyrical reference to Elvis and a musical reference to Beethoven, and is essentially accurate historically and technically. You can find the lyric sheet over in my Dead Supercomputer Society pages.
But wait! There's more!
Requiem for Omaha is an electronic piece, featuring the voice of an Omaha housewife being interviewed by CBS news about the possibility of nuclear war, back in the 1980s. The "sampling" was done with a cassette player. It's a little hard to make out what she's saying unless you listen very closely: "It...it would be just nothing. There would be nothing. It would be barren." "There's nothing. There's no place to go.You can't run home. There's no place to go. You can't do anything. You just say a prayer, and that's all."
Nothing to Lose is another relic of the period before I could afford a non-crap drum machine, a hard rock sort of number featuring all-Dan-Electro guitar and bass tracks, two tracks of rebuilt Sears Silvertone electic guitar and one of my Dan Electro 6-string bass. Great Zepp-like distortions all around, somewhat betrayed by Dr. Rhythm's cheezy high-hat.
All I've Got is older still, from before I had any drum droid whatsoever, one of the first compositions I put onto the 4-track, circa 1978. I'm still amazed that I pulled off the vocal with no punch-ins, no reverb or other post-processing. I still think it's a good song, but it's clear I've learned a thing or two about guitar solos in the years since!
Lyonnais Funk is pretty much what the title suggests, an instrumental dance groove, recorded in Lyon, featuring sampled saxes and a couple Stratocaster tracks. The drum program was blatantly inspired by NWA.
Moving Forward into the 21st Century...
Oil War was the first new project in a while, featuring Donald Rumsfeld on vocals, singing about his favorite subject. Rick Evans came up with the chord changes, and plays rhythm guitar.
Evasion is an instrumental project that started as a test of a new guitar/MIDI interface but took on a life of its own.
Ntrance, as the title suggests, is a trance-oriented electronic piece done 100% with software synthesizers on a laptop computer, driven by a MIDI keyboard controller.
RetroGroove is another short laptop instrumental, but which features computer models of 70's instruments like a Hammond organ, a Rhodes electric piano, and a Moog synth.
In a very different sonic vein, Orchestral Improvisation #1 showcases a software tool of my own invention, Orchid, which performs simplistic real-time orchestration of MIDI input. This short piece was done in two freeely-improvised passes, first strings, then brass.
Splute Invention is a short, single-track improvisation using a computer synthesis of a lute-like string instrument, played from a MIDI keyboard. It's an example of how the non-linear realism of physical modeling synthesizers can inspire expressive playing.
I don't really play "jazz" guitar, as a rule, but one night, playing with a diatonically harmonized guitar synth and a clever drum robot running a "metal fusion" program, I found myself channeling the spirit of John Abercrombe for about 45 seconds - FauxJA.
And for those of you were there, or who just have strange tastes...
Here are a few more tracks from the Thick System in Berkeley, involving collaboration with various friends.
And here is the rip of the infamous Jim Jones and the People's Temple gig in Pinole, California, in 1980.
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