Statement of Purpose (2006)

“Any noise, when two people decide to invest their imaginary and their desire in it, becomes a potential relationship, future order.”

— Jacques Attali, Noise: The Political Economy of Music

“The artist’s audience is not limited to his nation anymore… Can we write, compose, and make music for an imaginary audience?”

— Hugo Ball, Flight Out of Time

“And every now and then one came upon the most fantastic creatures: a Goliath, a Tom Thumb, or an angel of the Annunciation through whose transparent body and wings the surrounding objects could be seen.”

— Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees

The Glass Bees began in a rehearsal in which we dropped the re- and got on with the hearse-ing. While taking a break from songwriting, we let some guitars generate signal through a collection of effects pedals and amplifiers, spinning knobs and pushing buttons to manipulate the sound. It was utter sophomoric nonsense, to be sure, but parts of it had energy, spontaneous form, and a raw beauty, and the act of discovering how else the tools we knew might be applied was a cathartic experience. It was also more energizing than the past several months of trying to write rock songs. It made us realize that it was time to try to forget everything we knew about the process of writing music and start over.

Since then the Glass Bees have been meeting about once a week, creating sound in free improvisation, and making a two-track digital recording of everything we do. To produce the sounds you hear we use some conventional rock instruments, along with drum machines, effects pedals, a cheap Casiotone keyboard, and any other sound-making object we can get our hands on. We try to set up our gear differently every week to keep things unfamiliar, creating situations in which we must discover how to create and organize sound on the fly. On occasion, friends have sat in and played along. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

We are not writing anything. We are also not trained virtuosos. We have no illusions that we are the first to use this approach. We make lots of musical mistakes, although we find that these missteps can often open doors into unforeseen territories. We, too, wonder if what we’re doing is a cop out, but prefer to think of it as a game that wears its rules on the box in 16-point type.

Once we make the recordings, we listen through them, isolate the more engaging segments from the stumbling that is a natural part of any process of making music, and edit them together into a recording we would enjoy listening to. What you hear here are audio snapshots of our hours in the studio, and as in any photo, the cropping and context are everything.

This website is our effort to invite you to hear what we’ve been doing. We are planning on running this, at least for the time being, as a purely studio-and-web-based project. We will post recordings regularly, along with artwork and commentary. Everything you hear will have been played live and unrehearsed, unless otherwise indicated, and will not be reproduced in a performance setting again. The Glass Bees document and exist in these ephemera, composed of split-second intuitions, choices, and negotiations.

We hope that you will consider getting involved.

All material posted by the Glass Bees is free for download and for trading. In the spirit of the open and experimental freedom that we feel for this project, we would encourage you to sample, remix, write songs based on, or otherwise disseminate Glass Bees-generated sounds. You may not use these for commercial purposes without our consent, but if you have GarageBand, ProTools, or similar software, you might enjoy using this source information to make something of your own. If you do and come up with a new recording that you like, please just let us know and we will consider posting it on the site.

We have created a MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/glassbees. We would like to be your MySpace buddy. You can also e-mail us at glassbees@glassbees.com. Let’s get connected.

The Glass Bees website will be updated as often as possible. It will last as long as it makes sense for us to do this. We very much hope that you will check back regularly and keep in touch. Whether anyone listens or not, we will enjoy making the recordings, but ultimately music is a way of building friendships, forming communities, making discoveries, and exchanging ideas. We’ll need your help to do that.

Thanks for your interest and we hope you find some pleasure in these sounds.

— The Glass Bees, 2006
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