Electric Guichair (2004)

“The evening’s most advanced piece – because it seemed to offer a hint of parody – was also the most entertaining. In Electric Guichair, Dave Flynn sampled, manipulated and combined sounds from two sources: feedback caused by messing around with the leads and input jacks of his electric guitar, and a squeaky chair. Clever, imaginative, good fun, the right length.”

Michael Dungan – The Irish Times

Sound collage

Duration: 6 mins

Premiered at the Unitarian Church, Dublin. December 2008.

Programme Note

There are just two sound sources for this piece of electronic music.

1.
A recording of the many different sounds that can be produced from the marvellously musical squeaky chair in room B4 of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. To produce the sounds both myself and Dr. Nye Parry took turns in getting the best noises we could out of the chair, mostly by sitting on it and moving it around vigorously. An extraordinary amount of sounds and rhythms were thus produced. Nye was particularly good at getting good noises from the chair. At one point in the recording he whispered ‘No one can make this chair squeak as well as I can!’. I ended up using this quote at the beginning of the piece.

2.
The second sound source was an improvised recording I made using my Fender Telecaster guitar played through a Boss ME-30 effects processor. I treated the guitar in an unconventional way by avoiding standard guitar playing techniques. Some of the things I did included creating feedback and humming by unplugging the guitar lead and using the leads input jack as the sound producer. Pressing the top of the input jack produces a hum. I got various different sounds by switching between effects while improvising with different tapped rhythms and held notes on the input jack. I also used an E-Bow on the strings, with the jack plugged in. The E-Bow infinitely sustains a string and when it is moved over a guitar pick-up it creates a zipping noise. This can be heard towards the end of the piece where I have multi-tracked four E-Bow guitar parts.

I then took these recordings and found musically interesting sections to use for the composition. The software I used was Cakewalk Pro Audio9 and Cool Edit Pro. There were many different effects I used to manipulate the sounds such as delay, reverb, noise/hiss reduction, various graphic and parametric equalisers, pitch shifting, modulation, audio stretching and reduction, normalisation, fading envelopes etc.

Midi Sound File