John Wiggins "Hearing Complex" ( 1998-2000), "Separate But Equal" ( 1988)
Composer and musician, John Wiggins.
John released several solo projects on tape including Anagenic, Particle Music and Whirl Without End. RRRecords also released his LP called All The Turn At Once.
A very special Tape Of The Month this time from electronic composer, John Wiggins. In fact, it is not a tape at all but a previously unreleased piece from his so called “lost years” of 1998-2000. Those already familiar with Wiggins sound investigations of minute particles, crackling granulations and forays into the world of musique concrete may be surprised by the direction. Of course his penchant for microscopic detail is evident as is his ear for combining variegated tones. This time though the sound field is richer, less dry and perhaps, more human. Sort of like he has arrived on this planet with a language that might be interpreted although still difficult to crack.
This 1988 mail collaboration tape featured the all star lineup of Tom Furgas, Dan Fioretti, Ken Clinger, If Bwana, Big City Orchestra, John Wiggins, Jeff Yih, Larry Ruhl, Charlie Mendoza and myself. I remember getting several different cassette decks plugged into the mixer and I mixed the source tapes live to a mastering cassette deck. This was done one late night in my garage studio in San Jose.
As a special bonus I have also put up the original sounds he created for my collaboration tape, “Separate But Equal” from 1988. He sent it to me to combine with other sounds on this cassette release but it stands nicely on its own and has never been released in its entirety.
by John Wiggins
So, it’s 1998 and after spending my whole life trying to create original sounds-I’m completely lost. I’m trying to use everything I know and make one big rolling ball of sound-almost a kind of jazz and I hate it. At this time I get my first broken DAT machine, ( only plays back tapes recorded on it). It sounded so clear and so clean back then. I had a method where I made sounds of all origin, recorded and layered them in multiple analog tape machines and then mixed it all together-to DAT- to make thick, original sounding music. As much as I loved the time spent playing, programming and recording ALL THIS STUFF- I wasn’t hearing what I wanted. There was something wrong. It sucked. Some nights it felt right-little moments I knew it was working-but mostly it was crap. For two years no one heard a peep. Then the DAT machine died. I thought I wasn’t supposed to make this. Even though I knew little bits of it were rich and complex to me, musically satisfying, I let thirty 1 hour DAT tapes just sit. Well, ten years later I borrow a brand new Sony DAT machine that plays back anything and I load the lost years into Pro Tools and sure enough I was right-a little more than 20 minutes of it was exactly what I was trying to do-I hope you hear it and enjoy it.