Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Never Enough Sleep Department

It's one of those nights. Mornings. Whatever. I managed to get maybe three hours' sleep in before my stomach started giving me problems. In the end I realized there was nothing more I could do but stay up, apply some medicinal 'frop to my exit wound, and browse the web.

And, in the process, stumbled across rumors on metal web sites. Emperor is releasing a new album, Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire And Demise, which is being hyped as a culmination of this seminal and ground-breaking black metal band's work. And then... farewell. No tour. The band website verifies the story. Better to die young and still vital, and all that. Go out with a bang. Ishahn is busy with Peccatum and Thou Shalt Suffer; Samoth and Trym are exploring more of a death metal sound with Zyklon.

I think this is sad news but I am glad to know of this before buying the album. Emperor is among my favorite bands; there have been days when listening to Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk kept me sane, when the lyrics hit home and provided the key to the glorious catharsis of prideful rage mixed with many, many intensely mosh-worthy moments. Make no mistake, they don't hide their pretentions at all, but for the most part they live up to them nicely. I expect the new album, without the constraints of having to perform songs live, will be the most over the top Emperor yet.

It's got me thinking about music again. I used to play 'cello in local symphonies and stopped when I changed colleges because I couldn't afford the time or money. And with Apocalyptica proving that metal can be played on 'cellos without sacrificing brutality or beauty, I want to start putting some of my feverish visions to practice. I've even been thinking about the best way to approach experimentation with the instrument. Details from the best place to place the bow on the strings to tunings to fingerings, even how much rosin to use, have occurred to me. I'm even thinking about using some sort of metal drum as a platform for the instrument, to give more of the "raw black metal" sound to the instrument.

And while we're being avant-garde, we may as well be practical. A traditional style 'cello is BEEG. It's awkward. And a protected case for it is usually heavier than the instrument. Fortunately, electric 'cellos can have smaller bodies, as long as there are places to clamp one's knees to the bottom of the instrument (for stability) and a place for it to rest against your chest.

Candidate #1 is a conservative model as far as electric 'cellos go, and is actually reasonably priced, compared to

Candidate #2 has the most potential, in that its sheer compactness makes it a perfect travel instrument. It's relatively inexpensive at the get-go. By the time one adds a good tranducer pickup bridge, it costs about as much as #1 above. The luthier who makes this instrument is willing to give it a black stain for me for a bit extra, as well. So it's VERY tempting indeed!

Candidate #3 is a pipe dream, but if I ever had the money, I'd go for it. Now that is metal.

And now that the sun is up, I'm ready to crash. Just in time to wake up for work, too. WHEE!!!

Dobbs' Long March is only three days off now. Just gotta hang in there....

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