Quantus called out to you, "come here, you bald trombonist, my friend! Hey, come into my video booth, where I am having tea, would you like some?" You bring your trombone into the darkened room, its walls painted black. The red power lights shone on the monitors.
"I am beginning a new project, interrogating the product of video-graphic work. More specifically, why do we videotape actions and then play them back after some editing? Does it have to be a deliverable via TV, or could it be some sort of jazz performance? I am bringing you, a visiting improvisor, into my clandestine video booth, to watch these debaucherous scenes and improvise along. No I won't let you use your favorite video editing software, just your trombone!"
The party was videotaped secretly, using a cluster of the audio bus wires to feed a panoptikon of all rooms in the compound to the radio shack, where Quantus was having tea. He had duct-taped black cardboard all over the walls which originally were porous, giving it a dark, pervy feeling.
"We are going to improvise a lyrical piece, and I might even write some lyrics on the spot. The microphones are on in the radio shack, and our improvisations will be broadcast live to all corn-cob-men in Ohio."
Quantus clicked the red glowing lozenges on each monitor and they fired up with an ultrasound zap! "Let me explain myself as an artist. I follow Andy Warhol's maxim 'watch, but don't touch.' As such, the entire events of this compound become potential materials for improvisation."
"For example, there is an orgy going on right now in the temple, but also my friend Chris Peters is patching a synthesizer in the studio. I put the webcam of sexual penetrations on monitor A, and I feed imagery of the banana wires jacking and unplugging into monitor B. Now I can explore various transmutations with this slider: a crossfade, dissolve, hard cuts. Now I think you know what to do."
You blow some air into the trombone and get the mouthpiece wet. It is cool but brandishing warmth at every breath. In the sexual webcam you immediately see some gestures that are easy to transfer to trombone: pistoning, flopping, up and down glissandi. But you want to start it cool, for the radio drama of the piece. You look over at the synthesizer patching. Chris Peters is slowly rotating a knob. That makes you think of your own, cool breath in and out, cool but warming deep inside the pipes. You blow a breath sound not unlike the wind in the pines.
"You are the composer, the improviser, the multi-instrumentalist! I may broadcast some of the videotaped sounds, but most of it is either too explicit or too experimental; you are the bridge, my friend the bald trombonist! What we're going for is a complete loss of the original data, be it pornographic or experimental music, enabling the improvisor to step in and reconstruct the party as jazz."
"I've always loved the CDs that you can buy in the store of Ancient Greek and Roman music. Who made these CDs, a digital recording from ancient times? How were they recorded? A music goes unrecorded, only to be spoken of by various shady and misty authors, and then becomes sound data on a CD. It's like a legendary party, that leaves no record."
"The recording of Ancient music is like the symmetrical opposite of what I'm trying to accomplish here: starting with a recorded stream, and then using ancient instruments to channel the data, and thus removing the original data. It's a way to deal with data waste, my bald trombonist."
"Then we have my friend Bingzi who mostly hangs out in the kitchen. He has such a nice ordering of the space, and disciplined about cleanliness, we rely on him for food and as far as recipes, we just let him go. He cooks great Asian fusion food, like take his cold noodles, which I know secretly through a webcam, he is eating right now. I wired the kitchen with high-gain microphones; avoiding drafts from steam and ventilation fans was a challenge, but the main fan motors are baffled outside the kitchen on the roof. So it's actually quiet enough in there right now to hear him eating. Actually you could hear him eating over a truck; he's sucking them and slurping them so loud as is the custom."
Making slurping sounds is an audio manifestation of basically using your lips as a swirly blender, to mix some oxygen into the noodles and thus bring out the flavors by oxalysis. Quantus would be extremely at unease with the intensity of Bingzi's slurping, but he was much more comfortable hiding in a video booth during such a party, drinking tea and composing.
"Now we're listening to Bingzi through ultra-sensitive microphones and I can mix them, the noodle slurping takes on different timbres throughout the room, anyone can hear that. I think a lonely noodle slurper in a metal cafeteria: that's a great score for a trombone improvisor. Just follow the swoopy movements and noodly forms, and the noise sounds are great take-off points for extended technique on the trombone. We might even get to the gurgly sound of spit moving through its pipes. The dinking of soup spoon on ceramic bowl would make me crazy in real life, but here it becomes a wonderful percussive ring within an improvised piece."
From now on, when Quantus addresses the second person, imagine that you are a bald trombonist with a penchant for extended technique and ridiculous sounds, but you can blow hard too. You have learned to improvise to the videostream of an orgy, and someone eating noodles, and these sounds were broadcast over the quiet Ohio farmscape.