Daev Tremblay of Can This Even Be Called Music? (one of my favorite blogs for experimental music) contacted me with a rather unusual request on Thursday – he wanted me to soothingly sing protest lyrics against Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper over some experimental black metal. This sounded appealing to me both musically and politically, so I decided to give it a try. However, he needed it done by the next morning, so I knocked this out in a few hours. This is possibly the fastest I’ve ever finished a track, and while I would consider my vocal performance a demo in a lot of ways (I didn’t warm up, tracked the whole thing sitting down, and many of the takes are first takes, or even the very moment that I came up with the melodic line), I’m strangely satisfied by it. Enjoy!
Here is the first half of the first TGC show ever:
The video features performances of Arrival in a Distant Land, Retreat Underground, Subway Dwellers, and the first part of Fear of Humanity. Take a look at the full setlist, or check out an excerpt from Sacha Mullin’s opening set.
Here is a video of the song ‘Sun Dies’ from the show Sophia and I played with CHEER-ACCIDENT on June 19 (also featuring Sacha Mullin and Dante Kester, and also at Martyrs’):
Setlist – Sophia and I also performed on ‘Language Is’ and ‘Rockabilly’, and Sophia made an appearance on ‘Ice Cream and Lies’.
Logical Phalluses are the demented, sex-crazed alter-ego of The Gabriel Construct. Inspired by John Waters, John Cage, John Christ, John Zorn, John Cale, John Butler, John Tavener, John Frusciante, John Wetton, Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Mr. Bungle, and Tronald Dumpf.
Lineup: see the lineup for Spinning Webs, plus Alex Ellsworth (cello)
‘Pyrorapture’ written by Skull Fist
‘Fred & Ethel’, ‘A Vacation in Your Spleen’ and artwork created by Sophia Uddin
Recorded and produced by Gabriel Riccio except:
Drums & percussion arranged, recorded and mixed by Travis Orbin
Piano on Pyro & F&E recorded by Jeremy Goody at Megasonic Studios
Mixed and Mastered by William Wells at Eeyore’s Lair
Drum tracking video:
The Gabriel Construct will be playing our first live show on October 5, 2015 at Martyrs Live in Chicago, IL (8PM). We will be appearing alongside tapping player Matt Tate’s band Pavlov and singer Sacha Mullin’s solo outfit. TGC’s lineup will be as follows:
Bill Banks and I will also be appearing in Sacha Mullin’s band, so give his solo album a listen before coming out. We hope to see you there!
Travis’s second solo EP, Silly String, is now available! It’s a bit more adventurous and synth-driven than his first EP, and I had the pleasure of engineer and re-amping guitars and bass on the first two tracks, in addition to providing compositional feedback along the way. Greg Loman of TGC & Funk Ark performed the guitars and bass on the first track. The great Pete Peterson was responsible for all of the synths and the EP’s mix, in addition to the bass on the final track. Give it a listen below or purchase a copy at Bandcamp:
As usual, Travis has posted a tracking video for all but the last song (which can be seen here):
I will be playing 2 gigs in Chicago this month. Neither is with The Gabriel Construct, but both are alongside members of TGC’s new live lineup. These will be the first gigs I’ve played in nearly 2 years!
1) I will be performing keyboards and backing vocals with a talented songwriter named Sacha Mullin (CHEER-ACCIDENT, Lovely Little Girls) on Saturday 6/13 at The Burlington (9pm) (see Facebook event). Give a listen to Sacha’s debut record, Whelm – we will be performing three songs from that record and two new songs. Guzzlemug is the backing band on the album, but guitarist Shane Prendiville (also of Murmur) is the only member of Guzzlemug that will be performing with us. Shane also recently joined The Gabriel Construct’s live lineup!
The band will be filled out by C-A / LLG members Cory Bengsten on bass (though he plays sax for C-A and LLG) and L. Wyatt on vocals, in addition to drummer Ben Scholz of The Elec Tet.
2) I will be playing keys on a few songs for CHEER-ACCIDENT at Martyrs on June 19th (also 9pm) (see Facebook event). Their bass player, Dante Kester, has also joined TGC’s live lineup. Sophia Uddin will be performing violin with them, as well! Cheer-Accident have been around since the early ’80s and have released somewhere around 18 records in multiple styles.
The show is a CD release party for District 97, who served as John Wetton’s backing band for a ’70s King Crimson cover tour. It is rounded out by Lovely Little Girls, who will perform a small set in the middle of C-A’s set.
So there you have it – two gigs which I am honored to be a part of, and two new member announcements for TGC’s live band. Come out and see us in action!
I apologize for the long silence. I think it’s about time for some news. Here is the current studio lineup of The Gabriel Construct:
Ever since just before Interior City came out, we’ve been very slowly recording a new TGC record. The working title is ‘Spinning Webs’, but that is subject to change, as I haven’t written any lyrics yet. This time around, all of the drums are being tracked out of Travis’s home studio and the bulk of the other instruments are being recorded with Gabriel’s home studio. We’ve been taking our time on this record, so it may still be quite a while before it comes out. I apologize for the long wait – thank you all for your patience and support!
Travis, Tom and Sophia are all returning from the Interior City lineup. As for the new additions, Greg is a fantastic guitar player who plays with The Funk Ark, in addition to teaching music to wounded veterans with Musicorps to help them rehabilitate. Jeff is a saxophone graduate student from Northwestern University. Ben is an old friend of mine who helped me bring some of the music on Interior City and the upcoming record to life for the first time when we were in college – it seemed only natural to have him return for this record.
In addition to new TGC material, we’ve also been recording a number of side projects, mostly of a more lighthearted nature. Tracks from two of these projects are currently in the mastering phase, so you will hear them soon! They will be a good indicator of what to expect from this group of players and from our new home-oriented production approach.
I’ve decided to announce this now since I’m also currently assembling a live lineup for TGC, and I didn’t want to create any confusion by announcing both lineups simultaneously. Jeff and Sophia will also appear in the live lineup, but the rest of the players will be new!
I’ve been working with Trey Gunn (King Crimson) on a score book of his music for a while now. You may have seen the transcription I did of King Crimson’s ‘The ConstruKction of Light’ – Trey found that transcription and was so impressed that he hired me to do a full book. Finally, after a very successful crowdfunding campaign and a whole lot of work, the book is complete and available for purchase! This sheet music should be interesting to any musician who wants to learn some cool rhythmic ideas, so even if you’re not a tapping player, this will still have something to offer. Since Trey’s music frequently contains multiple simultaneous time signatures and symmetrical scales, there were many challenges to notating this music, and the result was quite unusual! Here are some sample pages, the first of which showcases the multi-time signature technique:
The ConstruKction of Light
The book also contains anecdotes and playing instructions from Trey on every song. Purchase the book at Trey Gunn’s bandcamp page.
GARMONBOZIA is a new duo featuring Sophia Uddin (violin) and Gabriel Riccio (keyboards). Here are our first three improvisations:
Travis Orbin’s first solo EP is out now! Travis was assisted by guitarist Adam Edgemont of Dyed in Grey in realizing this mind-bending take on modern instrumental progressive metal. Pick up a copy at Bandcamp or give it a stream:
Travis has posted a big tracking video for all but the first song, so check that out: