Off The Hook (Is This The End​?​)

from by Steven Rowat

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This piece cost me a huge amount of effort over the years, and well it should. Here is a story about its creation. The 4-track master was recorded over a period of up to two years, with tracks being replaced periodically. The day the final analude was recorded I had just been jilted by someone I had been in love with for my whole adult life (or anyway, that’s what it felt like at the time).
First, I played the entire piece through on the analude while listening to the kalimba; I was distraught, emotive, and believing that I was recording. The piece is quite long and I needed all of it. Afterwards I discovered that I hadn’t turned the switches correctly and the analude wasn’t recorded. Tragedy. But, recovery from tragedy: I recorded the analude again, feeling that this failure and replay was somehow appropriate—that this love was finally over, yet how could it ever be over. I finished again. I discovered, amazingly, agonizingly, that the second rendition wasn’t recorded. I don’t know how I managed this, but it wasn’t there. So I turned ‘record’ on again. I made sure this time. I started again. And I improvised the whole eight minutes *a third time* about my lost love affair. ‘(Is This The End?)’


from The Underpass: Electric Analude Instrumentals, Volume 1, released December 21, 2012
Instruments: Mono electric analude, kalimba (thumb piano), harmonica, recorded telephone voice.
Recorded: 1981-1983 in Ottawa.



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