Outside Broadcast

For over two years I’ve been hoping there’d be a way to hear the works of David McCooey beyond the confines of the few tracks he’s posted on soundcloud.com. Finally, he’s released an album of his poetry soundtracks, as he refers to them, a mixture of music, sound design, and poetry: Outside Broadcast.

And now I’m a pretty happy guy.

So many of us producing this sort of poetry and music thing are not musicians or recording engineers and the results tend to be pretty ragged. The poetry might be excellent. The performance or reading of the poetry, however you want to think of it, might also be fine. The choices of sounds and how they’re pieced together might be interesting and moving. In general, the idea of what we’re trying to do might be brilliant. But unless we’re collaborating with musicians and engineers the results can be hard on the ear.

Not so on McCooey’s recordings. I’ve accused him of being too professional sounding. Thankfully he took that as a compliment. Everything fits together here. The poems are excellent and his reading voice is very pleasing, capturing the emotion driving the words with a quietly subdued passion. The music and sound design are beautifully crafted and well played. The recording, mixing, and mastering are all clear with everything perfectly balanced and placed. In other words, this sounds like a professionally made record.

Am I complaining? Though I tend to like things a little rougher around the edges, with a least a touch of punkish incompetence, no, I’m not complaining. Nor do I complain about Steeley Dan records. The tastefulness and sophistication are a little beyond my rural roots; so, for me, the task is to enjoy without feeling threatened by a superior talent.

Since I’m having trouble with the soundcloud player and this recording showing up, here’s the link directly to Darkness Speaks: http://soundcloud.com/david-mccooey/darkness-speaks-mastered

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Categories: About art, Here and now | Tags: | 3 Comments

About swampmessiah

Real name, Michael Myshack. I was born in 1957 (pre-Sputnik), graduated high school in 1975, and then slowly began coming to life. I am self-taught in the arts as well as most other things: drawing and babbling since a very early age; started painting seriously in 1975; began writing shortly thereafter, but began writing in earnest circa 1977 (beginning with poetry); first started recording poems and music and other sounds in 1996. Other than an individual showing of drawings at the Tweed Museum at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1983 and being an instigator and participant of a group exhibit of drawing at the Duluth Art Institute in 1985, I have no professional or academic pedigree. In other words, I have a day job. I've been with someone since 1985. Our children were born in 1991 and 1996.

3 thoughts on “Outside Broadcast

  1. Yes indeed, a wonderful example in all respects. I also like a touch of rawness, or should I say I can appreciate it, a bit like I can appreciate an acoustic performance with all the rough edges, or like some of the old poetry readings I have on disc (Dylan Thomas and others) where they sometimes sound like they were recorded on a wax cylinder! I love the ambience of their poor quality. There is for me, a sliding scale upwards from that, and which isn’t necessarily a barrier to enjoying fully any given standard of recording. I suppose context is everything. I used to develop black and white photographs on a professional level and the problem can be that you are forever chasing the fugitive ‘excellence’. You can always tease out that little bit more. I’d love to reach the levels mentioned in your post, it can only be a good thing, to have that control, but there are also many obstacles and ultimately I think the act of being creative is the most important element, to keep being creative. I would though, dearly love to pull more mastery of the physical end product along with it.

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