As part of Jason Losh’s Chinese Take Out project I was fortunate to sit with some of Chinatown’s most gracious musicians in a community center on Mott St. I became instantly attracted to the guqin, which has an open tuning in a pentatonic scale. While I floundered with the song, I had luckily re-tuned my guitar the day before, and was only off a half step. It was tricky playing with the guqin and ehru, but I think I held tough under the formal and quick circumstances. For Jason’s project, I wanted to re-interpret this session through my ears. Lately I’ve been obsessed with The Clash’s Sandinista and I had wanted to pay homage to the Walt Whitman of punk, Joe Strummer. It was also a chance for me to document a performative act through recording, composing, and vinyl cutting.
The music played from inside a 1917 Victrola that Jason and I purchased in a mega dim sum restaurant in Chinatown Spring/Summer 2011. Jason took a decorative vase from atop a plinth at the entrance to 88 and placed it in Art In General's gallery. My "antique" was its proxy object.
Jason describes the project eloquently on his website.
The Wall Street Journal weighs in.
To listen to the music from the session as well as my remix visit the Never Records Blog: