Sound Study: the Family Hemerlein presents A Bethany Dinsick Listening Party
Peter Heyneman | Apr 22, 2010 | 9:45AM |
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Perhaps you have not heard of Bethany Dinsick. Well she’s heard of you. She’s been touring, recording songs and videos and making an insane bevy of gorgeous art up in Baltimore. Her songs, both under her name and her more experimental side project Square Pi, are sound landscapes of tinkling, buzzing, scratching and thumping all resolving continually into catchy folk-pop melodies. Since she’ll be playing at our 3rd monthly music and comedy stage show The Family Hemerlein next thursday, we asked her to introduce herself, her artwork and her music to you–in all it’s intricate, loopy glory.

Hello BrightestYoungThings!

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I am a self-taught singer and musician and also make visual art including sound videos, mixed media paintings and sculptures.

I live in a new music mecca called Baltimore and am currently working on making music videos for my CD Bottle Tree (which is still a demo and was recorded by Chris Freeland of the Baltimore band The Oxes).

The music I make under my name are structured songs that I call ‘meditational r & b’  but I also have another project that called “Square Pi” which is vocal-focused, wordless, meditational and improvisational music.

I just recently got back from my second tour with avant-noise-folk artist from Illinois Teaadora.

I like doing vocal improvs with people such as beatboxers Shodekeh and Max Bent, trained Opera singer Claire Plumb, and recently throat and doom singer Geri Mak.

Another note is that the Bottle Tree CD uses instruments such as sound recordings of myself getting an MRI, a vibrator, a childrens’ spring microphone, a Lion King audio storybook, a baby’s white noise machine, flower vases, rainsticks, wine glasses, beer bottles and etc.

My music is a visual experience to me so it is hard to separate my art process from my music process, therefore the end results are subtle but densely layered sounds.

Here is my new video which is of a Lil’ Wayne cover of Mrs. Officer I did over a year ago and just this week made a video for.  The instrumentation is all vocal layers with a child’s spring microphone for reverb, a guitar and a vibrator.  The video is made using a television on which I also vocal layered videos in this same technique.

And now here are some songs, I hope you like them.

1.  Whore of Baltimore – The beat for this song is from a sound recording that I did of myself getting my brain scanned.  The song references prostitution, deviancy, and the music scene.  It implies neither negative nor positive things about the comparison of the three and the link is open to interpretation.  It is also a personal statement about the amount of honesty that is in my music, the “whore-like” experience of putting it on display for others, and the intimacy of the experience.  The listener is literally hearing my brain being scanned.

2.  Oklahoma Alley – This song originally was a meditation and visualization of the memory of being a child living on a military base and seeing a tornado attack a hospital. It has evolved into a trance-like concept of rotation which involves my whole body in live performance.

3.  Bottle Tree – This song is based on the southern tradition of bottle trees.  When you place a bottle on the branch of a tree evil spirits are supposed to be evaporated by the sun.  This song is a cleanse of bad spirits.

4.  Bad Lil’ Boy – This is my pop song!  It is about making fun of myself and a bad breakup situation.  It is a light and fun song on an emotionally intense CD.  I especially love playing this song live because the hypnotic loops (which sound robotic but were all made from either my mouth of hands) make people dance around and have fun.