Plymouth, Massachusetts was unusually humid during the summer of 1999, and in the living room of my dear friend Jonas there sat a powerful, powerful air conditioner. This living room also contains a powerful, powerful piano, which my dear friend can play. Jonas said, "Ryan, my parents are leaving for a week. Get your stuff, and bring your brother." I didn't have a job, so there was no getting out of it. I loaded up the bitty wagon with my 4-track, some microphones, and the hi-hat, snare and ride from the old drum set we keep in our basement. My younger brother Jeremy brought his guitar, amp, digital delay, and Cry Baby. We met several times during that week and managed to produce some sound that felt good to hear and even better to play. One of us casually referred to these meetings as the The AC Sessions. The week ended, but the sessions helped create a wave of musical creativity that kept us moving for the rest of the summer. I have converted the most successful of these songs into the mp3 format, and have posted them to MP3.com, where you can preview or download them. To listen, you will need an mp3 player such as WinAmp.
The following songs are currently available:
"Lo Straniero" is Italian for "The Stranger". We are most proud of this song, an emotionally complex but steady avant-gardish piece. Jeremy and Jonas composed a few key riffs, and expanded them into a structure that allowed improvisational interplay between piano and guitar. I kept a steady beat with the hi-hat and snare, letting the song slip into a groove. The instrumentation was recorded live several times, and each take was different from the others. This final take stood out as much more powerful than the previous attempts. At several points, Jeremy and Jonas manage to echo each other perfectly, repeating tonal phrases. Jonas and I began writing and recording the vocals during that week, but did not finish them up until mid-September. The lyrics focus on the days surrounding New Year's 1999 that Jonas and I spent together in Bologna, Italy.
Jeremy Gantz: electric guitar.
Jonas Pizer: piano and vocals.
Ryan Gantz: drums and vocals.
Written by Jeremy, Jonas and Ryan
Mixed by Ryan and Jonas.
I wrote this song while living in Boston during the fall of 1998. The programming was done using a BOSS DR-5 Dr. Rhythm drum machine/ synthesizer. Jeremy and I recorded guitar for the song in the air conditioned living room while Jonas remained trapped at work. I recorded the vocals in my kitchen during September, just before moving out to Carlisle, PA to stay with Jonas. This song incorporates several layers of music in an attempt to convey the mental business of urban solitude. I recommend headphones.
Ryan: Programming, acoustic guitar, vocals, background vocals.
Jeremy: electric guitar drippings.
Written and mixed by Ryan.
These are the standout tracks from a recording session in my basement. Early in the summer I began to work on my drumming ability, hoping that Jeremy and I could improvise and jam together. We had been playing together occasionally, and after the week of air-conditioning we finally decided to record ourselves playing for forty-five minutes non-stop. Mid-way through, Jeremy unplugged his guitar and switched to bass, and we both surfed the vibe closely. I later over-dubbed a sort of a poem onto the first portion of the song; part 2 remains a vocal-free quiet bass composition with little drum intervention. I think these tracks reflect the appreciation we have for subtle, ambient music, and for bands like Tortoise or Slint.
Jeremy: electric bass
Ryan: drums, words.
Music delivered from Jeremy's heart-mind to his fingers.
An understated folk song that began one day in April as a few lyrics that jumped into my head on the MBTA Green Line. My guitar work remains average, as always, but I think that the words to this song are much larger and sadder than I expected.
All lyrics, acoustic guitar, and vocals written and performed by Ryan.