DUCTUS is the latest solo project by Paul Abbott, featuring 51 minutes of audio, across 12 tracks, and a 42 page booklet featuring new writing. DUCTUS was written and recorded in Edinburgh and Porto in 2019.
DUCTUS presents a playful weave of collapsing time through a number of speculative elements and fictional characters. Abbott feels his way through learning drums, rhythm and writing as fleshy research technologies. DUCTUS is the latest stage in a process considering sound, the body, imagination, and language through music. This features as part of ongoing investigations using real and imaginary drums, synthetic sounds, performance and writing.
DUCTUS is an organic environment, a comedy of vibrations and signs, featuring the fictional characters DETECTIVE ENGINEER, QOSEL, and STRIKE.
Moving (dancing) through DUCTUS, DETECTIVE ENGINEER and QOSEL work (play) together to attempt to learn about pulse (the wobble edge). DETECTIVE ENGINEER takes measurements, while QOSEL responds intuitively. They make 12 journeys at different angles. They listen and read, recording each journey in soot marks on fish glue (glass paper) sheets. Their notes are reproduced inside the accompanying booklet. STRIKE attempts to inscribe a single event of non-contact: a stick falling from a hand to a drum head.
* Recorded 16-18 January 2019 using: Bass Drum: Yamaha Custom Absolute Maple (Blue Sparkle); Batter Head: (unknown, clear); [resonant head removed]; Dampening Foam—Snare Drum: Yamaha Custom Absolute Maple 14”x5”; Batter Head: Remo (unknown, coated); [resonant head removed]—Hi Hat Cymbals: Sabian XS 14”— &—Bass Drum: Sakae PAC-D 14” Cherry/Mahogany; Batter Head: Sakae (unknown, standard coated); [resonant head removed]; Snare Drum: Sakae 12”x5 1⁄2” Cherry/ Mahogany; Batter Head: Sakae Standard (unknown, standard coated); [resonant head removed]—Roland SPD1W; Nord Drum 2; MOTU Ultralite mk3; JHS Kill Switch; Sensory Percussion; Live, Max4L; PureData ‘Orbit Pulse Generator’; **‘3D Snare’ code by Alberto Torin; Recorded with—Microphones: DPA 4060, EV RE20, Neuman KM140, Senheisser MD421, DPA 4060, Neuman KM140, Fishman V100, Radial PZ-DI; Monitor Speaker: Genelec 1031A.
Paul Abbott's Ductus is intelligent, complex, ludic and stern.
As with his earlier solos - Vagus [201x] and Sphuzo [201x] - Ductus continues a study of the natural, speculative and synthetic worlds qua real and imaginary drums. Its drum ducts are durable, mysterious and revealing.
Prone, the drumkit is sessile in quintessence, fixed around the drummer-on-stool-sat, increasingly stickily stuck, as music and the world (have) move(d) around it. Paul offers a possible solution through several lines of simultaneous enquiry – a gripping detection of rhythmic fact and fiction. A sleuth of several instruments, the Paul/drum/tech-kit times, beats and grows the skin and frames and stands and symbols and stuffs that stretch and swing between these facts and fictions.
He stories our imaginations and senses toward a progressive independence: back (in time (history near and far)); forward (in time (futures more and less speculative)); somatic (insides and on-skin) and prosthetic reach (stick, strike, spike). This pursuit and construction of events in time, through fact and fiction, realizes fictional fact. At its heart beats a new time for new times.
—Seymour Wright, London 2019