Led Zeppelin +
Sound Symposium =
This Saturday, McKudo members Rob Power, Adam Staple, and Sean Panting will load up their paintball guns and shoot stuff in the name of sonic exploration. Elling Lien spoke with them about it.
AS: It all started at Sean’s bachelor party…
And how drunk were you at the time?
SP: Fairly drunk, I’d say… I should mention that Zeppelin was involved as well.
AS: Yeah, it was at Sean’s bachelor party a couple years ago. [To Rob] You were there, right?
RP: Yeah, I was sober though.
SP: What, were you driving? I don’t recall if you were sober.
AS: Anyway, we decided to go and play paintball, because whenever it’s someone’s bachelor party you have to do something unusual. So we went out to Frontline Paintball, and while we were playing, we shot at some of the stuff they have out there: the oil tanks and the school bus. We liked the sound, and somewhere during the course of that day the idea was born… get some paintballs … make some music. That’d be cool.
…We haven’t tried it yet, but it just so happens that we’ve got the opportunity to do it in a really interesting spot as part of the Sound Symposium.
In the Anglican Cathedral cemetery!
AS: Yeah, out in the unmarked cemetery out behind the Anglican Cathedral under a little group of three trees …Which, by the way, I went down there yesterday and it’s just maggoty with the worms.
RP: Oh, good! We’ll have to break out the environmental suits.
SP: I wonder what noise a worm makes when you shoot it with a paintball gun?
How did you get the Cathedral grounds?
SP: We just asked! It was amazing! So easy.
AS: “Uh, I want to set your cemetery on fire.”
RP: “…What day?”
SP: “Sunday’s out, but otherwise it’s available.” Had we known they were going to be so easy to get along with we would have thrown some fire in the mix.
AS: They’ve just been incredibly easy to get along with at the Cathedral.
RP: I think they understand what we’re doing, and they know we’re not going to turn and start shooting the building or cars or something, and I think there’s some support because it’s part of the Sound Symposium.
AS: There’s going to be a big sheet – a canvas backdrop – hung between four trees and from the branches there will be a number of hanging objects, and pre-tuned drum heads, and big ol’ thunder sheets, and things that go crash and bam…
How many paintballs will you have?
AS: About 2000.
SP: So to think about it – every paintball makes the sound of the paintball leaving the gun, and then it makes the sound of the ball hitting the object – so it’s gonna make at least 2 sounds per shot. So you’re looking at 4000 sounds right there.
AS: 2000 is a big ol’ beef bucket full of them. It’s a tub of paintballs.
SP: …This is going to be awesome!
What kind of guns are they?
AS: Probably your standard single-shot rifle.
SP: Yeah, we can’t use a Gatling gun that spews paint. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but… in order for it to make any kind of musical sense we can’t do that. You have to make ‘em count.
And how’s your aim?
RP: We shall see.
AP: That will definitely be one of the factors of randomness.
SP: Just so everybody knows, the audience will be behind us, so there’s not going to be any danger of anyone being hit.
But what are the odds of one of you getting so wrapped up in the performance that you start shooting everything around you?
SP: If that were to happen, and we were to have a psychotic episode, I think the first thing would happen would be shooting other members of McKudo.
AS: But there’s an honour system in place. We’ll have to police ourselves I think.
RP: We also have taser guns in case anyone gets out of hand.
SP: They’re good for hecklers too! …I didn’t say that.
SP: “Boo!” Bang! We won’t do that. (May not be true.)
AS: Like I said, this will be a very serious show.
McKudo will perform Paintcussion this Saturday at 2pm on the Anglican Cathedral grounds. FREE.