Diggin’: “Big Stuff”
inNewson December 19, 2013
I recall walking into the Music Maker offices in the Spring of 2010, sitting down at my desk and hearing loosely arranged acoustic guitar playing on the computer from Tim’s desk. The recording would fade in and out between complete musical abstraction and undefinable patterns that floated on the periphery of my personal definition of “music”.
I was immediately compelled to inquire Tim about who this artist was to understand how such sounds were created with what seemed to be an incredibly high level of calculated imprecision. Tim went on to tell me the story of “Big Stuff”. This recording was made in a windowless, concrete room in Mombasa, Kenya with a modified microphone created by inverting the input/outputs on a standard set of headphones that he had handy that day.
The man on the recording was called “Big Stuff” by people in the town and had an affinity for nature that he expressed by having prolonged discussions with trees and plants. The beautifully haunting nature of the recording is furthered by the presence of a child’s voice, echoing of the concrete room, and the fact that Big Stuff had never played guitar before this day.