Sam and I had a long discussion about "live" vs. "studio" music. I generally dislike the privileged status given to "live" music, especially the almost fetish-like 'in the moment' ethos that infuses much contemporary improvised music. Maybe it seems contradictory to discuss improvisation that isn't "live", but to me an improv can be an extended interaction -- and not necessarily real-time -- with audio/musical materials, especially when recording and synthesis technology is employed. Sam, of course, is an 'in the moment' kinda guy.
I think my negative reaction to "live" music comes from my youth, when "live" recordings almost always meant really bad recordings. I'm a total studio nerd, and I love the way that sounds can be shaped by various signal processing techniques. A narrow focus on the "live"-ness of music-making usually happened at the expense of careful musical sculpting in the studio. Technology seems to have caught up with my own personal studio sound fetish, however, and the finely crafted sound world of the studio can apparently now intersect with "live" recordings. I've heard this in previous work by Sam (with Jeff Snyder) such as the exclusiveOr CD, or even my own extended improvisation work with Terry Pender and Gregory Taylor in our little trio PGT. In fact, I recall the first time Terry, Gregory and I had recorded one of our live sessions (I think it was one of the Third Practice Festival sessions), and when listening back I thought "Dang! This actually sounds good!" Have cake, eat cake.
To be sure, Sam confessed to me that he spent a LOT of time working on the recordings for the sum and difference CD after the initial "live" sessions. His efforts certainly paid off, at least to my studio-glossy ears. Some of the sounds on the CD are simply marvelous.
So I decided to appropriate a few of those marvey sounds and turn them into a remix piece of my own. It's also a way of saying thanks to Sam and the gang for getting their creative work out for the rest of us to enjoy (I've done this before a few times, see ssssand based on a piece by Chris Bailey, the Minus Ted/Terry Pender re-composition reRefuge or a couple of the Freight Elevator Quartet remixes: rePphage, Infralong).