Fret Series 48:
A year into the fret series Paiement found a piece of 1/4" steel, 8" wide and 72" tall. He envisioned the entire fret board of an electric guitar with a series of imbedded LEDs. Each LED representing one of the 126 possible finger positions. Paiement had the idea of lighting all the notes related to a specific mode/key ( minor pentatonic, etc.) simultaneously. After a period of 20 seconds, another mode/key would cycle down through until after 8 different mode/keys, it would go back and loop through ad infinitum. He wanted a remote that would control all the LEDs to 'hold' on that particular mode/key. Paiement collaborated with Guy Marsden, a local technical wizard, who designed the electronics and supervised him as he wired all the lights onto a grid. Paiement provided Guy with graphs of the light patterns needed and Marsden programmed them into a microcontroller chip that was mounted near the bottom of the center section.
The Tone Scale Pieces:
The 59 tenets addressed here, the so called 'tone scale', intrigued Paiement. He said he found the arbitrary, brilliant use of numbers, and the complex choice of phrases and emotional labels mysterious and compelling. Now familiar with the array aspect of the fret series pieces, he immediately saw how the tone scale could translate into a grid format. He again approached Guy Marsden about the electronic programming of his two latest ideas. Tone Scale #1 has a series of LEDs that sequence in a random manner, highlighting a particular tone scale 'level'. Tone Scale #2 is set up in 5 sets of pairs, sequencing down by 'twos', each 'two' being abutting levels on the tone scale. Each line holds for 7 seconds and cycles to the next set of 'twos'.
The PORTLAND Pieces:
The inspiration for two of Paiement's LED pieces came from observing the western view of Munjoy Hill at dusk from a friend's fourth story balcony. The view of Back Bay at dusk with the blinking distant cell and airport towers and the random stream of tail lights from the heavy, homeward bound traffic fit with the LED. direction already taken with the Fret and Tone Scale pieces but took it into a different direction. The LED.s in this piece are nestled in a dark landscape and programmed to blink on and off at different, seemingly arbitrary, intervals. The LED.s take a background but complimentary position to the collaged city scape.