Jumping Frenchmen of Maine

by Killick

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From arbiter of all things accurately presented Wikipedia: Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is a rare disorder originally described by G. M. Beard in 1878. It results in an exaggerated "startle" reflex, and was first noted among related French-Canadian lumberjacks in the Moosehead Lake area of Maine. It is not clear if the disorder is neurological or psychological. The "Jumping Frenchmen" seemed to react abnormally to sudden stimuli. Beard recorded, for instance, individuals who would obey any command given suddenly, even if it meant striking a loved one, and repeat back unfamiliar or foreign phrases uncontrollably. Beard also noticed that the condition was often shared within a family, suggesting that it was inherited. The interest sparked by Beard's publication about the disorder inspired Georges Gilles de la Tourette to investigate what later became known as Tourette's syndrome. Further studies of the condition in the 1980s, however, cast doubt on whether the "Jumping Frenchmen" phenomenon was in fact a physical condition like Tourette's. Documentation of direct observation of "Jumping Frenchmen" has been scarce, and while videotape evidence was recorded by several researchers that showed the condition to be real, Saint-Hilaire concluded from studying eight affected people that it was brought on by conditions at their lumber camps and was psychological, not neurological.

So, with this as inspiration, I set to task creating something not burdened so much by the history of electric guitar as liberated by it. The music reflects my love for the woods, exaggerated startle reflexes, and the hilarity that might ensue therein. I deliberately mess with notions of hi-fidelity to draw out new colors and emotional triggers. I do that almost as a rule, though with the electric guitar, foreground and background have extra separation and dance in constant interrogation and refocus. Don't be fooled by imitations. Insist on the original! And don't be fooled by limitations, either!


released July 9, 2007

Killick- guitar
recorded and mastered at H(i)nds(i)ght Studios, Athens GA



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