Washed Ashore

After finishing my track for the Junto this week, I was a little disappointed to find Detritus Tabu had reworked the same track as I'd chosen. In some ways in didn't surprise me though, as I like Hugh's work a lot and figure we must have similar aesthetics.

Anyway, this morning at breakfast I was listening to the tracks submitted this week and it occurred to me that I could add a couple of the more relaxing tracks to my recording of Valla Beach.  Here's the result.

I've added Glenn Sogge's 'A Simple Sleep' to rpcollier's 'Binky' to my 'Valla Beach' track. Both added tracks have been repitched and 'Binky"s been warped to twice the length and edited to fit. They also have Valhalla Shimmer reverb.

Disquiet Junto 0251 Soothing Sounds for Parents

Last week’s project involved making soothing sounds for babies. This week the plan is to transform those sounds into something for parents.

337is's track How To Repeat caught my ear because I like repetitive music, although there were many tracks that I downloaded last week. Music for sleeping is a good theme for composition, I think.

When the Junto was first mentioned by Marc on social media, I'd considered recording a song I've written and adding my recording of Valla Beach. Then I'd gone back and listened and thought about what instrumentation I could add to the work of others.

I'd recorded these drums weeks earlier while attempting to keep up with some drum and bass. My partner suggested I skip adding a bassline to this remix, which was wise and it means 337is' track has space. It's been sped up, pitched down and filtered with a few effects.

There are two instances of Audio Damage's BigSeq gating effect and you can hear when the one kicks in about a bar after the drums get going. There's also two distortion effects, one is bassy as there was a high pitched snap that annoyed my ear from the gating effect and the next warms the mids as I wanted a James Holden-sorta sound. He had a drummer playing with his synth when I saw him perform and I love electronic music with live drums, particularly The Bird.

Around 3.30 you can hear my drums crackle because I've been having problems with my audio while recording. Hopefully it's just the Firewire cable, that's been the case when I've had problems like this previously.

Naviarhaiku 145 - City streets ablaze

There's reflection in the haiku this week but not much from me it seems.

I've been playing this A minor to E seventh riff but couldn't really nail down how I wanted it to resolve.

So what you hear here is a few attempts at structuring the changes layered on top of each other with a view to mimicking the sense of being surround by reflections of sunset.

And I've added Valhalla Shimmer for a big golden glow.

Disquiet Junto 0250 Soothing Sounds

The 250th Junto asks for sounds to soothe a baby. I really wanted to record my ukulele but I remembered what worked for my kids and it wasn't instrumental music.

For my first pregnancy I made mixes in the hope that the stories were true about kids calming when they hear the theme of a TV show watched regularly by their mother.

My partner likes Aphex Twin's ambient works, so there was a lot of that as well as Cliff Martinez' Solaris soundtrack. The latter was on very high rotation throughout the pregnancy, birth and subsequent months. Then around six months I went through a Duke Ellington phase and I think that contribute to my son's skill singing because he's always had good pitch, although so does his mother and grandfather.

With successive children there was less opportunity to focus but I have been a fan of ensuring my kids have soothing background noises. One album that has been popular through all three pregnancies and been recommended to friends is a CD reissue of the Environments album of 1969 with waves crashing on a beach. It's funny that there's a break on the CD for the two sides of the album.

My partner reminded me of the album when I asked if she'd record some of the songs she sings for the kids to go to sleep. Just this week my youngest asked her to start doing this again, despite him being nearly eight years old. She knows a few old English lullabies with surprisingly mellifluous melodies.

This recording of beautiful Valla Beach was made during our winter holidays to the north. Well, as far north as Brisbane.

Valla is about a half an hour south of Coffs Harbour and my partner's family have a beach house there. It's been the subject of a previous Junto track this year, as well a site for great lightning pics and I saw an octopus and a seal and maybe a merman.

It was recorded using a Rode Videomic on my Nikon D5100 SLR. I've added a couple of Valhalla reverbs, as well as a low C using Massive and mastered with Ozone 7.

Piano rolls

Looking into piano rolls at work today and it's a fascinating technology that provided music at a time when Edison's low-fidelity phonograph was the only other alternative to hiring a musician. 

I've never seen one in use, so it seems incredible that piano rolls were in continuous production from 1896 to 2008. I'm familiar with their design though, which can still be seen in the layout of MIDI editing on most digital audio workstations.

I was surprised to learn on Wikipedia that performances by many great pianists and composers were recorded using piano roll, including Gustav Mahler, Camille Saint-Saƫns, Edvard Grieg, Claude Debussy, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Sergei Prokofiev, Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin, Jelly Roll Morton and George Gershwin.