Love Without Violins - *Keep coming back to this song. * I like the vibe up until the key change, then I find myself kinda intrigued by Brian Eno's lyrics.
Here's a selection of material produced during the year. This follows the direction for five seconds from each month used by the Disquiet Junto in previous years, and this year I've made a video too -- which is at the bottom of this post.
I'll add text discussing 2015 below and you can find a playlist of the 2015 videos here.
The year opens with the Junto directions to "Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it." 2015 marked my third attempt at producing this piece and I think it was my best yet, but 2016 isn't too far away now. Some audio of an orgasm I shared in January was one of my most popular tracks on Soundcloud. That Junto based on a recording after midnight was interesting to return to but it also made me think about the documentary nature of sound and the idea that sexuality is an intrinsic part of character. It's self-indulgent but I was wondering why I hadn't encountered more of it and used Juntos to explore the idea a bit.
February features a similar technique but I've made a song from fireworks using old footage shot outside Wagga. It's worth mentioning that I also made a song during March that used a short sample of a spank. The original sample has become my most-viewed Youtube video, which isn't an achievement that I anticipated but reiterates the observation that the small amount of my sex life that I shared online this year has been surprisingly popular.
March featured a highlight of my 2015, when Naviar Records shared one of my haiku as inspiration for their musicians. I've been writing poetry for years but this was one of the few times it's attracted attention, although it wasn't to be the only time this year. Naviar Records have also inspired some of my best tracks.
In April I spent some time jamming on drums with loops recorded on guitars, as well as mashing up the Beastie Boys' 'Gratitude' with The Pixies' 'Where is my mind?' I also sang other songs in 2015, so this track can represent those too (like this one). In hindsight I was learning a few songs and thinking about the role of lyrics. This reflection led me to cover another song this week.
May was an opportunity to re-record one of my favourite compositions from 2014, which sometimes called 'Ophelia' and sometimes 'Mistletoe' for various reasons. That Junto asked for a performance wearing gloves and they provided a nice, muted effect on the bass guitar.
June saw the completion of a collaboration with my colleague at Western Riverina Arts, poet Derek Motion. This was the result of a project we proposed to Wagga council for projection, which was an interesting exercise since I started with a focus on sound and it wasn't until we asked how they'd like it delivered that we realised there wouldn't be an audible soundtrack at the presentation. It's a shame as the remix of KlanKman's 'Trein' was another highlight -- and one that was overdue after his beaut remixes of my tracks, like this one.
I was in Queensland for some of July, including Modifyre. Did a Junto based on my name that turned out good and used a 5/4 time signature, which is another thing I mean to do more often. There are some beaut grooves beyond 4/4 and the soundtrack for that Modifyre video is another success, though with 3/4 -- which was a time signature that I've used for basslines a bit recently.
In August my friends at RealArtWorks invited me along to their camp outside Wagga. It's great to be involved with these artists, although my digital workflow is at odds with their analogue materials. Still, it was great fun. Video of musician Mike Smith writing braille was accompanied with an electrified braille machine instrument.
September was a busy month with preparations for installations at Trent's, Burning Seed and Lillypilly Winery during October. The Junto responding to a clock worked out really well though, so I've included it instead of those projects -- although remixing Trent's was fun.
October was busy and it shows, since I only had this video made from a lawnmower, drums and guitars to share. That recording was made for a Junto and I ran out of time, so I used them for a Naviar project instead. I think I should have another go with this material as the bassline is kinda groovy but the track takes a while to get going. Returning to material and remixing it further has been fruitful recently. Another remix chain was completed too, which was the second for the year -- see here.
November saw a Naviar assignment lead me to produce a beaut track on the fretless bass and loops made from broken branches. A similar workflow led me to a great result in April with the track 'Polish' for a Naviar short story project and that track was included in their compilation of the results from those stories. Those projects were fun and encouraged me to explore MIDI composition and the Ableton sample library.
Now it's December and there are hours of music that I've produced in 2015. I thought I'd conclude with this collaboration with my son, Oscar. We made six videos together this year and it was fun to produce someone else's material. The first is best.
There's more I could reflect on in 2015, particularly my professional development, but I think this is enough for now. All the best in the new year!