Naviarhaiku 172 – morning calm



This haiku shared by Naviar Records this week directed me to reflect on a chord progression I'd been exploring on the ukulele.

I recorded couple of different takes using my gated effects chain. In the version above I added only a little reverb, while in the version below I layer four copies and set them to start about a bar apart.

Disquiet Junto 0277 Chew Concrète

Step 1: This week’s project is inspired by the manner in which C. Reider recorded his recent album, Chew Cinders (Midnight Circles). We aren’t remixing his album. We’re remixing/repurposing his approach to the album.

Step 2: This instruction is adapted, with Reider’s input, from the manner in which he recorded the album:

Process a sequence of standalone “chunks” of pre-recorded sound — voice, field recordings, noise — with an emphasis on the manipulation of time and pitch. Speed things up, slow them down, and explore the opportunity to use cutup techniques. Pay particular attention to segues between the chunks.

Step 3: Make a piece of music inspired by the approach delineated in Step 2.


I only had to look back a few months before finding promising field recordings. There were made on Australia Day at Pioneer Park Museum's 30th breakfast.

Whip-cracking isn't an Australia Day tradition as such, however it is part of the annual breakfast at Pioneer Park Museum. 2017 was my second time at the breakfast, which was the 30th for the Museum.

In addition to cracking displays by young Master Terrazas and Mr Bishop, there is a selection from the musical performance by Jeff Gardner, including Australian classics "Give me a home among the gum trees' and the national anthem.

Ableton Live makes it easy to adjust pitch and timing but the instructions this week led me to try and confine myself to the re-pitch option, which links pitch and timing. From here I did adjust a couple of the loops but it was a good direction to get a quick direction.

I added electric bass and it kinda brings everything together a bit.

P.S. Just noticed the sync is out near the beginning :(

Hallowed femur bone


Naviarhaiku 171 – Among twenty snowy mountains



The haiku shared by Naviar this week brought to mind my time in the high country, specifically the speed at which the weather changes.

This weekend I've been rearranging my studio and reconnected an effects chain that hasn't been used in a while.

I started jamming on the ukulele as it came to hand and this track in G/Em was an experiment in applying the different gated effects.

This is largely a single take on two channels with the camera's audio added in Live.

Free jazz poisoning

Via Joel Berk

Disquiet Junto 0276 808 Blockchain Beats



The Disquiet Junto this week asked for something inspired by 808 and Blockchain.

Frankly, I didn't spend too much time wrapping my head around the idea.

I have a vague understanding of how Bitcoin works but decided to revisit the ice cubes I recorded for the perennial new year Junto, as they offered a visual that related to blocks of ice and that seemed like a cool idea.

The BPM is 88, which is a recent favourite I used for the 64-bar Challenge tracks. After getting a groove with these 808-samples, I added the ice-cube-in-a-glass samples and then worked on VST synth parts.

Last I added the bass and you can hear I didn't spend a lot of time planning what to put down. I'll no doubt loop this recording in the near future.

Drop beats not bombs

Disquiet Junto 0275 Revisit Something

The Disquiet Junto this week asks participants to revisit and revise an earlier track.

The recording I'd made of Phillip Spelman's "Redjar Redbottle" sculpture (which sits outside Bathurst Regional Art Gallery) was still on my desktop and I'd been considering taking another run at it.

This sculpture caught my ear for it has a variety of lovely resonant tones.



Since I started remixing landscapes in 2011 with my playground recordings, I've found that it's good to return to the material and see how differently it might be developed musically.

Often I find that my first brush remixing a recording might develop into an interesting loop that's something of a creative dead end.

When I revisit the material I'm more familiar with the potential to develop harmonic progression, particularly through re-pitching parts to create a chord progression.

Coming back to this track I had a different BPM in mind. Recently I wrote a few songs for a new 64-bar challenge and one of the BPMs they suggested was 80/160.



This track is 162, although only the high-hat-esque part is approaching that speed. It almost sounds a bit Trap-like, probably needs a faster flurry and more prominence though.

The main challenge was finding samples to serve for percussion. I should remember to record a couple of muted taps for this purpose when recording resonant objects with a contact mic in future.

As usual I put gates on most of the loops, although I left one free to allow some of the environmental sounds like birds and passing cars to add context.

The gates were adjusted to provide snappy percussion parts and on the harmonic parts I added reverb to give more presence. This was a Space Echo-style effect and you can hear some faux tape pitch wobble, as well as the feedback in the break and at the end.