Grong Grong last Saturday

Couple of pics that Derek took at the Fanny Lumsden show in Grong Grong on the weekend, where I played.

Disquiet Junto 134 Music From Choreography

Exciting Junto this week, composing a piece to accompany choreographed dance. I was pumped from playing my first gig in years and used the gear I'd patched together to improvise along with the video.

When I generated a random number to determine the section of video to compose with, I got a seven. I did a take playing along at the seven-minute mark but I didn't like that video as much as around the third-minute. I'll be honest, that section reminded me of Duran Duran's video for Girls On Film. I'll add my earlier take below as I like the vocal sample in it.

What you hear is a single take on electric bass and theremin. There's a third part created with a Super Ego pedal, which adds a pad-like drone from the bass. It wavers a bit, due to an old Ibanez unit that's transposed it up an octave. It gives it a kinda eerie feel.

One of the decisions made when improvising was to create a feel that added a sense of tension to the visuals. The key of D was what I'd been using for the part of my gig with the theremin. I could've used something else but I was happy to have some ideas that were already a bit developed and it's a great key for giving a sense of something a bit deep. I like the idea that the dancers are acting out a complex plot or relationship, so the music needed to convey something more than how fun it is to paint with your friend while you wear underpants.

Above is video of an alternate take. It's not the clearest picture but you can see a bit. The theremin is run through a Ravish sitar-emulator pedal, which keeps it in key and sounds nice. The bass is sorta sampled with a circuit bent Boss pedal. In the earlier take below I sampled my voice with the same effect, something I did for tracks in my set last night.

And at the bottom of this post is the audio track that was posted to the Disquiet Junto Soundcloud group, where you can hear all the other contributions.

Bassling [disquiet0133-sixnotesong]

The project is this: Compose a song that consists of just six notes. There should just be one short passage, with one “voice,” on whatever instrument you elect to use.

 The first three notes are my favourite to play on a piano. Since I don't have a piano I used my bass that sounds closest and layered up three takes. Does it sound more like a piano? Dunno.

Return to Disquiet Junto 132

Lee Rosevere and I collaborated with Nofi previously and I'd hoped we'd work again this time, but my piece was too busy for him. So I've taken his piece with Westy Reflector and Nofi and added one of the basslines I recorded for this four-way collaboration.

That previous piece with Lee and I went on to become No Nofi on my WHILE album last year, and also appeared in this television commercial I made for the Bidgee Binge.

Disquiet Junto 132 posthumousnofitrio

This week the Disquiet Junto returned to an earlier project that played tribute to Jeffrey Melton:

Step 1: Choose one of the tracks that resulted from Disquiet Junto project 0066:
Step 2: Listen to your chosen track several times, to get to know it.
Step 3: Extend the file by 10 to 15 seconds.
Step 4: Record yourself performing live along with the track. Any instrumentation is fine. Just no voice. Be sure to play alone for approximately 10 seconds after the original track ends.

The track embedded above by Westy Reflector suggested a dub-style bassline and I mucked about for a while without much success on Saturday.

As I was giving up, I added a favourite monologue from True Detective where Rusty Cohle ruminates on death. My partner immediately called out that it worked, so I left it in.

On Sunday morning I returned to the bass and found my basslines changed. In the end I made a mess of the bass, I think. It's a mash of two unedited takes with some delay and lots of EQ. My idea was to layer up takes to get a richer sound. It's something James Holden told me he does but it didn't work as well for me.

P.S. Seems I didn't pay enough attention to the instructions as they specified "no voice"! Aside from liking that scene from True Detective, the content seemed right for this context. The stuff about being isolated within a body kinda reminds me of the process of working in a computer and seeing within it the responses from other participants. I've communicated with a few people from the Disquiet Junto over the last couple of years but only via computer. Even when I interviewed Marc Weidenbaum, who runs Disquiet, it was via email.

Disquiet Junto 131 The Key of Tea

This week the Disquiet Junto project called for recording a boiling kettle, whistling preferred. I decided to invest in a whistling kettle for Burning Seed this year.

The kettle was recorded in my kitchen using a Rode NT-2 and an AKG PZM. The former microphone is my oldest and has a tinny edge that's good on soft sounds. The latter captured more of the boiling sound. I experimented with varying levels of steam by moving the kettle on the stove top.

About a decade ago I recorded a song called Slow Boil and I was thinking of it when I began manipulating samples of the hand clap and finger click used to make a beat. There's an Ableton Live Beatrepeat effect that bothers me a bit, now I listen back to it. You can hear it changes the kick.

There are a number of other effects on the percussion, including a drone towards the end. The bass was created from another file of the kettle recording fed through effects by Sinevibes and Sausage Fattener.

The photo on Soundcloud was snapped while driving through fog this week. It's a nod to the video I made for the earlier track and I like those ironbark trees outside Temora.