Naviarhaiku133 - Lightning Strike Pulses

It's a good haiku this week. I like the way there's kinda space for a comma in the last line.

I'm less enthused about Soundcloud, as they've announced an end to 'Groups' which has been intrinsic to my music-making and listening for the last few years.

Anyway, this track features hair clippers and a clothes dryer. I recorded these last week after reading the haiku but for my Disquiet Junto track. As I was listening to the parts, I thought on the electric sound the clippers were making and thought it might share something in common with the sound of lightning within a cloud.

Pioneering Projections

Last month I collaborated with my friend Abre Ojos to deliver a video projection-mapping workshop at my workplace, Griffith Pioneer Park Museum.

Below is a short video showing some of the results. See more at

Modifyre 2016

I've put footage of my visit to Modifyre to the track Would.

Disquiet Junto 0238 Magnifying Contact

The Junto this week asked for a recording of a recording of a piece of music.

Does recording electric hair clippers adrift the basin top count as music? I had planned to record a loop to pitch musically before adding percussion.

In the end I think the clippers add a good texture to the sound of their motor through its electromagnetic field and then reverb.

I've also recorded the vibration on the basin with a cheap contact mic, as well as recording the sound through a Rode on the camera to capture process.

Also in the mix is a recording of a clothes drying-rack using both my cheap and expensive contact microphones, the latter is a Barcus Berry Planar Wave.

The bars all resonate, as do the floorboards of the house and the result is pleasing. It reminded me of the coast house stairwell I used in the last Junto.

P.S. I had a comment from a listener that they couldn't distinguish the 'music itself' from the 'production' and it made me wonder if I should've picked a more standard musical instrument. My approach was to include sounds of the clipper recorded during the process via the camera as well as via EMF and contact microphones, then include more of these than I normally would but it's not the usual handling noise that one gets playing an instrument.

But maybe distinctions between 'music' and 'process' aren't helpful when a non-musical process is given musical treatment via effects like resonators, reverb and delay?

P.P.S. This got me thinking how I'd have mixed the track if I wasn't emphasising handling noise and process. The audio in the video below doesn't have the audio from the camera, only the EMF and contact mics.

Further Travels

Added drums to the piece made for the Junto last week.

Lee's Kitchen

Thought I'd make music in the kitchen while visiting Brisbane recently. The noisy taps caught my ear, although they're not obvious in this piece.

I also recorded myself tapping the pots on the stove top, then I heard a birdsong in the backyard and recorded it too.

Valla Beach House

The wires next to the stairs at this beach house have always sounded musical. It's a place of many happy memories.

Case IH

An International Harvester tractor was part of the farmyard I recorded in April for the Junto's serial composition.

There are many interesting noises among that collection but I decided to stick with tractor sounds in this composition.

The function of music

The Function of Music with Jad Abumrad from mac premo


Here's a riff that I'd been riffing on my four-string guitar and it resolves by going back to the start, so the idea is to loop the recording indefinitely as background music.

The idea of creating a short, reflective piece to be looped is one I've used before. A Disquiet Junto exercise asked for 'sonic tinsel' and led to this bass piece.

Naviarhaiku132 - Half moon hanging

When the haiku from Naviar arrived I thought of the recording I'd made at Valla Beach. There had been moonlight but also sea spray, which made me think of mist.

Another thing that made me think of the beach is the line about the sky blurring at the edges. During my visit to Valla I found myself spending a lot of time looking at the horizon where the sea met the sky.

You can also hear here a song made from recordings of the Valla Beach House.

Disquiet Junto 0237 Combination ABCs

The Disquiet Junto this week prescribed a 90-second composition from three 10-second segments.

In the past I've found these kinds of instructions to be good for editing together field recordings, so I looked to material recently collected while on holiday in Queensland.

The beach house at Valla has these wired windows in the internal stairwell wall. I've been meaning to take contact microphones to use with them but used the camera with a Rode VideoMic to record it this trip. They contribute two of the three recordings used here.

The other part that can be heard is tapping on the handle of a pot on a stovetop in Brisbane. All three recordings have been re-pitched to suit a 10-second section as loops.

As well sounding slower and lower, all three parts have been gated. In places this has muted notes on the wires, which can be seen being plucked in the video below.

The recordings in this piece can also be seen and heard in the tracks Lee's Kitchen and Valla Beach House.

Michael Christian on closed structures

“The moment you pack up and walk away from the creative process, a state of entropy instantaneously occurs. I found that when I truly ‘finish’ pieces they too often become closes structures with no room for others to enter into it. For me, the true magic of the piece comes out in the imagination and energy others bring to it. Their interaction continually transforms the piece and gives it life.”

Old is newish

Visiting a friend and noticed a couple of stereos with vintage styling.

There's something very postmodern about making a new(ish) device look like an older one, such as the digital radio above that looks like a shortwave and the CD player/tape deck on the right that's made to look like an even older radio.

It's funny analogue when you consider how many pop songs in recent years have emulated production styles of older music.

Gabba Police Beat

Seeing this sign brought to mind the incessant gabba beat.

Disquiet Junto 0235 Dice Music

The Disquiet Junto this week outlined a series of directions for using dice to determine the result.

Die rolls directed a three minute piece with six sections. The first section had four layers playing two notes, so I previewed a bunch of MIDI presets until I found two notes that would sustain my interest for thirty seconds.

The following sections were three layers with two notes, four layers with three notes, five layers with four notes, one layer with two notes and six layers with six notes.

Not the sort of music I'd be likely to make without these prescriptions. I used a couple of tricks, like Audio Damage's Replicant effect has a Four Bar Repeat preset that I like.