Unsound Unsound review

Revisited this RealTime review of Unsound 2006 earlier today and was stung again, nearly a decade later, by this line:
First stop is an inspection of Alan Lamb’s aeolian harp at the Pindari property; although this work is heard to much better affect aboard the Loco Motivus when we listen remotely by CB radio to a live wind-and-wire broadcast. 
 As you can see in the video below, it wasn't the wind playing 'the wires', it was my partner Jo and I.

Disquiet Junto 0029 Count Zero

When I first joined the Junto mailing list, it took a few turns before I joined in.

Elsewhere there's a track where I misread the instructions and made a song from a book. This project was one where I wondered if I'd drifted too far from the Junto instruction for the sound of running water to be present.

It's another track made from Mountford Park and I was thinking of it after the Junto this week.

Today, while looking through old files, I found this video I'd made while manipulating the recordings in Live.

In hindsight it's interesting I'd explored making a video for the Junto back at number 29. It wouldn't be until number 101 that I returned to that medium, more than a year later.

Disquiet Junto 0256 Music in Place

The goal of the Junto project this week is to record a piece in place using only sounds from that place. It's an idea I've explored in my "Parktronica" and it was in reflecting on previous recordings that I concluded it should be Mountford Park.

Mountford Park is central to the town of Leeton and I've recorded it many times before. For example, in the video above you can see the playground before they replaced the large slide with the flying fox in the video below.

Mountford Park playground was also where I screened results from my remixes of Leeton playgrounds and it was then that I appreciated the bells of the churches ringing from different directions.

Today I took my Nikon camera to the outdoor stage but wasn't quick enough to get the start of the Anglican church bells. It's more pronounced when the Catholic church bells start ringing. Similarly, it's more noticeable when the Iris 2 part starts using the Catholic church bell than when an earlier part uses the Anglican church bell.

In addition to the two Iris 2 parts, there are two loops. During the first bells there's a passing car that's looped, giving a rising and falling that I feel like a kettle drum. It continues throughout, as well as another after the bells finish chiming and also has a car rumble.

And around again

Put a 909 behind the song I recorded earlier on the electric ukulele. Then I added the Monark part in Live using the computer keyboard.

Having a roll

Disquiet Junto 0255 Capone’s Ghost

...consider the case of Al Capone, who played banjo during his time on the famed prison island of Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay — a banjo that is said to be heard long after his death
When the Junto email arrived, I'd been working on a song responding to the 150th Naviar haiku. The chorus "round and round" had come from that image of the ceiling fan, and I'd already settled on the line about not understanding. Then the lyrics started to take shape as being a prisoner's perspective.

Of course, even before the email from Naviar, I'd wanted to record my new electric ukulele. I bought it from Sorebrain on Ebay. I love playing B7 chords, which is the first you can hear in the chorus, and A# was a great contrast for the verse. I added the E minor bit at the beginning mostly to set the key but I was inspired by the organ riff in The Presets 'Talk Like That'.

Thinking of Capone, I like the representation of him in Boardwalk Empire. Writers for HBO TV shows have a knack for rounding out their characters with domestic details and they did this with Capone by showing scenes with him at home with his deaf son. It seems an obvious heart-string to pull but I felt it.

P.S. Now remixed with 909 drums and Monark synth -- hear!

I may be old

Via Facebook

Fried Ay

Jam with Microbrute, Kawai and Mochika XL going into a Filterbank.

The drum machine was circuit bent by Diabolical Devices and is reinforced with a Jomox Mbase. The Atomosynth is going into a Sherman Filterbank with a King Capitol synth. The Arturia goes through Eletro-Harmonics Ring Thing and Boss RE-20.

Naviarhaiku 149 - Let us be one

It might've been Seneca who observed that anger comes from disappointment.

Anyway, the idea of grounding an electrical charge came to mind with the haiku shared by Naviar Records this week.

I'd recorded a couple of drum parts and have been out of practice on my kit. I've been less inclined to sit down at the electronic kit, while the acoustic drums are packed away.

However, recording MIDI parts to record through circuit bent drum machines has been my aim in focusing on electronic drums. This week I've used the 707 again, as well as an Alesis circuit bent by Diabolical Devices.

The Mochika can also be heard in the mix, although more faintly as I was running it through a bass synthesiser pedal and the Filterbank. The result was a bit atonal.

Disquiet Junto 0254 Fog and Steam

For the 254th weekly project, we’re going to revisit the second project, from back in early January 2012.

Step 1: Download these two samples:

Fog Horn: http://www.freesound.org/people/schaarsen/sounds/69663/

Train Whistle: http://www.freesound.org/people/ecodios/sounds/119963/

Step 2: Create an original piece of music utilizing just those samples from Step 1. You can only use those two samples, and you can do whatever you want with them.

I don't remember the original project but the freesound.org website was familiar, particularly the frustration of not getting a response when resetting the password. I remember giving up on a Junto project as a result of this but managed to establish a new account and get the samples this week.

Last night I experimented with a few loops from the samples, finding a percussive part at the end of the train recording. This was gated, then duplicated with one loop pitched deeper to sound more like a kick part.

The ferry horn had a nice bass resonance and I experimented with a loop, which was an idea I'd come back to later. You can see in the screenshot the two percussive loops at the top, then the clunky rumbling part.

 This morning I put the ferry recording into Iris 2 and started with a bass part but then found it sounded better using higher frequencies. I kept the MIDI at minus one octave though.

You can see in the video that I recorded a chord progression using the guitar to MIDI converter. The Iris 2 part is accompanied by a Bass Station an octave lower, that also has a MIDI arpeggiator.

Tom Waits on field recordings

When I listen to old field recordings, maybe you’ll hear a dog barking way off in the background. You realize the house it was recorded in is torn down, the dog is dead, the tape recorder is broken, the guy who made the recording died in Texas, the car out front has four flat tires, even the dirt that the house sat on is gone—probably a parking lot—but we still have this song. Takes me out when I listen to those old recordings. Recording for me is like photographing ghosts.

Via Stuart Coupe 

Naviarhaiku 148 - A city parking space

The haiku shared by Naviar this week is shown on the right.

It reminded me of the 'Engrish' I've seen photographed that reads "PLEASE PAY YOUR PARKING FEE BEFORE EXISTING".

In the video you can see I've used a Kawai drum machine circuit bent by Diabolical Devices with a King Capitol synth and an Atomosynth Mochika XL going into an Eletro-Harmonics Q-Tron envelope filter.

In Ableton Live I've applied gates, particularly Audio Damage BigSeq, as well as reverbs including Valhalla Shimmer.

Disquiet Junto 0253 Doorbell Rehab

We don't have a doorbell and I didn't notice many while traipsing around the neighbourhood with my kids this Halloween. However, with the Junto's directive to compose a doorbell sound, I knew exactly what I wanted to record.

Earlier this year I composed a piece called 'Ashmore Reef' that used my Nashville-tuned guitar. It has the three lower strings tuned with three higher strings to a get a result that's an octave higher. The opening tuning EADGBE demonstrates how strumming a chord gets a result more like a melody.

I think I might've written it on a blog around the time of 'Ashmore Reef' that I wanted to use the opening notes on the Nashville-tuned guitar as a doorbell sound. Anyway, that's what I've done here this week.

My son assisted and we made a short film to illustrate how the guitar sounds, both for a visitor at the front door and inside the home. In Ableton Live I've tried to smooth over the roughness of the Rode VideoMic, which sounds crunchy as the auto-gain attempts to limit the volume.

When I'd first explained the Junto to my son, he'd suggested that we record doorbells around town and then assemble them into the Super Mario Bros theme. Then we'd discussed the potential for a mechanical door strumming device, before settling on a short film-style response.

Another idea would've been to sample Men At Work's 'Who Can It Be Now?' but it makes me sad to think about saxophone player, Greg Ham.

Ham killed himself around time of the court case that found the band guilty of plagiarising a song that is known by most Australians. It saddens me that his musical reference to a cultural touchstone can be criminal as it quite clearly interprets the original in using the melody without the better-known lyric "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree" -- like The Presets.

Very King