Fun Fender ad

I had a Fender Precision like the bass pictured but didn't have the physique pictured, so it warped my back.

naviarhaiku264 – night wind

The haiku shared by Naviar Records this week has an Australian theme and coincides (coincidentally) with the national holiday

At first I felt a bit uneasy about trying to interpret the Dreamtime, which is a concept of the Australian Aboriginals.

This Dreamtime (great discussion here) is mythic and connects the indigenous people with their ancestors, so I wasn't sure that I could represent it in music.

Furthermore, Australia Day celebrates the arrival of the First Fleet, who claimed the country for Britain.

So it's becoming increasingly common for protests and calls to change the date to a more inclusive day for celebration.

After some reflection, I've settled on the line about the bush coming to life.

It's a phenomena that I've experienced while camping, particularly in remote locations.

Nocturnal animals roam the landscape and it can be surprising to encounter them, particularly the hiss of possums and the death metal-style growl of koalas.

James LoMenzo is a wuss

Disquiet Junto 0369 Final Solo

The Junto this week continues the collaborations and I've taken Alanza's piece that builds on Sevenism's reversed piano.

Listening back I might've been too busy with my bass playing but it was fun for me.

Below is Alanza's collaboration with Sevenism.

Disquiet Junto 0368 Engage Duo

The Junto this week builds on the last, asking participants to contribute to a recording.

I explored a few recordings before settling on 'Feedback Trio' by swhic, which is described as:
Speaker/mic feedbak with room ambience intervals 
Portable speaker and recorder.

You can see I've used my electric upright bass to contribute a simple part, setting the click to 99 BPM and moving from opening in A to F# into C#.

Five years of Naviar Haiku

naviarhaiku262 – the reef’s silence

Been a while since I responded to a haiku from Naviar Records, but this one prompted me to start thinking about a story.

It's only a couple of verses, so I think it may develop further.

Disquiet Junto 0367 Trio Initiate

The Disquiet Junto this week asks for a piece of music that allows space for collaboration in coming weeks.

I’ve recorded a chord progression at 108 BPM on my electric ukulele.

It goes Gm Dm Gm Dm A#7 Dm A#7 A7, then a chorus that’s F A F C.

You can download the track here.

Look forward to hearing parts from other participants and recording a collaboration next week!

Disquiet Junto 0366 Ice Breaker

It's a new year, and we start it just like we have every year since the very start of the Disquiet Junto, back in January 2012: "Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it."

First time I made something for the Junto with ice in a glass I used a contact mic and drew a comic.

This year it’s the third time I’ve used the glasses I recorded at my parents-outlaws’ house.

They were recorded using a Rode NT4 stereo mic and Zoom H4, later exported with the video from a Nikon D5100.

I began by opening the video in Ableton Live and finding loops, up to a few bars for rhythms and shorter for tones.

The rhythms were gated and layered.

You’ll see I’ve deleted some tracks where they’re not playing to edit the video, so what you see above is some of what you hear – as you’ll only see one loop at a time.

The kick is pitched down nearly four octaves and heavily compressed.

Those tone loops mentioned earlier have been repitched as descending notes, then I’ve duplicated the track and changed it around a bit (the light blue ones above).

The first track is playing through a reverb for the higher-pitched part (up about an octave), the second is creating a distorted and side-chained bassline through a Sinevibes effect.

I spent about an hour on Wednesday night developing one idea, then another hour on Thursday developing another, and then brought those together on Friday morning in about another hour.

Exporting the video took about that long too, so it wasn't such a long time spent making this track but I have a quick workflow these days.

This is the seventh time I’ve made something with ice in a glass and the process I’ve outlined isn’t so different to 2014, 2015 and 2017.

In 2013 I used a contact mic and ended up with a more ambient style of piece, then in 2016 and 2018 I used additional instruments – but that often felt difficult to create a cohesive sound, as ice in a glass is quite harsh and distinct.

Those qualities, particularly the transients, make the project a challenge each time and I try to get better but still think my 2015 piece was my best.

This year was good but maybe I’ll do even better next year.

No sir prison

While listening to old songs, I started layering them up and found these two from 2016 worked well together.

New album: DANCE

I've decided to put together a few albums in 2019 and started with the uptempo material that's accumulated since 2015.