naviarhaiku320 – the last kite



The haiku shared by Naviar Records this week led me to consider the image of the glow of sunset on the wings of a kite.

The idea of the light being reflected led me to double the feedback part in the song.

Hi, 911?


Disquiet Junto 0425 Crop Score



The Disquiet Junto this week asks participants to "Consider the idea of a crop circle as a graphically notated musical composition."

Because the image shared reminded me of cymbals, I decided it was appropriate to record crushing drums.

The cymbals got a walloping, so much so that I broke a drumstick.

Then I recorded a MIDI guitar part and ran it through a couple of synths, aiming for something celestial.

naviarhaiku319 – Memories of spring



The haiku shared by Naviar Records this week must be a nice reminder for their audience in the northern hemisphere that winter will eventually pass.

As the rains continued this week, I was reminded that the spring break for showers has been pushed back into summer.

It's been feeling a bit tropical with the resulting humidity and I was sweating profusely when I recorded this piece.

At the time I was amusing myself between takes for the Disquiet Junto project, but the arrival of an unregistered motorcycle wanting to use the footbridge ended my recording session.

The haiku's line "Always present" seemed appropriate for the feeling that one can't escape the noise of motorised vehicles.

My goldfish

Layered Air



After finishing my Disquiet Junto track this week, I applied the technique shared by Brian Crabtree in project 223 and layered all the takes -- including the interruption at the end.

Seven bad dwarves

Disquiet Junto 0424 Fluctuating Rhythm



The Disquiet Junto this week was proposed by Jonathon Keats, who instructed "employing nature as your conductor."

I settled on a simple chord progression, since I planned to layer the recordings afterwards.

For the location I settled on a nearby water view, showing an irrigation channel.

I worked from the feeling of the breeze on my face, since I couldn't look away from my picking hand for long.

Industrial musicians

naviarhaiku318 – in the beach breeze



This haiku shared by Naviar Records this week inspired me to try a ska feel.

Hey man


Disquiet Junto 0423 Hold Noise



The Disquiet Junto this week asks for "a short piece of music intended to sound just as garbled as the hold music on a modern phone call. Think of this as “hold noise.”"

I started recording a piece, then realised this week was more about the treatment than the composition.

So I turned to a piece of ukulele that was recorded recently and garbled it using a few plug-ins.

Some of you

naviarhaiku317 – not heard my breath



When the haiku arrived, I was jamming on a bassline and thought I'd record it.

Then I began looking at the ukulele chord chart to see what would go with it, when I found a different chord progression that I couldn't stop thinking about.

Before long I was drafting lyrics inspired by the haiku to suit the chords, but I haven't recorded them because I don't have enough time to develop this song right now.

The result is a bit messy and I've tried to add energy with dynamics.

Eno as Dolly

Brian Eno in the Dolly Parton meme

Disquiet Junto 0422 Chapter Cascade



The Disquiet Junto instructions this week focus on brevity:
Compose a piece of music made of up lots of very short bursts. You will have an A line and a B line, which will be tonally and aesthetically distinct from each other. These will alternate back and forth for however long you desire. Consider a length of about a second, or less, for each sliver of sound. And then finally at the very end, have the A and B lines combine.

I jammed on a few ideas, then revisited the instructions and realised I was going in the wrong direction.

Although, to be fair, I don't think there's a wrong way to Junto.

Earlier today I'd recorded my son playing the drums and had attempted to match up a couple of loops.

One is in 6/8, while the other is 4/4; and one had higher fidelity sound as I'd plugged in the VideoMic.

So I turned to these recordings and it's a thrill to collaborate with a family member on a Junto, which doesn't happen very often.

I added distortion, as well as different EQs and compressors to each part.

The parts are each a bit longer than a second and share the same fill, but I liked the constraint of using drums for the composition.

And I also liked not having to worry about recording because it's scorching hot today.

naviarhaiku316 – a dark corridor



The haiku shared by Naviar Records this week suggested to me a train ride.

Dunno, something about the dark corridor rolling at night.

Synth Manufacturers

6 years of Naviar Haiku

Disquiet Junto 0420 Luna Tick



The Junto this week asks for "music that proceeds according to the phases of the moon, in celebration of Lunar New Year."

I spent a day exploring chord progressions, before deciding I wanted something that seemed obviously like an orbit.

naviarhaiku314 – Buoyantly we go



This week Naviar Records are celebrating six years of sharing haikus and inspiring music.

They shared this beaut haiku.

I've taken the opportunity to record a chord progression that's been haunting me on the ukulele: Em and B7.

This is my 102nd video in response to the Naviar Records prompts.

P.S. Just noticed the video of the bass is out of sync. Not sure I can be bothered fixing it.

Disquiet Junto 0419 Dischoir



The Junto this week involves making music from vocal samples of held syllables by members.

I began by singing a few notes, with a view to figuring out their pitch and substituting my voice with samples.

Then, after a few takes, I thought I'd layer up my singing and hear how it sounded.

Of course, by then it already sounded how I thought it should sound.

So I gave myself the day to clear my head, then returned and found samples to accompany my singing.

It was an interesting process working through the voices and I learned a few things.

The first was that I like the sound of my own voice.

The second was that composing with vocal samples requires allowing space for breathing.

The third was that I found pitch-correction did weird things and I didn't like it.

Disquiet Junto 0418 Ice-Nine



Directions for the first Junto of the year are to “Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it.”

It’s one of the more challenging Disquiet projects.

The high-pitched transients are difficult to manipulate and it’s usually the hottest day of the year here in the Antipodes.

I’ve made a few percussive rhythms over the years and increasingly I look for ways to make the ice cubes more harmonically interesting.

A few years ago I recorded around a dozen and half of my out-laws’ glasses, which have served me well for this project.

This year I offered those for Junto participants to use in their productions.

For a little while I wasn’t sure how to approach this assignment in 2020.

I had the drums that I’d recorded last year, when it was cooler — which is why I’m wearing a vest in the video.

On Saturday, when the temperature climbed to a new January record of 46C in Leeton, I got the idea to use the glasses to outline a progression.

So I found snippets that seemed to suggest a key, then added a transient shaping effect and de-essers to try and soften them, as well as tape-style delay and Eos reverb.

On Sunday I jammed with the bass until I found the notes that seemed to give the right shape.

Since it was a bit cooler, I put the shirt on that I’d been wearing when I recorded the drums.

I picked a fretless bass because the glasses weren’t really in tune, then afterwards I ended up adding pitch-correction to the samples to be sure they would mix.

Finally, I switched between drum recordings to give more variety to the song.

You can hear the kick drum comes in after a couple of bars, which was recorded using a bass speaker in front of the kit and then pitched down an octave for a fat thump.

Later on you can hear the drums shift, losing treble as I switched to the audio recorded through the Rode VideoMic on the camera.

Elsewhere the drums were recorded through a Rode NT-4 stereo mic, which I also used to record the ice in the glasses back in 2017.

Listening back to the track now, I wonder if I should've added another loop.

Anyway, there's always next year.

It's good to have had the project to occupy some of the weekend, rather than being absorbed with the news of the bushfires.