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.