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Disquiet Junto 0565 Musical Folly

The Disquiet Junto prompt this week is to "Consider how the idea of a folly might be transposed, so to speak, to music."

In my more cynical moments I wonder if all of my musical activities are folly.

It sometimes feels as though I collect a lot of instruments and gear, then do little with it.

So I took the prompt this week as an opportunity to use my most recent purchases, the Zoia Empress pedal and the Organelle -- the latter I hadn't used the latter as an effect.

Disquiet Junto 0564 Octave Lept

The Junto assignment this week is to "Work an octave leap — or more than one — into a piece of music."

I've been wrapping my head and hands around an Organelle this week, so I decided to see what emerged when I started recording.

This was my second take and I edited the piece, since it's really just a riff.

That's enough reverb


Disquiet Junto 0563 Digital Magical Realism

This week the Disquiet Junto assignment asks "What does this imaginary genre sound like?"

I had a few thoughts about Digital Magical Realism, then thought I'd sleep on it.

When I awoke, I looked at my guitar pedals and pondered the digits being manipulated within their chassis.

I liked the idea of taking the piece from my digits on the bass, through the pedals and into something magical while the realism of a single-take kept it anchored in a performance.

However, I'd forgotten the challenge of hum and was also disappointed that I couldn't get a Valhalla Shimmer-like effect using the Superego.

Nor could I get a voice-like tone from the Talking Machine.

It was good to play the bass again though, although I excised a couple of loops around a minute and a half because I was fiddling around.

Brian Eno on his own music

...I have to think of other ways of hearing my music in ways as though I hadn’t made it.

May the music


Sound engineering is ancient

There's an interesting discussion of acoustics in this article about the Lincoln Center's redevelopment:

Sound engineering is ancient. Certain walls in the Hagia Sophia are angled to generate what’s called a “slap echo,” a fluttery ta-ta-ta-ta that in ancient times was referred to as “angels’ wings.” If you stand at the base of Chichén Itzá, the Mayan ruins in the Yucatán, and clap, what you hear sounds uncannily similar to the call of a quetzal bird. If you stand under the head of the dragon painted on the ceiling of Honjido Hall, in the Toshogu Shrine, in Nikko, Japan, built more than four hundred years ago, and hit together two pieces of wood, the sound echoes throughout the temple, producing an effect called “the crying dragon.” People have been channelling, amplifying, and manipulating sound for a good long time. But, as a formal science, acoustical engineering is relatively new.

I haven't thought about the role of reverb for a while, but I did write this piece back in 2019.

Disquiet Junto 0562 Sheep Music

The Disquiet Junto project this week asks for a recording to help someone fall asleep.

My mind ran through a few possibilities, before remembering I'd been meaning to record the lullabies my partner sang to our children.

We recorded a few of them, but I choose two as the last was more difficult to de-ess. 

You don't need a de-esser

Disquiet Junto 0561 Samplelicker

This is one of those examples of pushing-back against the Junto instructions. 

I really love the prompts offered to this community, but it gets filtered through my own curmudgeon-like process.

I woke early this morning and wanted to do something brainless, so I put a rhythmic loop into the Samplebrain to see what would happen.

The drums in the Target position were recorded for a previous Junto and I exported a loop with video, since I mostly publish to Youtube at present. The audio and video were put together and exported from Ableton Live.

What you see starts with the loop in sync but, as I adjusted the mix in Samplebrain, it slips out of time and I’ve tried to represent visually something approximating the messy effects. I’m using Apple’s Motion software.

The blocks came from recent field recordings, since I concluded long ago that Freesound was too much effort. 

I have recordings of raindrops in a shed, as well as a variety of birdsongs from my residency at The Corridor Project last month.

Five two-second snippets were loaded into Samplebrain and I experimented with the ticks next to each filename, as well as the sliders on the panel.

What you hear is mostly a single take, although one channel seemed to abruptly halt and I put an earlier snippet in to fill the space near the end.

In Ableton Live I added some limiting and compression to smooth it out. Finally, you hear a reverb decay to close the piece.