Monday, December 31, 2012



Day Three Hundred and Sixty Six

The end! In two parts because of a last-minute twist in the early hours of this morning. I had Miranda's Buddhist coins and some thunderous tape loops from Maya-Victoria Kjellstrand all ready to go for my live to air on PBS at midnight. Then Evan Carr took me completely by surprise by offering a live collaboration: some tape of his own, of his brother Huw reciting a Dillon Thomas poem. Evan collects and repairs old reel to reel tape recorders, and played this particular recording backwards while I mixed the other sounds, live on his show The Art of Bleep. It was really exciting and special to do the final mix on the radio, and to have live input, which I hadn't had yet, and I'm really grateful to Evan for the opportunity. Part one is the mix from my laptop, without the live tape, and part two is the mix from the radio, with live tape. The full interview can be heard here.

I've had a ball this year, and I've absolutely loved the journey this project has taken me on. I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed, listened and encouraged me, and all the feedback I've received tells me that it was a valuable exercise - conducting this over such a long period of time and in such a public way. I've decided that I really love working in this cumulative way, and I'll be continuing Momentum in the future, but in the form of shorter, more concentrated mini versions. Each one will still form part of the continuous, larger project. And it means I'm still accepting sounds! I'm stoked that I was able to create the December tracks entirely from other peoples' contributions, and I'd love to keep working in this way, enabling the project to not only connect with but incorporate contributions from people all over the world.

I'm going to have a bit of a break now, but Momentum will be back soon. I'm working on getting all the tracks on bandcamp, downloadable as monthly albums. There will be an installation of the whole project at the George Paton Gallery from March 6-15, 2013, and I'm going to see what I can do about getting a CD (probably several!) together by that time as well.

Nat.





Sunday, December 30, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixty Five

I can't emphasise enough how strange it feels to be nearly finished this project. Recording, editing, mixing and blogging have become part of my daily routine, and although I'm ready for a break, I think the next few days are going to feel very strange.

Two contributions from two great Melbourne artists today: flying foxes from Penelope Bartlau, pitched down, slowed down and reversed. Plus coins being thrown in bowls as part of a Thai Buddhist ritual in Bangkok, from Miranda Hill. Photo is from Miranda, also.

Saturday, December 29, 2012



Day Three Hundred and Sixty Four

Twice in the last week I've messed up the number that I'm up to here, must be almost time for a break! So not all the Soundcloud urls will match up, because Soundcloud assigns the original track title as the permanent url - a little annoying but I did well to get to the three hundreds before losing count!

Todays addition is a great flying fox sample from Penelope Bartlau. When she sent me the file I thought it was one of the ones that you swing around on, and I already recorded one of those a little while ago. But it was the animal kind! I messed with the pitch and slowed it down lots and lots, then added backwards and forwards cat bells from yesterday.

Also, I'll be doing the last mix live on radio PBS in Melbourne between 12 and 2am Monday, December 31st. It'll be on Evan Carr's The Art of Bleep show, and I'll post a link to the podcast once it's done.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixty Three

There's only three days left now, and I think I've chosen which sounds will be the last three. There'll be a few left over but I have plans for them, too. It feels very strange to know that I won't be doing this next week - I wonder if I will feel a bit lost...

Todays addition is a recording of my friend's cat, Sparrow, and his new bell on his new collar. Plus Lea's sewing machines from yesterday. Everything is delayed, pitch shifted and pretty heavily EQ'd, and I adjust the EQ on all the sewing machine sounds as I go, resulting in different frequencies coming to the fore and disappearing again.

Photo and bell recording via the very generous David K., who may just be second in the running, after Noah Demland, for the most contributions to this project.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixty Two

I took Alister Price's horns and winds from yesterday down an octave today, reversed them and added lots of delay. Then there's three different samples of sewing machines from my very creative and industrious friend Lea. She recorded regular sewing machine, overlocker and the very special Singer treadle machine for me while making me some new hankies, and she can make you some too! They'll be for sale on her etsy site soon.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixty One

A word of advice: the first time you ever dismantle something and try to fix it on your own, make it something less complicated than your iPhone, and don't do it during the holidays when shops are closed, you have no money and are working on an enormous music project that wraps up in the next week...

At least I did manage to get the phone back together, and I took a photo on my computer as proof :)

Todays addition is from Melbourne musician and composer Alister Price, who sent me a recording of one of his pieces, titled Ponds, which I messed with considerably. Plus Noah's animal calls from yesterday, pitched and slowed down, lots.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixty

When this project is finished it'll be really interesting to stand back and take a really good look at all the different parts of the art, the process and the collaborations that have occurred this year. This kind of perspective was what drove my desire to take on such a big, continuous project in the first place, and I'm so grateful for the support and all the contributions I've received.

Last week I did a rough count of the contributors to date, and there are more than 50! Ohio's Noah Demland has been the most generous, I think, though I'll do an official count in January.

This contribution comes from Noah via a colleague of his, samples of different animal calls (deer and beaver, to be exact). Plus Matt Wilmott's drumming from yesterday, slowed and pitched down.

The image is an (as yet un-tried) recipe for raw tahini balls that I took a pic of at a friend's place - hooray for smart phones!

Monday, December 24, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Nine

I feel like I've inadvertently made some kind of Christmas-sounding robot, or wind-up toy, using David Cooper Orton's Santa bells from yesterday plus a drum sample from Matt Wilmott. Thanks guys :)

Only one week to go!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Three Hundred and Fifty Eight

I think this counts as my version of a Christmas post: a bell ringing Santa that has been in David Cooper Orton's family since 1955. Plus Richie Cyngler's Caushawkbounch 02 from yesterday.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Seven

It's starting to sink in, a little, that this project is nearly finished! I think I will feel very strange on January 1st...

This mix comprises Miranda's Borneo birds, plus a sample from Richie Cyngler, aka glitchpop.

The image is of a vintage marching bass drum I spied in an antique store in Melbourne this week - outrageously priced and surrounded by taxidermy, both unappealing elements for me!


Friday, December 21, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Six

Todays mix is made up of wooden spoon and bowl loops (thanks to Ash Walker). Plus birds in Borneo, recorded by Miranda Hill on a recent trip to Asia. The birds were recorded in a campsite in Bako national park, Borneo, (Malaysia). Image is from Miranda, also.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fivty Five

I was in a waiting room awhile ago and a small child was adding to a colourful brick tower that another child had started. To begin with he removed a couple of existing blocks, then continued to shape the toy in his own way. When his mother called him to leave he didn't look back or seem to think twice about leaving his creation, potentially for another child to dismantle or add to. I thought that was a really nice analogy for the way parts of this project have functioned. People send me sounds that they are happy for me to edit and dismantle, then add into the every growing Momentum work. What is great is that some other people have then taken my momentum tracks and re-mixed them or used them in different ways (in a dance performance with spoken word, for example). There's a really nice fluidity and lack of ego about it.

Today, Rui Almeida's vacuum cleaner solo from yesterday, with wooden spoon and bowl from Ash Walker.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Four

Two of my favourite sounds here, together at last - electric guitar and vacuum cleaner :) Guitar is from Matt Wilmott and the vacuum is from Rui Almeida, who contacted me on facebook about contributing to the project. I took the audio (with his permission) from this YouTube video of him playing the vacuum and manipulating the pitch and rhythm with his hands.

Also, I found this great installation project today - another cumulative, 365/366 day artwork by Spencer Finch: 366 (Emily Dickinson's Miraculous Year). In this beautiful work one candle is lit each day for a year, and takes the whole day to burn down. What remains is a colourful interlocking web of melted wax. I love this!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Three

Two contributions from two MWs today: Matt Wakeling and Matt Wilmott. Matt Wakeling contributed a few sounds after hearing me on Radio National a few weeks ago, and I met Matt Wilmott through the ABC pool site. In this mix are two samples of a radio, pitch shifted with delays, plus time-stretched guitar.

In other news, I have confirmation of a bubble wrap sponsorship for my exhibition in March. As in, I have access to as many metres (or hundreds of metres) as I desire. Woo!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Two

Today I went to check out the George Paton Gallery, where I'll be exhibiting the whole of Momentum next March. It's a really lovely space - big and light - and I'm pretty excited about filling it with my sounds for 10 days. The photo is of the empty gallery space, which I can use to my liking in terms of lighting, soundproofing, furnishing etc. Todays mix is comprised of Michael Peters' topfdeckel from yesterday, plus a radio sample from Matt Wakeling.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty One

I'm so chuffed at the number of new contributors that I've had to Momentum this month, and also at the friends who've already contributed, and keep sending me more sounds! Todays addition is from Michael Peters, who has generously contributed several times to this project. This particular recording was taken in his kitchen, of a vibrating topfdeckel (cooking pot and or/lid, I'm guessing from Michael's picture). The lid did not quite cover the pot and vibrated when touched. I made three different pitched loops of this sound then slowed them down as the spinning lid got faster to maintain a steady(ish) tempo. Plus Heather and Sam Moyes' stick on fence from yesterday.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty

I wanted to do something special for the last recurrent date in my lifetime last Wednesday, but but I'm a bit short on spare time at the moment. Thankfully, Heather Moyes made a recording for me at midday on December 12, 2012, and I'm so grateful! Taken with her son Sam, running a stick along a fence in Adelaide. Plus Leah's music box from yesterday, pitched down and with short loops of the music box's winding mechanism.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Nine

Another chance to include tracks from friends who know each other today. Thanks again to Myles Mumford, and also to Leah Scholes for the wind up music box. Leah is a Melbourne based percussionist who gave away 50 of these music boxes at the launch of her duo, The Sound Collectors, with Perth's Louise Devenish. I thought it would be nice, and only fitting, to gift them back some music made with their present.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Eight

I had the pleasure of combining sounds from two great friends today, each made in a different country. There's Rhys' ice cream van and birds from Detroit, and Swazi frogs from Myles Mumford. I duplicated each sound then played one backwards and one forwards, with variable EQ and delays.

Photo is from Myles, also. Thanks heaps guys!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Seven

I had a long overdue coffee with my friend Rhys Corr today, and he gave me some sounds for this project that he recorded in Detroit in 2011. There are birds, and an ice cream truck with music that isn't the traditional 'Greensleaves' we have here. Towards the end of the truck you can hear a voice, which apparently says "hello", repeatedly. Sounds kind of creepy... Plus huge spinning top from Andrea. Photo from Rhys also.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Six

I've wanted to record one of these big spinning tops for ages! Thanks heaps to Andrea Breen, aka bluerobin, for sending in this pic and great recording - I gave it a bit of a deep space treatment... Plus Matt Wakeling's glock and guitar from yesterday, pitched down with delays.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Five

Last week I received an email from Matt Wakeling, a guitarist from Sydney, who had heard my interview on Radio National the week before. Matt liked the idea of Momentum so much that he's decided to try it himself; starting on January 1st next year, Matt will write and record short musical pieces which will be posted on his blog site (here) every day for a month. Similarly to this project all the sounds will be free to download, and he welcomes contributions - I look forward to contributing!

Matt sent me some sounds for this project too, and I used one today: waves of repeated glockenspiel notes which I duplicated and pitch shifted, then played alternately to accentuate the swells. Plus some more percussion toys from Dan Richardson, slowed down and reversed.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Four

Did I mention how much I'm enjoying mixing this month? Maybe a couple of times :) It may be a combination of the warm weather, the fact that I'm using only sounds from other people and that this leg of Momentum is nearly finished, but I'm having a ball. A new contribution today, from percussionist Dan Richardson who brought a big bag of toys to my studio for us both to play with. We recorded about 5 minutes of an improvisation which I then cut up and slowed down. Plus Isnod's synth drones from yesterday, pitched down.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Three

I messed quite a bit more with the Swazi singing from Myles Mumford today, and added some low synth drones from Isnod. At the end of the mix are two short loops I made from some laughing and applause at the end of the vocal track. The photo is of a bubble wrap person/flower made by one of my students yesterday.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Two

A tri-continental collaboration today: between Australia's Ash Walker (pouring water), Ohio's CoCo Loupe (after dinner snoring), and Myles Mumford, an Aussie currently based in Swaziland. Myles sent me a beautiful recording of of people singing and laughing; he is spending a year with a Swazi NGO developing a new radio studio - his blog is here.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty One

I'm really enjoying the process of curating this month, and seeing what I can do with other peoples' recordings. Today there's three sounds in the mix: Noah's Thanksgiving doorknob, Ash's water pouring, and another Thanksgiving sound sample from CoCo Loupe. I know I already included the sound of my cat snoring in this blog, but not of a person. I just hope her Dad is either ok with it or doesn't find out...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty

After my interview on The Music Show last Saturday, I received a few emails from people wanting to contribute to this project(!). One was from Ashley Walker, from Sydney, who sent a couple of sounds for me to play with. The one I chose for today is of pouring water into a metal bowl, recorded in 2011. I added lots of delay and mixed it with Noah's doorknob sample from yesterday, then applied a ring modulater effect to the door knob. This is a pitch shifting effect that I've found really interesting when used with 'non-pitched' or percussion sounds.

Image is from Ashley Walker too, thanks heaps Ash!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty Nine

A few weeks ago some friends in the US sent me sounds that they had recorded whilst home for thanksgiving. One of them was this cute doorknob sample from Noah Demland. I looped and duplicated the recording, gradually sped up one of the tracks and slowed down/pitch shifted the other. Plus gamelan gongs from yesterday. Also, the image is a spectrogram (sonic visualisation) of a short section of todays track.



Monday, December 3, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty Eight

I now have about 12 recordings up my sleeve, sent in by people over the last couple of weeks. Which means I need about 16 more to be able to finish December using only other people's contributions. I'd love recordings of anything, from anyone - spread the word!

This mix is made up of Michael Peters' Autumn leaves, with another gamelan recording (and image) from Toby Brodel. Thanks heaps guys :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty Seven

I've written this before but I can't emphasise enough how grateful I am that so many people have embraced and contributed to this project. I'd love December to be wholly made up of other peoples' contributions; there's been a bit of a surge lately so I hope people who haven't contributed yet will want to get in before the end of the year, and people who have already contributed will send me more sounds! I'm really happy with this mix, with percussion and bass from Melbourne's Isnod and November leaves from Michael Peters (Germany). It's a binaural recording, holding and moving the leaves in each hand, manipulating the pitch by changing hand position and moving hands towards and away from the ears. I've never used binaural microphones before but I'm pretty intrigued now, will have to check them out.

Michael contributed the image, also, and his original track can be found here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012



Day Three Hundred and Thirty Six

I have quite a few contributions up my sleeve at the moment so I might start December with other peoples' sounds and see how many days in a row I can accumulate! Todays mix includes a couple of sounds created by Damian Stephens, aka Isnod. There's a repeated bass loop and some really cute percussion, and the image is from Damian also. There are more tracks where these came from but I think I'll save them for another day. Plus pedestal fan from yesterday.

Also, I was lucky enough to be interviewed about this project by Andrew Ford on The Music Show this morning. Info and podcast here.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty Five

I was at a friend's house yesterday, trying to cool down, and they put a wet bandana over a pedestal fan to dry. It sounded great; the fabric acts as an amplifier and pitch shifter for the whirr of the fan. I made three tracks of covered fan for todays mix, adding different amounts of pitch and time stretching to each, and did the same with the squeaky window sample from yesterday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty Four

Opening squeaky windows to let in some air after a pretty hot day today was doubly rewarding - cool(ish) breeze and a sound for this mix! Plus more messing with Matt Lewin's percussion and things from yesterday, pitch and time shifted.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty Three

Another new contribution today: a myriad of percussion instruments and household objects from Matt Lewin aka Spacecadet Lullabies. Plus loops of lamp from yesterday, with the highest EQ bands gradually removed as the high temple bowl and triangle come in.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty Two

I accidentally knocked a lamp as I was leaving work, which was fortuitous as it sounded great! Really resonant and with a nice tone. Plus Noah's coconut bongos from yesterday.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty One

I'm so glad I met Noah Demland in Indianapolis last year. He has become a great musical partner and contributor to this project. He gets what I do and he's not afraid to try new things, in fact he pushes himself to try new things, and that's really cool. This mix comprises my latest exercise in extending myself (my newly acquired electric guitar) with Noah's coconut bongos (pictured). I added a ring modulator to the guitar track, and adjusted the pitch and speed of the drums (down one and two octaves, slowed to quarter speed then half speed).

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Three Hundred and Thirty

For better or worse, and in the spirit of pushing myself to try new things, here are my first attempts at a guitar track... I'm approaching it fairly tentatively for the moment, playing single notes and affecting them each a little differently until I figure out what I like. I made about 8 short loops each with one note or sound, and added varying amounts of delay, distortion, pitch shifting and panning. I also manually shifted a few of the notes with a wammy bar and a borrowed slide - lots of work to do in the technique department :) Plus gamelan gong from yesterday.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Twenty Nine

I've received quite a few new contributions this week, which has been really exciting. I have more sounds up my sleeve now than I have all year. Today I decided that a big gong would go really well with the radio interference/pedal and amp noise from yesterday. Toby Brodel kindly shared a whole bunch of gamelan recordings with me again this week, and amongst them was a great gong sample. I took the gong down in pitch even further, then throughout the mix gradually dialed out all the lowest frequencies in the radio sample, leaving the higher tones more exposed. I forgot to write yesterday that the 'click' at the end of the radio track is me turning the octave fuzz pedal off, which resulted in the radio interference fading away.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Twenty Eight

I never thought I would be interested in playing guitar, and I thought that I had tried to get interested and failed. Then a friend suggested I start with electric, use one string and play with a delay pedal (similar to how I starting looping, back in the day). This intrigued me and today I bought my first electric guitar, raced home and plugged it straight into a Boss delay pedal. I love it! I added an octave fuzz pedal which made it even better, then as I was turning up the 'fuzz' I noticed that this great radio interference was coming through the pedal and out my amp. I might wait a bit longer before I include my own guitar playing here, but in the meantime the radio sounds pretty good with the blackbird and cicadas from yesterday, I think.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Twenty Seven

A coincidental collaboration today, between CoCo Loupe in Ohio (although the fountain recording was taken in Louisiana), and Carolyn Rasmussen in Melbourne. Carolyn sent me a recording of a blackbird and chirping cicadas, which works so well with the running water from yesterday. Serendipitous :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Twenty Six

Perhaps it's just an indication of the nature of this project, or my work, but it does seem that so many of the external contributions to this project have fitted incredibly well, aesthetically, with where the piece is at at any one given point. I received three tracks from two friends today, and I've used the sound of water fountains (in the pool at the Carter Plantation) from CoCo Loupe. I dropped the pitch of the running water and added it to the birds and plane from yesterday. I'm so grateful for all the contributions that have been made to this project so far. It's so flattering that people want to take part, and it's so much fun for me when other people play :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Twenty Five

With 41 days to go, I've just secured the first post-Momentum project for next year - a 10 day exhibition at George Paton Gallery in March! I'm really looking forward to the chance to present this work in the 'real' world, in addition to the online format this year. I really like that people are able to listen to the daily/monthly mixes in their own homes, at their leisure. But I'd also like the opportunity to present the music in my own way. More information to come, and perhaps a cd too - although this piece looks like clocking in at around 4 hours so it might have to be a box set...

Today: birds, a plane, and the train whistle from yesterday.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Twenty Four

I found a train whistle when I got to work today. It was exciting because I don't own one (can't really think of more than two uses for one), and it fits so well with Matt Bailey's contribution from yesterday. I'm very out of practice in the lung power department, so I recorded a number of short, sustained sounds, some higher and some lower (this whistle is made up of three different length pipes, and different amounts of breath brings out different tones). I then added a lower octave to the whistle, and slowly dialed in a ring modulator effect on Matt's turntable track.



Sunday, November 18, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Twenty Three

I heard this new track from my friend Matt Bailey this morning, and asked if I could pinch some for my blog today. I know Matt as a trumpet player, so it was really unexpected and cool to hear this new piece, inspired by Philip Jeck & Christian Fennesz, using SP400's, Thor, 25SL, and a turntable (I needed to look up everything except the turntable to find out what they were...). It fitted really well with the slow(est) alarm from yesterday, and I'm continuing to experiment with some different EQ and delay effects from Soundhack that I mentioned yesterday, also.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Twenty Two

I bought a keyring torch and it has a second button that doesn't operate the light. Turns out it's a (pretty soft) alarm, so I recorded it and pitched it down HEAPS. Plus NGV waterwall loops from yesterday, drowned in effects. I just downloaded a whole bunch of new VST effects from Soundhack. Thanks to whoever commented on my blog post on September 18 with the suggestion.


Friday, November 16, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Twenty One

Walking past the National Gallery of Victoria tonight, I decided to record the water cascading down the Gallery's permanent waterwall, and I was able to get really close to try and block out all the external sounds of trams, traffic etc. There are three recordings of water here, all manipulated in different ways. At the very end of the mix I slowly faded each one out, and noticed how the individual qualities of the remaining sounds became more apparent. Similar to not noticing a mechanical buzz or hum around your home until it stops.

Plus creaky floorboards from yesterday, pitched and slowed down.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Three Hundred and Twenty

Who knew that snoring cat sounds and squeaky floorboard sounds would play so well together?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Nineteen

Yes, I've resorted to recording my cat... Actually, I've wanted to record Keats snoring for awhile, because it's really loud and pretty amusing. I took two recordings and pitched them down a fair way, with some delay and a lot of reverb. Plus air conditioning drones from yesterday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Eighteen

In the ongoing comedy of me playing/recording inanimate objects and getting strange looks from passers by, I heard this great low tone today in a hospital corridor and went to check it out. It turned out to be an air conditioning unit, and it sounded great! I made three tracks out of the recording, each at a different pitch, and added them to the fire hydrant loops from yesterday - one pitched down and one slowed down.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Seventeen

As predicted, I stood in the street like a crazy person today, playing a fire hydrant with my hands and recording it on my phone. This mix also has the post box from yesterday, pitched down and reversed, and the playground flying fox from the day before, time/pitch stretched.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixteen

I went in search of more resonant metal in public places today, and endured the strange looks from passers by while I banged away on a Brunswick post box. There's a hydrant I have in my sights for tomorrow, too. Plus flying fox loops from yesterday, pitched down and with some delay and vocoder effect. I've found vocoder pretty effective with metal sounds, although traditionally used for voice - the result is quite different here.

Also I just learnt that the vocoder was initially contrived to disguise voices in radio transmissions in the 1930s. The scrambled sound wave would then be securely unscrambled at the other end.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifteen

Had a nice little lie in the sun at the park this afternoon, the same place where I recorded the over-sized naughts and crosses on March 19. Unfortunately the swings were too well oiled, but the flying fox was particularly resonant, if a bit short for me to have much fun on. Plus more drums from last night, slowed down and quite heavily EQed.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fourteen


What to do when you're at a rock gig and it's nearly 11pm and you haven't blogged yet? Record the drum intro to the next song, mess with it a bunch and mix it with body percussion sounds from yesterday. Done! And in the nick of time, too.

Thanks to the guys from Small Town Incident for a great show tonight and to Rohan for letting me mess with his drums :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirteen

It only just occured to me that I haven't recorded any body percussion for this project. It's not something I usually do anyway so it's not surprising, but I was running short on time tonight so using my hands was pretty convenient. There's two loops of rubbing hands together, and one of finger clicks (with one hand, because I've never been able to do it with the other). Plus the 2 pieces of broken plate from yesterday, rubbed together in much the same way as my hands tonight, only slower.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Twelve

I can't take the credit for this plate, broken (accidentally) almost perfectly in half. But I can borrow it to record, and add to the roller blind loops from yesterday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Eleven

Having recorded just about everything in my own house this year, I'm moving on to other people's places... Todays addition is the sound of opening and closing roller blinds in the lounge room of where I was working today. There's the sound of the chain, the blind folding/unfolding as I move it, and a few knocks along the way. Plus light globe with lighter from yesterday, pitched down.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Ten

I've previously played around with old light globes, hitting them with different utensils, trying to bring out the inherent resonance that is there if you hold it right up to your ear. I've never really succeeded but have made some interesting sounds along the way, like this piece from 2011. Today I played an orange globe with a little white Bic lighter - the best sounding implement I could find at the time. Plus cassette tapes from yesterday being loaded, rewound, started and stopped.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Nine

Cleaning up a bit today and trying to sort out a bunch of old cassette tapes that I just can't let go of... Made use of one by recording it in my tape deck though, and adding it to the water tank recording from yesterday. This one's quite percussive; I think they play well together :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Eight

I spent a lovely afternoon at Heide Gallery today, scoping it out inside and out for some workshops I'm doing with kids in December. I was a bit sure as to which outdoor sculptures I could touch, so I played it safe and recorded a bit of a corrugated steel water tank, played with a twig. Plus (very) slowed down postie bikes from yesterday.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Seven

The sound of the postie, or more specifically the postie bike, is very distinctive and familiar. I managed to get a quick recording today as my mailman whizzed by, which I looped and stretched. Plus guiro (x3) from yesterday.

I wasn't quick enough to get a picture but later today I was stopped in traffic and (safely) snapped another postie in my rear view mirror.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Six

It's been nice to include some percussion instruments again this week. The January composition is comprised mostly of 'real' instruments. Since then I have moved more and more towards field recordings, so it's nice to have a bit of a mixture now. Today, a bamboo guiro played with a chopstick, plus delayed and pitched down hand bells from yesterday.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Five

I was in my studio getting some things together for a gig tomorrow night, so I recorded a little of these mini hand bells. They are an octave of a C major scale, and I used to have another set that were larger, and an octave higher. They're great and really portable for small looping gigs. There are three samples of the bells, each with variable delays, plus flip flops/thongs from yesterday, pitch/time stretched.



Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Four

Living in Melbourne means several false starts as far as the seasons go. But it was definitely warm enough to put the fan on and break out my thongs today (or flip flops, depending on where you live and which term is more offensive...). I recorded myself walking on concrete around the side of my house to the washing line, then duplicated the recording so there are two of me, walking out of sync. Plus timpani from yesterday with more EQ experimentation: this time I took out some of the lower frequencies, making them sound more tinny, like they were recorded in a tin can rather than a large carpeted room.

Monday, October 29, 2012



Day Three Hundred and Three

I made a recording while I was showing some students how to tune timpani today, and created make-shift gauges so they can find the notes when I'm not there. Plus three loops of Casio keyboard drones from yesterday. With the drones and the timps I slowly dialed out the highest frequencies, resulting in a kind of 'softening' of the sound.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Two

I'm selling a little Casio keyboard so when I turned it on to make sure it still works I made a few recordings, mainly of sustained notes in different octaves with different amounts of reverb and echo. Plus dish rack with whisk from yesterday at two different pitches.


Saturday, October 27, 2012


Day Three Hundred and One

Today, in my continued search for resonant objects, a stainless steel, wire frame dish rack played with a whisk. Plus heavy rain from yesterday in two loops - one with only the high frequencies of the original sample and one with only the lowest frequencies.


Also, my track from August 20, of salt and pepper grinders with rubber bands stretched across a Tupperware container, was featured on Margaret Noble's Sound Is Art blog earlier this month.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Day Three Hundred

I knew when I recorded rain on January 4 that I would probably regret it later on, as I had set myself the rule of only recording things once for this project. But this afternoon while rain was pelting on my kitchen window I decided that that was Summer rain, in the bathroom, in the morning. And this is Spring rain, in the kitchen, in the afternoon. Also, it's my project and I can break the rules if I want to, so I did. Big ominous rain loops, plus pitch sifted and looped spring coil with delays.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Ninety Nine

I've been craving some pitched material for this project - it's become pretty texture-focused which I love, but I do miss all the the gongs and other resonant pitched things I was recording earlier in the year. Today: a large spring coil, played with the back of a violin bow, plus the metal door knocker from yesterday (which, funnily enough, sounds remarkably similar to the turning tram I recorded on October 14).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Ninety Eight

Knock Knock: door knocker and kettle today. Both looped, duplicated, delayed and pitch shifted.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Ninety Seven

I've wanted to record a stovetop kettle for awhile, but I don't have one so I had to wait until I visited someone who does. I recorded it in the bathroom, slooshing the water around and banging a little on the bottom. Plus snare drum/practice pad rolls from yesterday, pitched down then reversed.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Ninety Six

I was showing a couple of students how to practice with a metronome today, and when they left I did some warm up rolls on a practice pad on a snare drum, with the snares on. For me, a drummer first and foremost, to record a snare drum for this project seemed a bit regressive... But I did it anyway, and I think it works quite well with my book page flipping from yesterday. Both samples are double tracked with different amounts of granular/ping pong delay and reverb.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Ninety Five

There's a big pile of books collecting dust on my desk. My reading is going a lot slower than my book collecting and library borrowing, so I figured I may as well use one for a blog post. This mix is made up of another part of the gamelan sample from yesterday, plus a couple of loops of me flipping through the pages of Clark Moustakas' Phenomenological Research Methods. It's supposed to be a really helpful book for research students, and it did help me get this post done today. Perhaps I'll read it soon, too.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Ninety Four

I really love that I've had so many contributions to this project so far. It's allowed a particular type of collaboration, despite me creating most of the mixes on my own. And it's a style of work that I think I'd like to continue, urging friends and colleagues to keep their ears out for interesting things for me to play with.

Today, the second of two gamelan samples sent to me by Toby, and Penelope's recording of birds and frogs in Swan Hill from yesterday.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Ninety Three

Penelope Bartlau sent me this recording of birds, running water and frogs in Swan Hill a little while ago, but for some reason I didn't get the email or it went under my radar. Sometimes things work out though, because I got it today and the sounds work perfectly with the paper fan from yesterday, and tie in with the hot springs from a couple of days ago too.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Ninety Two

A pretty minimal track today, very landscape-y to my ears. I have recorded and featured quite a lot of 'nature' sounds so far this year, but I don't really think of my work as being evoked by natural environments. It's something people ask me occasionally and I guess it's just an unintended impression that my sound works give.

This mix is made up of the fountain at the hot springs yesterday, plus the sound of opening and closing a small paper fan (the actual fanning sound turned out so distorted I didn't want to use it).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Ninety One

I had a lovely relaxing day at the Peninsula Hot Springs today, and captured a little bit of a waterfall at 50 degrees, trickling into the pool. The water is geothermally heated, and pumped from more than 600 metres under the ground. I doubled the track and played it forwards and backwards simultaneously. I did the same with the boom gate sample from yesterday, pitched down one and a half octaves.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Ninety

The gamelan is a bit more recognisable today, I think. Plus, totally by coincidence, another public transport sound: boom gates at Royal Park train station.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Eighty Nine

Some friends played gamelan at a gig last Friday night, which I missed. But Toby Brodel recorded a couple of pieces for me to mess with. The gamelan sample is reversed and pitched down, then reversed again. Plus (very) pitched down turning tram sounds from yesterday.

Big thanks to Jeremy Dullard for the beautiful picture and for allowing me to mess with this recording of his "Sekolah Gong" (gong school), performing 'Rejang Dewa' as part of the Asyik Culture Jam in Northcote, 12 October 2012.

Sunday, October 14, 2012



Day Two Hundred and Eighty Eight

I got a new computer recently, and managed to transfer most things from one to the other - including all 48GB of Momentum. But I misplaced a few, including some of the audio effect/VST plug ins for Ableton. So I searched a little for some new ones today, and found a great free reverb and delay, which I applied to the screeching tram I recorded last night. I recorded a tram on Day Fifty One, but this time captured the very specific screech made when turning a corner: on Lygon Street, Elgin Street and Melbourne Uni, to be exact. Plus the little excerpt of my composition Cocoon, from yesterday.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Eighty Seven

More of the computer generated tones today, mixed with a snipped from the start of last nights Fringe Festival show. I recorded the Wednesday night performance as well - it's here.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Eighty Six

Last week when I had my first forays into data bending, I googled waveforms and came across some tone generating software, which I installed on my computer for a rainy day. Today turned out to be that day, and I generated two long tones using a free program called ToneGen. The first is A at 440Hz, then C2 at 65.41Hz. I made loops out of both of these, and added them to the shaker loops from yesterday, and big metal sheet from the day before. I never thought I'd be creating sound from a computer; this blog has provided me with the opportunity for a lot of firsts so far, and more to come I'm sure.