Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day Sixty

Today is the day that makes this a 366 day project, which is pretty exciting! Another thing that's exciting is that I went to the ABC POOL site this morning, to check out what's new, only to see a picture of my work! A piece I created last year is on their feature page today - it's called Rice Dreams and it's here.

I was also excited to get a ticket to the Australian Ballet's performance of Infinity today. What really captured my attention was the way the dancers from Bangarra Dance Theatre were able to create really compelling and diverse textures with their bodies. I'm always inspired by ideas I see in other art forms, and find that creativity really flows when comparing similar concepts across different disciplines. For me, as a sound artist, texture is really important. Though I'm a percussionist, a drummer and also play tuned instruments, texture usually presents itself as a sonic option before rhythm or pitch. It's where I find the most vibrant colours in terms of expressing myself, musically.

Speaking of which: today - more bowls and toy glock, with a little brown rice...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day Fifty Nine

Today I built on the toy glock notes from yesterday. One note (an E), repeated to form a rhythmic pattern, with other short loops layered on top. Then I went through my collection of metal mixing bowls and found one that was pitched (roughly) the same. I love the sustain of the metal bowls, so, before I owned any digital pitch-shifting equipment, I bought about twelve of them. Needless to say I think they'll appear some more in this project before too long...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day Fifty Eight

The first time I performed overseas I took only a few effects pedals and a small suitcase, filled with small instruments and toys. I haven't played this little toy glockenspiel much since then but it has served me well. Today I added three small loops to the mix, of individual notes on the glock which phase with each other creating different rhythmic patterns with each repitition. Plus the glitchiness from the weekend.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day Fifty Seven

More glitchiness with some sounds from Richie Cyngler today, chopped up and messed with by me...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day Fifty Six

Experimental glitchpop artist Richie Cyngler sent me a sample of some glitchy sounds to play with, and I've included a few today, with some filters and pitch shifting. Richie and I are playing at Racket this coming Thursday 1st March. There's a huge list of sound artists performing, to mark the end of the Racket residency at Miss Libertine.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day FIfty Five

Excited about the new wind shield for my portable recorder, I set out in the sun today to find some interesting sounds to capture. Then I decided that what I really needed to add to the mix was a recording of my keys - which I could have done at home... But I'm all the better for the sunshine and the exercise! Also, the tin music box from yesteday, with lots of delay and pitched down a couple of octaves.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day Fifty Four

I decided to add another mechanical sound to the washing machine from yesterday, but from a 'real' instrument. I got this little tin music box in a toy store a few years ago - who knew that tin toys were so fashionable/expensive! I could only afford one with three different pitches...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day Fifty Three

I messed with this track for ages, trying to get the washing machine to sound less like a washing machine, but I do really like being able to identify found sounds in music. For now, some delays and filters (and a little reversing) are as adventurous as I'm getting... With photocopier from yesterday.

One of the tracks from this project has been re-mixed/mashed by Sydney sound artist Frank Dodds. He included a sample of the Day Fifty recording along with some other work from myself and pry, another Melbourne artist - listen here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day Fifty Two

I figured that recording secretly at work was probably risking enough, and decided not to take a photo of the photocopier. Instead I took a screenshot of my phone, recording the photocopier. Plus the tram from yesterday, put through a couple of filters.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day Fifty One

I went in to the city to do a pre-record for Jacqui Stewart this morning, taking just my laptop and soundcard - it was so exciting to be able to catch the tram to a gig! I took samples from each of the fifty days of recording so far and improvised a few short pieces, triggering and manipulating the sounds in real time. It was an interesting experience to be working with my own sounds but not 'making' the audio live, and perfect for a small studio session with not much space or time to mess about.

So on the tram ride home I took advantage of the situation and recorded the sounds between two stops on Lygon Street. The tram starting, stopping, bells ringing, blinds flapping, and a car passing at the end...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day Fifty

I didn't do any recording at the Northcote Kite Festival today, but I did take a lot of photos and now I really want a kite...

More singing bowl and chain today, plus the bowl from yesterday with a filter delay.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day Forty Nine

Today, a singing bowl with a small chain inside, giving a little texture to the tone. Plus some of the whippet beat and bass drums from yesterday.

Some of my motivations for carrying out this project every day for a year are to improve my art, and to hone my skills as a musician, composer, improviser and recording artist. Something I didn't consider when I started including a photo every day was that my skills as a photographer (albeit incredibly amateur and on my phone..) may improve slightly too, and that I might start to get more of a feel for visual media, which is something I've never felt confident about. Either that or I just lucked out with the photo today, but I do quite like it...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day Forty Eight

Today, for the first and possibly only time ever, I'm posting music with 'a beat'. Thanks to my friends Alastair and Leanda, and Chloe the whippet, whose shaking I looped to make a quirky 7 beat pattern. Plus some strange pitch-shifted bass drum from yesterday. This one might be another to listen to on headphones or a stereo, not inferior laptop speakers like mine...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day Forty Seven

I borrowed a concert bass drum for this gig I'm playing tonight, a new chamber composition by James Rushford and Oren Ambarchi. So I couldn't help but record a big booming drone for the mix today. Plus woodblocks from last couple of days.

Photo is from the set up I've had in my studio for the past few days: vibes, bass drum, tuned gongs, malletkat pretending to be a marimba and casio keyboard masquerading as a celeste. Fun!

Note: This one may require more than regular computer speakers. It might just be me, but the bass drum seems to be out of reach for my laptop speakers...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day Forty Six

More one-handed woodblocks today, with lots of delay, and the circular saw drones - I can't seem to let them go!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day Forty Five

There was construction work going on outside my studio today, so I brought some wood blocks home to record. Except I only seemed to have one mallet when I got home, so what I recorded was different to what I had expected, which can be nice sometimes. I'm really happy with how the saw blade is working out. It's so resonant and the tone is really strong - pity I can't better predict the pitch, it would save me carting huge tuned instruments to gigs so often...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day Forty Four

More of the circular saw blade today, bowed, pitch shifted and looped. With the delayed gong-like notes from yesterday.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day Forty Three

I have a little circular saw blade that I bought in a $2 shop a few years ago (great for musical purposes, not sure if it'd actually cut anything!). I've played it with a bow a few times, it's incredibly resonant. But today, navigating my way around my over-crowded studio, I knocked it off the shelf and it sounded so beautiful and rang out so long I just had to record it. With digital delay and rain stick from yesterday...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day Forty Two

Rainstick with glitchy tissue paper loops, shifted up and down a couple of octaves. My cat was very curious about the rain stick, until he discovered it didn't contain food...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day Forty One

Between work and rehearsing for this gig next week I haven't been able to get to my studio for a couple of days. But I did find some nice purple tissue paper to go with the red cellophane - ripped into pieces and looped - then played forwards and backwards at the same time. Plus a couple of the tuning fork drones with different speed tremolo.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Forty by Momentum Project

Day Forty

I don't lay claim to any kind of synesthesia, but the tuning fork drones from yesterday really made me want to play something with bold colour. So today... layers of bright red cellophane, with yesterdays pitched loops.

In my most recent search for other artists undertaking projects similar to this one I stumbled across a dancer in Santa Cruz, California. Daniel Molliner has been creating a 3-5 minute dance/film piece each week this year, with the aim of continuing throughout 2012. This marathon collaborative work is called Project 52.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thirty Nine by Momentum Project

Day Thirty Nine

Today I managed to move out of the kitchen and into the studio: remnants of soy beans in bowls and water, with a tuning fork, pitch shifted down a number of different intervals.

I listen to ABC radio a bit, and just heard about this great site for posting, sharing and collaborating on artistic works called ABC Pool. I've uploaded a couple of tracks here. There seems to be a lot of different and diverse work represented on the site; I'm interested to see what new artistic opportunities, relationships and collaborations might come out of it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day Thirty Eight

I just started reading a book called "The War of Art", a kind of self-help manual for successful artistic practice. I don't feel much of an affinity with the author thus far, mainly regarding things to do with 'talent' and 'the muse'. Part of the reason I decided to embark on this project, and to do it every day, was to improve my arts practice. It's something I love, am passionate about, and have spent hundreds of hours developing. By producing new music so regularly I hope to become more skilled, more resourceful, and to be more critical of my own work through a process of constant reflection. Sometimes I surprise myself by making new or unusual sounds, or creating something that, for me, is completely new. I don't feel that these things come from somewhere outside of myself, but I'll reserve judgement until I've read some more.

In the meantime, I took yesterdays recording, soaked it in water for 12 hours, and got this...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day Thirty Seven

I seem to be in the kitchen a lot at the moment. Today, soybeans on their way to being soaked, and looped wooden frogs from yesterday.

On a similar loopy/everyday note, my friend Justin Ashworth has announced a new project called Ritual Loops, a daily collaboration with animator Sophia Hanover: their first five pieces can be found here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day Thirty Six

Last week I went back to Greswell Forest Nature Reserve to record the frogs I heard in January, but it had been so dry that they were nowhere to be seen or heard. For now, these wooden frogs will have to do. Plus mixing bowl and toy accordion, pitched down two octaves.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day Thirty Five

I'm running out of days that are hot enough to justify putting a fan on, and there's a few I haven't recorded yet. So today, the blue desk fan in my studio, cycling through its three different speeds. Plus pitched down accordion and mixing bowl/sieve from cake making yesterday.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day Thirty Four

Upside Down Orange and Pineapple Cake

2 cups self raising flour (I use wholemeal)
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 cup pineapple pieces
50mL oil (not olive... I use rice bran oil)
Soy milk (I don't measure this... just keep adding 'til it looks like cake batter!)

Melt 2tsp margarine, 1/3 cup brown sugar and pour into 10" round cake tin, then place thinly sliced orange pieces all around, covering the base of the tin. Pour cake mix in and bake at 180 degrees (or 250 if your oven is weird and farenheit like mine) until your skewer/cake tester comes out clean (45-50 mins for mine). After cake has cooled tip out and the oranges should be all delicious and caramelised on top.

And don't forget to record some kitchen improv sounds with the sieve and mixing bowl before you wash up.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day Thirty Three

More crickets today, and a little toy accordion which squeaks so much I decided to make a bit of a feature of it...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day Thirty Two

It's the start of the second month, and I feel like I'm getting a grip on this project now. I guess it's still early days but if I can do one month and continue to find new ideas and inspiration every day then eleven more should be easy, right?...

Today: the noisy crickets in my garden, a car going past in the street, bowls of water from the last couple of days, and me, squinting in the sun.