Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day Ninety One

I've had my cajon at home for awhile, stretching out a new carry case for it. So I decided to have a little play on it before it goes back to my studio. I reversed the bowed vibes from yesterday, and took the hum drum down an octave too.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day Ninety

Yesterdays extended hum drum improvisation (a snippet of which I posted here) inspired me to do some non Momentum Project music making today, for the first time all year! It's taken me this long to really get a grip on this project, I guess, and to make room in my brain for other musical endeavours. In particular, I'm working on the next Sung album, with bass player Steve Uccello. Hopefully it'll be done in the next couple of months. For now, some bowed vibraphone loops, sloshy water and hum drum.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day Eighty Nine

I read a blog post about someone discovering a hum drum in music therapy, and it reminded me of my own hum drum (or log drum, or slit drum, depending on which music school you go to...), gathering dust in my studio. So I decided to get it out and have a play, and I'm really glad I did. I never found much application for this instrument apart from jamming acoustically with non-pitched instruments, so it's nice to finally record it and be able to meld it with other sounds. In particular, the watery, plastic-y sounds from yesterday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day Eighty Eight

One of my favourite tricks is to manipulate pitch using water in different vessels - metal, plastic, wooden... (in this case, a plastic drink bottle). Lots and lots of delay here, plus Shakerman shakers and field recording of construction work in West Melbourne.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day Eighty Seven

I came across this recording today by Greg Hooper - a multi layered field recording, sampled from a construction site in his neighbourhood at 10am every Tuesday for 28 weeks(!). It reminded me of some footage a friend posted on facebook recently, bemoaning construction sounds in West Melbourne... Thanks Tilly for the image and work site audio - blended with shakers and remnants of tuba, all down an octave.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day Eighty Six

To the untrained eye it might appear that I own too many shakers, or even 'enough' shakers. But most percussionists will tell you that's simply not true... I own a lot of shakers, yes, but they all sound different, and turning up to a gig or recording session, rifling through a bag full of different instruments and being able to find the perfect sound for that particular day, is awesome. These two beauties were made by my friend Kerry Shakerman. His shakers are so pretty I had trouble choosing only two! Plus Per's tuba improvisation from yestreday.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day Eighty Five

I managed to steal tuba player Per Forsberg away from Preston Symphony today for a few minutes, to record a short improvisation for todays blog. It makes me so happy that people are really willing to embrace this project, to let me record them and mess with the audio, to put it out into the world and just know that it'll be ok. I'm humbled and I really appreciate the trust they're placing in me...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day Eighty Four

This is an 'everyday' art project, in terms of me creating something every day, but also in terms of recording sounds that I hear everyday (as well as unique/individual/one-off sounds). Hearing a bubbling coffee pot is definitely a regular part of my routine, and I think it sits well with the windy gum from yesterday. Plus more of the school bell drone, down an octave.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day Eighty Three

It was so incredibly windy in Dandenong today that I couldn't help trying to capture, well, wind... Which is harder than it sounds, as wind is often the unwanted element in field recordings. It sounded so wonderful rustling the leaves of this big gum, and I managed to record a little that didn't just sound like shhhhhwhhshshhhhh! Plus manipulated school bell drones.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day Eighty Two

The new addition today is a school bell, looped and taken down an octave, then some more. As it gets lower in pitch the individual chimes of the bell start to blur, giving the illusion of a drone. The fast dancing feet from yesterday appear even faster with some additional delay. Thanks again to Cocoloupe for letting me play with that track. Todays image is from the original dance recording, and can be found here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day Eighty One

I've been sitting on this contribution for awhile, waiting for the perfect moment to include it in my work. I think given the constant pulse of Fritz's gong scraping, plus the delayed rattling of my kitchen blinds, now is the perfect time... The dancing feet come from Ohio's Cocoloupe, and the original recording can be found here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day Eighty

I had some great sounds lined up for today, but there's been some confusion over where they came from so I'll have to save them for another day. While I was sitting pondering what to do instead the blinds in my kitchen were making this great squeaking sound, so I set up my recorder and waited... and waited, and waited... but no squeaking! So I used what I recorded instead, just regular blinds sounds, with Fritz's gong and the playground blocks.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day Seventy Nine

Visiting Swiss percussionist Fritz Hauser graciously let me record him playing his Schraffur gong today. This style of scraping on instruments (although not performed for long enough here to elicit the wonderful overtones and colours Fritz can achieve in an hour) sits really nicely with the playground sounds from yesterday, I think...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day Seventy Eight

I think the people at the park wondered why I was spinning the noughts and crosses, and taking pictures, rather than playing the game...

It was really interesting playing with the blocks - each a little different in terms of how many times and how fast they spin. Then the beer bubbling from Friday is reversed, and Gladys the hen from yesterday is down an octave.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day Seventy Seven

My friend Chloe the whippet (February 17) lives with Gladys the chook, and kindly let my recorder have a chat with Gladys. Here's what she had to say...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day Seventy Six

I'm not even a quarter of the way through this project and already I can tell that it's changing the way I listen to the world. I don't go out each day waiting to hear a sound that I can record... But I feel like I am more attuned to interesting sounds that occur, and relish the opportunity to record them when they do. I'm so glad that some friends have also had this experience, just from discussing my project, and I'm so flattered when anyone takes the time to record interesting sounds from their day and send them to me.

Today, the sound of beer brewing in Sydney. Apparently there's only a small window, about 24 hours after yeast is added to the mix, when it bubbles like this. Plus some pitched down aeroplane sounds from a few days ago, and tambourine from yesterday.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day Seventy Five

I took a new tambourine for a test drive at work today and decided that my job is pretty cool. The tambourine's good too.. with aeroplane and music box.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day Seventy Four

I set up my portable recorder to capture the bell from a local primary school this afternoon. Then a plane flew overhead, and since it was the bell to mark the end of the school day I'm sticking with the aeroplane noise for now. Plus music box and trash cymbal from the last couple of days...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day Seventy Three

I've really been enjoying using more field recordings in my work - sounds I come across in my day like the lawn mowers, birds etc. I feel like I'm getting better at using these sounds musically, and incorporating them with 'real' musical sounds. Today I've added a little music box - one of those real musical sounds I guess - using my kalimba as a resonator. Plus the spiral trash cymbal from yesterday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day Seventy Two

Today I made new friends, performed an improvised piece with them in a concert this evening, and asked them to help me find something to record today. Maria Finkelmeier from Swedish based, US/Australian trio Ensemble Evolution, played a little on the group's spiral trash cymbal - a suspended cymbal that has been cut to form a long spiral pattern and sounds amazing.

This was the first 'live' sample that I have recorded, so far, of someone else contributing to this project. It was fun so I might just keep it up...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day Seventy One

Some more suburban/weekend sounds today: a sample of an ice cream van (big thanks to David K for the audio), playing with the lawnmower and washing machine tracks from the past few days.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day Seventy

I captured some Saturday morning sounds today. Since I try not to drive, or do gardening, or anything, on a rare day off, I thought I'd record some of my neighbours doing these things... A couple of lawn mowers, some passing cars, a low flying helicopter and some birds as well. Lovely! And nice with Noah's washing machine drum from yesterday.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day Sixty Nine

After I sampled my washing machine on February 22, Noah Demland (The Quiet North) sent me some great recordings from his washing machine drum. The sounds are really beautiful and resonant, blending nicely with my little op shop purchase from yesterday.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day Sixty Eight

A school I teach at holds a music camp each year in Healesville, around 50km north east of Melbourne. It's become tradition for me to visit the Judith Eardley Save Wildlife Centre opshop on my way to tutor at the camp, and today I picked up a beautiful new toy. It's a little wooden instrument with two strings and a small wooden gourd/resonater at the bottom that acts as a resonator and a tiny drum. This percussionist is usually scared of string instruments, so two strings is plenty, and a little something to tap makes me feel more at home too... With shakers and a snippet of radio news from yesterday.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day Sixty Seven

Quite unexpectedly, I decided to lift some audio samples from the radio this morning. Just a couple of snippets from Fran Kelly's interview with Mike Willacy on Radio National Breakfast, on the anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that devasted Japan last year. This mix is quite simple, and more sombre than what I set out to achieve - it's just what came out...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day Sixty Six

I'm the owner of a decent collection of percussion 'instruments' that are most probably marketed to six year olds - wooden toys, shakers, music boxes, ratchets, squeeze boxes and more, all brightly coloured and most with smiling faces... Today, the ladybird and bee maracas, with backwards mystery bird from yesterday and the last of the vacuum cleaner drones.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day Sixty Five

Tonight I went along to a performance by one of my all-time heroes, Swiss percussionist Fritz Hauser. The way he approaches music and minimalism have really shaped my own perceptions of sound over the years, and tonights Schraffur didn't disappoint. I feel like what I attempt to do with digital effects, Fritz achieves, seemingly effortlessly, with time, sensitivity and incredible technique; his solo gong performance made the Recital Centre Salon sing.

I've tried to make my Adelaide vacuum cleaners sing too, with a little help from the mystery bird outside my kitchen window, who often calls but has yet to reveal itself...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day Sixty Four

What to do when you have to leave your hotel in the morning and might not be home in time to record and blog the same day? Record the room service! Vacuum cleaners make great drones... Goodbye Adelaide!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day Sixty Three

When in the city of churches, what better to do on a sunny Saturday afternoon than sit in the park and record church bells? St Francis Xavier's Cathedral in the city centre put on a great show for me - just what I needed to mix with the windmill from yesterday...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day Sixty Two

Driving to Adelaide today I passed through the Victorian country town of Kaniva. Originally Kaniva was dependent on artesian wells to water livestock and the town's residents - these were later replaced by windmills pumping directly into tanks, stock troughs or dams. There is still one fully functioning windmill in the centre of town which I recorded, pumping water from 45 metres below ground level. Plus kookaburras and bowls from yesterday.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day Sixty One

This lovely kookaburra track and photo come from a Melbourne based sound/visual artist who calls herself pry. The recording was made early in the morning at Lake Eildon, Victoria. The kooka chorus is accompanied by my rice and bowl sounds from the past couple of days.