Thursday, May 31, 2012



Day One Hundred and Fifty Two

Just a little more marimba today... Plus a shaker made out of a pomegranate that was a birthday gift from a friend a few years ago. It's so beautiful - I think it came with some literature from a kind of fair trade organisation about where it's from and how it was made, but looking for that could take all night and I have a monthly mix to do!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012



Day One Hundred and Fifty One

Part two, as promised, of my marimba explorations from yesterday. All the G and C notes on a Yamaha 4.3 octave marimba, in different combinations and varying levels of delay and distortion.

I remember the very first recording I made of myself playing a Bach violin piece on marimba, in my second year of uni. I had just bought a mini disc player and small condenser microphone. I didn't know anything about setting the levels on the device, so simply pressed 'record' and started playing. The result was an incredible, distorted Hendrix-esque version of the Bach piece. Possibly a blasphemous faux pas if done intentionally, but a wonderful surprise the time! This reminds me of that time, though my recordings have come a long way since then...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012



Day One Hundred and Fifty

Only rarely do I cave and give my students hints as to where the notes are on the marimba. Today was one of those rare times, and two lucky girls were enlightened as to the whereabouts of both G and C. So afterwards I recorded myself, playing all the G and C notes over four octaves. They're not all here though - I'm saving a couple for tomorrow. So consider this part 1 of 2.

And reverse cymbal...

Monday, May 28, 2012



Day One Hundred and Forty Nine

I recorded, and reversed, some crash cymbal for my gig with Anna Morley last week. So in the spirit of that, everything is reversed today - soy milk machine, down an octave plus some more, and several duplicates of the cymbal sample, each at a slightly different speed with different levels of delay. Image courtesy of Anna too, from the Wesley Anne on May 18, with Steve Fitzgerald on drums, Anna on vibes and myself, triggering samples on the laptop.

Sunday, May 27, 2012



Day One Hundred and Forty Eight

When you buy something (like a soy milk maker) on eBay, it's a good idea to try it out straight away, just to (record it for your blog) make sure that it works. It does. Yum!

Speaking of things that are made with water, another one of my water-themed tracks from this project (January Thirty One), has been approved to be played at the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum of Trento and Rovereto, Italy, on the 1st of June. Any sound artists interested in contributing to the project can upload tracks to the project's soundcloud page.


An aside: I sent the eBay seller a copy to the link for this track. I wonder if they'll listen and what they'll think...


Saturday, May 26, 2012



Day One Hundred and Forty Seven

This is another great present that I've been sitting on for a couple of years: little shakers in the shape of a bunch of cherries. A friend brought them back from a trip to China. They're so cute! Plus my heater experiment from yesterday...

Friday, May 25, 2012



Day One Hundred and Forty Six

What a blustery Melbourne day! Perfect for staying indoors and recording the heater... With pitch shifted car beeps from the last couple of days.

Thursday, May 24, 2012



Day One Hundred and Forty Five

I decided I could get more mileage (excuse the pun...) out of my car sounds from yesterday. Plus I hadn't used the sample of the hand brake yet, which I was looking forward to doing. So... car beeps, bleeps, blinker and hand brake, with reverbs, delays and phasers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012



Day One Hundred and Forty Four

My car makes all sort of noises, to warn me that my lights are on/door is open etc. etc. I've found the best way to deal with annoying sounds (like the flickering fluro at work yesterday) is to pay more attention to them - the John Cage way. So here is my car indicator and a bunch of warning sounds (don't worry... all recorded in the safety of my own driveway).



Day One Hundred and Forty Three

I can't believe that I forgot to blog yesterday!! It feels crazy, to have done something so deliberately for 142 days straight, then to just forget! I wonder if the process of recording/mixing/uploading/blogging has become imbedded in my daily routine now, and so has become like other things that I forget to do once or twice a year, like brush my teeth...

Anyway, I'm shocked but it's not the end of the world. I made this recording yesterday, incorporating a fluro light at work that's being held together with gaffa tape, and makes random clicking noises - mixed with some heavily processed Autumn leaves.

Monday, May 21, 2012



Day One Hundred and Forty Two

Lovely Autumn day today - perfect for stomping around in some leaves at the park... Plus the garbage truck from yesterday, down an octave.

Yesterday I submitted the track from January 30 to be played as part of a water-related audio project, at the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum of Trento and Rovereto, Italy, on the 1st of June. Any sound artists interested in contributing to the project can upload tracks to the project's soundcloud page.

Sunday, May 20, 2012



Day One Hundred and Forty One

I've wanted to record a garbage truck for this project, but they always come too early! Luckily David K did the hard work for me - an industrial bin truck in Coburg - brilliant! Plus mini hi-hat with chopstick from yesterday.

Saturday, May 19, 2012



Day One Hundred and Forty

Some of my students gave me this hi-hat ornament for Christmas a few years ago. I guess it's not really meant to be played, but it sounds pretty cool anyway! And I thought it would be a nice addition to the real hi-hat from earlier this week. With the hand rattle from yesterday, down a couple of octaves...

Friday, May 18, 2012



Day One Hundred and Thirty Nine

I'm posting this at the Wesley Anne, just before my gig, and there's another band playing in the next room. So the track might be a little abrupt and noisy... Metal desk from yesterday with a little hand rattle.

Thursday, May 17, 2012



Day One Hundred and Thirty Eight

I have an old metal desk with an even older map of the world on it. Every time I sit down I hit my knees on the metal grate underneath and think how I must be more careful, and also that I should record the sound of the grate because it's so resonant! So I remembered it today, and had some fun playing it with a 5 cent piece, to add to Steve's hi-hats from yesterday...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012



Day One Hundred and Thirty Seven

During tonights rehearsal for my gig with Anna Morley this Friday, Steve Fitzgerald kindly obliged with a hi-hat solo for todays blog. I added a little delay and played around with the phone/email sounds from yesterday...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012



Day One Hundred and Thirty Six

Sometimes I send an email to myself on my phone, as a reminder to do something or to investigate a certain website. The message sends and I receive it straight away. In that split second, though, I often forget that I've just sent an email to myself, and look excitedly to see who's sending me mail...

Monday, May 14, 2012



Day One Hundred and Thirty Five

There's a lot of delay here! Underneath it all, though, is the sound of me not working on my PhD Candidature/Progress Report for next week... My excuse is that my computer is so noisy that I had to turn it off in order to make the recording. Also there was vegemite and avocado toast to be eaten. In the mix again is Carolyn's crackling fire from yesterday.

Sunday, May 13, 2012



Day One Hundred and Thirty Four

I must admit I'm pretty jealous of Carolyn Rasmussen's crackling fireplace... But so happy with the recordings she sent me today (and the image too). I took one of the fire samples down an octave and slowed it down, and did the same with the spray bottle from yesterday. There's a little delay in there as well, creating some very cool irregular rhythms.

Saturday, May 12, 2012



Day One Hundred and Thirty Three

I'm not known for my green thumb, but I'm trying. I think having these seedlings growing on my kitchen windowsill, in a place where I see and can water them every morning, is definitely helping to keep them alive! So for the mix today (cat not included... when I figure out a way to record him I'll let you know), spraying my little tomato, coriander, chives and basil plants, and the chili which has yet to show itself. Plus kitchen timer from yesterday: duplicated, pitch shifted and with three different length delays.

Friday, May 11, 2012



Day One Hundred and Thirty Two

I know spring rolls aren't dinner... But I'm tired, and I wanted an excuse to sample my new kitchen timer. I ended up using three samples of the timer, each with a different length and speed of delay. Plus the little bell from yesterday and one of the finger cymbal samples, down an octave.

Thursday, May 10, 2012



Day One Hundred and Thirty One

This beautiful bell is the only one left out of a set I used to own. I gave most of them to a friend from the US, and I think I left one in a share house bathroom in Preston... Struck a few times, plus the sound of the little chain holding it up. I think it sits really nicely with the finger cymbals from yesterday, even though the pitches clash a little.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012



Day One Hundred and Thirty

In the studio today, for the first time in ages! Preparing for a gig next week, and experimenting with hanging finger cymbals on my mic stand, then not hitting them so hard that the sound distorts. It's a bit of an art but I'll get there and it frees up my hands to play other things. A couple of samples of the finger cymbals made it into this mix, with drumstick pencil loops from yesterday.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012



Day One Hundred and Twenty Nine

This is the second recording this week to come from something on my desk. I've been busy writing in preparation for my PhD confirmation, so of course I've spent a lot of time sitting here, scratching my head and looking around... These drumstick pencils were a gift a few years ago but haven't been used, for drumming or writing, until now (I love that this project has allowed me to record so many of the quirky music gifts I've been given over the years!). Rather than play something with them (maybe later in the year...) I thought I'd record myself writing. Unfortunately I got the number wrong, but that's ok. The recording was good and that's more important. Plus frying sounds from yesterday.

Monday, May 7, 2012



Day One Hundred and Twenty Eight

I often cook and eat while I'm blogging (I often eat while I'm doing just about anything online or on my computer...). Tonight I recorded some tofu being fried in a wok, with a little oil, mushroom sauce, seaweed and sesame. Yum! Mixed with some bits of the pre-recorded phone message from the UK that I recorded for yesterdays mix.

Sunday, May 6, 2012



Day One Hundred and Twenty Seven

I tried to call a close friend last night for his birthday. He's been living in the UK for the past nine months, and it took me a few tries to get the dialing codes right. Then his phone was off! I got through eventually - so exciting to hear a voice I know so well after such a long time. In the meantime I recorded the nice lady with a British accent, telling me I couldn't be connected... And mixed with my little desk bells from yesterday.

Saturday, May 5, 2012



Day One Hundred and Twenty Six

A while ago I recorded an empty chip can for this project. When I listened back to the initial recording I found a section that was unintentionally quite rhythmic, and looped it to make a beat. It wasn't really what I had in mind for my mix that day but I sent the loop to my friend Noah Demland, who added some other snack-related sounds to make this track. Very Cool.

Today, little bells that have sat on my desk for ages. I can't remember where they came from and they've never done anything but sit there, so I though I'd put them to work, alongside the zipper from yesterday.

Friday, May 4, 2012



Day One Hundred and Twenty Five

This project has gone in a more textural/less pitched direction of late. It feels right, so I continued today with a sample of a zip. I was wearing a hoodie with a fairly long zip up one side. It makes different sounds when it's pulled up and down, and I added some delay too. Plus balloon and bottle top castanets.

Thursday, May 3, 2012



Day One Hundred and Twenty Four

Tomorrow I'm leading an instrument making workshop with about thirty 8 year olds. Rain sticks and bottle top castanets are on the agenda, I think! Recorded a little castanet practice tonight, and messed some more with the balloon sounds from yesterday.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012



Day One Hundred and Twenty Three

Yesterday, there was a bunch of colourful balloons in my neighbour's front yard, semi-deflated but still with some life in them. I thought if they were still there today I would pop them and record it. And they were! But they said "Happy Anniversary" on them, and I just couldn't bear to burst someone's love balloons... Never fear though - I happen to have just bought 100 balloons at Resource Rescue for a completely different purpose. So here is one of those, plus plastic bags from yesterday.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012



Day One Hundred and Twenty Two

The first night of the week that I'm at home is often spent, in part, on food: grocery shopping, bread making, cider brewing, etc. I try to avoid plastic bags but inevitably end up with a few. I recorded three different bags here, and added some different length delays to the ticking clock from yesterday.