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.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Eighty Five

I messed some more with the big metal sheet today, reversing part of it and pitching the whole thing down. Plus some shaker loops from the digital track I made recently for the Fringe show Immersion. For this show I took a pre-existing recording of the 3 Shades Black ensemble, improvising film soundtracks from 2011, and remixed a digital accompaniment for a new piece. I then devised a game-like system of multiple cards with non-traditional score/suggestions for sounds and improvisations. The players perform each sound for 1 or 2 minutes, and can change the order of their cards (or swap with another player) so that each performance is different. The result has been a really vibrant, colourful ensemble, playing a live duet with a pre-recorded version of themselves. This is the most people who have ever played my music, apart from my students, so I'm pretty chuffed :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Eighty Four

Several loops of a small excerpt of 'In C', from last night. Plus the biggest metal sheet I've ever had the privilege to record. Awesome.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Eighty Three

I'm really excited that my composition, 'Cocoon', is being premiered at the Melbourne Fringe Festival tomorrow night. Miranda Hill's 3 Shades Black ensemble are also performing 'In C' by Terry Riley, and I took the liberty of recording a little of their rehearsal tonight for this blog. The mixed ensemble is made up of wind, string, brass and percussion players: Miranda Hill, Dan Richardson, Ruby Paskas, Laila Engle, SuYing Aw, Leah Scholes, Yvette Audain, Rosie Savage, Arwen Johnston, Phoebe Green, Zachary Johnston and Jarrod Butler.

Plus sliding door from yesterday, pitched down with delays.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Eighty Two

Another door addition today: sliding door in my kitchen, alongside my squeaky studio door from yesterday. Minimal processing compared to my recent experiments with EQ and time stretch. Just a little delay, a little distortion and the squeaky door is pitch shifted slightly.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Eighty One

David Cooper Orton's squeaky door contribution from yesterday set me on a bit of a roll: today I recorded the squeaky door in my studio, and I think I have another up my sleeve for tomorrow. Both samples are duplicated, with delays and EQ tweaking, and David's door is pitched down and stretched out, too.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Eighty

Todays track comprises two looped recordings of my dripping shower: one pitched down from yesterdays original, the other reversed. Plus a contribution from David Cooper Orton - a squeaky door at his workplace that kind of sounds like low string instruments. Image from David, also.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Seventy Nine

Just before I turned the shower completely off I thought to capture the sound of a single drip, slowing down and eventually stopping. Plus pitched down wrench, thrown and recorded by Steve Uccello.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Seventy Eight

A new contribution today (sound and image) from a great friend and musician, Californian bassist Steve Uccello. He describes the original sound as: "throwing a variety of steel wrenches and striking them in mid air, then meticulously trimming out the strikings & landings. What is left is the sound of ringing steel, almost like bowing a piece of metal with a really long bow-some EQing and verb also helped to smooth out the sound." Steve's original recording can be found here. Plus data bent image from yesterday, with delays.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Seventy Seven

Today I tried something that for me is completely new and different: created a digital image, and then turned that image into audio to add to this project. I've already had a data bending contribution to this project, from Cursed Hebanon on August 1, and two other tracks later that month. I think it's a really interesting way to approach sound so I wanted to experiment for myself. I made the image pretty much by accident when I was trying to edit a photo for another project, using a program I hadn't used before. Then I saved the image file (formerly a .tiff) as an audio file (.aiff) using a free program called SoundHack. Pretty cool, and definitely more experiments to come.

There's glass bell from yesterday in the mix as well. And below, the waveform created by the above image. Never seen anything like it!

I also made a separate track (listen here) that I've contributed to ABC Pool, using an image and field recording sent to me by Pry on March 1. I data bent the kookaburra image then mixed that with the recording of the birds. The spirit of Pool is that of encouraging collaboration and mixed media, so I really hope this piece will be added to by other artists in the future.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Seventy Six

Yesterday I fed my shaker addiction, today it was time for a new bell - a gorgeous little hand painted number, $2.99 from Savers. There's one loop of me rolling the little glass bead around the inside of the bell, and one just playing it normally. Plus the different sized shakers from yesterday, with all of the top end EQ-ed out by the end of the track.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day Two Hundred and Seventy Five

I bought myself some percussion presents today, including a set of 3 LP shakers with licorice stripes. These days I do a lot of pitch shifting by digital means, but it still excites me to have several of the same instrument in different sizes (and therefore different pitches, also). Plus swooping budgies from yesterday, down an octave, and slowed down at the very end.