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.