Monday, December 31, 2012



Day Three Hundred and Sixty Six

The end! In two parts because of a last-minute twist in the early hours of this morning. I had Miranda's Buddhist coins and some thunderous tape loops from Maya-Victoria Kjellstrand all ready to go for my live to air on PBS at midnight. Then Evan Carr took me completely by surprise by offering a live collaboration: some tape of his own, of his brother Huw reciting a Dillon Thomas poem. Evan collects and repairs old reel to reel tape recorders, and played this particular recording backwards while I mixed the other sounds, live on his show The Art of Bleep. It was really exciting and special to do the final mix on the radio, and to have live input, which I hadn't had yet, and I'm really grateful to Evan for the opportunity. Part one is the mix from my laptop, without the live tape, and part two is the mix from the radio, with live tape. The full interview can be heard here.

I've had a ball this year, and I've absolutely loved the journey this project has taken me on. I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed, listened and encouraged me, and all the feedback I've received tells me that it was a valuable exercise - conducting this over such a long period of time and in such a public way. I've decided that I really love working in this cumulative way, and I'll be continuing Momentum in the future, but in the form of shorter, more concentrated mini versions. Each one will still form part of the continuous, larger project. And it means I'm still accepting sounds! I'm stoked that I was able to create the December tracks entirely from other peoples' contributions, and I'd love to keep working in this way, enabling the project to not only connect with but incorporate contributions from people all over the world.

I'm going to have a bit of a break now, but Momentum will be back soon. I'm working on getting all the tracks on bandcamp, downloadable as monthly albums. There will be an installation of the whole project at the George Paton Gallery from March 6-15, 2013, and I'm going to see what I can do about getting a CD (probably several!) together by that time as well.

Nat.





Sunday, December 30, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixty Five

I can't emphasise enough how strange it feels to be nearly finished this project. Recording, editing, mixing and blogging have become part of my daily routine, and although I'm ready for a break, I think the next few days are going to feel very strange.

Two contributions from two great Melbourne artists today: flying foxes from Penelope Bartlau, pitched down, slowed down and reversed. Plus coins being thrown in bowls as part of a Thai Buddhist ritual in Bangkok, from Miranda Hill. Photo is from Miranda, also.

Saturday, December 29, 2012



Day Three Hundred and Sixty Four

Twice in the last week I've messed up the number that I'm up to here, must be almost time for a break! So not all the Soundcloud urls will match up, because Soundcloud assigns the original track title as the permanent url - a little annoying but I did well to get to the three hundreds before losing count!

Todays addition is a great flying fox sample from Penelope Bartlau. When she sent me the file I thought it was one of the ones that you swing around on, and I already recorded one of those a little while ago. But it was the animal kind! I messed with the pitch and slowed it down lots and lots, then added backwards and forwards cat bells from yesterday.

Also, I'll be doing the last mix live on radio PBS in Melbourne between 12 and 2am Monday, December 31st. It'll be on Evan Carr's The Art of Bleep show, and I'll post a link to the podcast once it's done.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixty Three

There's only three days left now, and I think I've chosen which sounds will be the last three. There'll be a few left over but I have plans for them, too. It feels very strange to know that I won't be doing this next week - I wonder if I will feel a bit lost...

Todays addition is a recording of my friend's cat, Sparrow, and his new bell on his new collar. Plus Lea's sewing machines from yesterday. Everything is delayed, pitch shifted and pretty heavily EQ'd, and I adjust the EQ on all the sewing machine sounds as I go, resulting in different frequencies coming to the fore and disappearing again.

Photo and bell recording via the very generous David K., who may just be second in the running, after Noah Demland, for the most contributions to this project.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixty Two

I took Alister Price's horns and winds from yesterday down an octave today, reversed them and added lots of delay. Then there's three different samples of sewing machines from my very creative and industrious friend Lea. She recorded regular sewing machine, overlocker and the very special Singer treadle machine for me while making me some new hankies, and she can make you some too! They'll be for sale on her etsy site soon.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixty One

A word of advice: the first time you ever dismantle something and try to fix it on your own, make it something less complicated than your iPhone, and don't do it during the holidays when shops are closed, you have no money and are working on an enormous music project that wraps up in the next week...

At least I did manage to get the phone back together, and I took a photo on my computer as proof :)

Todays addition is from Melbourne musician and composer Alister Price, who sent me a recording of one of his pieces, titled Ponds, which I messed with considerably. Plus Noah's animal calls from yesterday, pitched and slowed down, lots.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Sixty

When this project is finished it'll be really interesting to stand back and take a really good look at all the different parts of the art, the process and the collaborations that have occurred this year. This kind of perspective was what drove my desire to take on such a big, continuous project in the first place, and I'm so grateful for the support and all the contributions I've received.

Last week I did a rough count of the contributors to date, and there are more than 50! Ohio's Noah Demland has been the most generous, I think, though I'll do an official count in January.

This contribution comes from Noah via a colleague of his, samples of different animal calls (deer and beaver, to be exact). Plus Matt Wilmott's drumming from yesterday, slowed and pitched down.

The image is an (as yet un-tried) recipe for raw tahini balls that I took a pic of at a friend's place - hooray for smart phones!

Monday, December 24, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Nine

I feel like I've inadvertently made some kind of Christmas-sounding robot, or wind-up toy, using David Cooper Orton's Santa bells from yesterday plus a drum sample from Matt Wilmott. Thanks guys :)

Only one week to go!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Three Hundred and Fifty Eight

I think this counts as my version of a Christmas post: a bell ringing Santa that has been in David Cooper Orton's family since 1955. Plus Richie Cyngler's Caushawkbounch 02 from yesterday.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Seven

It's starting to sink in, a little, that this project is nearly finished! I think I will feel very strange on January 1st...

This mix comprises Miranda's Borneo birds, plus a sample from Richie Cyngler, aka glitchpop.

The image is of a vintage marching bass drum I spied in an antique store in Melbourne this week - outrageously priced and surrounded by taxidermy, both unappealing elements for me!


Friday, December 21, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Six

Todays mix is made up of wooden spoon and bowl loops (thanks to Ash Walker). Plus birds in Borneo, recorded by Miranda Hill on a recent trip to Asia. The birds were recorded in a campsite in Bako national park, Borneo, (Malaysia). Image is from Miranda, also.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fivty Five

I was in a waiting room awhile ago and a small child was adding to a colourful brick tower that another child had started. To begin with he removed a couple of existing blocks, then continued to shape the toy in his own way. When his mother called him to leave he didn't look back or seem to think twice about leaving his creation, potentially for another child to dismantle or add to. I thought that was a really nice analogy for the way parts of this project have functioned. People send me sounds that they are happy for me to edit and dismantle, then add into the every growing Momentum work. What is great is that some other people have then taken my momentum tracks and re-mixed them or used them in different ways (in a dance performance with spoken word, for example). There's a really nice fluidity and lack of ego about it.

Today, Rui Almeida's vacuum cleaner solo from yesterday, with wooden spoon and bowl from Ash Walker.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Four

Two of my favourite sounds here, together at last - electric guitar and vacuum cleaner :) Guitar is from Matt Wilmott and the vacuum is from Rui Almeida, who contacted me on facebook about contributing to the project. I took the audio (with his permission) from this YouTube video of him playing the vacuum and manipulating the pitch and rhythm with his hands.

Also, I found this great installation project today - another cumulative, 365/366 day artwork by Spencer Finch: 366 (Emily Dickinson's Miraculous Year). In this beautiful work one candle is lit each day for a year, and takes the whole day to burn down. What remains is a colourful interlocking web of melted wax. I love this!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Three

Two contributions from two MWs today: Matt Wakeling and Matt Wilmott. Matt Wakeling contributed a few sounds after hearing me on Radio National a few weeks ago, and I met Matt Wilmott through the ABC pool site. In this mix are two samples of a radio, pitch shifted with delays, plus time-stretched guitar.

In other news, I have confirmation of a bubble wrap sponsorship for my exhibition in March. As in, I have access to as many metres (or hundreds of metres) as I desire. Woo!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty Two

Today I went to check out the George Paton Gallery, where I'll be exhibiting the whole of Momentum next March. It's a really lovely space - big and light - and I'm pretty excited about filling it with my sounds for 10 days. The photo is of the empty gallery space, which I can use to my liking in terms of lighting, soundproofing, furnishing etc. Todays mix is comprised of Michael Peters' topfdeckel from yesterday, plus a radio sample from Matt Wakeling.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty One

I'm so chuffed at the number of new contributors that I've had to Momentum this month, and also at the friends who've already contributed, and keep sending me more sounds! Todays addition is from Michael Peters, who has generously contributed several times to this project. This particular recording was taken in his kitchen, of a vibrating topfdeckel (cooking pot and or/lid, I'm guessing from Michael's picture). The lid did not quite cover the pot and vibrated when touched. I made three different pitched loops of this sound then slowed them down as the spinning lid got faster to maintain a steady(ish) tempo. Plus Heather and Sam Moyes' stick on fence from yesterday.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Fifty

I wanted to do something special for the last recurrent date in my lifetime last Wednesday, but but I'm a bit short on spare time at the moment. Thankfully, Heather Moyes made a recording for me at midday on December 12, 2012, and I'm so grateful! Taken with her son Sam, running a stick along a fence in Adelaide. Plus Leah's music box from yesterday, pitched down and with short loops of the music box's winding mechanism.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Nine

Another chance to include tracks from friends who know each other today. Thanks again to Myles Mumford, and also to Leah Scholes for the wind up music box. Leah is a Melbourne based percussionist who gave away 50 of these music boxes at the launch of her duo, The Sound Collectors, with Perth's Louise Devenish. I thought it would be nice, and only fitting, to gift them back some music made with their present.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Eight

I had the pleasure of combining sounds from two great friends today, each made in a different country. There's Rhys' ice cream van and birds from Detroit, and Swazi frogs from Myles Mumford. I duplicated each sound then played one backwards and one forwards, with variable EQ and delays.

Photo is from Myles, also. Thanks heaps guys!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Seven

I had a long overdue coffee with my friend Rhys Corr today, and he gave me some sounds for this project that he recorded in Detroit in 2011. There are birds, and an ice cream truck with music that isn't the traditional 'Greensleaves' we have here. Towards the end of the truck you can hear a voice, which apparently says "hello", repeatedly. Sounds kind of creepy... Plus huge spinning top from Andrea. Photo from Rhys also.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Six

I've wanted to record one of these big spinning tops for ages! Thanks heaps to Andrea Breen, aka bluerobin, for sending in this pic and great recording - I gave it a bit of a deep space treatment... Plus Matt Wakeling's glock and guitar from yesterday, pitched down with delays.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Five

Last week I received an email from Matt Wakeling, a guitarist from Sydney, who had heard my interview on Radio National the week before. Matt liked the idea of Momentum so much that he's decided to try it himself; starting on January 1st next year, Matt will write and record short musical pieces which will be posted on his blog site (here) every day for a month. Similarly to this project all the sounds will be free to download, and he welcomes contributions - I look forward to contributing!

Matt sent me some sounds for this project too, and I used one today: waves of repeated glockenspiel notes which I duplicated and pitch shifted, then played alternately to accentuate the swells. Plus some more percussion toys from Dan Richardson, slowed down and reversed.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Four

Did I mention how much I'm enjoying mixing this month? Maybe a couple of times :) It may be a combination of the warm weather, the fact that I'm using only sounds from other people and that this leg of Momentum is nearly finished, but I'm having a ball. A new contribution today, from percussionist Dan Richardson who brought a big bag of toys to my studio for us both to play with. We recorded about 5 minutes of an improvisation which I then cut up and slowed down. Plus Isnod's synth drones from yesterday, pitched down.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Three

I messed quite a bit more with the Swazi singing from Myles Mumford today, and added some low synth drones from Isnod. At the end of the mix are two short loops I made from some laughing and applause at the end of the vocal track. The photo is of a bubble wrap person/flower made by one of my students yesterday.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty Two

A tri-continental collaboration today: between Australia's Ash Walker (pouring water), Ohio's CoCo Loupe (after dinner snoring), and Myles Mumford, an Aussie currently based in Swaziland. Myles sent me a beautiful recording of of people singing and laughing; he is spending a year with a Swazi NGO developing a new radio studio - his blog is here.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty One

I'm really enjoying the process of curating this month, and seeing what I can do with other peoples' recordings. Today there's three sounds in the mix: Noah's Thanksgiving doorknob, Ash's water pouring, and another Thanksgiving sound sample from CoCo Loupe. I know I already included the sound of my cat snoring in this blog, but not of a person. I just hope her Dad is either ok with it or doesn't find out...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Forty

After my interview on The Music Show last Saturday, I received a few emails from people wanting to contribute to this project(!). One was from Ashley Walker, from Sydney, who sent a couple of sounds for me to play with. The one I chose for today is of pouring water into a metal bowl, recorded in 2011. I added lots of delay and mixed it with Noah's doorknob sample from yesterday, then applied a ring modulater effect to the door knob. This is a pitch shifting effect that I've found really interesting when used with 'non-pitched' or percussion sounds.

Image is from Ashley Walker too, thanks heaps Ash!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty Nine

A few weeks ago some friends in the US sent me sounds that they had recorded whilst home for thanksgiving. One of them was this cute doorknob sample from Noah Demland. I looped and duplicated the recording, gradually sped up one of the tracks and slowed down/pitch shifted the other. Plus gamelan gongs from yesterday. Also, the image is a spectrogram (sonic visualisation) of a short section of todays track.



Monday, December 3, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty Eight

I now have about 12 recordings up my sleeve, sent in by people over the last couple of weeks. Which means I need about 16 more to be able to finish December using only other people's contributions. I'd love recordings of anything, from anyone - spread the word!

This mix is made up of Michael Peters' Autumn leaves, with another gamelan recording (and image) from Toby Brodel. Thanks heaps guys :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Day Three Hundred and Thirty Seven

I've written this before but I can't emphasise enough how grateful I am that so many people have embraced and contributed to this project. I'd love December to be wholly made up of other peoples' contributions; there's been a bit of a surge lately so I hope people who haven't contributed yet will want to get in before the end of the year, and people who have already contributed will send me more sounds! I'm really happy with this mix, with percussion and bass from Melbourne's Isnod and November leaves from Michael Peters (Germany). It's a binaural recording, holding and moving the leaves in each hand, manipulating the pitch by changing hand position and moving hands towards and away from the ears. I've never used binaural microphones before but I'm pretty intrigued now, will have to check them out.

Michael contributed the image, also, and his original track can be found here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012



Day Three Hundred and Thirty Six

I have quite a few contributions up my sleeve at the moment so I might start December with other peoples' sounds and see how many days in a row I can accumulate! Todays mix includes a couple of sounds created by Damian Stephens, aka Isnod. There's a repeated bass loop and some really cute percussion, and the image is from Damian also. There are more tracks where these came from but I think I'll save them for another day. Plus pedestal fan from yesterday.

Also, I was lucky enough to be interviewed about this project by Andrew Ford on The Music Show this morning. Info and podcast here.