Creative Reboot – Update 3 – June 12th -19th, 19:00, Particledots Studio, Phoenix Arizona

>June 12th

With todays track i decided to focus more on the use of samples. Track 1 is built around some incidental music from the 70’s cult TV show UFO. The portishead-like cello sound is taken from the main UFO theme. The phrase was cut up and droped in to the EXS24 sampler in logic. the bleepy, sample and hold synth noises in the background are coming from bebot, a theremin app on the ipad which has a cartoon of a little robot that animates as you play it. there is also a micro second of kara roschi taken from an interview i conducted with her back in december 2009. the clattering drums also come from the UFO clip and the rest of the rhythm track is built using ultrabeat drum synth in logic audio. the 2nd version of this track is simply a pitch shifted (-3 or 5 semitones) i tend to try doing this with almost every mix i do – some times i prefer and use the pitch shifted version, sometimes i don’t. the reason i do it so much is to do with how it makes all the sounds – particularly the reverb and the delays – sound so much deep and rich. interestingly, i am just starting to get into making some video portraits and i am finding that i prefer the footage to be slowed down in a similar way

June 13

A change of mood today. i decided just to work with samplers again, but this time the NI Kontakt sampler. i have long been impressed by the piano work of my friends karen and shay. also mysti can produce some very wonderful piano improvisations at the drop of a hat. while my level of musicianship is no where near, i thought i would try to just use a piano instrument (with a bit of added reverb courtesy of the space designer in logic audio) This is a simple chord sequence played slowly (it is actually played at 120bpm amazingly – just sounds a lot slower). it beins with the bass notes on the piano…builds up…and gradually fades out on the high notes of the piano

side note – just after i recorded this piece, i went to ZIA records to purchase some tickets for the bill callahan gig on wednesday. i was pleasantly surprised when i got to the record shop – a) because i wasn’t aware that any record shops like this still existed (excluding places like revolver records of course) and b) because they were playing a lot of really great music. i ended up staying in there till after 10.30pm just soaking it in

June 14th

guess im feeling dumb – an interesting sounding sketch built around a simple electric organ and electric piano motif. the real atmosphere comes from the treatment on the drums i think – a big snapback reverb. the lyrical idea came from the super 8 track ‘dumb’ which happened to be stuck in my head at the time of recording

the 2nd track from today started with a plickity plonk keyboard sound that initially struck me as something that was very much in the vein of the residents for some reason i decided to add some orchestral flavors to the track – including some trombone and a recorder. this took the track into a totally different realm – i keep thinking lori anderson or david byrne for some reason now when i listen to this. i might try and add some kind of lori-like voiceover to this at some point

June 15th

i had left the computer on the previous night and was up early for work. i knew i was going to see bill callahan that night so i decided to try to record something before going to work. this is a totally random piece melodically using some square wave synth pad noises from (i cant remember which synth) and a simple bongo pattern from the apple loops collection

when i got back from work that day i decided to take one of the chordbot midi files (see update 2) and quickly put this track together using mainly absynth 5 and ultrabeat

the cycle must take place three times – bill callahan was great, but when i got back i still had this tune in my head, so at just before midnight i slowed the tune down and dropped in the voice of eric van ausadl (he had recorded himself reading some biology notes for revision and he donated the voice files to APOD for the february RPM challenge) i also beefed up the drum track with some extra layers of drums and ran parts of them thru the tape delay effect in logic audio (probably the best all round delay effect i use on a regular basis)

June 16th

another june 16th – more fun with the exs24 sampler. this time i took some samples of mystified’s voice from a recent track sonicmapgpie recorded called ‘we stare at memories’ what you hear is a combination of the very first part of mysti singing ‘we……(stare at memories)’ and then i am playing the sampled version of ‘we’ alongside in a slightly different way to how it was originally sang. a sparse baseline and a slightly glitchy drum track with some sparkly faux glockenspiel synth sounds completed the atmosphere for this track

June 17th

another return to the orchestral samples – this time some pizzicato cellos, a string section along with some tuba and trombone sounds – no drums, but this sounds quite rhythmic. could imagine this a tom waits-like track with the right treatment and development of the sounded…but it could also go in a million different directions too

June 18th

three tracks built and orchestrated around the same initial midi recording. on track one, i played a chord/melody sequence on an electric piano. simple and sketchy but maybe with some possibility. for version two – slowed the pitch down 5 semitones and and some string samples. as i was working on this (bum notes and all) i was reminded of the baroque approach i took on the SISCOM GURU tracks from a few years – greatly encouraged, aided and abetted by mystified and host of other collaborators. i am hoping that mysti latches onto the ideas and approach i took here and is able to help develop it further. for version 3, i used the same midi notes but replaced some of the melodic lines i played on the electric piano with some cello sounds. i have a feeling that there will multiple arrangements/versions of this track eventually – very cinematic in its scope potentially

June 19th

all those stories – i decided not to play any instruments at all on this track and thought i would use the musique concrete method of composing from found sounds only

i took an early mix of the APOD – saleur – and ran it through some filters – the drum tracks (3 of them) came from an old track i did called ‘cutting’ – the piano track i found on my hard drive and i am not sure where it originated from (maybe saleur?), but i thought it fitted very nicely as it started to blend in – finally the voice that came in at the end was from a voice recording a friend of mine sent to me of her reading some of her writing from a couple of years ago – in the past when i have done similar experiments like this, i have built the track in sony soundforge…layer upon layer, committing myself to the sound i create each time i add a new element. this time i did it differently – i used logic audio and assigned each element their own individual track…so i can actually go back and remix this should i wish (although i actually don’t think it needs any changes)

the cycle must take place three times – i felt i needed to tweak this track slightly…editing the drums/guitar at the very beginning, tightening up how they come in. i also added some subtle reverb to erics voice and spliced/rearranged it very slightly to make if fit the feel of the rhythm track a bit better

this one truly does sound like it belongs on the virgin suicides sound track



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