Christopher Elmore - Pre-Modular Works

Yesterday, December 30th, 2019 marked five years of continued life for me, and four years of life for my first recording, I Am Still Alive. This simple recording experiment with Garageband and a MIDI keyboard set me on a path that helped me learn various ways to work in-the-box, which eventually led me outside of the DAW and into the world of modular synthesis. By no means are these new releases, but these may be “new” to some of you on this forum, especially since the majority of these were released before I joined lines and started participating in this wonderfully supportive community. Eventually, I’ll come up with a better title than “Pre-Modular Works” and hopefully archive these things in some physical format, but until then, here’s everything as individual links.

I’ll share a bit about each release below.

Built around a slowly modulated and heavily manipulated loop of myself uttering the titular phrase, “I am still alive.” When I finally issued this on cassette, my friend Antonio Gallucci and I thought that it would be appropriate to remix / recontextualize the original recording, so he created what I titled “An Affirmation,” which between my screamed vocals and the sparse percussion he added, is definitely the heaviest sounding thing I’ve probably ever done.

More Garageband experimenting with some free VSTs. The four pieces are built upon loops of the four individual words of the phrase “I am still alive.” This was the second version of More Life, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to posting the first version / demo version anywhere. All of the tracks are edited down to 11:11, and meant to be played individually, in various combinations, all at once, layered with staggered start-times, or however else you can imagine playing them.

Side note: I had been planning to release this record as More Life before Drake announced his More Life album/mixtape thing, decided to keep the title, and released mine before he released his version.

Inspired by Tim Hecker’s approach to creating Love Streams, I ran I Am Still Alive through a demo download of Melodyne, generating (unused) sheet music and MIDI data from what it interpreted. I applied the MIDI data to various VST instruments and did some rearranging of some elements to arrive at what eventually became Lifeblood.

Companion release to *Lifeblood," but with More Life going into Melodyne to generate the MIDI data for this work. Since the source material was shorter, I decided to combine tracks 1 & 2 together and 3 & 4 together into two LP-side-long tracks.

Volume 1 of what I was hoping would be a multi-volume set of commissioned remixes that never happened. I asked two noise-adjacent experimental artists, Tanner Garza and Jay Gambit / Crowhurst, to take the stems I provided from Lamentations and do what they wanted with them. I’m really pleased with how these turned out and wished I had been able to get more remixers on board back when I was focused on these releases.

Created for More Life’s one year anniversary. As stated when I posted this in the “Latest tracks” thread, I designed the track to play the same both forward and in reverse. The only differences in playback are the fades at the beginning and end.