Some experiments working entirely from the source material to create a sense of the body and technology intertwined
This is a very strong set. It’s amazing how cohesive the playlist is from track to track, while still preserving the distinctive styles of the participants.
sit pax in morte inveniam te,(disquiet0294)
This week we knew the story and where it ended. After many failed attempts with meaningless results, I settled on Bassel’s voice and cello. This follows a similar note structure of my earlier piece Two Square Metres musically, but with a cello as the only instrument. The audio of Bassel was played live in iPulseret and held at the last word, then slowly played backwards for the remainder. This was brought into Cubasis with some parts being layered. The cello part was played live in FingerFiddle, with a short delay and reverb later added in Cubasis. A bit of reverb and eq overall finished the piece. The truncated ending seemed harsh, but after different trials with fade outs, it just fit, for better or worse. The title is my poor attempt at latin, meaning ‘may you find peace in death’.
Ahoy everybody! First thing: https://soundcloud.com/claudelebelge/19082017-disquiet0294
Found myself in the mood for an electronic track and added Bassel for this project.
The only source material used for this piece is the audio of Bassel Khartabil.
A short piece with the sample entering and becoming a slight percussive with fractures before opening on the original full samples from Bassel.
My 30th track for disquiet junto. I simply mixed some files from recordings I made in the past together, to create this new mix, while thinking of Bassel’s story. I completely forgot about the length of 2 minutes, sorry about that…
I took the sample and listened through, selecting out interesting blocks of sound. The two large gaps with no speech both sounded quite like heartbeats, which I felt would serve as a reminder of his life, and conversely by their absence his death. To this I added a sparse arrangement of percussive sounds all taken from the sample. No other sound sources were used.
I found the ‘hello’ part of the speech sounded quite questioning when given a large reverb, and gained a new and more disturbing meaning when paired with the ‘I can’t see you’. I had hoped to make a more uplifting track that celebrated his life and work, but in truth this music reflects the sadness and anger I feel at what is just a horrible situation.
I took the image and played around with multiple layers in Photoshop to create a new version that echoed the sparse breaking down of the voice.
Live Octatrack performance. The basis for the regenerative nature of the track is in the extensive live resampling, with various sample parameters being modulation and controlled.
Audio processed through the Analog Heat, for saturation, filtering and EQ.
A loop of a couple of clicks at the start of the source audio, a loop of the speech, adding one word each time, a couple of streched and filtered versions of the source, and a couple of banjo tracks - the banjo is tuned as it happened to be when I picked it up, there’s a repeated motif in there which is an approximation of the pitches in “see you”. RIP.
Whereas it’s relatively easy for me to do ambient music, regular composing is really something I have to learn the hard way. I wanted to get this one right, so I took some more time for it.
I used a M4L tool (J74 Progressive) to get some inspirations for chords and arps in B minor. Extracted some lines bass and piano phrases, lamellae, strings and brass parts. Added a vocoder to Bassels voice and tamed the frequencies a bit. Then I started isolating phrases like „I can’t see you“ or „I’m afraid“ from the source material.
The most complicated part was to stay within the two minutes range - lot’s of shuffling parts around. The piece ends abrupt - and we all know why.
I felt the original sample of Bassel’s voice (heard at the beginning of the piece) was sad to listen to, so I wanted to take his words and turn them into a positive, if still melancholy, message.
I ran the original mp3 through noise reduction, which cleaned it up a bit, making it easier to edit and then stretched the length of the words in Ableton.I thought about how his legacy and voice will continue in a digital space, and rearranged his words to “I Can See Everybody”
I loaded the sample back into Ableton using a vocoder plugin, creating the melody around the new phrase and mixed it with the original voice. Then I accompanied it with some sparse synth and piano background.
I was struck by the degraded quality of the source recording. The heavy compression and psychoacoustic subtraction in this context, gave the recording a broader meaning to me. Almost a metaphor for the decay of the human being incarcerated and the social decay that occurs during war. Clearly why the recording was chosen. I wanted to suggest the idea of decay, and the horror of incarceration during war.
I used a number of outboard effects to further disintegrate the recording and then layered with other sounds.
As I listened to Bassel’s voice, the words that came to mind immediately were “lost in time” and “forever” and “space communications.” I immediately saw images of giant dish antennas in some Nevada desert devoid of people or animals. Just radio hiss & static and the occasional gust of wind & dust. Long after civilization has collapsed and disappeared and we’ve all gone, all that’ll be left of us will be recorded tones and notes and voices on radio and mp3 files.
The piece begins with Bassel’s recorded message. I sampled the entirety of his message and set it to self-sequence at set intervals throughout the track (I used Reaper). The blips and bleeps and blorps are those intervals, playing, via modulation using the Madrona Labs Virta. The main instrument playing is an acoustic bass (created using Madron Labs Kaivo). In the background too, the “volume increase/decrease” sound is used as a reference point/tempo. It’s supposed to signify Bassell forever pressing the “volume increase” button on the laptop because he cannot hear us. And the volume increase also never comes to an end for us, as we will never be able to hear his voice again. This is all we have left of Bassell. There is a third instrument too–I used a self-generating tone machine (made using Madrona Labs Aalto) and modulated via pitch control.
I think it is important to embrace the lofi nature of the recording as life is full of “lofi” moments that we cannot erase or remove or make to sound clean and pretty. If anything, the lofi sounds and hiss and muffle are there to fill the empty spots and broken moments. It’s the GLUE of life.
I had a hard time getting something down this week. I tried a few dub techno ideas but ended up making a drum and bass tune. I had to cut it off sharply to meet the 2 minute requirements, which is somehow appropriate.
I wanted my piece to be upbeat and positive.
I’m happy for my tracks (this week’s and last) be be used for any post related work/promotion.
Here’s my (rather melancholic, relaxed and funky) contribution.
Hope you like it!
Details on the process are also over at Soundcloud:
here is my humble offering, apologies for track being a little over 3 mins… speed read skipped that bit!
I used the sample of Bassel’s voice to create some of the pads and granular noise, I modulated these using ApeDelay, AudioDamage Suite on iOS, AmazingNoises Reverb and AUFX Dub/Space/Push were also employed in this part of the process. I then created a melancholic melody using two Fugues which I then recorded midi loops of into KorgGadget; which in turn then powered several synths. The rhythm track was created using Olympia Noise Co.'s Patterning. Final compositing was done with Logic Pro X… As always, thanks for dropping by and taking time to view and listen.
I made a second contribution to this project. The subject of the first one was sadness and melancholy - Bassel´s fate touches me deeply. In this contribution, the subject is anger and frustration and irritation