my goals for this album was to purposely leave behind my strongly-held ideas of compositional structure without entirely leaving behind my affinity for compositional structure. normally, I would tend towards common structures (e.g. ABABCA, or just AAAAAA sometimes) but for this album I opted to try to often change chord progressions within each song and avoid transitions back to a previous chord progression (e.g. ABCDEF). each song’s non-repetitive structure makes it a bit disorienting sometimes (to me anyways) - as if you could drop in at any part of the song and feel like its structured but not really know where you came from or where its going. I like that feeling. it reminds me a bit of a maze. inside a maze you can know that you are surrounded by a common structure (walls and floor) but its always a little unclear how you arrived from the beginning and how to will make it to the exit. with this in mind I decided the call the album “error garden” which is a literal translation of the German word for maze, der Irrgarten. taking inspiration from a maze is not intended to cause dread. the track names are all entitled “right” as a reminder that in every maze (that’s simply connected) you can essentially just make only right turns and you will find your way out. like a maze, I hope the album is enjoyable space to get lost.
like my previous album I want to make music that inspires running and movement. so in this album, almost all of the tempos are fast (~160’s) and a lot of the drums are samples of breakbeats. I like evocative chord progressions too (the basis of another album) and aligning the chord progressions with striking poetry and spoken word. some of those are also featured (listed on bandcamp).
I made this album between June 2021 and December 2021. I wrote the entire album on a Teenage Engineering OP-Z which I liked for its keyboard input, its multi-track sequencer and its portability. the entire album is actually loadable on the device: all the data is available on my Github. the OP-Z portability was key as I was able to compose parts in liminal spaces - laundromats, airplanes, hotels, couches. the OP-Z “sound” wasn’t my jam so instead I used its sequences and multi-track recorded each instrument separately for each track. the sounds are mostly from an OP-1, SH-01A, Strega, and norns. multi-track recording was done with cobbled together norns scripts and then mixed in Ableton.
the artwork for this album is a painting I made of the Glendurgan Garden Maze. it is a 36"x36" acrylic on canvas, digitized into a 1200x1200 pixels. this art is for sale (the actual physical piece, not a NFT of the image).
the whole process of composition, recording, and mixing was enjoyable. the result has been my go-to music for weeks now. I re-mixed this album over a dozen times and re-listened to it each time while out running. despite listening to every song dozens of times, I still have joy re-listening.
Used g24k-w8s9. Love this album. non-repeating progressions can convey a timelessness that I find really appealing. The concept of error maze makes me think about random search algorithms that can have surprising efficacy over constructed heuristic ones.
This is fantastic! I clicked on this thread’s title because it seemed oddly familiar to me and being German, I suppose it might indeed be due to the “Irrgarten” thing Funny how these things go sometimes. I expected some dark, drony ambient stuff (which I like), but I was super-pleasantly surprised to hear your truly uplifting tunes instead.
I’m also a fan of making music “on the go” and I often judge/buy synths based on their travel-friendliness, so I feel I can relate to your process, which makes this even more enjoyable.
Thank you for this! In particular I’m looking forward to listening while running as you suggest - I feel like my music taste and my enjoyment of running are often at odds (i.e ambient + running = disappointing pace).
thanks everyone for checking it out the erroneous garden path!
yeah music-for-running might be one of my favorite genres @fourhoarder, @davidlovell! I do like ambient music for running too - it can bring you into a zone.
I would be curious, if anyone is inclined, to have any thoughts on what other genres/groups/albums sound like this album? I’ve found things that are pretty similar but my electronic musical knowledge is still pretty narrow. its a weird question, but I would love to know because I would love to listen to more of this kind of music and one of the reasons I make it is because I can’t seem to find this kind of thing.
travel-friendliness is wonderful (and somewhat nessecary) and a lot can be said for it. interestinly, the intros to song 4 and song 8 were composed on an actual piano and there is a difference to be heard there - having the full piano definitely changes the sound. but I’m still extremely happy with what kind of composition I can get with the gear nowadays that can easily be carried.
yess! I like that. I think my next album will be based around random search algorithms…