My piece is called extrasolar sympathies. It is mostly guitar and Mutable Instruments Clouds, with some external processing and manipulation (mostly timestretching) in Ableton Live. (I used reverb, delay, and channel-strip plugins in the box but all sound sources are either guitar or Clouds.) Ambient guitar noodling is not new territory for me, but the modular is, and this assignment was a great excuse to get some decent results out of Clouds.
The pitch classes in this piece are taken from the ratios of the orbit periods of six of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system: 1:1, 4:3 2:1, 3:1, 5:1, 8:1. The first five lend themselves to a natural arpeggio in the first position on a standard guitar (and it’s possible to play the high note too if you fret it with your dominant hand). I played around with these intervals on my guitar, recorded this into Live, processed it into multiple loops, and then fed the loops back into Clouds, automating the buffer position from Live and changing other parameters manually. I added two hard-panned aleatoric tracks that are usually tails of the high E (8:1) but occasionally full notes with attacks.
Now that I’ve finished this project (my first in a while), I’m looking forward to listening to the playlist!