Thanks, @jasonw22, for all the work. I just downloaded it and will listen to it after my family watches “A Christmas Story”
After first listen through I must say I am really surprised how cohesive the whole album sounds so great work everybody and thanks @dnealelo and @jasonw22 for idea and work on compilation. There are a lot of fascinating sounds on album so I will probably need few more playthroughs to even start grasping what is happening in different tracks.
If anybody is interested I posted short summary of how I did my track here:
karol, thanks for the link to your explanation. Brilliant concept, although - as a humble guitar player - I have no idea about the technicalities of what you’re doing!!
When I heard your piece, I immediately encountered it as a water environment, although your summary doesn’t necessarily commit you to that. Were you thinking of water, or some other medium, when you were composing?
Thanks for your kind words, and yes when starting I was thinking about one cell organism swimming in water and communicating/changing enviroment by releasing chemical particles. If somebody is interested in how model of abstract chemical particles can be used to do computation etc. there is really interesting presentation by Carin Meier on YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHoYNStQOEc
Thank you to everyone - but especially the organisers @dnealelo and @jasonw22 - for working so hard on this project. I downloaded the album from Bandcamp and am currently on my second listen. I would like to echo @karol’s sentiments about how well the whole album hangs together.
For anyone interested, here is some information about the process involved in composing my track:
how the night came
Notes on my track Environ 7:
The track is part of an exploration of timbre + space as a generative environment. So the sound is a single max patch with a rungler at the centre and a range of sends to effects and feedback mechanisms. Chance processes play a large part in the routings. The final track is some recordings of the system edited together by hand.
Compositionally there is quite a bit I didn’t get round to in this. I really want to get better at sparse arrangements. Something this track is not!
Linking to the theme, there’s something about the chaotic forms of the rungler that is both organic and electronic, or even actually mechanical. The kind of shifting patterns that can be found, fluctuating balance between different areas of the system. So there is a sense of “unkown life” there, and the structures that form at both audio-rate and more macro scales feel emergent, or at least more than the sum of their parts. I think for me this is the appeal of working with these sorts of processes - that you can ‘discover’ previously unknown patterns, or textures, or structures / environments, and what you discover changes by altering your method of enquiry.
Hello _mark, thanks for sharing. I made notes while listening to all the tracks. About yours, I wrote “I like how the ‘synth pad’ emerges only to get cut back or intruded upon” - something a sparser track might not be able to do!!
I’m sorry I couldn’t make it. Looking forward to listening to all your tracks. Thank you to all that contributed.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the methods and theories I hear when I read about other artists on llllllll.co
It is fascinating to me how some of the processes have a programming language involved or include a range imaginative physical maneuvers to interject random accidents. I often just read and reread the steps hoping to understand what types of mind processes are happening but in the end I realize I am just not wired that way.
I really enjoyed the metaphor for the ‘music ignotum’. It actually made me just imagine different things and for most of the period that the thread was running that was all I did. Imagine things.
Determined to work toward something I continued to try various approaches.
For the last few weeks before the deadline I had been trying different melodic ideas, each one becoming more and more edited, simplified, thinned and stretched.
Somehow I thought if I refined my statements a clear way forward would be found. I again found myself reducing both harmony and processing in favor of simple note movement looking for something that would cause me to feel like I am making music that answered the brief.
I had gotten to the place where all that was left in the things I had recorded was long sustained guitar tones with very slow movements. Becoming more minimal by the day was all I could think and but I still felt like I was missing the brief.
Somehow what seemed like a very simple brief for sound creation really stopped me dead as I tried to take it seriously without losing my sense of self or point of view. I spend most of my time listening to small pieces.
I often do simple tasks while listening back to the recordings I have made, keeping my hands busy while I drift with the sounds. I was in the kitchen cleaning vegetables and started really looking at Shiitaki Mushrooms. The ones I had purchased were extremely fresh and only starting to open the spore gills. The more I looked at the mushrooms the more I thought about how the shapes of the spore gills looked like resonant cavities. Each slice of the spore gills as a small resonant chamber. So there in the kitchen suddenly was the answer.
Imagine a set of sounds that come as a result of reflection of the harmonic resonances that are from the mushroom’s spore gills singing back the sustained minimalist tones that I had been working with.
Now that I had a clear idea it was fairly easy to execute. The simple guitar tones were processed through two tracks of a step modulated pitch delay max patch in Ableton. The step modulated delays were time modulated with a random LFO. In the end simple tools - guitar and delay, with a bit of reverb.
To me this made me think of the mushroom spore gills each echoing back bits of the sound offset in time… singing back to me. Final imagination to place the whole piece.
In forest clearing
Under a crisp bright starry night sky
Looking up at the underside of mushrooms
Singing tones to them as they echo back
Hearing each other
@lumena you might enjoy a book I just ordered but have not yet read.
The book opens with a story about the time a plant taught her a new word. She has pioneered the new field of plant bioacoustics.
Here’s a nice interview with Dr. Gagliano:
Am thrilled to hear the final compilation! listening now, wonderful stuff…
“For my piece, A Song for Hilma (#5 on the album), I was inspired by the work of Hilma af Klint, both visually and conceptually. Af Klint worked as a biological illustrator, and was also a committed spiritualist, conducting séances and claiming communication with otherworldly entities; her art was strongly influenced by both these seemingly contradictory passions. To invoke the project’s remit of “music based on something other than what we know”, I used (mostly) my own field recordings, as there is much we still do not know about the world we’re in; sounds picked up by NASA probes, for the world beyond; and several recordings of Hildegard von Bingen’s vocal works, played concurrently yet out of sync, representing the many unknowns of the world of the deep past. To guide the composition I used aspects of her abstract paintings to serve as loose graphic scores.”
Thought I’d talk a little about mine too
The title of my piece references an article I read earlier called ‘The Insect Apocalypse’ where insect populations around the world have dropped dramatically in recent years due to human-related reasons. I then pondered the idea of how it might sound and feel like from an insect’s perspective.
The base field recording is from the front of my house - the crickets were particularly loud one night! The field recording also picked up some sounds of passing traffic. Then I variously manipulated the field recording using various techniques like time stretching, doppler shifter and panning to get the final piece.
I was hoping to get a somewhat mechanical/drone sound in some of the tracks to get that sense of human intervention and how it was this overpowering presence.
thanks I will check the books out.
Thank you for explaining your approach to composition. When I listened to your piece the first time, I wrote this: “Beautiful background drone - I’ve been trying to get such a sound with my guitar, but I’m not there yet. Are you using guitar throughout, or just from around 3m30s onwards?” You’ve partly answered my question, but now I’m wondering: are you using guitar pedals before you start working inside Ableton? If so, what’s your set up?
Thank you in advance.
I really liked your track, and two things especially caught my attention:
(1) I felt like I could hear a kind of “breathing” or quiet exhalation, and
(2) you somehow produced a sort of chugging or grinding guitar sound
How did you create these sounds out of your original field recordings?
how the night came
just guitar throughout, no other sound sources.
Short answer… yes pedals 2 fuzzes, an Enzo and a full tone Clyde Wah. More will be coming as I find the right ones, some fly in and out in a couple of days and all the online stores know that I send a lot of things back.
Main echo track is guitar originally tracked with light overdrive (Catalan Bread Karma Suture) into a compressor in Ableton and tails processed are using about 40% Valhalla Shimmer plugin. On the guitar tracks I don’t use busses only direct in channel. Keeps me thinking in stomp box mode. I have also been using Omnisphere to process guitar but so far nothing has actually made it into a track.
All the bleeps and blips are from the creative max pack, using the sequencing delay with various parts of the delay modulated using max LFO’s. There are 2 tracks of randomized echos.
I have been trying lots of stuff - mainly I am finding that it is about distortion and compression especially when tracking. Often I am removing the attack with a volume pedal changing the envelope in real time. The bit where you can actually hear it’s a guitar is using an Enzo pedal at about 30% with filter opened up into a fuzz. I have been spending a lot of time working to get to a simple low cost Fripp type sound. Ever since I read that he did the Heroes lead hook direct into the board I am looking for the combo that gets me there.
Valhalla Reverbs definitely get that Eventide sound and the new Robert Fuzz by Shoe pedal I just received for Christmas should do the rest. I have stopped using amp sims as it is just as easy to shape the sound inside of an EQ. Actually will be selling my Kemper as I am doing better with stompboxes and EQ.
I am lately using the Vintage Eq Plugin in Ozone but sometimes I stack single band cuts on key frequencies. Takes a bit of experimentation but using the Spectrum plugin and using my ears gets me there pretty fast. Cuts are the way to go getting rid of non harmonic overtones.
Christmas spending limited me but by Feb. I should have added an H9 or maybe 2 of them and I am hoping to get https://expeditionelectronics.com/Products/Index 60 second delay but who knows with small builders. After that I am doing everything else in a computer for recording, only using an amp for live things.
Omigoodness, so much wondrous and beautiful sound from this community! It is a rich privilege to engage and participate with such divergent thinkers/feelers. I am newly inspired with each piece and post and so grateful to hear your processes as well as your outcomes!
I’ve posted in detail about my process here, for those interested, but the one thing I most want to share is that the sounds used in my piece were all sampled from stones in Ringing Rocks Park, PA. (The process of doing so required more athleticism than this aging body was expecting .) My intention was to be as faithful to the voices of the stones as possible; my submission was the result of imagining what the stones might do to entertain themselves across the millennia.
so cool! loved your rock piece
I liked your track a lot, and would also be interested i hearing the “full orchestration” one
Wow, go away for 2 days and it all happens. Amazing…Listened to about half. great stuff yet again.