Essentially, this piece started off as three seperately played live arpeggiations – one focusing on a sort of standard synth sound, one “playing” a preset not unlike a military ship’s warning klaxon, and one of a glistening crescendo loaded with piercingly high frequencies. The first piece contains all the sequences, one after the other. The second piece, Insanity, mixed all 3 of them together… simultaneously. The result is an absolute sonic cacophony of insane noise – which, surprisingly enough, I actually like listening to (at least until it makes my ears start bleeding and I have to reach for the volume off control in desperation). Be forewarned – not for the faint of heart.
This is what happens when radical effects are applied to me banging crazily on pot lids. It sounds better, or at least more interesting, than that description implies.
This track was somewhat inspired by Terry Riley’s minimalist “In C”, in which one note is featured prominently. This piece does have more than one note, but it focuses more on the tonal quality and ambiance of the music rather than the actual notes. As a result, it has a very pure sound, and a somewhat haunting and intriguing tone.
This is an odd, abstract, and kind of avant-garde electronic piece, with various widgy noises. It’s sort of darkly ambient in parts, with fun electronic beeping and otherworldly sounds. It’s generally quite a bit different than most of my other music. Basically, I was playing around in Live, and I decided I wanted to create something different, something that sounded a bit creepy and discordant, and this is the result. Overall, it’s not horribly complex, and I whipped it up fairly quickly, so it ends up being somewhat minimalist, but I think it sounds more direct as a result.
Created using Ableton Live. Drums are done using the built-in Impulse, other sounds from Green Oak Crystal, Reaktor Subharmonic, and the Beast. All midi programmed directly, no pre-fab loops.
This song is basically indicative of my love/hate relationship with Christmas carols. Well, okay, maybe not so much love, but you have to admit that some of the traditional Christmas songs have a very nice sound to them – until you’ve heard them over the radio, the television, the supermarket PA system, and quite possibly your own atonal co-workers. So, in all honesty, this song is more about my hate of Christmas carols, coupled with my love of the pure, unadulterated sounds of basic sine waves.
As you can probably tell, the main melody is played live, by me, and is partially – but not entirely – corrected via post-processing. This, in fact, is partly intentional, as the goal of this song is to be interesting, while being just annoying and out-of-sync enough to drive you absolutely crazy! Of course, that wasn’t my intent when I began this piece – I had been playing around with different sounds on my keyboard, and listening to pure sine tones, when I tried out various melodies, including the classic Noel. So, I decided to play it into my sequencer and mess around with it a bit. However, after playing it over and over and over and over again in the sequencer, I decided that there is no way I’m going to make a Christmas carol that does not somehow embody the sheer annoyance that they seem to spawn in most people about this proximity to the holidays – and so you have this piece.
Don’t let that description turn you off, though – it’s still an interesting piece. It does follow my tendency to like building tones onto melodies over continually varying instrumentation, but I think that it has some very intriguing layering to it, as it goes from the simplest tones possible, to frenetic insanity, and back again. If you like Christmas music, or if you hate Christmas music, or if you just want to annoy your co-worker with more of the musical holiday spirit, then this is the track for you!
Production Notes: The track was, of course, produced and sequenced in Logic. The main melody line is created by the AirySynth, which is one of the best synths for creating simple, pure tones (not to mention the fact that it’s free, if you’re interested in playing around with it). Bells with EFM-1, weird detune thing with Buzzer, gliding synth lead by Crystal, and everything else by Vanguard. Yes, I know there’s a very slight glitch at the front of the track – I think this has something to do with the way the synth activates, so you’ll just have to live with it until I can figure out a workaround.
Also note that I have nothing against Christmas as a holiday, religious or otherwise – I just have something against the overwhelming commercialism and trite musical drivel that accompanies it.
A strange sonic experiment featuring some echo FX and a PC microphone/speaker feedback loop. When I created it, it reminded me of what I thought a “radio storm” might sound like, hence the name.