I imagine that most people by now are familiar with NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month – the idea being that you sit down, write somewhere around 2000 or so words a day, and try to put together a complete novel in November. I have participated in NaNoWriMo before (in fact, you can find the story that I wrote for it elsewhere on my collection of sites), and have tried some of the various offshoots. I had no idea if this was actually a thing for music (I didn’t actually look it up until just now, but there are apparently some established challenges like this, including the RPM Challenge, February Album Writing Month, and National Solo Album Month).
I did not participate in any of these directly, but the challenge was roughly the same: work on and produce… some kind of sound just about every day, and create an album’s worth of stuff by the end of the month, while at the same time learning more techniques and doing further experimentation and familiarization with my collection of usual (and especially unusual) sound design tools and plugins. So, I worked on it through the month of November 2018, and now that the month is in the books, I am hereby releasing my NaAlProMo album.
If you want to just jump straight to the music, you can click on the link below to grab a ~100MB zip file containing the music files for the entire album.
Download the NaAlProMo Album
The album itself is definitely in the experimental genre, and contains over 60 tracks of… sound, or music if you’re feeling generous with the term. It contains everything from quick clips and sequences to full(ish)-length tracks. The album is focused in part on algorithmic generation, and features pseudo-randomly generated sequences for the underlying melodies. It also features techniques such as granular and spectral synthesis, among others.
Some of the plugins and program used in the project include: Dune 2, Z3TA2+, Hourglass, Quanta, Granulizer 2, Grainspace, Reaktor 6, MUnison, Microtonic, Drum Pro, Battery, BYOME, and many more…
While you can grab the archive and check out all of the audio files that way, I wanted to put some of my favorite tracks from the album in this post to stream directly:
audio test project
audio test projectt
fxtesting Edit 2 Export 1
It probably comes as no surprise to my listeners that the pace of new music released here has slowed considerably the past several years. Part of this has to do with the fact that I am no longer a student, and am instead a professional building up skills, clients, and my own practice in the next phase of developing my career. That isn’t to say that I’m apart from music altogether; along with my paid work, one of my other major projects is being part of a team that’s trying to start up a new community radio station from scratch (you can check it out at https://ksqd.org, a website which I’m quite involved in, as I’m the station’s web coordinator). Put both of those together, and my time for working on other creative projects has been… fragmented, at best. I’m still making music, still picking up new and interesting experimental tools to play around with here and there, but mostly I’ve ended up working on small, quick experiments rather than the sorts of full-on tracks I’ve worked on in the past.
So, for your listening… “enjoyment,” the following is a selection of the (more interesting) sound clips I’ve whipped up in 2018:
First up, a potential ringtone of a sort:
Then, an experiment with creating a… different type of noise:
A crinking experimental… something that may or may not be a tribute to Xenakis:
Some experimentation with running patterns through radical effects:
And some slightly eerie tonal granularization:
Step 1: Take the glass top to a corningware dish and spin it upside-down on a tile countertop.
Step 2: Record the oscillating glass noise.
Step 3: Experiment with the clip using various forms of granular synthesis, gating, extreme filter and delay warping, hyper-driven amps, and other fun stuff.
Step 4: Wobble Grind (Maximal) Wobble Grind (Minimal)
Oh yeah, warning: there’s a reason this one’s tagged “earbleed.” Some of the extreme driving produced some unusual side effects that are very shrill in pitch, so you may want to carefully moderate your volume when listening (or listen to the “minimal” version on the right, which has less of the especially hard programming).
A few sound clips I conjured up while teaching myself The Mangle. Might be useful for something…
Mangle Test 1
Mangle Test 2
Mangle Test 3