Codifying bars

Disquiet Junto Project 0285: Live Barcoding

Make rhythms from your packaged goods.

041555rev

Instructions:

Step 1: We’ll be making music from barcodes, those zebra-striped symbols that adorn packaged goods. Please find the three barcodes nearest you.

Step 2: Look at the barcodes and sort out how they suggest, for you, a rhythm, a beat — how do they function as notations of percussion?

Step 3: Create a short piece of music in which each of the three barcodes is independently interpreted for its rhythmic content. In other words, make a piece of music that layers the beats of the three barcodes you selected in Step 1 based on the notational concepts that arose in Step 2.

Method:

Picking three random objects (a packet of painkillers for my shoulder, a guitar effects pedal box and one of my own book publications), I started thinking about applying the barcode to a rhythmic structure. Since I am currently recovering from a shoulder injury, getting busy with graph paper and midi drum roll tracks was not a realistic task. Instead, I investigated the iOS store and found Baracodas (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/barcodas/id430909025?mt=8&affId=1671662&ign-mpt=uo%3D4). This app nicely communicated with network midi to trigger Ableton Live. The slightly lop-sided rhythms created lent themselves to some more glitchy rhythms which were given some light processing (bit of dubby delay seemed to make things groove a little more smoothly. A bit of fun!

Information:

More on this 285th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Live Barcoding: Make rhythms from your packaged goods. — at: https://disquiet.com/0285/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0285-live-barcoding/

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Clay-sonics

Making ambient music from the sound of clay bowls [disquiet0284]

1b

The Junto is making ambient recordings based on source audio from the artist Chris Kallmyer. He recorded the music using bells and bowls he constructed from clay sourced on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Louis.

Objective:

The goal is to make recordings that can also be played in the San Francisco gallery FraenkelLAB, where Kallmyer’s work is currently on display as part of the exhibit “Listening Is a Luxury.” I’ll be giving a talk there on Friday, June 16, and I’ll have some of the music audible in the background as well as before and after the talk.

Among Kallmyer’s sonic objects made from the St. Louis clay are ceramic bowls. When making a piece of music from the source audio please do the following: (A) use no additional source audio, (B) aim for a sound that is just as gentle as the source audio, (C) consider using stereo effects to reflect the circular shape of the bowls. (Note: I might make an edit of the tracks — a ceramic chime mixtape, as it were — for the event.)

Method:

After downloading the original file of the clay bowls, most of the work was in terms of audio processing. I used my chosen audio editor to manipulate the source file, so providing me with some interesting material. Loading up the audio files in Logic Pro and using Kontakt and Reaktor to resample the audio files further, the rest of the time was spent simply layering sounds and building the sound field.

More on this 284th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Creative Commonfield: Make ambient music from the sound of clay bowls. — at: disquiet.com/0284/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-pr…eative-commonfield/

Waterloo by Sunset

Waterloo by Sunset [disquiet0268]

waterloobr

Objective:

Take a stroll and describe it in sound, paying tribute to the late manga great Jiro Taniguchi.

Step 1: This week’s project pays tribute to Jiro Taniguchi, the great Japanese manga creator whose numerous works include an adaptation of a Natsume Sōseki novel, dark crime stories, and a widely celebrated and largely dialog-free volume titled The Walking Man. The Walking Man in particular is the inspiration for this week’s Junto project. Taniguchi died on February 11, 2017, at the age of 69.

Step 2: Take a leisurely stroll and record — whether through sound or observation, or both – what you see and experience.

Step 3: Create a short piece of music that reflects the route and experiences of your walk in Step 2.

Method:

Yesterday was a day that I had to travel into London from my rural English home and as someone who prefers to walk than take public transport when I get there, this was a very enjoyable project.

I sampled the walk to and from Waterloo Station across Waterloo Bridge using the only recorder I had charged (my iPhone) using both the standard recorder but also Trippy Replay app to start the DSP nice and early in the process.

Once I had transferred the files, it was a case of sampling the more melodic elements over the vanilla field recording (with plenty of wind noise unfortunately). The goal was to create a fairly complex sound field to represent the busy road.

Information:

More on this 268th weekly Disquiet Junto project, “Walking Music: Take a stroll and describe it in sound, paying tribute to the late manga great Jiro Taniguchi”: http://disquiet.com/0268/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: http://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: llllllll.co/t/in-tribute-to-jiro-taniguchi-disquiet-junto-project-0268/6533

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

 

 

Theme for The Society for the Study of Meteorological Crystallography

Theme for The Society for the Study of Meteorological Crystallography [disquiet0267]

crystals

Gazing out of my studio window as the snow comes down, the instructions got me thinking of a track that could combine the “public information film track” vibe with something a little left-field esoteric. We don’t have too much snow in my part of the world (a couple of days a year), so it made me think about a group of scientists researching the formation of snow crystals – the formation as a simple physical process resulting in infinite variability.

Original Objective:

Step 1: There’s a fascinating book from 1988 titled The Metronomic Society. Written by the Michael Young, it is an academic study of the rhythms of human existence, with an emphasis on organization and societal systems. It’s not necessary to read it. It’s just helpful to know where we’re borrowing the term from.

Step 2: Imagine there is an actual group called the Metronomic Society. You might also imagine what they’re up to. Maybe it’s a Man Ray fan club, or a bunch of disgruntled piano tuners, or maybe they explore arcane theories about quantum mechanics. Who knows?

Step 3: Now compose and record a short piece of music — a sound cue, a theme, a sound logo, a jingle — for the Metronomic Society.

Method:

It had to be in 6/8 time following with the water crystallography theme and from there it was a simple case of establishing some “period” sound design to represent a 70s science documentary uncovering the work of the Society.

Next steps would be to work with some generative tools to build on the theme. That can wait for another day

Links:

Photograph: echosonic

More on this 267th weekly Disquiet Junto project, “The Metronomic Society: Create a theme song for a fictional organization”: http://disquiet.com/0267/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: http://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: llllllll.co/t/the-metronomic-society-disquiet-junto-project-0267/6449

Treated Chord (a new Disquiet Project)

Disquiet Junto Project 0227: Treated Chord

Em7#5

A new track for the Disquiet Junto. Very rapidly done with what I had to hand: a guitar and an iPad with Borderlands Granular running on it.

I recorded the single notes from one of my favourite chords (with many uses): Em7#5 … or at least that is what the chord calculator told me it was.

The first 30 secs or so of the track is the individual notes “played” with the Borderlands Granular engine one at a time. The rest of the track is playing around with various settings to build an ambient wash.

Original Instructions:
Record a piece of music in which what changes is the treatment of the notes that comprise a single chord.

Step 1: Choose a chord, any chord.

Step 2: Make a list of the notes that the chord is comprised of.

Step 3: Record each of the notes of the chord as a separate track.

Step 4: Create a piece of music in which each of those tracks plays from start to finish, and that as they play those tracks are manipulated individually (echo, texture, effects, relative volume, etc.).

Background:
This project is inspired by the tape-cassette music of Amulets, aka Randall Taylor of Austin, Texas.

Information:
More on this 227th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Record a piece of music in which what changes is the treatment of the notes that comprise a single chord”) at: disquiet.com/0227/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at: soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at: disquiet.com/forums/

Before the Flood – A Junto/SETI sound project

Before the Flood

This Disquiet Junto assignment was to combine three field recordings from artist Charles Lindsay, the head of the Artist in Residence program at the SETI Institute, to explore and express notions of perceived techno-organic intelligence and done in conjunction with .

Objectives:

Step 1: Consider what it is that Charlie is exploring in his work: “I’m thinking about evolution, entropy, sentience, and the complex signatures of intelligence: what microtonal soundtrack would best express the micro and the vast, the field and the matrix, what we call nature and what we call machine, in unity, as music or as sound?”
Step 2: Download the three tracks recorded by Charle that are in this playlist on SoundCloud. The first track was made on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, rain-forest ambient sounds caught with a parabolic microphone at nightfall. The second was made with a hydrophone at dusk amid the Bunsby Islands in British Columbia. The third was made at the D-WAVE2 Quantum Computer at NASA Ames.
soundcloud.com/charlies-experiment/sets/disquiet-junto-complex-signatures
Step 3: Follow this request from Charlie: “Please process, merge, and mix these tracks to seven minutes total. Imagine the final track looping indefinitely in a sound installation in a museum or gallery environment. This use of sound in controlled space is something I’m very interested in, as a real time, real space tool to blend so-called realities. Imagine dream images, much the way our mind seems to, glitches and all. I look forward to what you come up with, and thanks very much for your interest.”

 

Method:

Uploading each of the three tracks in turn to a granular sampler (software: Ambient) and recording the results of my sound experimentation was the first step. In thinking about this project, I considered the obvious environmental concepts raised in the choice of field recordings: from rain forest to ocean by means of the technological advancement of the quantum computer. Without overstretching this environmental motif, the oceans overwhelming the technology overwhelming the natural world was a powerful theme and this is the order I pulled the arrangement together with. The sound fragments were collated in Logic in this order with little further processing being necessary. I felt there was enough of the original – albeit granulated – sound coming through to give the listener a trace of the original field recordings.

Links:

More on this 213th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“The Assignment: Combine three field recordings from artist Charles Lindsay to explore and express notions of perceived techno-organic intelligence”) at: disquiet.com/2016/01/28/disquie…complexsignatures/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at: soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: tinyletter.com/disquiet

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at: disquiet.com/forums/

The photo above is an edit of the cover of Charles Lindsay’s forthcoming book, Carbon, more on which here: minormattersbooks.com/collections/bo…lindsay-carbon

And here are details on a MASS MoCA exhibit he will be participating in. It begins May 28, 2016: www.massmoca.org/event_details.php?id=1045

Droplets

Droplets

Just released on Fwonk, a free single for Christmas (although it’s not that Chrismassy to be fair).

Recorded early in 2014 (using some found sounds from 4 years back), this track doesn’t really fit with the other tracks I’m working on for both the next echosonic album and the forthcoming EP with Venona Pers.

Droplets is in three parts and evolved from a series of samples recorded on the Beijing metro when I was last there. Otherwise, the track is very much an in-the-box creation investigating some paths less well trodden.

The cover image is one from my own library … seemed apt!