Sounding

Tag: microsound

Appearing in variety…

by on Jul.02, 2009, under Craque

Audiobulb has released a free sampler of music from eight artists on the label, including a track off Supple (see post below), subtly arranged and expertly mixed by label owner David Newman. Others included are: Jimmy Behan, Biosphere, Ultre, NQ, Mark Harris, Hans van Eck and He Can Jog. I’m honored to be among the talent in that lineup, and the music is just awesome.

Also recently, Xynthetic produced their Second Statement, a stunning cross-section of the artist roster that displays the wide variety to be had on the netlabel. My track “Herbsttag” is a taste of some dub to come, so keep yer eyes peeled for more Craque on Xynthetic. :)

A new .microsound project has come around again, this time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of William Burroughs’s novel Naked Lunch [player will auto-start].

Uncle Bill was a huge influence on the way I thought about putting things together to arrive at previously impossible conclusions, plus I was drawn to his relationship with my favorite beat, Paul Bowles. In fact, I wrote a piece for Comma called Sevenroughs just after he passed to the next level. This time around I still used the number 7, but applied it to divisions of the time limit, 3 minutes. I also kept to the fractured use of text (Sevenroughs uses The Western Lands), and the title is the first two words of the score: Making Pink [6.4MB 320mbps mp3].

To prepare a score, I started on page 1, with the last printed entity on the first line, page 2 the last entity on the second, and so on. Punctuation was taken alone, words only half-hypenated, and once I had reached the bottom of the page, I’d start back up on the first line. There were several happenings of the [ .” ] combination, so those became major delimiters of form. The outcome [fixed-font best for viewing] is a full cut-up of Naked Lunch, upon whose text I layered improvised sounds, with additional form and structure derived from the placement of the randomly intruding punctuation.

In addition to these recent projects, I’ve posted an archival recording of a live gallery show at Feti├žo in Chicago, 2001. It’s in three parts, and is the most recent entry on CraqueCast, also subscribable and previewable in iTunes.

A special treat for blog readers: my collection of ringtones, RINGTONALITY! Great name huh? Well, these are loopy sort of poppy sometimes glitchy electronica beat things that I’ve made along the way, and are pretty loud with all sorts of variety. There are two versions available for download: the “m4r iPhone” version [6MB zip], and the FLAC version [42MB zip] for those who want to convert and use on another platform, or just want them otherwise. Feel free to pass them around.

Despite being laid off from my job in May, I’ve been trying to stay positive and keep active doing things: gardening, reviewing stuff for job interviewing like perl and networking and other unix/linux peculiarities, job searching of course, but also a good bit of music making. Other than some possible releases of newly improvised excursions, I’ve been attempting to make contact with some local galleries (Orange County, CA) for presenting experimental sound work and/or events. So as you can see, creativity continues to attempt its way out of my subconscious, and I continue to be hopeful that the perfect job is right around the corner.

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New improvisations on SoundCloud

by on Feb.21, 2009, under Craque, listening, Music Tech

Freely improvised one-takes. Instrumentation includes homebuilt instruments, sampled objects and looping hardware.

This music sharing site is a great tool for posting various non-published tracks, as well as released stuff, and has a nice embeddable player and comment system. Really nice for being able to just slap some stuff up, I have one friend who has recently been doing the same with sessions on his new Serge Modular Creature, and another who posted “in progress” snapshots of a track he is working on.

Feel free to download and remix, just give the proper attribution. :)

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Infinite Jest Project @ .microsound

by on Oct.14, 2008, under Craque, External

The .microsound community recently embarked on a new project to honor the life of writer David Foster Wallace, known widely for his intelligently sprawling novel Infinite Jest.

Instructions were to take one of the films attributed to the protagonist’s father and create a soundtrack. I was attracted to the surrealism in the description of Baby Pictures of Famous Dictators and almost immediately had an image of what the film would be like.

Not having read this novel yet, the source of my inspiration was the description itself:

“Baby Pictures Of Famous Dictators” – Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad. Poor Yorick Entertainment Unlimited. Documentary or uncredited cast w/ narrator P.A. Heaven; 16 mm; 45 minutes; black and white; sound. Children and adolescents play a nearly incomprehnsible nuclear strategy game with tennis equipment against a real or holographic (?) backdrop of sabotaged ATHSCME 1900 atmospheric displacement towers exploding and toppling during the New New England Chemical Emergency of Y.W. CELLULOID (UNRELEASED)

I took 45 minutes as my guiding point and imagined the film was a tableau, a “moving still life” of sorts. It’s a 45 minute long game, a slow motion still life of a disaster reflected in the childsplay of fooling around with physics.

We see a setting that never changes, of innocent children (we assume the same as in the pictures referenced by the title) against a backdrop that is ever changing, sharing an appetite for control. They become the embodiment of the Famous Dictators, playing games, like children, with adult toys of power and war.

A chemical emergency could imply this is related to nuclear power or physics. Are the children playing a game that caused the emergency? Are they blissfully unaware? Or are they working to solve the problem by a series of complex nuclear games? It’s unclear if we will ever know.

The soundtrack is not a reflection of the action seen onscreen, but rather the literal voice of each proper name. As their structures compost, weaving as they play the game, new forms are illuminated.

These nine names were used to drive various parameters specific to each person’s voice, guiding things like frequency, filters, delay effects and envelope (in each case, the longest, most familiar version of the English proper name was used):

  • Adolf Hitler
  • Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin
  • Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini
  • Mao Zedong
  • Ho Chi Minh
  • Francisco Franco Bahamonde
  • Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz
  • Saddam Hussein
  • Tojo Hideki

The analysis of the text file containing the names was done with perl, which wrote out various ChucK files. The entire piece is one large ChucK session recorded to a file, then normalized.

When I started the piece was a lot less “bright” than it ultimately became, but in a strange way I feel like it took on its own character, and mourns both the tragedy of these dictators and the loss of DFW.

The player on the project page is a great way to listen to the soundtracks everyone has done, and allows for direct downloads of the works.

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