Naviarhaiku 160 – painting the sounds

I like the idea of painting with sound in the haiku shared by Naviar this week.

At first I remixed recordings of Leeton pool, then I remembered this footage from Valla Beach.

You can hear there are a few loops of varying length, as well as gating and resonators.


My daughter shot this at the pool while she spun the camera around. It made me want to use the footage for something, so I made music with it.

Sculpture in Bathurst

Phillip Spelman's "Redjar Redbottle" sculpture outside Bathurst Regional Art Gallery caught my ear recently.

The video above is my first attempt at manipulating the recording into a composition. Usually it takes a few attempts to get a result I'm happy to share but I thought I'd reflect on the process.

You can see I've created a number of short loops and a few have been repitched, particularly the kick-like sounds. There's also a couple of reverbs added for depth.

Bass fantasy

Found this photo the other day while researching another topic.

It caught my interest to see this romantic story uses a bass lesson as a plot device.

Disquiet Junto 0265 Kitchen Music

The Junto instruction to choose a kitchen shelf and use those sounds led me to ponder the shelf with electric coffee grinder, Aeropress and various glass vessels.

There was also the broken coffee grinder I used for percussion in this song

Then I remembered I'd wanted to record the glass bowls. Two of the three were sitting among the pile of dirty dishes on the stove.

Feels like there are more sounds to explore with these bowls. I also think there are more songs in the samples that were quickly recorded with my camera and microphone.

In Ableton Live I repitched the loops and gated then EQ'd with the reverb channel too. The parts are all of slightly varying lengths. I didn't notice the drift much but think I can hear it.

Finally I tried improvising a bass part, then opted to quickly record without video. During the recording I improvised that part near the end that runs ahead of the loops. Thought about recording a new part but ran out of time.

This oven and grill came with the house but doesn't work very well. One of the plates on the top will short-circuit the house, hence the song title.

It's not a wrong note

Seen on Facebook

A turn at the Fern Garden

While in Canberra recently I recorded the sound of the gate leading into the Fiona Hall fern garden at the National Gallery of Australia.

The video above is my first attempt at composing music with the material and it's the start of a process where I get a sense of where I can take the sounds. Anyway, I think I may need to record the gate again to get the result I want.

Fiona Hall is one of my favourite Australian artists and the garden is one of my favourite spots in Canberra. It's nice to visit it at night, when the lights cast an eerie orange glow.

I've given the track the name 'Hysteria' as this was once seen as a condition that arose from the womb, which is represented in the design of the gates.

And after I recorded these, I visited a woman who had been placed in the mental health ward. She wasn't hysterical though, she was quite calm and perhaps medicated.

Naviarhaiku 159 – old thorn tree

It's been a struggle to meet Naviar's haiku assignment in recent weeks for various reasons. When this poem arrived last week, I thought it would suit a piece I've been composing on the bass.

For a while I didn't think I'd make the deadline, then last night I decided it was finished and recorded it. Then I didn't find time to upload it before the next poem arrived.

Piece of gate

On the weekend I recorded sounds from the gate at the garden designed by Fiona Hall outside the National Gallery of Australia with a view to composing something using samples.

3 Years of Naviar Haiku

A couple of my favourite tracks from last year are on here.

Disquiet Junto 0264 Time Travel

The Junto this week explores the idea of time travel.

I decided to go back in time, traveling back to a recording made last August. It appealed to me as I remembered the four-string guitar sounded good with reverse delay and I wanted a beat for timekeeping too.

It seemed appropriate to reverse the guitar parts, as well as having them play forward with a reverse delay effect. I wanted to get a result that felt disorienting, as I imagine that's how it'd feel to travel to another time.

Kinda looks fun

Sculptural snippet

Recorded the sculpture outside Bathurst Regional Art Gallery this morning, where they also have a beaut Brett Whiteley exhibition at present.

It has a number of tones, so I'm looking forward to composing with this sculpture sometime soon.

Lucas Abela's noisy pinball

The artist also known as Justice Yeldham has this "Child size hand made pinball / noise generator for sale $2000 (as seen at musify + gamify at teh seymour center for vivid 2015)" and I wish I could buy it.

Disquiet Junto 0262 Ice Code

This is the fifth time I've undertaken this annual Disquiet Junto project to "record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it."

Last year it was a challenge to improve on 2015's track, when I found that adding an instrument didn't work as well as hoped.

This year I took the opportunity to record a new collection of glasses while I was visiting my out-laws over Christmas. They had a lot of wine glasses and some sounded like very good crystal.

These were recorded using a Rode NT4 stereo microphone into a Zoom H4n, then added to the video from a Nikon D5100 before being manipulated in Ableton Live.

In the end there were 13 tracks within the project but, as Live struggles to export shorter loops, I had to settle for representing 10 in the video. One is a section of the original recording.

It was a few years ago that I found the sound of an ice cube hitting the floor could be pitched to create percussion parts, so I've used that technique again.

The kick sound has been pitched down and compressed and EQ'd. Some other parts have been repitched but for most parts I tried to keep them as they were recorded.

I've added reverb to the percussion part and another reverb to the melodic parts, which was "composed" using Live's follow "any" function from a selection of ringing glass sounds.

After recording a rough structure in Live, I edited to give the track more shape. Then adjusted the length of loops to add more variation, so you may hear some double and halve in length at points.

Jimi could polka

Happy new year

René Magritte on keeping it surreal

The Surreal is but reality that has not been disconnected from its mystery.

Wonder what this sounds like

Kenneth Snelson’s
“Free Ride Home” (1974) at the Storm King Art Center (photo by joevare/Flickr)

Marcel Duchamp on Marcel Duchamp

I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.