I had earlier mentioned the Antara Project of my friend Annemarie Borg — well, as you saw there (if you haven’t yet, go ahead and follow the link above … I’ll wait for you to come back), she’s also a very talented musician. Some of you already know where this is going; after all, what usually happens when two musicians discover each other’s work and realize that they like the work? Well … if we’re lucky, this is what happens:
Yep … a new fusion that she and I have started working on … our first track is up, “Glittrande,”and it will hopefully be making an appearance on Yolande VeryHappy’s Radio Happy show for the holiday season …
There are those who would have us believe that once something is on the Internet, it will remain here forever to haunt us. To which I can only say, “Maybe.”
To wit: as a musician, I’m always trying to keep an eye on where my music is turning up, who might have written a review or linked to a song, or even who is using the tunes illegally (i.e., without my permission — I’m looking at YOU, Spotify!). So from time to time, I’ll do a Google search to see what the various names and titles I’ve used in the past will yield.
Imagine my surprise when I found THIS the other day, while looking to refresh my memory about a track I did for a compilation:
I didn’t even know about this website, much less the pointer to my project and recordings. I was really pleased to complete that set of performances — it was an especially challenging one and I know that others enjoyed hearing the music. So to find this, albeit well after the fact, was a pleasant surprise. Less pleasant was the discovery that Spotify actually had some of my music linked and, of course, I had NOT given them permission to do so. And no, I’ve not received that amazing royalty/performance check from them either!
As for the search itself, there’s a happy story there. Some of you know the show on Stillstream hosted by Rebekkah Hilgraves called “At Water’s Edge.” Well, the other day, Rebekkah was talking about the lineup for her show for today (Saturday, 2 November 2013) and mentioned that she was playing one of my tracks so I asked her which one. It was from 2006, entitled “Autumnal Nuptials (for Janis)” and was released on the Mandorla netlabel as “Mandorla Netlabel005 / Autumn Net-Project Vol1. V/A.” Rebekkah wanted to know the story behind the piece and I’d totally forgotten about it, so I was trying to find it online (Long story short, Manrico Montero, who runs Mandorla, had asked me to submit a track for his project celebrating Autumn … we were in the process of moving to Rhode Island from Texas, so I put together a guitar track just after we arrived and had had a chance to ramble around some of the Rhode Island seacoast … and since Janis and I were married on the Autumnal Equinox, I thought the tune might be a nice little memento, too).
Sooooo … if you’re curious, tune in to Rebekkah’s show today at a new time: 21:00 UTC/GMT which works out to be 14:00 (2:00 p.m.) Pacific time … a show entitled “Into the Dark.” Of course, now the track will live on, in perpetuity on the Internet, in Rebekkah’s podcast of the show!
For a friend who has started exploring Plogue’s Bidule and asked me about how I set up the panning in some of my pieces. I use the mda “Round Pan” bidule, which can be used as either an Audio Unit or a VST (I use Audio Units first, then VSTs if the AU is not available).
So what follows is a series of screen shots and explantations, along with a brief, but extreme example of the results.
I started off with a simple Bidule, using a software MIDI keyboard called “MIDIKeys.” It’s a fast easy way to check how something sounds before hooking up a MIDI device to drive things. This drives two instances of Camel Audio’s Alchemy, one of them set to “Beth’s Violin” (on the left side) and the other set to “Tuareg Moon” (on the right side). I have inserted a MIDI Delay (“MIDI Delay_1″) on the right hand side, so that we hear “Tuareg Moon” come in 10 seconds AFTER “Beth’s Violin.” I hope this will demonstrate the panning a little bit more clearly.
1. In Figure 1 above, we have the basic layout of the Bidule. We also see the Mixer parameters, the MIDI Delay_1 parameters, and the Midi Keys parameters. Note that on the Mixer, Strip 1 and 2 are set at “Left” and “Center”, Strip 3 and 4 are set at “Center” and “Right” respectively.
2. In Figure 2 above, we click on the “Palette” button of Bidule, which then extends out the “drawer” displaying the “Available Bidules” … these are the various plug-ins and modules that are available for use. You can see that “AU Music Devices” is highlighted.
3. In Figure 3, we have drilled down to the “mda” section and selected the “Round Pan” bidule; specifically, the “02 ins 02 outs” (i.e., 2 inputs and 2 outputs).
4. To create the set up in Figure 4, we have double clicked to select the “2ins 2 outs” pan bidule and we now have two instances, here named “Round Pan_0″ and “Round Pan_1″ — these will be renamed so that #0 is “Round Pan_Left” and #1 is “Round Pan_Right” to keep track of what we’re doing …
5. Double clicking “Round Pan_Left” brings up the parameter screen where we will set its properties. Here you can see that the pan is 0° and 180° per second … we will change this. We attach the stereo outputs of the Pan bidules to the remaining four strips of the Mixer and leave them set to “Center.”
6. In Figure 6, we have entered values into the parameter boxes; in this case we have entered a +47° of pan and a rate of +5° per second (In the audio example, I have made the settings more extreme, using +178° of pan at a rate of +79° per second for the left side and -180° and a rate of -90° per second).
7. We will do the same thing for the “Round Pan_Right” but use different values for the amount of pan and the rate of panning. The reason for using different rates and amounts is to accentuate the differences … in this case, using negative values has the panning give an opposite apparent motion.
8. As seen in Figure 8 above, we enter a pan value of -45° and a rate value of -9° per second. And that’s basically how it’s done. Of course, one should experiment to see what works and sounds best for you!
Here’s a short audio file for an example, using the actual rather extreme parameters listed above to make things obvious:
Back in 2010, I undertook a year-long project called the “Full Moon Lunacy Concert Series” — being a series of performances in Second Life and consisting of hour-long improvised performances.
Mark Stolk, who ran the Just Not Normal netlabel and show on Stillstream, offered to promote and distribute the performances, so I recorded them all and we posted them to the Internet Archive. No offense to the Internet Archive, but they’re not the easiest to find. Here is a link to Mark’s old page that has links into the Internet Archives locations, where you can listen to them:
I recently discovered some work that truly resonated with me and I have been enjoying listening to it over the past week or so. Most of you know that when it comes to “music and causes” that I have to be persuaded. Listening to the music and reading about it, I was struck by its message and both agreed and support with what I saw. That there were people I knew (at least in the Facebook sense) was a nice plus.
The project I’m talking about is the Antara Project. The brainchild of Annemarie Borg, it focuses on the way in which the communicative power of Art can be used to transform lives. Not just music, but all art: visual, spoken word, and movement are all part of the spectrum that she is bringing together with this project.
I do encourage you all who read this site to take a little time and check it out …
So … a busy summer all the way ’round. Twenty four hours of daylight is requiring some adjustments …
And I’ve been working on some new ideas — a new series of recordings, based on live streaming performances, much like the 2010-2011 Full Moon Lunacy Concert series I did, only based on the new moon, and just the four of them in the year that follow the Equinoxes and the Solstices.
It was a conversation with Richard Mechling and we were talking about a photo graph of a quartet of moons around Saturn (webpage here, actually, http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14579) and it inspired a potential title, “A Quartet of Moons.” The idea has had a longish gestation period (over a year now!), but it prompted me to start up a performance series in Second Life.
I’ll be making a track available to the members of the Second Life group, so if you log on there, watch for an announcement about where to find the file …
Spending some time today playing with some old and familiar tools and some that I haven’t dug that deeply into but need to do so…
My friend Tim Risher and I were chatting about doing some more work together, under The Avatar Consorte moniker again, and he has been playing with GeoSonix for the past few months. I’d created a Bidule module to run with a GeoSonix file, the GS file providing the MIDI input to the Bidule, so I pulled it up this afternoon and started messing about. I’d added the full version of Camel Audio’s most excellent Alchemy to the stable a little time ago and I wanted to try out some of the wonderful sounds I now have available.
Messing about is always the best description when I start using a generative process; it always takes a bit of tweaking before I’m happy with how things take off … this time was no different.
The first track went well and it occurred to me that there were some interesting permutations still possible with the Bidule setup, so a second track is recording even now.
Here’s what things look like:
I can’t promise when the audio will be available — I’ll need to give a serious listening before I go unleashing it in finished form.
Life can be so very strange — this post is less about my music and more about music and the musicians that I have come to know.
Mandy Matz is someone whom I have never met face to face, but that fact is unimportant. I first heard of her through the writing of Warren Ellis* — Warren likes to mention talk about the music he happens to be listening to when he’s working and it can be a whole new set of rabbit holes down which to fall — several years back, he mentioned some of Mandy’s work, then under the name of “Theory Anaesthetic” and I followed the links to give a listen. She’s based in Chicago and it’s not hard to turn up quite a few references to her with a quick search online. I’ve managed to keep up with her on Facebook, so if you’re there, you can look her up there, too.
But life is full of twists and turns and this morning, I learned of a new chapter in her life. She has started a new blog called “Hacking Blindness.” She is being treated for glaucoma and this is how she is documenting her experiences with the disease and her determination to find ways of continuing to create music.
I hope that those of you who read this occasional blog will go and become regular readers of her writings … please consider it.
*If you don’t know Warren’s work, you may be missing out. A lot! You can play catch-up here: http://www.warrenellis.com/ … I miss his Freak Angel series. He’s never boring…
“Music from last Thursday” is the name of a program that a friend does each week, featuring music sometimes very much like what I do, sometimes not, but music well worth giving a listen.
Tonight’s program will feature, among a host of others, a track by Yours Truly that I put together recently to have some fun using dear old Plogue Bidule. Basically, the piece is part of the on-going explorations I’ve been doing of creating “systems” that are set into motion through a series of notes and with various delays and processors yields up something interesting for listening — or not!
I hope you’ll tune in tonight and give a listen; click on the links above for more details.