9/23/11

Hello! Welcome to Clang Jingle Clang, a project in form of a blog.

I am a composer and performer who, between September 2010 and September 2011 created, recorded, and posted a new piece of music online, every day. It was a great experience, and I hope you take a minute to browse through the archive of pieces I wrote using concert instruments, toystoolscomputersfriends and anything else I could get my hands on. Also, check out the "Best of the Blog" page to hear some of my favorite blog pieces.

Also, you can listen to some recordings of my more traditionally-created concert music on the Recent Works page.


Thanks for listening!

Please feel free to contact me at kerrith.livengood@gmail.com with any questions, or if you're interested in commissioning or collaborating with me.

9/2/11

Final blog post: spinning farewells

You know those whirligigs? that you can spin over your head and get overtones? Well, you'll see what I mean. For the final blog, I bought some pool vacuum cleaner tubes; cut them into slightly different lengths; and then exploited Jonathan (again) into starring in a video of him cavorting around the park across the street while spinning the homemade whirligigs. Jonathan spun them so enthusiastically that he has four or five blisters on his hands now.

 Looking back at this year-long project, I'm sort of happy and also sort of sorry it's over. I think I achieved some of my goals: learning to plan and execute a project on a short deadline, finding musical potential in about everything I could get my hands on. I think I could have learned more about talking about my music, and I certainly could have learned more new computer and recording technologies than I did. Sometimes, when I was exhausted and had no good ideas, making a new piece was a ginormous pain. However, more often than not, the blog was fun and gave me opportunities to try out unusual ideas without worrying about polishing them up for a serious performance. Plus, just putting something new out every day was immensely satisfying.

So on to new things. New state, new people, and a couple short months to complete my dissertation before giving birth to a baby boy. I miss Pittsburgh, and finishing the blog feels like closing an era in more ways than one. 

I hope to get a "best of the blog" feature up soon, so that subsequent visitors to this site can hear what I consider to be the coolest things that came of this enormous project. Thanks deeply to everyone who kept checking back to listen to new posts, and to everyone who gave me feedback.  Also, a lot of love and thanks to Jonathan, who helped with numerous projects and gave me all kinds of support, when I felt it wasn't worth continuing this blog.
Clang Jingle Clang isn't dead; in a way, now that it's complete, it's just begun. More updates about things I'm doing will no doubt be posted here, and I hope everyone who is interested in what I've done will check back here from time to time.

But, for now, Mission Accomplished. Yeah, yeah, a day late, I know. :)

(Bonus video! after John was done frolicking in the park, we took the whirligigs out for a drive down the highway.)
  

9/1/11

cenotaph

Okay. Remember blog 100? when I got all excited and was going to make a piece out of 100 virtual cellos? and it turned out to be pretty horrible. And blog 200? and 300? Totally didn't try to do anything special with those, because when the pressure was on, I drew a blank.

But this here is the penultimate blog, #364. And yes, I'm a day behind. But I really, really want to end this weird era of compositional activity with something special. And this little piece isn't it. So I'm going to put the official LAST POST up tomorrow. I have something in mind-ish. It just might take a while.

Plus, I have some vicious heartburn and a doctor's appointment in the morning, so I'm going to bed. But tomorrow will be the real finale.

8/31/11

come and gone

An interesting site is this Piano Migrations project, which turns cities along a route you pick in Google maps into virtual music box notes. Samples in this project are all variations on my route from Pittsburgh to Champaign, and back again.

Tomorrow is the official last day of the one-year blog; it'll probably be a double blog, which will bring the total count of posts to 365, so that I may soothe myself with the thought that I at least tried to follow the spirit of my own rules. I plan to assemble some sort of "best of the blog" playlist; if you're reading this and you've been a visitor to the blog before, do you have any favorites to put on the list?

8/30/11

1. so hard to keep try 2. princess daybed and her consorts

1. Flute and drums at the same time!!!1 which might be a live performance thing someday for me.



2. Most ancient of keyboard samples. Gonna be a dance party at my house where everyone brings a Casio from the '80s and we get down to the sample drum tracks.

8/29/11

elbow dancing

My dancing is confined to where I'm sitting these days. Well, maybe I'm just lazy. Or really, really pregnant.

8/28/11

mimesis, lovely fade

mimesis: very noisy pseudo-techno, featuring blender sounds. Do not listen to if over 45 years old.



lovely fade: doesn't actually fade and isn't all that lovely, but has lots of kazoo-singing in it.

8/26/11

you have a kitty

Just a lovely and sentimental melody. Hey, there's only a week of the blog left! (cough)...plus the four or five extra blogs to make up...

After a year, it's going to be odd to be free of/finished with the blog, with nothing to distract me from the exciting duties of dissertation-writing and baby-raising.

I'm sure I'll think of something.

8/25/11

hydration, overhydration

hydration: two water glasses full, with ice cubes; gradually the pitch changes as I drink from one glass while rattling the ice in the other. Exciting! and good for you! Also, some sounds made by a salad spinner filled with rocks.



overhydration: the same thing, but with the sounds altered to create a richer harmonic quality, plus the sound of John's pocket watch.

8/24/11

aquarium

Some cello pizzing and more water glockenspiel! (That's 'pizzing' as in lots of pizzicati.)

8/23/11

sandings, a kitchen that smells of beats

two blogs: me sanding a table and other things (like a music stand and drums); and me playing water-glockenspiel, having taking off some keys and dangled them from a string.




8/20/11

westward again

Old saxophone stuff, back from the good ol' days of me trying to play the sax for the blog. Don't run shrieking in horror though! Other good things will follow.

flotille

A short soundtrack by me to the first three minutes of a video of some very delicately unfolding water origami, by Etienne Cliquet, a visual artist who does both high-tech programming and low-tech paper folding art (you can watch the entire video here).

8/18/11

cluster duster, harping on it

1. Electric organ, located in Ben's dining room. How many times has something of Ben's ended up on this blog? Answer: around seven, or a lot.



2. Harp samples found on someone's wedding-music-advertising website; it no longer sounds like Pachelbel's Canon or My Heart Will Go On.

8/16/11

these shorts will do

As I get larger, my options for clothing get limited; it's down to men's basketball shorts for today. So, yes, on that note, lots of effort went into this partiklar blog. Better one later! maybe with video again!

8/14/11

my dizzying route to the light bulb

Hey, a normal one-blog post for once.

These might be old oboe samples? Don't know. It was a long day on the road. Back visiting Pittsburgh this week. It's a little weird, I keep wanting to go home to our old apartment. I'm sure the new tenants wouldn't mind.

two blogs: five tool player, weighing wind and time

Number one, flute and drums. Number two, a storm brewing, a bathroom scale, and a carriage clock.




clock music

I've wanted to do video and music projects for sometime, as a way of doing something special as the blog draws to a close; here's one of a clock in Switzerland. They love their fancy clocks, the Swiss do.


8/11/11

left of the dreams, paint and no walls, friendly cat blues, slide grease summer night

Four blogs from the last four days...in order, featuring a skipping Soul Train record, some filtered sine waves, guitar and toy guitar, and Jonathan forced to play trombone for the first time in years.


left of the dreams:



paint and no walls:



friendly cat blues:



slide grease summer night:



And the blog is winding down...soon. Hoping to come up with some neat things before it's over.

8/7/11

succotash

What's in it? I don't know exactly. Neat things. Greetings from Rantoul, IL.

8/6/11

two blogs with lots of bells

Hey, I like these two. But then, I like glockenspiel. Not like better than any other instrument, but probably more than the average person. There are also samples from my Music11 piece, singing, and some shakuhachi bits in there too.

I have run out of shirts that fit.




8/3/11

8/1/11

Quintuple blog! [the blog lives!]

Greetings from the Great Beyond, AKA Champaign, Illinois! - the new setting for my new adult life. But neither packing and moving nor unpacking a forest of boxes nor impending motherhood have stopped the blog. Lack of internet access has kept me from posting them, but here are blogs for the past five days.

P.S. - to get the internet we're hanging out in the sketchy cafe of an extremely sketchy supermarket (County Market), which must be what Giant Eagle was like in the '80s, plus a bad smell. Hey to everyone.

#1 - tap me and slap me

Shakuhachi comes back this week, first with a lot of finger slaps, plus tapping on glockenspiel and drums.



#2 - generous kittycat

Stealing an elastic-strung cat toy, I make a modified version of the bass-drum-with-resonant-string that Amy Kirsten used for her Music11 piece.



#3 - a much sadder glockenspiel song

I will miss Pittsburgh. Wouldn't you?



#4 - orchestra of chairs

One squeaky chair sample becomes a vast array of beautiful* chords.

*beautiful = very subjective



#5 - light drumming

First sample from the new house = the chandelier buzzing when the dimmer switch is down low. Plus many lovingly recycled drum samples.

7/28/11

double blog: plastic motion 1 and 2

Another three days, another blog behind. :(

Well if you must know, I've done nothing but pack and clean and say good-bye to people for two days. That's my excuse. I did capture the rather horrifying shrieks of massive pieces of plastic being wrapped around our bookshelves; tape being violently pulled off of rolls; and Jonathan shaking a sheet of plastic (part of a poster frame), featured in #s 1 and 2 prominently. The joyous sounds of human migration, and the stuff you'd forgotten you had, in other words.



7/25/11

lying to your brain

Wow, that girl gave me the worst cafe mocha, ever.

Anyway, this is Ben Opie playing a multiphonic, chopped up and altered into something else, as usual. Will make up yesterday's blog after the movers are set tomorrow.

7/24/11

three piano posts: 1. discussion 2. rolling it out 3. post-piano blues

Gave my piano away today to a nice family who'll give it a good home, in preparation for moving to Champaign. Here are three posts featuring related sounds.





7/22/11

cleaning up #1

We're in the process of cleaning out the house and packing things in preparation for the move to Illinois next week. Vaguely related to that, in some abstract way, is this.

7/20/11

green parade

A surprisingly hard-to-make blog for the result, which is very...minimalist? drone-y? With lots of panning and stuff.

7/19/11

sad grover

Near...............

far




Near................................


far




(etc., etc.)


7/18/11

energy

What is that sound? Any guesses? Bueller?



(Answer: it's a baptismal pool draining. Yep.)

7/17/11

death by small hand movements

You know an instrument (such as the theremin) is awesome when your cat attacks it while you're playing it. Too many chirping noises I guess. Please try to restrain yourself if you feel similarly agitated.

7/16/11

melectronica

Old mellotron samples. Daddy, I want a mellotron! Why can't I have a mellotron? Now, now, now!!

Sometimes, I worry that the blog has taught me all the wrong lessons.

7/14/11

make-up blog: apologies, mistress

Man, I don't even know what's in this one. Tasted better on the way down.

far within us

Look it's the third shadow
On our imagined walk
Unexpected abyss
Between our words
... Vasko Popa "Far Within Us"

7/13/11

sultry summer harmonics

Hi there! An amazing combination of corrugated straw, cello, old air pump samples and fizzy soda sounds mixed together into a thing of nocturnal overtone beauty.

7/12/11

make-up blog: scraping something together

Here's Fanta guiro, cheese grater, wastepaper basket and a little bit of hand-cranked camping lantern, a classic quartet configuration of scraping noises.

fresh ground

A little piano and a lot of old keyboard; it's sort of post-acid-rock maybe? Well.

7/11/11

snares and strings

More cross-string "snare effect" guitar and also banjo, used much more extensively this time.

7/10/11

backward view

For yesterday. More later today.

(Note: sounds like plucked piano? maybe?)

7/8/11

untitled, or I wish my blog wasn't linked to by russian porn sites

Alto flute action, pretty fun, very extended techniquey. I could probably do an entire piece out of tongue rams, and maybe I will one of these days. Then I'll DEFINITELY get confused porn-seeking internet traffic.

7/7/11

make-up blog again: awesome upholstery

Creepy old samples from the radio, trumpets, random electronic instruments. I like the trumpet bit at the end best.

what the options are

Me, playing piano. In the other part of the room, my husband and in-laws debating at first over whether or not we want a second-hand baby crib; then over where we should all go to dinner in the urban gastronomical jungle of Danville, IL. And at some point, the clock strikes.

7/6/11

look who's up

Sorry sorry sorry...three days of transit from Switzerland to Washington D.C. to Illinois, and I've finally found the internet. More retroblogging to follow. Yes, yes, spirit of the law blah blah blah.

7/3/11

chalk sketch

Short sketch in sort of scratchy, insubstantial piano sounds.

7/2/11

farewell to empty house

A rare thing for the blog, a straight-up unedited piano improvisation. Leaving Music11 today, so goodbye to the Hindemith Center.

7/1/11

close and open

Ugh. Ugh. Well, they can't all be awesome. Well, they could. But they're not.

6/30/11

the happiest cow in switzerland

A tribute to the insane cows of Switzerland. Recorded sounds of actual cowbells on actual cows, altered with some granular synthesis (props to my man Dan Van Hassel for helping with Max stuff). Featuring brilliant soprano Lindsay Kesselman as Hilde the mad Swiss cow. This is definitely a cut above the usual blog. I love having awesome musicians on hand, it's totally sweet.

6/29/11

gigantic creatures

Heya, a piece made with bass drum. This particular drum has some cool effects made possible by big elastic bands stretched across the surface, used by composer Amy Kirsten in her piece to be played tomorrow. Yeah I'm poaching her sounds a bit.

6/28/11

so freaking hot

ARRRUuugggl. It's really warm. Or, at least, it WAS really hot today, and I am now tired. And these are samples of marimba and tiny bells, and tiny bells on the marimba. Gently.

6/27/11

don't eat the singing trees

Old samples and new samples! Together in harmony! Uh, harmony in a more metaphorical sense. I found two tuning forks in one of the rehearsal rooms and whacked them together in front of my recorder a bunch of times; plus old PD samples; plus Katrina saying some things backwards.

katrina's song

Hey, here's a blog featuring the guitar playing of the lovely Katrina Leshan; you can find out more about her at www.katrinaleshan.com! Anyway, we had a lot of fun with our outdoor recording session yesterday and here's what we got, plus a little vibraphone, plus some birds in the background adding to the whole lovely outdoorsy feel of it.

Yes! another blog soon!

6/24/11

glob of blogs

So did you ever see the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where Riker has some sort of brain injury? And must remember all of his most painful and frightening experiences from the show thus far to survive? And it's obviously just a really sad, thinly veiled clip show? Made from clips of Riker fighting and screaming that aren't even particularly good?

Of course you have. Why do I even ask?

Yeah, that's what this blog is mainly. In my defense, I should have some actual performers on the blog soon. Meanwhile, hello again from Switzerland! and stuff.

6/23/11

marimba sneak attack

More nighttime atmospheric stuff. And lots and lots of panning and a little decimation.

6/22/11

nighttime away

Sounds of the building gently creaking in the wind and an odd rasping sound, like distant pipes.

(Note: that rasping sound, I later revealed to my roommate, was her snoring.)

6/21/11

morning bells and stuff

Bowed vibraphone and various small percussion items, secretly recorded in the dead of Swiss night by me sneaking around with the recorder. Bwa-ha-haaa.

6/20/11

fiberglass blanket

Behind again! And traveling again, too. Lots of neat airplane and train sounds on my trip which I didn't record, because my recorder was deeply buried in my overstuffed backpack. So sadly it's old stuff again.

6/19/11

scratching strangers

So I don't know crap about playing turntables, but I've wanted to do a record-scratching project for a while. This here is some needle-scratching of Merle Haggard and the Strangers, plus some tinfoil added here and there.

6/18/11

uncanny world

This was kind of a regular collection of samples, and then I tried slowing it down/speeding it up in Reaper. Then it got all weird.

6/17/11

delightful choices

Many flutes died to bring you this blogpost. Or, whatever. Bass recorder and such. Good times.

6/16/11

limp wrist

'Cuz it's kind of lame.

(Note: It's not THAT lame. A bouncy arrhythmic field of piano harmonics, kind of minimalist.)

6/15/11

world of walls

Son, we live in a world of sounds. And we need weird women with kazoos that look like miniature trombones, with working slides and everything [not that the slide DOES anything], to guard those sounds and turn them into half-assed blogs.

6/14/11

TRIPLE blog: three short essays

Yep, I added it up; if I do three blogs today and three tomorrow, I'll be all caught up at last. Not exactly the letter of the law. Or is it the spirit I'm violating? Hard to say. Pick one, I guess.

Essay #1: My Favorite School Subject
(snare drum solo)



Essay #2: My Best Birthday Ever
(more snare drum, bowed glockenspiel, flute)



Essay #3: What I Did This Summer
(flute and more flute, a few other things too)

6/11/11

getting down with geese

Okay, I'm disappointed in myself for failing to keep up with the blog this week. In my defense, I've been pretty darn busy and haven't had internet access consistently. Whatever. Here's some ambient sounds from Buffalo: squeaky chairs and geese. Is it sad that from this whole week of awesome new music and musicians, those are the sounds I've managed to capture? Don't answer that.

6/9/11

no one buys trail mix for the raisins

Drumbs! and more drumbs! More stuff later. I tried recording geese, but I don't think it worked. At least the geese got fed some free Apple Jacks.

6/8/11

omg srsly

Yep, so, late on blogs again. Not my fault this time! I've actually been too busy to find internet access for the last day or so. More blogs with more neat stuff upcoming now that I've found access. This is old singing bowl samples, by the way.

6/6/11

alternating problem

Yep, my car died again today. We could spend $500 or more on a new alternator. Or, we could drive it back to the dealership (with the dealer who sold it to us while lying to our faces), fill it full of dog poop, and light it on fire. One option sounds better than the other to me.

Oh, but this is all old piano sounds and has nothing to do with that.

6/5/11

strike me down

Samples from Forward Lanes taken tonight. I always loved the sounds of bowling. Well, some of the sounds of bowling. Unfortunately it's too short; too much background noise on a Saturday night for good, pure bowling-noise samples. Plus some drumming.

6/4/11

cheap joke at your expense

Ugh. UGH UGH UGH old bike spoke samples and whistling UGH UGH I am fat.

(Note: just a reminder, at this point I was four months pregnant, tired, and starting to show.)

6/3/11

hypno dance

Just some bits and pieces. Nothing to write home to the folks about. Wait, I mean, best piece ever!! self-promote! self-promote!

6/2/11

vibrant membranes

Various drum and glockenspiel effects all produced with a handheld electronic device. Yeah, let's leave it at that. Thanks again Mom, for reading this blog.

On the upside, it's about flipping time I had some new sounds working for me.

6/1/11

a study in pink

Hey, a proper one-off blog made with new samples from my ancient keyboard.

5/31/11

another double blog: long week and short service

Hey, I finally found my other USB cable, so we're back in business with the recorder. New material soon I hope. Sorry for the irregularity of these blogs lately; blame it on laziness? Yep, I would.

"long week" - samples recovered from the recorder, including pianos abandoned in houses we looked at while house-hunting



"short service" - old tamborine samples, mostly

5/29/11

unexpected wetness

More old samples. The recorder and computer still aren't friends anymore. But as a something extra, here's a video of Marcus Kim performing a piece I wrote at the latest ELCO show. Which was a great show, by the way. Someone actually threw up from the awesomeness of it all.




Marcus performing "White Shell Tactics", in which all sounds are made by moving objects from one area to another.

5/28/11

who's in the next room?

Yep, still can't find a USB cord to get my recorder and computer talking again. But I will, soon. And oh, won't the blog just fill the air then. You'll see.

5/27/11

spaceship house

Who wants to live in a tiny square box? Good question. Not me.

5/26/11

lace-making for the single guy

More dug-out old samples, these chopped down with a signal sifter making them very old-school FM-tone sounding at times. Patterns eventually emerge....

5/25/11

bacon is delicious and good for you

Yep, got up at 5:00 to do the blog. Got sidetracked by the sudden realization that the parts I made for the piece I recently finished needed re-editing immediately. Four hours later, here is a very abstract tribute to my other grandmother-in-law's breakfasts, which are always very...hearty.

5/24/11

make-up blog again: "disordered cosmos" and "safety"

So I've hit a severe rough patch with the blog. (Actually, the last several months have been challenging.) Currently I'm in Danville, IL, staying with my grandmother-in-law while my husband and I try to find a house in nearby Champaign, to which we are moving in about a month and a half. House-hunting is exhausting, such that I don't have the energy to deal with the blog; I don't have my vast array of instruments here, either; but most of all, my computer and hand-held recorder are no longer speaking to each other, so I haven't been able to get the few samples I've made of late off of my recorder. Current blogs are recycled from old samples until things can be fixed.

I've lost track of how far behind I am (one blog or two); I will try to get caught up after we get back to Pittsburgh.

"disordered cosmos"




"safety"

5/21/11

nothing says lovin'

One of the most ill-conceived blogs; using only beeps from my grandmother-in-law's oven, I tried to make a little bunch of tunes. Reminds me of the tuner-themed blogs. I apologize for its shortness, unless you think it's actually too long.

5/20/11

5/19/11

hands of blue

For you bassophiles out there, something to counterbalance all the tiny high instruments of late.

5/18/11

small collections

This blog tends to be high-pitch heavy, and one good reason for that is that found objects in people's homes tend to be small, high-pitched items. In this case, featured is my grandmother-in-law's bell collection and music box ("Theme from 'Love Story'"). She does have a piano so tomorrow's blog might be more "real" composing. Maybe.

5/17/11

fish squeaking

All sounds from a small rubber fish bath toy found in my in-laws' house.

5/15/11

austere birdhouse

Lots of people like to charge money for special effects samples on the web (like instruments and explosions and electronic effects), but bird calls are amply available for free. Yeah this here is some ducks and robins and things. Sometimes like all electronicified. The cat likes it a lot.

5/14/11

extensive note-taking

Ol' files of pen clicking. I will soon be free from part-making and get back to some interesting blogging. (Not that I'm admitting that any music I ever produce isn't absolutely fascinating.)

5/13/11

convenience/persistence (another two-for-one post)

So both Blogger and I have been having some problems getting it all together and working these days...I've been locked out of my account for the last 24 hours or so. Here's another two-for-one post, one from yesterday and one from the day before. They're okay for quickie blogs.



5/11/11

in praise of tinyness

Old percussion samples, like giant tuning fork, glockenspiel, and cymbal.

5/10/11

robot language

Marcus has a neat collection of musical metal pipes, which he let me play around with.

5/8/11

cold speculum

Bent old cello samples. I know, it's late again. I know, I'm short a blog and will have to make it up later. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW.

5/7/11

special friends

Flutey fluteness. Apologies for the lateness again. More blog later.

5/6/11

warm triangles

Hoov and Aaron and me messing around with cello, ocarina and shakuhachi.

5/4/11

into the magic sphere

More glockness. You can't tell I'm happy to have the glockenspiel back, right? Thought not.

5/3/11

rock out with your glock out (plus make-up blog!)

So! Loyal fans, you probably noticed that after making it 2/3rds of the way around the calendar, I finally missed a blog yesterday. That's right. I'm as shocked and dismayed as you are. All I can say is that I've overloaded myself. So, to make up for it (and to celebrate the eight-month mark), it's a two-for-one blog today!

Track 1: "late entry"
Bits of people noodling around and talking during a break at Alia Musica Pittsburgh rehearsal tonight. (Come to the May 14th show, by the way.)



Track 2: "Rock out with your Glock out"
I've wanted to do some sort of heavy rock track with glockenspiel for a while now. Hey, glockenspiels are literally metal. Anyway, this is a fun one - guitar, glockenspiel, and some gritty drumming.

5/1/11

music11 sketch 3

In its MIDI gloriousness, here's another chunk of the piece that's consuming my life this week.

4/29/11

return of the glock

After long loan, I finally got my glockenspiel back! which may not be such a big deal to others, but I'm excited, anyway.

4/28/11

candy rain

Looping and sinking, looping and sinking. I HAVE been eating a lot of sugar lately.

4/27/11

enter the ring

Old vibraphone/xylophone samples. I blame my stomach issues for excessive reuse of old samples.

4/26/11

4/25/11

pegasus lullabye

Just me singing to myself with the recorder on my stomach. Well, mostly to myself. It reuses some techniques from the "she moved through the fair" entry.

On a side note, this is probably the best post I've ever made in under an hour and a half. Certainly the most satisfying.

4/24/11

bone knitting

Samples of Trevor, my supervising instructor, playing student pieces for trombone and piano. With stuff done to it, of course.

4/23/11

ketchup sandwich

I know it's faking it from a previous blog. YOU probably know it's faking it from a previous blog. Let's hope it's at least interesting faking.

4/22/11

one-minute wonder

Another impromptu late-night blog. Hey, this time I fell asleep at 9:00 and woke up an hour ago to blog. It's a short mishmash of old samples, true, but going back and listening to the samples I've made in the past, I have to say I'm kind of proud of them. Not bad for a girl and her freeware.

4/20/11

place-slipping

Another funky technoish track with ukulele, clave, cheap organ settings and some filtering/decimation.

4/18/11

rota

Me making some throat-singing noises. Well, more like burping noises. Either way it's the kind of beautiful music my mother always hoped I'd make.

music11 sketch 2

Another sketch of material for my still-in-progress piece for Music11, put together with real flute and fake clarinet/celesta.

4/17/11

dear oh dear

A few cymbal samples, a lot of Reaper and Cubase, a little Audacity, and voila! Very tasty.

4/16/11

the air full of song

A project for today I've had in mind for quite a while; I went on an extended walk around my neighborhood (a dense maze of hilly winding lanes and back streets, populated by a mix of working-class folk, retirees and young professionals), recording as many different sets of windchimes as possible.
This turned out to be much trickier than I thought: besides the most obvious technical problem (that is, when windchimes make sound, it's because there's WIND blowing, usually right at the microphone), there's the issue of how to get close to people's porches without being observed creeping around. There's also cars, people, lawnmowers, and dogs generally everywhere--it seems many people who like windchimes also like irritatingly yappy dogs, which says something about how much they value their own aural comfort over that of passers-by. There are also a number of people who really REALLY love windchimes, who collect and display a dozen different whimsical sets on a porch glassed in on three sides onto which nary a breeze will ever blow. And a girl with a recorder might wait for ten minutes for an artsy-glass-metal-sculpted chime thing to make a sound, as it stubbornly refuses to yield to the most vigorous breezes.

Anyway, real world sound-gathering is fun, but a bit involved; I tried to look less sketchy hanging out front of people's houses by holding the recorder to my head like it was a phone (as if that could fool anyone), or by putting it on the ground and pretending to tie my shoes. Hmm.

4/15/11

vocabulation

Samples from the early days of vocoders! all found on Berkeley's vocoder website. Oddball voices mostly.

4/14/11

classroom chorus

The sounds of today's Intro to Western Music class, enthusiastically humming and clicking at my command. I hope they had fun becoming part of the blog, as I always enjoy sharing the blog with people. Here's the end result, gussied up with a few bowed vibraphone samples.

4/12/11

natural flavoring

Drones and drones. A journey into romantic sensuality of droneness. And by romantic sensuality, I mean scratchiness.

For the record, I had some neat bowed vibraphone samples for today, and then had to wipe my recorder to reset it before I retrieved them later.

4/10/11

margins

A tribute to artificial toast toppings. Utterly fake and unrefrigerated (that's bad, right?). Seriously, it's very late and this is a hasty redux of yesterday's blog, in fact.

4/9/11

left-handed rage

As has been foreshadowed from time to time almost from the beginning of this blog, here's me wailing away on my bucket of a snare drum and screaming. What it lacks in finesse it makes up for in raw emotional authenticity. Lots of frustration about lots of things in there (including not least my complete lack of left-handed drum technique).

Oh yeah, caution: extremely loud.

4/8/11

two walls

Simply two big walls of noise, made from everything from weights rolling on the basement floor to the cat purring.

4/5/11

muffin happening

Some sketches for the piece I'm writing for Music11; all done in flutes, cuz flutes is what I haz. Sort of...folksy? Feldmanesque? folksy Feldman?

4/4/11

4/3/11

pin pushin'

Borrowing from the underrated blog #113, this features an extended sample of metal pins on a porcelain plate, which is more interesting to listen to than you might think.

4/2/11

borrowed sweater

It's loose and scratchy. Made from old cello samples and a bit of keyboard.

4/1/11

music the netbots will love

Hey hey. It's maybe not super fancy, but it is kind of special in a contemplative sort of way. Using viola samples from the University of Iowa's free sample page, plus some special specialness in Reaper.

3/31/11

smother me now

I made this blog, uploaded it to my server account, and then forgot to actually post it until now (several hours later). It's just That Special today. But! [here comes the usual unnecessary blog apologizing], tomorrow's post will be much much cooler, oh I swear I swear I'll be good, please forgive me.

3/30/11

spring and cold

More attempts at creating interesting fields of sound out of samples with chopped-off envelopes, in this case bowed glasses. Kind of neat, a little chilly maybe. Also some bent marimba samples.

3/29/11

dark ambition

Hey! Hello! Yes I am still conscious, barely. This one uses some old bass samples and could have been really cool with a little more forethought, says I in hindsight. Also odd creepy bits of drumming and voice here and there.

3/28/11

neat and nifty

Lots of tiny strings above and below the neck on guitar and cello.

3/27/11

bundle

Made with a sample of a sheng, the Chinese free-reed woodwind instrument.

3/26/11

waiting

If you didn't know, I haven't been feeling too great lately. I've been keeping the blogs short and sweet for that reason. I'm sure eventually things will turn around and I'll be back to the longer, rambling combinations of electric mixers and flugelhorn that my listeners have come to love.

Meanwhile, here's this.

3/25/11

take one for the team

Just some old stuff, celesta mostly. I'm going to go throw up now.

3/23/11

oasis was a rotten band

Not that this drony, fake-organ thing is any better. Unless you like drones. I do! So suck it, Oasis!

try not to remember

By overwhelming popular demand, it's the hot indie combo of electric guitar (tuned and played badly by me), floor tom and theremin. I need some moody lyrics to go on top of it.

3/22/11

trio of awesome

Samples from Brandon (bari sax), Chuck (drums) and me (theremin) jamming.

3/21/11

manbush

Xylophone and marimba. It dwells in two worlds and is master of both. Behold blog #202, nature's greatest wonder!

3/20/11

super moon

Tamborine and samples from the radio; it quite unexpectedly started skipping, creating the weird rhythmic semi-syllables you hear.

3/18/11

green-haired lady

Another use of the pitch-tracking patch in PD, with whistling and singing.

hilly landscape

Oh flutey fluteness. Also xylo, marimba, and the ever-popular omnichord.

3/16/11

sign of portent

This borrows a sine-wave piece made by a very nice guy, David Morneau, and remakes it a bit...it's cool! he wants people to do this! Mr. Morneau was mentioned previously because he completed a very similar project before I started this blog madness for myself.

The idea here is that sine waves are gradually overtaken by bowed glasses and flute (the beans and rice of my musical diet on the blog), which are sine-wavy enough as it is. It's also 1 minute long, like many recent posts (you may have noticed).

3/15/11

ghast a ghost

Ya put piano samples through enough VST patches in Reaper, they start sounding like tuba.

3/14/11

indirect questions

Buncha old samples, mostly flute and the "mystery instrument" from blog titled "putting it away", which I will now reveal is the gun controller that came with the broken Nintendo I found in the basement.

3/13/11

death comes a-tappin'

Exploring my darker side with this one, I contemplate our common mortality through manipulation of a knocking sound, echoing through a complicated series of psychical folds of delay and distortion, questioning meaningful existence in the face of fleeting life.

Nah. I was just trying out Reaper, that's all. I think I can find some neat things to do with it.

(Get it? Reaper...you see what I did there...)

3/12/11

magical sea lady

Nathan Hall sent me some great electric celesta samples! and here they are remixed into a piece with some other high-pitched keyboard instruments. I don't know why it's called "magical sea lady" except I wish I was one, so I could be married to a seahorse.

And hey, if you want to send me a .wav file and see what I do with it, just email me at daisystomper@gmail.com and it will no doubt turn up in a blog post somewhere.

3/11/11

decimation

For a number of reasons I don't really want to share with all the Internet*, it's been a hard week for me. Decimated is how I feel and also what I've done to these here samples of static, people talking in a bar, and cheesy music from an old advertisement on my cassette tape of "The Hunt For Red October."

*because all of the Internet totally comes to check out my blog, all the time.

3/10/11

twinkle skinkle

Flute, snare drum, air pump, guitar. How I wonder what you are.

(Oh, but that tune's not in here. Not at all.)

3/8/11

myooosic should be soooooothing

My goal: to gradually merge and shape drumbeats into a tone. Success? Maybe. Beautiful? Of course! As are all things on CJC! Also there's bowed wineglasses and whistling to enhance the relaxingness of your listening experience. You could totally loop this and take a long rejuvenating bath with candles n'at.

panic button

A short burst of dissonance. Tomorrow will probably be screaming and more screaming.

(Note: I'm pretty sure this was the day I found out I was pregnant. -KL 7/7/12)

3/7/11

reluctant experiment

I don't remember where I got this synthesized harmonics sample, but I'm sure I didn't make it myself. Doesn't stop me from messing around with it, though.

3/6/11

top 40 tea-making hits

An odd combination: samples of orchestral hits with the sound of me hitting a teakettle with a large rubber hammer.

3/5/11

fat hamsters

Tuba samples made into a cheery melody, and also fed into a pitch-sliding sampler in PD. Makes you want to go to a tiny, tiny circus.

3/4/11

flutophone

So this competes with the bathtub sounds for silliness. It's my flute jury-rigged to my saxophone neckpiece (with some tape) and a plastic cup with wax paper over it attached to that. The result is a hideous flute kazoo monstrosity, like a birdrat.

3/3/11

robot cooking class

The return of that PD patch, with some fixes by Ben. Actually, it's both the updated and the original patch together; oddly enough, moving objects and connections around to different spots in the patch seems to have created quite different sounds. Plus some trash cymbal and maraca.

3/2/11

simplicity itself

It's all altered waveforms; basically a chance to explore what all the new Audacity plugins I downloaded do. (What some of them do is unexpectedly deafen you.)

3/1/11

bumpershoot

To make up for the graphic score piece with no graphic score, here's an extra one, and kind of a neat one at that. It's an umbrella as graphic score. The parameters are left a bit vague, but generally movements like spinning and opening the umbrella can be used to direct performers. My fellow Outer Circlers found some really cool things to do with it, like pointing to specific places on the umbrella, holding it in front of a light that gets switched on and off, and opening and closing it violently to make sound. I didn't get video of us playing, but here's a demo of the 'brella in action:


2/28/11

breaking in the clogs

There are many wooden items in my house, such as small boxes, lids, and bits of scrap wood. This piece celebrates them in all their xylophilic glory, along with another favorite thing -- bicycle spokes.

Time for sleep!

2/27/11

she moved through the fair

Using a recording of the traditional Irish song (I think it's Irish?), it's sort of a ghostly expansion using effects, samples, and manipulations.

2/26/11

running decals

Where it is!!!! uh, yeah. I got a bunch of VST plugins in Audacity. Aand this is me trying them out a bit with guitar and marimba samples. Noisy fun.

2/25/11

close to home

This reminds me of several old blogposts: weird percussion, out of tune piano, flute. Yet it has a special...something to it. I'm going to say it does, anyway.

2/24/11

chicken pizza at chichen itza

Man, if you were hoping to hear me play lots and lots of saxophone, you're sure getting your money's worth with this one. Plus some snare and sizzle. It's groovy, or at least loud.

2/23/11

salty wash

Slashing and cutting, recording and re-recording bits, harsh and striking.

2/22/11

whiteout

It's snowing, or it was a while ago. This is snow and traffic sounds plus some eerie pitches. Speaking of snow, Dave B. made this video last year during snowpocalypse. I may have mentioned it in a previous post, but in any case here it is again; it's got me, Ben, and Brandon playing.

2/21/11

positude additive

Some decent cello bits; and sounds made by books. Not my most original post ever, because in the world outside the blog I've already written and performed a piece involving books (both percussive noises and reading them); I'll put it on my Music Besides the Blog page if you want to check it out.

2/20/11

stranger in the yard

The unlikely combination of electric guitar, melodica, and windchimes which I snuck onto someone's front porch to record. Guitar is played with heavy glass slider, as before.

2/18/11

kankakee flood

It's not as country as the name would suggest. In fact, it's not country at all, being just clouds of percussive noise. But there you go.

quiet ecstasy

Piano, vibraphone, and piano and vibraphone.

2/17/11

slow sinking feeling

Lately I've been losing some enthusiasm for the blog. Lord knows it's time consuming when I have many other "important" things to be doing, like "finding a job" and "writing my dissertation". I'm sure my blog mojo will return eventually.

2/16/11

two illustrations

Audio of Wallace Stevens reading his poem "Two Illustrations That The World Is What You Make of It", plus some samples from the background sounds, and a few generated tones.

2/14/11

doorways

Wow, this piece is all like "secondary woodwind instrument Festival" - it has piccolo, clarinet, and semi-functional saxophone. And it's so lovely. You might start crying. I know I did. Hey, some day I might start writing and recording fifth-species counterpoint everyday. It could be tomorrow for all you know.

Come and knock on my doooooor! It's Han Solo sneaking around on Endor.

tea time

All made with one "instrument" which I handily found sitting around the couch. Guesses here! Or not.

2/13/11

random organ

Following up on the duck hacking, here's a piece done entirely with a PD patch, written by me -- my first real Pure Data programming effort of any kind. The patch is basically a chain of oscillators linked to a series of metronomes at varied speeds that change the pitch of each oscillator at different times (including at random). Besides the automated changes, you can also manipulate the pitches with the independent number sliders (to some extent).

Anyway, here 'tis...might be a little, um, harsh for some ears. It's that kind of week.



2/12/11

duck hack attack

The long-awaited electronic duck toy, hacked by Ben a couple weeks ago now; here 'tis in all its resplendent beauty and quackiness.

2/11/11

efficiency

So my sax isn't completely broken; just the F key. That's why the sax part of this piece is deficient in Fs (hence the title). Lots of cello in the background; definitely improved over previous attempts to simulate a massed cello uprising (see blog #100). Writing actual notes on actual paper helps; I wouldn't be surprised if that's the next Theme Week.

2/10/11

sew it girl

Aaron requested a while back that I put some pieces up where I don't tell you what instruments I used, but instead let listeners guess what they are. Rolling with that idea, there are three different instruments in this piece; who can guess what all three are? anyone who guesses all three correctly will receive the lofty but intangible prizes of respect and admiration from myself and visitors to this blog. Meanwhilst, enjoy this beaty little track.

...and if you like some interesting and rhythmically complex music, check out Aaron's link above.

2/9/11

battalion of knowledge

It was going to be a sax duet, only to discover that my sax is broken, after being played like twice. So here's some awesome alto fluting instead, plus a touch of bass recorder.

2/8/11

so tired

Can't...keep...eyes...open....to describe...musical...process and elements...

2/7/11

7. uptake

Wrapping up this week of graphic scores with an attempt to think vertically rather than horizontally; or rather, it's short time-wise and heavily layered. I think next time graphic scores show up, I'll have a) more people involved and b) clearer rules for interpretation.


2/6/11

6. missing score

Ahhhh...

I had a cool graphic score and my computer just ate it.

Anyway, here's the music for it; maybe you can recreate what the score looked like in your imagination. Maybe you have synesthesia and graphic scores really bother you because of incongruities between how the music and the score appear. That would be neat, but awkward.

2/5/11

5. lantern

Hey, a video.

Today I made a rotating "lantern"-style graphic score that could be controlled in time; the score is a sort of paper tube put on a lazy susan; players play following one of two lines, matching whatever shapes they see. A second person can turn the score faster or slower, backwards or forwards...anyway, you get the idea. Some flute, panpipes and ukulele in the sound file below; the movie is just a short clip of what the thing looks like in action.


That's a wind-up camping lantern in the middle, by the way.

2/4/11

4. blue hexes

Found some hexagonal paper today, which turned into today' graphic score, entry #4 in Graphic Scores Week on the blog. Players today are myself on banjo and Ben Harris on self-made contact mic and tenor ukulele, along with amplified tabletop.


2/3/11

3. light it up

Graphic scores week entry #3; getting all 3D and crossing into "installation" territory a bit. Today demonstrates how an interesting idea can be unexpectedly problematic in execution. The idea: make a mobile of lit birthday candles hanging from some free-moving twigs; let the candle wax fall on a sheet of aluminum foil below; make a piece incorporating both the sounds of wax falling on foil (spread over a deep cookie sheet for resonance) and playing of sounds that use the wax on foil as a score.

In some ways, this was pretty neat; the sounds of wax dripping and hissing and things burning were pretty compelling, and the drips were colorful and spread into neat patterns; however, with Mobile Version #1, the flames burned through the strings holding the candles in about two minutes (in the picture, you see the resulting piles of fallen candles mixed with drips). Oops. Mobile #2, using chicken wire instead of string, lasted quite a bit longer, but ultimately the candles melted and fell to the ground (still burning, sometimes) as well.

If you're concerned (MOM), nothing was set on fire or damaged, except for a few drips of wax in my hair. Anyway, the idea was a two-part piece that contributes sound not only from its use as score-object that players respond to, but from its own creation.