91. mindfulness

Flute, flute with distortion, tiny tiny recorder, and airpump. Hey, I like it. Good to be home too, because home is where my stuff is.


#90. omnimusic

So the grandparents were holding out on me! turns out there was a musical instrument in the house the whole time, hidden right under my bed; a totally sweet abomination called the Omnichord (an electronic autoharp, essentially) which at one time Grandpa was trying to teach himself to play. I want it. So there are some samples of that, with the unexpected additions of rumble strips (recorded along the Indiana highway today), and percussive sounds from a metal object that once was a clarinet. Seriously, it's a solid metal clarinet that passed through the waters of the Mississippi flood of '95, sat in my in-laws' closet for years, and now belongs to me. It might make a cool lamp.


#89. barn and shop

All the lovely sounds of heavy equipment found in John's grandpa's barn and tool shop, in this way completing the Grandparents' House triptych. John's mom was super enthused about turning on all the equipment to provide me with sounds for the blog. Grandpa was more uncertain about the whole power tools = music idea; you can hear him trying to explain the actual purpose of the drills and saws in the background at times. By the end he was pretty into it, though; that's him playing the air compressor.

Driving back to town tomorrow.


#88. my baby tapes the evening train

So a bijillion composers, including Heitor Villa-Lobos, George Antheil, Pierre Schaeffer, Steve Reich, and Harry Partch, have used train sounds or idioms in their music. It's been done, like, a LOT. Bearing that in mind, here is my little piece that uses the sound of the coal train that passes about fifty yards from the grandparents' house. Also featured is the sound of an outdoor dinner bell, which I never noticed here before today, but which is pretty entertaining; and some windchimes with much waveform manipulating.

For the original train recording piece, check it out here. Because you don't have to take MY word for it. Ba-dum-bump.


#87. turkey

In honor of Thanksgiving, something comfortable and rather expected, but possibly tasty, if a little dry. Using old piano and xylophone samples mostly.


#86. water under the floor

Remarkably, John's grandparents have leapt forward into the 21st century and got internet access here, which makes the blog much more possible. Today's features some interesting bell-like counterpoints, and also a remix of water sounds from a mysterious drain in the middle of the florida room.


#85. three five eight four

Made in the car. Featuring the cat (who begins all road trips with prolonged vocal protests), a pen clicking, and a guy reading a line from an Edgar Allen Poe poem on the radio - "Soft may the worms around her creep." The whole thing is a little creepy. Not that I'm turning all goth and depressed, Mom.

 I'm blogging from a Starbucks in Terre Haute, IN, if you wondered; it's a blog break from driving.


#84. Serenade

A violin, cello, and clarinet trio, so to speak. In this case the violinist is the gypsy violinist lady who hangs outside the Manor Theatre in Squirrel Hill, and whose name I don't know in fact; in any case she was quite generous in playing a few things on request for a stranger with a recorder.

Tomorrow we go to John's grandparents' house for Thanksgiving, where there is no internet access; to post things, I believe I will have to drive 3 miles into town and search for a free wifi spot, which are few in Robinson, Illinois (population 7000 or so). Hard-core devotion to the blog to be expressed in the next few days, in other words.


#83. numb extremities

This may not be anyone's favorite. It features sounds near the hearing threshold for humans, both high and low, pulsing out a rhythm; some of you may not be able to hear the upper parts at all (parents, i'm thinking of you here).


#82. xylembic

All things made of wood - xylophone, claves, and flute stand (surprisingly resonant, that.) Could there be more wooden things in here? Probably. Maybe next time there will be.


round the world

So today features some palindromic bits -- music the same backwards and forwards. Each instrument (piano, glasses, panflute) starts in the middle of the palindrome and adds bits to either side, or one side and later the other. Eventually the entire thing is revealed by the end.


#80. instant winner

I've got a new age girl! Tell me what she's like! That song has absolutely nothing to do with this one. I think. Anyway, this here's a catchy flute duet in 5/4 time, it repeats and does some funky things.  It'd be great to have a real bass flute someday, but until then there will be transposed bits done in Audacity.


#79. some filters

It's me playing a slightly unsteady 11-beat pattern on the underside of my doumbek, getting some interesting resonances and then deciding to see what neat harmonics I can bring out through filters, reverb and panning. Very simple and not bad at all, I think.


#78. failed alchemy

The title reflects on the fact that no matter how hard I try to alter its sound with reverb and tasteful fading, the multi-pitch tuning on my metronome does not make the loveliest of instruments. Alto flute is the thick chocolate icing trying to cover up the weird aspartame taste of the artificially-flavored tuner cake, so to speak. (Another weird music--> food analogy by me.) Perhaps it's time to move on from pieces featuring tuner.


#77. Mr. Met

It's a whole [fantasia? serenade? something} for metronome with a tuning option that lets you tune to about any pitch you would find on the keyboard. Yeah, it's been all Audacitied up too. You know it, girl.


#76. you little creep

Much exaggerately airy alto flute playing, some nice serene guitar bits, and some marimba to back it up here and there. Kind of nice, similar to some previous posts in that it's a sort of indeterminate background with recurring episodes of more prominent melodic bits on top of it.


#75. there is a river

Every so often I write a more pop-sounding praise and worship song for church, which is what this is. Not the first person to set Psalm 46:4, "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells." (I got it wrong and put "children" instead of "city." Serves me right for being too lazy to actually look up the verse.)



#73. delicious bass

I found a double bass sitting around at Chatham today. Good times. I have lots of treble instruments sitting around here, so something really low is nice for a change. This isn't too terribly exciting a piece, but it's something. I mean, uh, awesome piece! listen to it! love it!!!!


#72. polishing handrails

Just some piano samples chopped up like hot dogs and mashed into aural beanie-weenies. I'm hungry, by the way.


#71. home comforts

Three sounds went into this: a horrible pulsing hissing feedback sound that my TV makes when the DVD player is connected on the wrong side; feedback from my computer with the digital recorder plugged into it; and some distorted low piano notes. Ta-da.


#70. token gesture

Eeep. Past my deadline.

So I tend to write things with a lot of little parts pretty often. Here's something that's...well, also a lot of small parts, but put together into one big swell. Lots of fun things in here, like bicycle spokes, inner tube pump, cello below the bridge, banjo, panpipes, etc. Make this one your ringtone for the week. (Of course, because of the long slow fade-in, your callers would have gone to voice mail before you even heard it ring.)


#69. yazzfloot

Ron Burgundy changed my way of thinking about the flute forever. This is my tribute to him. I haven't tried spouting flames from my flute yet, but maybe that's for the next Outer Circle show.

That low ethereal bassline is, again, piccolo transposed down two octaves.


#68. favorite gurgles

Definitely one of my silliest posts. this is all samples from the bathtub - splashing, playing a cheap wooden flute underwater, singing, banging on a cookie sheet. Yep. And it's a Saturday night, splish splash and all that. Oh, I had the recorder safely encased in two plastic baggies.

Note: this might be the one of the silliest blogs.


#67. pleasant conversation

Flute duet based on a scene from the old BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries; one set of pitches for Lizzy talking, another set for Jane. Yeah, it's corny. (See previous post.)

Another fun thing: piccolo lowered two octaves in the background. Plus piano with tiny decorative skulls on it.


#66. little match girl

So Librivox.com is public domain recordings of people reading old books. I decided to download and mess with Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Match Girl" in both English and Dutch, by mixing them together with slightly conflicting storylines and some interesting edits and a little background music.


#65. focii (mvt.2)

Part 2 as promised. A little faster, a little better than part 1 I think. It's a complicated, ambitious project, involving a sort of algorithm for moving pitches away from the beat a little more with each repetition.


#64. focii

This is part of a larger project; movement 2 will commence tomorrow and eventually I'll have the complete piece up online. Ideally, yes, I do entire and complete pieces for this blog, but truthfully I'm about to pass out. So here's what I have; it's sort of two-pianosish.


#63. volcano day

That's Dave Bernabo playing a little ukulele for me. It's really hard to just sit and hold a ukulele and not try to play it; I suggest adding one to liven up any business meeting. In this case, Dave is following a graphic score I drew which looked like several crudely-drawn volcanoes. Later I play the same score on flute and then guitar played with empty beer bottle (both striking and sliding like a big bottleneck slide). Also some flute and singing at the same time. I like this one, as it turns out.

Oh, and it's the first blogpost to have banjo in it. Also played by me.


#62. frakk

It's noisy, but it's short. All generated in Audacity, which has a little palette of basic premade sounds. In retrospect, it's kind of interesting and could have gone on a bit longer.