Sunday, September 30, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Seventy Three

I've been recording birds, with a separate composition project in mind. But I pinched a little for todays mix. The opening and closing sounds of this track are budgies in flight, first as they were recorded, and then pitched down, slowed down and reversed at the end. In between, clarinet long notes from yesterday, down a 5th.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Seventy Three

My new favourite thing is to double track everything in the mix (ie. duplicate a sound, apply different effects to each but play them simultaneously). So today, double Kingswood plus double clarinet. I pulled out the clarinet a couple of weeks ago, having not touched it in ten years. I can still get an ok sound out of it! So I began experimenting with long notes, a contact microphone and some effects pedals today: delays, EQ and pitch shift.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Seventy Two

The thing with old cars is that they take awhile to warm up. Which is worth it for the prestige of driving such a sexy beast. And it means I can gather fodder for this project, too. Today: busted train station speakers, with Kingswood, circa 1978. Plus some more EQ/filter experimentation.


Thursday, September 27, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Seventy One

Some experimental EQ-ing today, with a recording I made last night at Sydney's Central Station, of a faulty PA speaker. I duplicated the track, put a high pass filter on one and a low pass filter on the other, then continued to isolate various high and low frequencies as I went. Cool new territory, I think. Plus a similar treatment of the acoustic guitar with 5 cent pick slide from yesterday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Seventy

The last acoustic guitar exploration for awhile, I think. There's loops of me drumming on the guitar from yesterday, pitched down and sped up, then slowed down again. Plus the sound of me scraping a 5 cent coin up and down the lowest string. I then found out that this is an actual accepted technique, referred to as a pick slide. Maybe there is hope for me as a guitarist, after all :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Sixty Nine

I decided to try my own hand at the acoustic guitar tonight, and ended up drumming on the body in different places to achieve different pitches and amounts of resonance. Plus harmonics from yesterday, down two octaves and sounding very much like a full orchestral bass section (this one possibly best heard on stereo, not computer speakers).

Monday, September 24, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Sixty Eight

Part two of acoustic guitar mini project today, and huge thanks to Rohan for his help and ideas. Todays addition: playing harmonics up and down the instrument, plus the muted strings from yesterday, duplicated and slowed/pitched down.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Sixty Seven

Hanging out with guitarists always makes me want to try to play, or take lessons, or persevere with the instrument for more than a few minutes at a time. For now, though, I've enlisted some help on another mini project. My friend Rohan has kindly offered to help me record some different acoustic guitar sounds for the next few days. Todays addition is buried quite deep in the mix, amongst sheep bells and bottle brushes, and it sounds a little like someone sawing: playing a continuous rhythm on the muted guitar with one hand whilst sliding along the fretboard with the other.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Sixty Six

More explorations with a bottle brush in the laundry today, along with another really cool contribution from Penelope Bartlau, from her trip to Italy (in particular San Lussurgiu), earlier this year: sheep with bells! Image and audio from a video Pen took on her phone, of the sheep being herded down a little country street.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Sixty Five

I need to get one of these to play my bass drum with - the bottle brush, that is. Between the corrugated metal handle and the bristles, on laundry sink, bucket, or probably anything - sounds great! And playing it on the sink I found changed the pitch as well, depending on the angle and pressure. The bottle brush sort of sits underneath the last of Phil's tenor sax improvisation, with a new reverse delay I've been trying.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Sixty Four

This mix was made solely with material sourced from Phil Bywater, in a tenor saxophone improvisation on Solitude. I used four different sections of Phil's track which I then played at different speeds, octaves and times - weaving a kind of tapestry of my own out of his music.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Sixty Three

Lots of pistachio shells with delays here. Plus the second of two tracks contributed by Phil Bywater recently - a tenor sax improvisation on Solitude. I cut Phil's track up and used a couple of bits as loops in and around the nut tracks.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Sixty Two

Today I took the bells from Santa Lussurgia and reversed them, took them down an octave and slowed the whole thing down. Then I made a couple of loops with a recording of pistachio shells, and experimented with some new delay effects. I think I've used every kind of delay that Ableton Live has this year, and I'm sick of all of them! More experiments to come, and new VST delay recommendations welcome...

Monday, September 17, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Sixty One

Last week when I recorded wind chimes in Penelope's garden she also gave me some recordings of bells in Italy, and in Santa Lussurgiu. I asked her for a picture to go with these bells, and it looks like the most beautiful little town. On to the travel wishlist! Plus refrigerator drones and melting ice blocks.



Sunday, September 16, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Sixty

Keeping with the fridge theme today: I melted a bunch of ice cubes in some hot water, and you can hear less ice and more water as they melt. Plus my fridge hum from yesterday, and Phil's alto sax improvisation, pitched down and sped up.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Fifty Nine

I've made quite a few recordings in my kitchen this year, each time trying to avoid the loud humming noise that my fridge makes. So it's probably about time I made peace with this sound that has helped make up the background noise to my home life for several years now... I made three loops of the fridge drone and played with pitch and delay. Plus some more of Phil Bywater's alto sax improvisation from yesterday.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Fifty Eight

More brown paper loops today, pitched down further and further as the track progresses. Plus an also sax improvisation, After Evan Parker, from Phil Bywater. Phil also shares my love of interesting coloured food. Nice.



Thursday, September 13, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Fifty Seven

I was given some lovely soap yesterday, in brown paper with a big purple ribbon. I think I'll re-use the ribbon for non-blog purposes, but the brown paper is here, in three parts: one loop of scrunching, one of the rough side of the paper and one of the smooth side. Plus Penelope's bells from yesterday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Fifty Six

My friend Penelope, whose windchimes and poodle featured in yesterdays track, gave me some recordings of her own to play with. This one, amongst chimes and remnants of reversed bicycle pump, of some bells from her recent honeymoon in Italy...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Fifty Five

I recorded some great big wind chimes in Northcote this morning before work. They inspired a bit of a palindrome-ish track today: the sample of the chimes is played forward then backwards, with a small, pitched down version in the middle. Plus bike pump, looped and duplicated with varying delays. And if you listen carefully to the first few seconds of the track there's Baxter the poodle shitzu, excited to help me with my recording :)

Monday, September 10, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Fifty Four

I seem to be back in domestic mode at the moment: this mix comprises yesterdays sample of my boiling kettle, plus several loops of bike pump with various pitch shifting and delays.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Fifty Three

Ever wondered what your kettle would sound like with distortion, juxtaposed with metal pipes bought from Bunnings by an experimenting percussionist? Look no further...

Saturday, September 8, 2012



Day Two Hundred and Fifty Two

Two extremes of home-made instruments today: Gus McKay's giant thunder ratchet, with delay and pitched down. Plus the Bunning metal pip-o-phone, one of the instruments that percussionist Anna Van Veldhuisen will be playing as part of her show
WordSmith, for the 2012 Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Fifty One

Today, the pièce de résistance of Toby Brodel's contributions this week - a giant thunder ratchet built by UTAS sculpture student Gus McKay. Absolutely awesome and I want one! Plus yesterdays stairwell recording, reversed and pitched down - this one's for the stereo, not tiny computer speakers.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Fifty

Todays mix includes more sounds from the sculpture school at UTAS, thanks to Toby Brodel. This time, a recording of the stairs in the stairwell where the hurdy gurdy recording was made. Plus pitched down hurdy gurdy, and my bass drum with rice from Mondays gig at Disco Beans. Throughout the track I played with the EQ of the bass drum sample, so that sometimes the high pitched falling rice stands out, and at other times the rice is drowned by the low rumbling, distorted bed of delayed bass drum.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Forty Nine

On Monday I played a solo set at Discobeans - amplified bass drum with toys and some effects. I snatched a bit of the recording for todays mix: pouring rice on the drum with a bed of distortion/delay. Plus hurdy gurdy loops with more, pitched down, hurdy gurdy loops. Thanks again to Toby for the hurdy gurdy recording. So much hurdy gurdy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Forty Eight

My friend Toby just got back from a week in Tasmania, and he returned with presents for my blog! The first is a recording of a hurdy gurdy, made by his friend Joe Shrimpton at UTAS. I left it pretty much as is but did a fair amount of time stretching towards the end. Plus vitamins and sauce making sounds from the last couple of days.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Forty Seven

Todays mix is made up of four looped audio clips: two of the vitamins from yesterday, and two of me pouring freshly made tomato sauce into a glass bottle today - each with some delay and pitch shifting. Then I adjusted the tempo of the two vitamin loops as I went, with one getting faster and one getting slower. Interesting how so much of my work seems to evoke weathery kinds of sounds - rain, winds, storms, waves, thunder...

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Forty Six

After my rehearsal for Vieux Carré with Bob today I wanted to see what else I could do to mess with his beautiful Blues guitar, and make it as eerie as possible. It turns out multi vitamins are good for more than just keeping you healthy...

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Day Two Hundred and Forty Five

I took my tax return on an excursion to Vincent Vegetarian today. Unfortunately faux fish is not really my bag, so I'll never know what Vegetarian Fish-Sound actually sounds like... Fortunately, a new collaborator, blues guitarist Bob McGowan, sent me some sample tracks to listen to. Bob and I are going to be involved in a new production of Tennessee Williams' Vieux Carré next year, with live electronic manipulation of New Orleans style guitar circa 1938. I had a little play with Bob's rendition of Mance Lipscomb's Death Comes Creepin', to see what I'm going to be able to do and add to his playing. Plus slinky on wooden desk from yesterday.