Archive for June 2010

 
 

243 – First Contact

The results of my first foray into using contact mics.

Thanks to the generosity of Oli Bell @groovecriminals on Twitter, I have some new sound gathering methods to play with.

Born from an electric toothbrush spinning upon a few tight layers of cling film over a large bowl, with extra transients from my hot, sticky fingers upon the taut plastic. The short sample I chose to use was then thrown through a complicated effects chain in Ableton Live, layered and then looped to give it a life of its own.

It’s odd and different, but give it a listen? I like it! :)

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242 – As the Sun sets

This is my second piece created using some of the ambient sounds captured at the 2010 Solstice at Stonehenge.

The overall sound, aside from the piano, comes from a few distant crowd shouts/cheers and some acoustic guitar captures that have been heavily stretched, layered and effected.

This, for me, represents the atmosphere that only a few people seemed to take in, that the setting of the sun, that evening, was as important as its rise on the 21st.

I hope you like it?

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241 – Kings of the Underworld

Last night, I dreamt that I was on the run from an unknown and seemingly sinister threat.

Alongside me throughout this was Richard Burton.

He led me through a myriad of yellow chrome lit scenes that appeared to be 1960s London. To escape, he told me of a place we could hide out where he knew we’d be protected. This turned out to be a busy, smoke-filled working men’s club. He sat us down, with ale in our hands, in a darkened corner and began to tell a story, with dozens huddled around us, listening intently.

I woke and knew I had to find something, some interview or recounted episode of his life.

I stumbled upon something which, when edited, seemed to fit. I hope it works?

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Ambient Compilation 24

Dedicated to the memory of the most ‘Fantastic!’ Frank Sidebottom. Really sad to see you go…

Here is the twenty fourth zip file containing the latest ten tracks posted (well 11 actually, as there is a stretch version of Voices included too).

There are two zip files, one for lower bitrate MP3s and the other for the rather better 320kbps files.

All of the tracks here are free for you to download and distribute.

As ever, thank you for listening, your shouts out and retweets etc. I appreciate you taking the time to check these out.

231 to 240 – 96kbps – zip file (53Mb)
231 to 240 – 320kbps – zip file (169Mb)

240 – Warm Stones

This is the first piece made solely from the ambient recordings I made at this year’s solstice celebration at Stonehenge. Made using Ableton Live 8, Max for Live, Reaktor 5 and FabFilter Timeless.

It symbolises the warmth that was radiating from the stones throughout the night. I really felt something special run through me as I touched them for the first time.

I pass them four times each fortnight on my travels to Somerset and will feel more connected to them than ever before.

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239 – Higgs Boson

Just as I was drifting of to sleep last night, I was distracted by a tweet that pointed me to the BBC News site. It was a massive WOW moment for me. Here, I discovered that the data from the LHC was being used to create simulations of the sound of the Higgs Boson particles in various guises. The sounds are incredibly beautiful.

The article led me to LHCSound and to @lily_asquith on Twitter.

I hope they won’t mind that in the early hours of this morning I played around with a few samples of their work and made this?

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238 – Bright Collection of Strange Victories

This piece is dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi on her 65th birthday. I love her and wish for her to be released.

Free Aung San Suu Kyi. Free Burma.

Nothing more needs to be said.

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237 – Voices

At lunchtime, to lighten the day a little, I took a small sample of myself singing a single note, made a pad sound from it, dipped it in LOTS of reverb and made this simple little thing.

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Voices 96kbps.mp3

*Update*
For those of you who might enjoy it, I have made a 12 minute stretched drone version too.

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236 – Kirke

More playing around with the ambient recordings taken at Legoland on Saturday.

This is the sound of a little church scene, stretched, effected and filtered. The original sound is a distorted, tinny organ with a few more distant noises adding to its overall tone.

I can now almost hear a choir in there that never existed, can you hear it?

The piece has a long three minute tail out, starting at around 9 mins in. This is designed to help you drift off to sleep, or gently drift and awaken slowly after letting yourself float away.

I will try to make this the last drone for a while, I love them, but I know I ought to make something different for a bit to balance things out.

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Fingers of Love

The opening intro to Crowded House’s track, Fingers of Love, stretched, effected and washed in reverb.

The usual advice holds true. Take time out. Headphones on. Clear your head of thoughts and float away.

Only available as a stream for copyright reasons.

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