Monthly Archives: June 2012


the summer reflector

3oz reyka vodka
1/2oz st germain
1/2oz sorel hibiscus liqueur
1/2 lemon
tsp agave.

shake w/ ice.

fizz w/ 4oz club soda.


call pop [full version]

This was the first stab at soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/info project #0024, which involved creating alert tones for phones (ringtone, email, text and event). It became too orchestrated, however, and I had to rework it to create what I eventually posted to the group: Thereflectors – Call-pop-disquiet0024.

This kinda became a fictional 80s sitcom theme, though, and seemed fun enough to share if only for that. The guitar is in a 6th string drop-d tuning. A few not very flashy riffs are built around a chiming phrase (which may or not have been stolen from New Order :^D). The opening voice is a royalty-free sample of Mick Fleetwood I found in my loop drive. The title’s also kind of a backwards-induced Father’s Day reference (today having been the day we celebrate all pops here in the U.S.), so I imagined the sitcom having to do with a family. Maybe it even would have been called “Father’s Day” or something like that.

Peace,
Westy


call pop [disquiet0024-alertsuite]

PROJECT:

This week’s junto project was about “functional music.” We were charged with creating four individual sounds that serve as alerts for digital communications. They will be in these categories:

1) email arrival, 2) incoming phone call, 3) new IM received, 4) calendar event alert

The goal is that the four alerts will work together as a suite — that is, that they will complement each other, yet be distinct and recognizable from each other. For the purposes of the Disquiet Junto, we were to present these four alert sounds as one single track, repeating each sound a few times.

PROCESS:

I had written an even more orchestrated piece this weekend. All of a sudden, though, it became a fictional 80s sitcom theme and didn’t really fit the assignment. So I reworked tiny bits of it into what you hear here. If you’re curious, the link to the other track is here: Thereflectors – Call-pop.

Ringtone:
Fwiw, I’ve used a splice of Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes as my ringtone since I’ve had an mp3 capable smart-phone, so treating a longer, orchestrated track as a single “tone” felt like fair game. The guitar is in a 6th string drop-d tuning and just moves IV-I around a single phrase that moves up an octave in 5ths, (which was the ending phrase of my original track). I suppose this 5ths phrase is the “ringing” here, but I still like the concept of an orchestrated ringtone, fwiw. I tried to build the urgency (“pick up the call, would you!”) by adding maracas and clapping (which are the email and text alerts, respectively). Figured also a percussion build might help locate the phone in a deep bag. The title, btw, was also kind of a backwards-induced Father’s Day reference (yesterday, 17 June 2012, having been the day we celebrate “pop” – i.e., “dad” – here in the U.S.).

Email alert:
I get a lot of emails over the course of a day and did not want something too obtrusive. I shook a pair of maracas and thought “I wouldn’t mind hearing that peaceful shushing 18,000 times a day.”

Event alert:
The final rhythm guitar strum of the ringtone.

Text / IM / SMS alert:
Felt this deserved the most urgency of all the alerts (“hear me now, dammit!”), so it’s the repeated hand clap phrase from the ringtone. My text alert now on my iphone is the stock “telegraph” sound, so I tried to evoke this telegraph with a 3-clap phrase.

I’ll admit all of the alerts here are not very “alert-y,” but living in the bigbig city, I tend to not want to carry too many sirens in my pocket as I hear them enough trying to sleep.

As always, the junto is serious fun and lets me see myself in a totally new context.

Peace,
Westy

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More details on the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/info


sineenis vibratootarbiv [disquiet0023-palindrone]

This week’s disquiet.com junto project was about drones, and we were charged with composing a piece of drone music using five of twenty provided source tracks. The source tracks (link below) were a series of drones made by Mystified (aka Thomas Park: @mystifiedthomas) from kazoo, bottle, slide whistle, and didgeridoo. We were not allowed to add any new sounds, but we could transform our selections any which way we wanted.

The drone, in turn, was to take the form of a palindrome. Once the track reached its midpoint, its structure was then to continue to unfold as a mirror, or reverse, of its first half.

So, for better or worse, after a lifetime of writing and recording all sorts of music and sounds, my first “drone.”

I used: bottle 1, didgeridoo 2, bottle 4, kazoo 2 and slidewhistle 2.

Vibrato and sine waves struck me as palindromic, so I applied these two effects in varying degrees to 4 of the samples, as well as resonant filters, reverb and distortion. I won’t go into every example here, but I did attempt to program all the effect parameters as palindromes (e.g., vibrato flips between 12 and -.21 semitones, resonance filters at 151hz w/ 77.7% resonance and 99.9% wet output, reverb decays of 2.2 secs., etc… you get the drift).

The piece runs 2:12, and is split into twelve 11 second intervals, with the midpoint happening at 66 seconds.

The didgeridoo in vibrato runs the length of the piece and has the forward track in the left channel and the reverse in the right, and the slide whistle does the same thing across the center 44 seconds. The other three tracks fade in and out at various multiples of 11 seconds, and each is run in reverse in the track’s latter half, mirroring whatever it did in the front.

In the end, i just felt like making some noise, nothing too melodic. The screaming thing in the middle is the slidewhistle run through a tube-amp distortion simulator and reverb. In fact, I never realized how much I have needed to run a slide whistle through a distortion pedal until this assignment. :^D

Looking at the waveform, it seems this is not a perfect sonic palindrome, but i’ll takekat whatahw i canac geteg with this one.

Peace,
Westy

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Samples courtesy of Mystified, aka frequent Disquiet Junto participant Thomas Park:
archive.org/details/Junto_23_Samples

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/info