Monthly Archives: August 2012


needle chase [disquiet0033-turntable]

was very intimidated by this week’s assignment. the turntable is really the only piece of audio playback equipment that gets standing ovations when rolled on stage. fake djs spin records where real djs play a turntable…

got on a giorgio moroder kick this weekend and borrowed the bassline and tempo from “chase” off the midnight express soundtrack. all tones for the bassline, melody and mid-section carnival calliope were extracted as harmonics from spinning turntable-felt samples at actual speeds in paulstretch. there’s a little added flange, compression and reverb. the rest is just kismet on the timeline.

sounds:
spinning felt of turntable: 33, 45 and 78 rpms (contact mic rested on felt)
tapping on plastic turntable cover (contact mic)
needle touched with finger then placed and rested next to spinning platter of turntable (rca output into motu)

rig:
numark pt-01 usb portable turntable, k&k electric contact mics, sony acid 7.0, line 6 pod xt, motu 828 mk2, paulstretch (windows)

project:
This week’s project is the Disquiet Junto’s 33rd, and since the number 33 (or, more specifically, the number 33 1/3) is so closely tied with the LP turntable, that device will be the primary object of investigation.

You will make an original piece of music in which all the sounds are derived from a turntable — only from the turntable itself, which means you can’t put any vinyl on it. You can knock on the turntable, blow on the needle, record the sound of its internal mechanisms, whatever you like. You can also transform those sounds as you please, but you cannot include any additional sounds.

More on the 33rd Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2012/08/16/disquiet0033-turntable/ ;

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


friction and the flame [disquiet0031-onomatch]

Process:
Watched a few matches burn. Became fascinated with the moment of ignition and the friction behind the flame, so this piece hones in on that moment and those forces.
Attached contact mics to inside of a kitchen match box, directly under the striking surface. Scratching the striking surface with a match head (without igniting) produced the main beats.
Recorded several strikes and ignitions of an 11″ fireplace/grill match with a studio mic. A suitable strike was stretched to about 2:22 and runs under the piece uninterrupted. The opening bang is the match head hitting the box and the big bang at ~1:30 is the match igniting. The stretched scraping is evident in the middle section when the guitars drop out.
Had some Creative Commons licensed samples of Yoko Ono from a couple years ago, when she invited people to remix her track “The Sun Is Down.” I never made a remix, but always loved the samples and this project provided a perfect outlet. Her voice and the Tenori-on came from that set.
The fireplace matches gave off a fun pitter-patter sound as they burned down. This noise comes in and out and closes the track unadulterated.
Rhythm and lead guitar tracks round out the affair.

Rig:
Diamond “greenlight” kitchen matches (300 ct box), Penley 11″ long-burning grill & fireplace matches (40 ct box), Yoko Ono “The Sun Is Down” samples, Gibson ES-335 (“Jolie”), Vox AC-15, Paulstretch (Windows), Sony Acid, K&K contact mics, Senheiser MD 421-II mic, Line-6 Pod-XT, Motu 828 MK-II, Sony MDR-7506 headphones

Image:
A photograph I shot on the set of HBO’s “Oz,” for which I was the Assistant Location Manager for the first season. The scene was a flashback of an arsonist burning down a firehouse. The location was a decommissioned fire station on Delancey Street right near the Williamsburg Bridge on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Project:
This week’s project takes the opportunity to focus on the art movement known as Fluxus. We’ll use as the starting point a 1955 composition by Yoko Ono. Her work is titled “Lighting Piece” and it consists of a single, simple sentence: “Light a match and watch till it goes out.” It is one of a number of pieces that Ono produced as part of Fluxus. For this week’s Disquiet Junto project, please interpret her instruction as closely or as loosely as you choose.

More on the 31st Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2012/08/02/disquiet0031-onomatch/

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