Tag Archives: drone

[track] chasing flight


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[vid] animoog snow 0301d | 120fps

animoog snow 0301d | 120fps

A video posted by westyreflector (@westyreflector) on

[a few words on] Tuonela: Blue Mountain Ice Reflections

Tuonela (soundcloud, bandcamp), a sound artist and self-described “primitive musician” out of Katoomba, Australia makes sounds using “very basic software.” With no synthesizers and “no idea how Ableton works,” he produces and processes wonderful sounds, and for someone so prolific, his work still exhibits no sameness, jumping across modes and always somehow making the “epic” look, well, effortless. At the same time, Tuonela has a singular style, one that offers transcendence and earthiness all at once.

Tuonela created and yesterday alerted me to the remix posted above of my January 2015 Disquiet Junto ice challenge contribution, and as expected, he found hidden spaces and mysteries and narrative in my track that I never thought existed.

We connected a couple years ago through the Disquiet Junto, from whence have come many of my most interesting musical nodes these days. The sheer volume and unwavering quality of his output have become welcome additions to my feed. I can’t keep up, but that’s ok, because fate has intervened often enough to create a bond. Early on in our interactions, Tuonela’s heartfelt enthusiasm for my stock-and-trade rock ‘n roll was a catalyst for me to continue experimenting with the challenges in the Junto and exploring my nascent fluxus-driven ambitions.

No doubt his eschewing of Abelton and, for that matter, most of the emerging tools of sampling-era electronica, contribute to the accessibility of his work (at least to this 20th century relic author). Make no mistake, this is digital art, but of the type that peels itself back to reveal some of the human hand. No algorithms (or any number of monkeys at typewriters) left to their own devices would take us on his journeys or arrive us at his destinations.

Tuonela less writes “songs” and more creates “landscapes.” Valley Suite, a July 2014 release “sonically inspired by the majesty and mystery” of his Katoomba, Australia home and the surrounding Blue Mountain Range, is ancestral, modern, celebratory, cerebral and expansive all at once. The closing track, Megalong Morning, is 15-minutes of restrained and meditative drone, a wonderful reflection of the peace found at the summit of a rock climb, perhaps, or that sense of awe at the edge of your own land’s Grand Canyon:

The Valley Suite record falls in with my own predilection for Tuonela’s quieter side. His contribution to the Junto’s sonicvoid challenge to soundtrack a silent film was a highlight for me in that collection of contributions:

And the titles of his tracks are their own font of inspiration.

In any event, check out Tuonela here:

rainy day lunch drone 0605b

rainy day lunch drone 0605a

the shimmer of stars in green water

An homage in drone to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “Wind, Sand and Stars.”

“The first stars tremble as if shimmering in green water. Hours must pass before their glimmer hardens into the frozen glitter of diamonds…”

lucky you [disquiet0059-vwls]

Rolled three Yahtzee dice at once on my window sill, under the watch of a scorpion frozen in glass (pictured).

6, 4 and 5 = “Y.O.U.”

Sang tones. Y = F# (I). O = B (V). U = D# (IX).

Pitch shifted each a few times and added them back to create harmonies. Some reverb and a bit of tap delay and chorus. As many as 14 tracks harmonizing at points. No premeditative pathway; “improvised” through the mixing. Fwiw, 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love” and The Cars “Drive” floated around my head as I mixed down.

Rig: AKG C3000B condenser mic, Lexicon MX200 rack reverb, MOTU 828mk2 interface, Sony Acid 7.0 w/VST effects


This week’s project involves the human voice. You will create a choral drone from three samples that you will create with your own voice. This project requires a single die, or the digital equivalent.

Step 1: Roll a die three times (or three dice once) to determine which vowels you will use. Depending on your luck, you may end up with two or even three of the same vowel.

1 = A (“a” as in “yay”)
2 = E (“e” as in “bee”)
3 = I (“i” as in “die”)
4 = O (“o” as in “yo”)
5 = U (“u” as in “you”)
6 = Y (“y” as in “Sylvia”)

Step 2: For each vowel that you have been assigned by the dice, record a 10-second sample of you holding that vowel as a constant tone (volume, timbre, note, etc.).

Step 3: Create a choral drone that utilizes only these three sources of audio. You can treat them with effects lightly, but they should be recognizable as the human voice throughout the duration of track.

More on this 59th Disquiet Junto project at:

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

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.


Samples courtesy of Mystified, aka frequent Disquiet Junto participant Thomas Park:

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

Phonograph Serenade [disquiet 0006-cylinder]

my 2nd contribution to the disquiet junto. this one involved turn-of-the-20th-century edison cylinders, which i fed through resonance, delay and finished with a light flange. the drone reminds me of guitar picks gliding down piano strings, which is soothing to me (since home is a metallic-droning megatown).