Tag Archives: field recording


[track] ’57 Echoes [Disquiet0258-RoomsWithinRooms]

Spending this week in Venice, FL, at The Herron House. Built by architect Victor A. Lundy (FAIA) in 1957 for the Herron family, the house was restored to its original grandeur by its current owners, Ursula Kohl and Peter Bartos, in 2008. It’s a masterstroke of mid-century American imagination, and a timeless time capsule that will always feel like the future.

Most of the house is open-plan (only the bedrooms and offices have doors), all the rooms, save one, have at least two glass walls, and there are two spectacular rooms within the envelope of the roof line that have floor-to-ceiling screens as their 4th walls separating them from the outside. The result is a house that breathes with its occupants (lizards included), creating an inside-out and outside-in soundscape that leaves you in a true suspension of time and space.

This piece was recorded inside the house during night and day rainstorms (Rooms A and C, respectively), as well as a clear morning (Room B). Most of the time, the house provides a serene silence, which I wanted to capture for the C-section, but the iPad mic is not conducive to recording nuanced calmness, so this piece captures none of the house’s tranquility. Rest assured, however, this has been a relaxing week, replete with luck to have graced its environs.

Went minimal to the max for this. Only mics I have down here are an iPad and iPhone, and only DAW is a GarageBand program I never learned to use with any proficiency. The project instructions said “don’t add any other effects or sonic material,” so here’s three rooms, with zero(0) processing, in loose arrangement as a song. Each room’s stereo tracks are two tracks recorded close in time, panned left and right. I’d call it unfinished, but I’m on vacation, slipped into another life, so I lost where I started.

GarageBand audio recorder –> iCloud –> GarageBand 10.2.0 for OS X Sierra.

Room A:
venice-fla-71.jpg
Rear sun room. This room is one of the two rooms with a screen-wall, and also has a massive screen skylight that allows rain inside. The tick-tocking sound (a short sample of which is looped as the Room A tone) is rain hitting the metal arm and vinyl-covered padding of a vintage outdoor rocking chair sitting under the screen skylight.

Room B:
venice-fla-1.jpg
Front sun room, secondary entertainment and dining area. Like Room A, this room also has a floor-to-ceiling screen wall, which in this room’s case faces the driveway and gives vegetation obscured views of the street. This room has an opaque glass skylight, however, so remains protected during bad weather (aside from whatever might pass through the screen wall in windier conditions). The recording was taken on a calm morning while drinking coffee at the table in the room, and the local birds were out in full force in the palm trees and plants that shield the house.

Room C:
venice-fla-100.jpg
Kitchen informal dining area. Floor-to-celing glass-enclosed on 3 sides. Looks out on the pool and outdoor seating area. The downspouts from the roof are tucked away on either side of the exterior of this room. As a result, during rainstorms, sitting at the table results in a stereo clattering of water rushing down from the roof to the underground drain. The glass is true to 1957 vintage and single paned, so there isn’t much in the way of sound absorption. The effect lends the sensation of standing behind a waterfall in a dry cave.

Check out my Flickr for some detailed interior and exterior shots of the house.

_______________________________________

More on this 283rd weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Rooms Within Rooms: Make an instrumental song built from the sounds of different rooms” — at:
https://disquiet.com/0283/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:
https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:
http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:
https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0283-rooms-within-rooms/

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to http://twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.


Kyle TM – Wvrdr (remix of a remix of “riding waves”)

Enigmatic and multi-faceted South Carolina artist Kyle TM layered soft breaking white noise swells, seagull calls and a rhythmic water drop over a remix of my “riding waves” by Tokyo-sound artist Naotko (Naoyuki Sasanami) for the 132nd Disquiet Junto challenge. Inasmuch as dreams are recursions of reality, the result here is a dream-state that expands on a story, grounding it in a new place and making a statement on the conscious filtering that makes up perception.

from the soundcloud track description:

I liked the idea of reworking a rework of a rework from Disquiet Junto 0066: Naotko – Riding-waves-by-nofi-westy

I was also drawn in by Westy Reflector’s philosophy for the track: Thereflectors – Riding-waves

I thought the track could use some waves and added white noise wave sounds, seagulls (www.freesound.org/people/beejeeb13…4/sounds/197743/), and a percussive 4/4 water drop (www.freesound.org/people/Adam_N/sounds/166322/).

RIP NOFI.

Kyle TM
soundcloud
twitter
bandcamp
tubmlr
simpli-fi creativity journal


[a few words on] Bassling’s Visceral Frequencies



Australian multi-instrumentalist Bassling (née,Jason Richardson) describes himself as “exploring the nether regions of the frequency spectrum and delighting in their visceral response.” Well, his nether regions are our visceral pleasure, too. Through the years, he’s cast a wide and adroit musical net, moving with ease from slash-and-burn low-frequency smolder, to anti-slash-and-burn environmental activist field recordings, to flash-and-turn dance mixes. These modes, in BasslingWorld, interchange and interact, often balancing high-concept and poignancy, as on his record For 100 Years (above), created from a series of field recordings at playgrounds around his Oz town of Wagga Wagga (Leeton). Liner notes vía bandcamp:

Imagine the stories they could tell
if playgrounds talked
or maybe sang?

He remixed my track riding waves [disquiet0066-nonofi] for the 132nd junto challenge, which prompted this deep return to his catalog.

His virtuosity combined with entertaining, revelatory track descriptions at his blog (which take a tone of charming irascibility and often include kick-ass videos of his recording process) have resulted in some of my absolute fav junto pieces. His track for the 110th junto challenge, Of Leeton Yesterday Morn, sees Bassling celebrating the 100th birthday of William S. Burroughs in a “cut-up” track based on this story from his local newspaper, The Irrigator, about a series of botched break-ins:

And in Steady Boil, for the 131st junto challenge, Bassling conducted a tea kettle in a minimalist symphony that manages to be philosophical, mechanical and fun all at once:


Run around his cunning-as-a-dunny-rat universe at:
bassling
soundcloud
bandcamp
twitter


[a few words on] @mark_ward_: one moon appears everywhere

“Fine Art trained” guitarist Mark Ward lives in Sheffield, UK, and his ambient electronica connects listeners to the serenity that inhabits every pastoral dream of the English countryside. He layers guitar with keyboards, field recordings and percussive loops, then filters with a gentle hand through software. His wonderful EP, One Moon Appears Everywhere, moves us through landscapes and textures, coming in and out of the foreground while mingling with and enhancing any thoughts that pop into our heads. The track Contentment is 12 minutes of hypnogogic tranquility, floating on a drone made from a rusting piano frame in an overgrown English meadow. No separation, indeed.

From the liner notes:

…the moon has never not been there, the light has never disappeared – light and dark are as one, death and life have no separation.

His latest official single, E Minor Blues, expands on aspects of his earlier output. The deceptively simple timing manipulation of 3 chords leads listeners through a fascinating series of caresses and disruptions, almost as if the chords are sentient and on journeys of self-discovery. That description might be a bit too new-agey for you hardened cupcakes, but deal with it. Give in to it. Let it all go…

Mark Ward
mark-ward.org
twitter
soundcloud
bandcamp
mixcloud
instagram


crystalline sky grace [disquiet0044-sandy2012]

Still a bit shellshocked here in Brooklyn, NYC. While wrestling with a few other concepts in the last couple days, Amazing Grace kept floating in the air. I believe in forces greater than myself, but I am not religious so much as spiritual. That is, I don’t believe these forces around us act with intention. Sandy didn’t “do” anything to us. She becomes, however, like every disaster, man-made or otherwise, an unwitting catalyst of grace, a measure of everything we “do” for ourselves and each other. The sky was so blue today. Crystalline.

Guitar: Jolie (cherry-red Gibson ES-335)
Amp Modeling: Line-6 POD-XT (setting: “Insane,” described as a “Dual Rectifier on 10 being used as a preamp for a Soldano.”)
Pedal: Ibanez Screamer
Software: Sony Acid 7.0, Paulstretch for Windows, Audacity for Mac

All sounds other than the guitar were derived from the shared recordings by Michael Raphael detailed below (fuzz distortion and Paulstretch harmonics were the key ingredients).

PROJECT:
Create an original track that makes a transition from stormy to placid over the course of its duration. Your track should open fiercely and then slowly give way to calm. You can use additional instruments of your choosing, but the original field recordings should serve as source material both for the stormy and for the placid portions of your track. In other words: the calm part of the track should be built in large part from audio of the storm.

———————————

The source audio from the 2012 storm Sandy was documented by Michael Raphael, an SFX recordist who maintains the field recording blog Fieldsepulchra at sepulchra.com/blog. His sound effects can be found at Rabbit Ears Audio:
rabbitearsaudio.com.

More on this 44th Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2012/11/01/disquiet0044-sandy2012/

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


The Know It Alls At Bloomingdale’s [almost disquiet0037-asrealasitgets1]

Was Upper East Side (like in a Warren Zevon song) in Manhattan on Sunday 16 September 2012 and captured a couple recordings at Bloomingdale’s. I flipped a coin to decide which to submit to the Junto and this one lost, but it was worth sharing.

This recording was made on the 8th (top) floor in the children’s section. The sounds involved a back-to-school mannequin display designed as a fake rock band called “The Know-It-Alls,” complete with guitars and drums that kids played as they passed by. The display was in front of the main elevators and an employee-only set of double-doors. Kids and parents alike alit from the elevator and hit the drums and strummed the guitars as they passed by.

Though the clothes and accessories on the mannequins were all for sale on the floor, the instruments were not. I dug the concept of the store allowing the items that weren’t for sale to be manipulated and distressed by the shoppers. I was tempted to tune the guitars, but decided to do my best Jane Goodall and not interfere with the situation. :^D

Process:
Recorded while walking and holding iPhone in hand. Faded the edges off the audio file in Acid.

Rig:
iPhone, GarageBand, Klipsch earbuds, Acid 7.0

This Disquiet Junto project was done in association with the exhibit As Real As It Gets, organized by Rob Walker at the gallery Apex Art in Manhattan (November 15 – December 22, 2012):
apexart.org/exhibitions/walker.php/

More on this 37th Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2012/09/13/disquie…7-asrealasitgets1/

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


Bloomingdale’s Ascension [disquiet0037-asrealasitgets1]

Was Upper East Side (like in a Warren Zevon song) in Manhattan on Sunday 16 September 2012 and captured a couple recordings at Bloomingdale’s. I flipped a coin to decide which to submit to the Junto and this one won. This recording captures a journey from the 59th Street N/R/4/5/6 subway station under the store to the street. There is a proprietary entrance to the store from the station into the basement-level “Metro59” section of the Men’s Department. Once inside, you can zig-zag up a couple 1/2 flight escalators, then up and down some stairs to arrive at the main street entrance on Lexington Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets.

The 2nd recording was made on the 8th (top) floor in the children’s section. The recording in the children’s section involved a back-to-school mannequin display designed to be a fake rock band called “The Know-It-Alls,” complete with guitars and drums that kids would play with as they passed by. Very different but equally interesting, that one is here:
Thereflectors – The-know-it-alls

Process:
Recorded while walking and holding iPhone in hand. Faded the edges off the audio file in Acid.

Rig:
iPhone, GarageBand, Klipsch earbuds, Acid 7.0

This Disquiet Junto project was done in association with the exhibit As Real As It Gets, organized by Rob Walker at the gallery Apex Art in Manhattan (November 15 – December 22, 2012):
apexart.org/exhibitions/walker.php/

More on this 37th Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2012/09/13/disquie…7-asrealasitgets1/

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


dronewater falls [disquiet0029-countzero]

Project:

This week’s project is inspired by an aside that occurs at the opening of chapter 17 of William Gibson’s classic cyberpunk novel Count Zero, originally published in 1986.

Process:

I returned to the Prospect Park, Brooklyn, waterfall (pictured, with Sterling) that I used for the prior junto challenge of remixing Lee Rosevere (Thereflectors – Waterfall-love) and made a new recording with the garageband app on my iPhone. That recording was eq’ed and compressed and runs uncut under the track. After Sony’s Acid beatmapped most of the track’s “measures” at ~99bpm with its mysterious one-button algorithmic analysis, I extracted 8 bars with a very subtle knocking sound, the result of a unicyclist (I kid you not) riding over loose slats on a wooden bridge running over the falls. This was looped continuously through the piece as a quiet insistent beat around which the melody was built (mostly evident in headphones, tho). All sounds were extracted from the recording using Paulstretch, Audacity and Acid. My hope is that the track is not “overworked” beyond the constraints of the assignment, and still evokes water over a stone. But if nothing else, it communicates the sense of calm and reflection I find in this somewhat secret place in the heart of the park, off the Nethermead near the Boathouse and Audubon bird sanctuary. There’s no real pathway or signs to the spot from the main route, save for trodden-down underbrush that beckons the more adventurous and hyper-aware about to cross the bridge. A slice of #secretnewyork, I guess.

The instructions were as follows:

Step 1: Locate and make a field recording of source material that involves running water.

Step 2: Extract a segment of the recording. That segment will serve as the basis for your composition, as its foundation. It will provide both rhythmic and melodic material.

Step 3: Add elements and treatments to the foundation recording of running water. Do so with the intention of highlighting the water’s internal sense of rhythm and melody. Do not embellish so much that the foundation recording becomes unrecognizable.

——————————————

The inspiration for this track came from the opening of chapter 17 of William Gibson’s 1986 novel Count Zero. The chapter is titled “The Squirrel Wood.” It opens as follows:

“The plane had gone to ground near the sound of running water. Turner could hear it, turning in the g-web in his fever or sleep, water down stone, one of the oldest songs.”

This idea of water running down stone, of a gentle but insistent natural stream, being one of the “oldest songs” is explored further in the chapter in various subtle ways. The Disquiet Junto project this week is to explore that idea: that there is music in the natural environment. We’ll make songs from running water.

More on the 29th Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2012/07/19/disquiet0029-countzero/

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


no brooklyn bound [disquiet0018-3×3]

sound 1: field recording – downtown new york city subway 6 train weekend service disruption announcement and surrounding ambience. recorded with iphone garageband.
sound 2: constructed beat – iphone garageband drum samples
sound 3: synth – programmed iphone animoog

minute 1: the drum is primary, backed by stabs and swoops of the synth and cut up portions of the subway announcement.
minute 2: the subway field recording runs full and uninterrupted, with the beat and synth stabs and swoops slightly tweaked, but retaining the same basic phrasing.
minute 3: the synth comes forward with a 2nd part, laid over the cut up subway announcement and drum beat.

the drum beat is a long phrase (fourteen 8-beat measures?) that repeats three times w/ a couple variations. i considered the entire phrase as one sound, even though it’s made of a kick, snare, high hat and cymbal. this was my first time using garageband to construct a beat and the result sounded something like my old boss dr-5. made me smile for that alone. the synth sound was programmed in iphone’s animoog app, and then played live using the app’s D#-minor pentatonic keyboard over the other 2 tracks. first minute is one take, second and third minutes contain a second take and the third minute a third take as the add’l part.

though everything was generated/recorded by an iphone, all sounds were dumped into sony acid (my daw that i just can’t shake), and all cutting up, loop creation, compression application and rendering happened there. i didn’t set out to use a subway recording for this week’s challenge, but my trips into and out of manhattan this weekend were maddening. this track became my way of processing the absurdity of a monolithic transportation schema that often leaves me feeling like a character in the film “brazil.”

probably best absorbed through headphones, fwiw.

enjoy,
westy

—————————————————————————–
The 18th disquiet.com junto project was “about how a simple matter of sequence can provide a sense of development and compositional momentum.”

The assignment was as follows:

Construct three simple, self-contained sounds (or sonic elements) that are distinct from each other. Then make a three-minute track out of these sounds, based on the following rules:
For each of the three minutes, one of the three sounds should be prominent, and the other two should be less prominent. By the end of the complete three minutes of your track, each of the three sounds, thus, will have been prominent for one full minute and will have served a background purpose for two full minutes.

We were allowed to transform the individual sounds, but they needed to still be somewhat recognizable even in their transformed state.

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


waterfall love [disquiet0017-transition]

My contribution to the 17th week of the disquiet.com junto. The challenge was to take 30 seconds of a field recording, and slowly and seamlessly transition it into 1 of 2 given pre-existing tracks. Sounds could be added and the source tracks manipulated in any way. The first five seconds of the field recording and the last 5 seconds of the pre-existing track, however, were to be left untouched, aside from fading in and out.

I found a very pretty major chord arpeggio in the Lee Rosevere track, “The Day Love Came In The Mail” (link below) and mainly floated it up to its 5th and 7th and back down to the root a few times. The one grand manipulation (grand, for lo-fi me) was to separate the track’s left and right channels and treat each as its own entity until the final 10 seconds or so, when I sync’ed them back together as per the challenge. This allowed me to isolate the arpeggio in the left channel and pan it against the more floaty ambience contained in the right channel. Finally, I added a couple of spare beats hanging out on my media drive and some reverb & resonance to the ambient channel and to the fade-out of the waterfall during the middle section. Despite all the reworking and additions, I didn’t want to adulterate either source track too much as they both brought me such peace. So I hope most of the process here isn’t all that noticeable and you just float away on it for a couple minutes.

The field recording of the waterfall is from the audio track of a video I shot while walking my dog, Sterling (pictured), in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, on Saturday 28 April 2012. I retrofitted the video to the finished audio piece, which you can check out here. Sterling’s not in the video, unfortunately, but it was a pretty day.

vimeo.com/41306430

This audio track includes a segment of “The Day Love Came In The Mail” by Lee Rosevere off the album Play 3 on the WM Recordings netlabel, thanks to Creative Commons license. More information at:
archive.org/details/WM074_900
www.wmrecordings.com/free-downloads…severe-play-3/

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