Tag Archives: for whom the ice tolls


Sunrise Highway (2015)

Rag top down. Flying past exit signs, through memories, to the end of the island.

Released 02 July 2015

Written, performed, programmed and produced by Westy Reflector.

Cover Photo: “She Rode East” (1994)


[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:
soundcloud
bandcamp


for whom the ice tolls [disquiet0157-icemusic2015]

PROJECT
Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it.

PROCESS
My 54th Junto contribution is my first stab at the ice challenge.
Dropped ice into a brandy sniffer.
Recorded into Samplr for iPad then sliced and diced with Samplr’s onboard effects and my guitar pedal board.
The ringing of the glass after the ice hit, pitched down a couple octaves and slowed, provided a distant church bell effect.
The drone bed was the same ringing granulated through an EHX Superego pedal and fed through Earthquaker Devices Afterneath and Strymon blueSky reverbs.
Added more reverb, as well as amplitude modulation in the DAW (Sony Acid Pro 7.0).

There are 12 “chimes” of the bell. Noon or midnight – it’s up to you to decide…

:^D

RIG
brandy sniffer, ice cubes (medium sized, automatic ice maker), Samplr for iPad, Earthquaker Devices “The Warden” compressor, tc electronic flashback delay, EHX Superego Synth engine (send/receive: EHX POG2 + EQD Arpanoid), EQD Afterneath delay/reverb, Strymon blueSky reverberator, Line6 POD-XT (tube pre-amp emulator setting), MOTU 828 mk2, Sony Acid Pro 7.0

META
More on this 157th Disquiet Junto project — “Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it.”

More on the Disquiet Junto

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Disquiet Junto general discussion