This is my 28th submission to the Junto. This is a mix of my work for the Junto and singles and demos I’ve released (and one not) this year. Thank you to everyone in the group for your generosity, friendship and acceptance. And a special Thank You! to Mark Weidenbaum of http://disquiet.com, for dreaming up this amazing opportunity to learn and grow as a musician, songwriter, sound artist and general noisemaker.
These are just stitched together, eq’ed and compressed a bit for volume stability.
This week’s project is a sound journal, an audio history of the past year. You will select a different audio element to represent each of the past 12 months of 2012. You will then select one five-second segment from each of these audio elements. Then you will stitch these dozen five-second segments together in chronological order to form one single one-minute track. There should be no overlap or gap between segments; they should simply proceed from one to the next.
These audio elements will most likely be of music that you have yourself composed and recorded, but they might also consist of phone messages, field recordings, or other source material. These items should be somehow personal in nature, suitable to the autobiographical intention of the project; they should preferably of your own making, and not drawn from third-party sources.
The 11th disquiet.com Junto project in March 2012 required me to make an original field recording, and to then make something of it. It focused on rhythm. I captured audio of an N train (from inside the train) going over the Manhattan Bridge as well as sounds from the Canal Street and Atlantic/Pacific Street stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, respectively.
The assignment allowed that “to [your recording] you can add whatever sounds you like, but the rhythm should be central and prominent in the finished track.” I added some drums and cymbals for drama, but did not bury the train in the kit.
Certain newer model R142 subway cars have propulsion mechanisms that emit tones as they accelerate and excite the steel rails with electrical current. Many people swear the trains sound out the first three notes of “Somewhere” from West Side Story. I caught the tones coming off a J Train leaving Canal Street and so couldn’t resist manipulating them to finish the 1st phrase of the song (“there’s a place for us…”). At that point, the phrase demanded to open the piece. The first three notes are as the train sings them. From those, I created the last two notes of the “Somewhere” phrase and a couple more notes to resolve to the root note. I have a terrible habit of ending phrases on roots; couldn’t break it here.
The ringing synth-like sounds are the subway door chimes chopped, extended and pitch manipulated, and the general calliope is reworkings of the propulsion mechanism sounds that made up the “Somewhere” phrase. Vamping over the beats and noises with my cherry es335, Jolie, turned it into a “track.”