sliver of sky
where planes streak
guide me to my dreams
basement guitar practice strum
white noise cardboard pillow
face flashes in windows,
light strobes and mortar shadows
in an updown walldance
as homework ends,
as bills are paid,
as security makes rounds,
as embraces lead to encounters.
orion’s belt appears in winter
three hours into the night
his rodeo champion buckle
scrapes across the fire escapes
clanks against the risers
says farewell disappearing
behind the southern cornice.
3rd floor cigarette smoker
7th floor cool down
5th floor dinner burn,
crack the window.
2nd floor she always looks down
to make make sure i’m safe.
she knows i would save her
if i did not need saving.
to leave me to the light,
to fall from the darkness
of my offgrid alleyhome unrooftop
sliver of sky.
This project explored the concept of graphic notation. We were challenged to treat the provided photograph as if it were a musical score.
bricks = guitar
mortar = synth pad
windows = bass
pipes & sky = white noise
fire escapes = guitar plucked behind its bridge
the beautiful photograph inspired poetry. i imagined a transient man, a regular in the alleyway, who often calls it home. i wrote the words first, then put sound to them. words are below.
the ratio of the full size image on my macbook was ~23 x ~18, so the track is right around 2 min 30 sec. used the vertical length as a frequency range.
the guitar is “squared,” using a fender twin opto-tremolo emulator, to mimic bricks. an ibanez screamer was layered on top and 3 live takes run simultaneously. i always think of heavy tremolo as a square or rectangular sound, but sometimes “i go about things the wrong way…”
a synth pad moves in and around the guitar to act like mortar between bricks, creating the 2 “walls.”
the pipes were white, so i took them literally to represent white noise. the frequency of the white noise sample follows the pipes’ descent in the left part of the photo. the proportions of the photograph gave me a loose vertical range of 0-1800hz. the white noise runs through a high-pass resonant filter and drops from 1800 until it hits the sky. there are 2 bursts of full noise as the horizontal pipes are crossed at ~70sec. the noise again blows out full in the middle sky section and then recedes to reflect the scattered white artifacts on the right half of the picture disappearing into shadow.
the bass was timed with the windows as you move across the photo.
i wanted a metallic sound to represent the fire escapes so i plucked my guitar behind the bridge through the opto-trem and screamer and got a sound i liked.
as always, junto opens up an absolutely fascinating creative journey.
This track treats a photo by Yojiro Imasaka as its score. More on Imasaka at yojiroimasaka.com.
More details on the Disquiet Junto at: