Tag Archives: spoken word


[track] Life In Candid Wonder (The Cost Of Future Tense) [Disquiet0202-CostOfFreedom]

“Creating is living doubly.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

This was the third Disquiet Junto project that revolved around Bassel Khartabil Safadi, a coder, artist and free-expression pioneer wrongfully jailed by Syria, his home country, for “harming state security.” In October, he was transferred to a secret location, and his whereabouts as of this writing are unknown. This past week (2015.11.14), disturbing rumors surfaced of a possible death sentence. The background and all current updates on Bassel’s case can be found here: http://freebassel.org.

Please sign this petition and hold the Syrian government accountable for Bassel’s fate.

Twenty seven artists contributed to this Junto project, which endeavored to create an audiobook of the Creative Commons collection of essays about Bassel, The Cost Of Freedom.

I chose hellekin’s epilogue, The Cost Of Future Tense, a beautiful piece of writing that became more transcendent with each successive reading. I didn’t want to get in the way, so went about crafting a minimal, improvised ambient duet for acoustic guitar and AniMoog to allow the words to float and breathe.

Original Text:
http://costoffreedom.cc/book/epilogue/the-cost-of-future-tense
Author:
hellekin (http://twitter.com/hellekin)

RIG
GUITAR
“Whitey” (1988 Ovation Custom Balladeer) –> SmallSound / BigSound Sparkle Motion –> tc electronic Flashback Delay –> Earthquaker Afterneath –> Strymon blueSky reverberator

TUNING
C-G-D-D-A-E (Michael Hedges “Breakfast In The Field” tuning)

VOCALS
AKG C3000B –> Lexicon MX200 rack reverb

SYNTH
AniMoog for iPad –> Flux:FX (Multi-Verb preset)

AMP / DAW
Line6 Pod-XT Tube PreAmp –> MOTU 828mk2 –> Sony Acid 7.0 (Win 8.1)

I was proud to contribute a track to the first #freebassel Junto project in 2014, which coincided with the 2nd anniversary of Bassel’s incarceration. That track, Intransitive Disappearance, was also released on my record, Particle Theory (bandcamp | soundcloud | freemusicacrchive).

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More on this 202nd weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Create an audiobook chapter from the new essay collection The Cost of Freedom”)

The source of the text in this project is from the book The Cost of Freedom, which raises awareness about the ongoing detainment of Creative Commons coder/artist Bassel Khartabil Sadafi.

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Disquiet Junto general discussion

#freebassel
#newpalmyra


[remix.reflector] terella by S/H/A/R/R/P/S

Brilliant remix by the ever-engaging and prolific sound artist S/H/A/R/R/P/S (Jessy Kendall, founder of the letterfounder craft studio in Lewiston, ME) of my and Utrecht artist Olaf Wisselink’s respective Junto 0189 contributions. S/H/A/R/R/P/S layers dialogue snippets from 80s episodes of the soap opera Santa Barbara over a combination of both tracks for a whacked out trip suffused with mystery and suspense. Soap operas, in a way, are forms of loops. Joe Perkins is always at the door.

Produced for Disquiet Junto 0190-MissedConnections. S/H/A/R/R/P/S’s soundcloud liner notes:

more: @olafwie
n
more: @thereflectors

been wanting to use long samples from from old soap operas for a while- the santa barbara soap, from 1984. harr!

i went through all the junto trax, picked my faves, 5 in total, dropped em into audacity and juggled them together. i made two trax and my fave is this (the other posted to my page), as i thought it would ‘shake things up’ more, on the junto site.

My source track:

Olaf Wisselink’s source track:

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Find more of S/H/A/R/R/P/S at:
soundcloud
bandcamp
flavors.me


[vid] today i am not turning on the radio

Today I Am Not Turning On The Radio from Westy Reflector

with the kentile sign coming down, figured i’d revisit this lo-fi vid from 2011. shot w/ a nikon d90 during that year’s reconstruction of the smith/9th subway station from a manhattan-bound f-train. the video runs in reverse. coney-island bound is the other side of the tracks. everything about this track is inside out, tho, so it fit.


welcome to the interzone [disquiet0110-wsb100]

source article

This New York Post headline (“I Could Have Saved Him”) screamed at me from a newsstand on 5th Avenue and 9th Street in Brooklyn a couple days after receiving this week’s challenge, and I couldn’t shake it. As the weekend closed, I looked at the front pages of all the other papers in town with this challenge in mind, including a couple hyperlocal rags (NY Times, NY Observer, NY Daily News, Brooklyn Eagle, Park Slope Courier, etc…), but no other story stuck with me like this one, falling lock-step into the context of this Junto challenge celebrating the 100th birthday of William S. Burroughs.

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s heroin dealer has convinced himself that he could have prevented Hoffman’s death had he been shooting up with him. The brief interview has overtones of a Burroughs scene and, for sure, this guy – a jazz musician with a penchant for junk – is a character straight out of the Naked Lunch Interzone.

I cut words from a lot of the sentences to fit the flow of the song, but this didn’t seem to violate the spirit of the assignment. Burroughs used so many ellipses in his writing that it’s hard to tell if he ever published a single sentence in its logical order. His style gave me some air cover.

Put a simple, dumb rock song together tonight to prop up the words. Psyched to get it in just under the wire. One live guitar track, one live synth and a vocal (one-take with one punch-in) over drum/bass loops arranged in Acid. I’ve been cycling through E-G-A and E-D-A progressions recently, and this track runs around those while capo’ed on the second fret for the D-form E-chord.

The “problem” with tabloids like the Post, though, is that we would never have gotten a cover story on a living Philip Seymour Hoffman with the headline “We Should Save Him Today.” We only get the rubberneck aftermath lead-if-it-bleeds crimson journalism. The Interzone, indeed. Hi ho.

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LYRICS

3. “I could’ve saved him.” (x4)

14. You wouldn’t know he was an Oscar winner.
10. When asked if he had ever sold Hoffman drugs
5. He said “If I was with him, it wouldn’t have happened.”
7. He said he had known the 46-year-old “Capote” star for about a year.

3. “I could’ve saved him.” (x4)

8. Hoffman injected
18. He claims he last saw Hoffman — high — in October.
11. “When we got together, we talked about books.
4. “If I knew he was in town, I would’ve said, ‘Hey, let’s make an AA meeting.’

3. “I could’ve saved him.” (x4)

6. “Not under my guard.”
17. The star’s final, four-month struggle against drugs.
12. And art.
9. 73 bags of heroin found in a Greenwich Village apartment.

15. He loved his kids. (x4)

3. “I could’ve saved him.” (x4)

13. “He was a normal guy.
2. “He was my friend.
16. “I offer my condolences to his family.
1. “I didn’t kill him — and I could’ve saved him.”

3. “I could’ve saved him,” jazz musician and admitted junkie Robert Vineberg said, wearing a gray prison jumpsuit and hunching pensively at a red table in a Rikers Island jail visiting area.

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RIG

guitar:
Jolie (Gibson ES335 dot reissue, custom peekamoose.com electronics), Earthquaker The Warden compressor, Ibanez Screamer TS808, tc electronic Flashback delay (tape setting), Strymon BlueSky reverberator, VOX AC15 (mic’ed via a Sennheiser MD412-ii)

synth:
Sunrizer for iPad (HT @shredderghost)

vocals:
AKG C3000B condenser mic, Lexicon rack delay

drum/bass:
samples (one shots & loops)

interface:
MOTU 828mk2 interface, Acid Pro 7.0, Windows XP

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PROJECT

Step 1:
Take the lead article from your local newspaper and write down the first 18 sentences on separate slips of paper — or, if you prefer, extract the first 18 lines on separate strips of paper.

Step 2:
Label these pieces of text from 1 to 18.

Step 3:
Either read them out loud or use text-to-speech and record them.

Step 4:
Construct the vocal of a song using the material. Sequence the vocal in the following order. Note that text element 3 serves as the chorus and text element 15 serves as the bridge. The remaining elements are in random sets of four, with no repetition.

3 3 3 3
14 10 5 7
3 3 3 3
8 18 11 4
3 3 3 3
6 17 12 9
15 15 15 15
3 3 3 3
13 2 16 1
3 3 3 3

Add music, whatever instrumentation you choose, to flesh this out into a proper song.

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More on this 110th Disquiet Junto project (“Celebrate the 100th birthday of that old cut-up, William S. Burroughs”)

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audiobiography: westy reflector [disquiet0060-audiobio]

background track: “(i believe) this sounds like me” – recorded 02.24.2013

hey, world. this is westy reflector,
(i believe)
coming at you from brooklyn, new york, planet earth.
(this sounds like me)
my real name is dave.

i write songs.
(i believe this sounds like me)

i try to keep my songs simple.

i believe a broken heart is better than a wasted soul.
(and i believe this communicates)
i believe everybody can see through me, so i try to be a good window.
(exactly who i am)

i believe when you send light into the world, it scatters and reflects
(who i am)
but it never dies.

i believe that useless objects rob you of time and light and space and health.
(i believe)
every note you strike propagates forever as a wave.
(this sounds like me)

and i believe that all songs are sounds,
and that all sounds are songs.

RIG:
NanoStudio for iPhone, AKG C3000B, Lexicon MX200 dual reverb, MOTU 828mk2, Sony Acid 7.0

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PROJECT:
1. Record an audio track in which you describe — in your own words and voice — who you are and what you explore in your music/sound. Feel free to simply describe this work, or to go a step further and, in addition to your words, to include samples of your recordings. Please keep the track to approximately 90 seconds in length.

2. Name the track “Audiobiography” with your name, as such “Audiobiography: Jane Doe.” Add a description.

3. Tag the track “audiobio” and “disquiet0060-audiobio” and upload.

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More on this 60th Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2013/02/21/disquiet0060-audiobio

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

More details on the SoundCloud “audiobiography” project at:
blog.soundcloud.com/2013/02/06/audiobiography/


little filters / wrong impressions [disquiet0057-phonemetransmit]

PROCESS:

Samples stretched, pitch preserved, with noise, harmonic and/or binaural processing. These went into the DAW and were combined with the original recording snippets in various ways. Further effects included delay, resonance, vibrato, distortion, EQ and amplitude modulation.

12 words. 12 tracks. Three 48-second parts.

Anger | Vulnerability | Elation

Title taken from “Words” by Missing Persons:

“What little filters through is giving you the wrong impression
It’s a sorry state I say to myself…”

Rig: Samples (see link below), Paulstretch for Windows (stand-alone software), Ibanez DMD2000 Digital Delay, Line6 POD-XT, MOTU 828mk-ii, Sony Acid DAW

PROJECT:

The 57th disquiet.com Junto project was a shared-sample project. It focused on language and emotion. We were provided with three audio recordings from the Phonetics Lab Archive at UCLA. As the lab’s webpage (at archive.phonetics.ucla.edu) explains, “The materials on this site comprise audio recordings illustrating phonetic structures from over 200 languages.”

Samples from the languages Buryat, Navajo, and Zulu were the source material for the project:
1. archive.phonetics.ucla.edu/Language/BX…1991_01.mp3
2. archive.phonetics.ucla.edu/Language/NA…1993_03.mp3
3. archive.phonetics.ucla.edu/Language/ZU…1982_01.mp3

Four words from each of these mp3s were selected for a total of 12 words. Through cut and paste, we constructed new sentences. These nonsense sentences served as the a cappella vocal of a new song. All literal meaning was lost in the process, with the intention that all that is left are emotions.

The track is three parts, each of equal length. The first part should sound “angry.” The second part should sound “very silent, vulnerable.” The third part should sound “happy, exultant.”

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This project was developed for the Disquiet Junto by Michel Banabila.
banabila.com.

The source audio is from the UCLA Phonetics Lab Archive archive.phonetics.ucla.edu.

More on this #57th Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2013/01/31/disquie…57-phonemetransmit

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


Stand Up, Sherlock [disquiet0045-sherlocksawyer]

Dance break!

Kinda off my beaten path, so have a laugh with me on it. Did not use a guitar this time (honoring a promise to @all-n4tural).

PROCESS:
Sentence 1 (from Tom Sawyer):
“I dare you to step over that and I’ll lick you ’til you can’t stand up.”

Sentence 2 (from Sherlock Holmes):
“A shadow of a doubt as to my conduct would bring the matter to an end.”

Resulting Sentence:
“I a-dare you to step over that wood [sic] shadow, and I’ll lick you ’til you can’t stand my conduct up, as to bring the matter of a doubt to an end.”

Linguistic license was taken with the word “would” to use it as its homonym “wood.” Then I collected a bunch of drum, bass, elec piano, turntable & synth loops hanging out in my “Drive H:” and kitchen-sinked them.

PROJECT:
First, select one sentence from two different pre-existing spoken sources and combine them in any manner you wish into one sentence, using the entirety of both sentences.

Second, add an underlying sonic bed — a musical score — to lend dramatic tension to the newly created sentence.

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The source audio for this project is the public domain LibriVox recordings of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

archive.org/details/adventures_holmes ;
archive.org/details/tom_sawyer_librivox ;

More on this 45th Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2012/11/08/disquie…45-sherlocksawyer/

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


sliver of sky [disquiet0019-rojiura]

sliver of sky
where planes streak
birds fly
guide me to my dreams
hvac hum
rainfall drum
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.

dawn crawls

to leave me to the light,
to fall from the darkness
of my offgrid alleyhome unrooftop

white noise
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.

peace,
westy

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This track treats a photo by Yojiro Imasaka as its score. More on Imasaka at yojiroimasaka.com.

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