The Wire Heart

An area of sound that I’ve been really enjoying for several years now are “broken” things. Normally, I do this with distortion or granular synthesis, or sometimes by adding randomness to some element of a sound. A few years ago, I bought an expansion pack called “Beautifully Broken” and many of those sounds capture exactly the character I’m talking about, even if I haven’t used the patches in many tracks that have gone beyond the sketch stage. The broken electric piano in The Wire Heart is the sound that really defined what this piece became, even though it wasn’t my … Continue reading

Big Bend

Ugh. Middle of week three and I’m simultaneously feeling like I’m struggling to find ideas and not having enough time to do the ideas that pop into my head. Neither of those things is true, and I know that, which makes it worse. So am I just being lazy? What’s the hang-up? I don’t know. The last several pieces I’ve done are ambient, dark ambient, melodic electronic, what have you. Part of my own mental state during Song-A-Day, inappropriate as it might be, is that I’m still trying to impress the other participants, or at least not bore them with … Continue reading

Dogmatic Impressionism

As is often the case, this piece started off with that very first bell sound and I started building to it. As with the Output plugins mentioned yesterday, the Cycles library from Slate + Ash has become a dark-horse favorite for me – a pleasant surprise because my initial reaction to it was more in the disappointed realm. In part, it’s because the library is computationally intense. There’s a lot of granular manipulation going on, tons of controls… it’s challenging to a computer made in the last year, to say nothing of what it does to my poor 2012 Mac … Continue reading

Hadal Zone

Sitting down to write, I don’t think I was intending on a return to the deep space music / dark ambient genre, but here we are. I tried a slightly different approach this time, going with a slower tempo and then using a super sparse drum pattern, but running it through several effects. The opening note and kick drum sound remind me a lot of a song I wrote back in the 80s, but it’s only that opening moment. After adding the bass drone and letting it loop around for a bit, I started thinking of footage you see from … Continue reading

Slow Melt

Since I clearly have not had enough minimalist ambientish tracks this month, here’s another. Actually, this track sounds very much like it could have come directly from my 2017 Song-A-Day participation. That’s not a bad thing – I had been planning to create a “space music” album out of several tracks from that year before losing the original projects to that hard drive crash in 2018. This would have fit in perfectly with pieces like Steady Stateless, Wetware Diagnostic, and Somatic Cube,  so if you like this one, you should go listen to those as well. Perhaps the similarity isn’t … Continue reading