Dick Pic Hymnen

[play] Dick Pic Hymnen (2016)

This piece was commissioned by lesbiancockslut.com [NSFW]

When commissioned, I appealed on twitter for people to send me dick pics. Specifically, encrypted dick picks, to highlight that various national governments are spying on our sexts. In return, I was sent two unecrpyted images and one encrypted one. The unlocked images were of a tin of spotted dick, and a rooster (known to the English as a ‘cock’). The encrypted image was of the sender’s ‘friend, Richard.’

I took these files and played them as if they were wav files. Compressed and encrypted files sound like white noise, so I took the two unencrypted images and converted them to raw image formats. I then converted those to raw audio and used them as samples.

The pitches and rhythms in the piece are taken from a hymn that was popular in American Catholic churches when I was a child.

The images in the video are (obviously) not the images in the audio, as those were of unknown copyright status. The video images come from picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/hJOtwAhiy6I9de3uFZxJUw and ommons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boxerbriefs.jpg


The Dream of the 80’s

[play] The Dream of the 80’s (2016)

This is a Vaporwave study.

I’ve recently learned about this genre, which was invented by teenagers doing deconstructive remixes of 80’s and early 90’s commercial culture ephemera. They take audio and video samples of brick and mortar consumer culture and cultural nostalgia to create criticism of pre-online capitalism, as far as I understand it.

I stumbled onto this genre shortly after finishing my Christmas album and realised that that it was very close to what I was already doing. I also had the much more disconcerting twin realisation that early 90’s muzak was a formative musical influence, due to how much I was subject to it during an impressionable age.

For this study, I took the advert for the Cupertino Inn and cut out all of the (extremely awkward) narration and was left only with the very muzak-y background. Because my editing was abrupt cuts, which did not adjust for beat matching, I decided to use granular-style techniques for cutting the audio, but with extremely oversized ‘grains’. I put this over a looped, half speed playback of the cut audio.

For the video, I used ffmpeg to spit out 12 frames a second as jpegs. I then used a python script to glitch every frame and reassembled the video. I editted them together in openshot, which, due to my inexperience, played the video at 12.5 fps, so I looped the closing image.

I picked this advert because I have a relationship with this hotel and because I thought it was extremely odd that they made an advert in 2010 that so completely and unintentionally embraced 80’s nostalgia and human misery. The Cupertino Inn is under new management in the last two years and has updated it’s vibe and furnishings. It is now a nice hotel. You should stay there, not only because I have a financial interest in you doing so.


Wacky Kings

[play] Wacky Kings (2015)

If you enjoyed this piece of music, please consider donating to Mermaids. Mermaids is an organisation that provides support to trans children and their families.

The sound generation is based on a synthdef by Rukano (which is based on a meme, which is based on Eurovision). I modified sound to use slightly different envelopes for every partial, to sharpen the attack and to have the sound gradually decrease in amplitude over time. From the sound, I generated a dissonance curve and from that, generated a 12-tone just scale.

For the melody, I generated Markov chains from a MIDI version of We Three Kings. I slowed the result down, added legato and mapped it to my derived scale. The overlapping tails of notes ends up obscuring the brass sound and makes it sound more like a pipe organ or bells.

This track is part of a larger project, ’12 days of Crimbo’, which will raise funds for homeless and/or LGBT charities.


The Figgy Pudding Incident

[play]The Figgy Pudding Incident (2015)

If you enjoyed this piece of music, please consider donating to the Albert Kennedy Trust, who work with homeless LGBT young people.

A couple of days ago, my wife made me aware of the second and third verses of ‘We Wish you a Merry Christmas’, in which the singers demand ‘So bring us a figgy pudding and bring it out here.’ Followed by ‘We won’t go until we’ve got some, so bring it out here!’

This was my favorite carol when I was very young, as there seemed to be no constraints on how loudly we were allowed to shout/sing. With the lyrics in mind, it’s clear this is because it’s a song about mob rule and the medieval version of Christmas, where many social rules were temporarily suspended.

The sound is Karplus Strong and the melody is a slightly mis-typed version of We Wish you a Merry Christmas, looping, gradually increasing in length and then variations.

This track is part of a larger project, ’12 days of Crimbo’, which will raise funds for homeless and/or LGBT charities.