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

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Shorts #34: Bubbles (2014)

[play]Shorts #34: Bubbles (2014)

Commissioned and titled by Sonia Elks.

Sonia asked me to write an analogue piece that wasn’t glitchy. Very often, I work with FM chaos as a way of controlling pitch and timbre. However, for this piece, I used FM chaos for control voltages only, and not directly for sound. One of the oscillators was controlling pitch of the source signal, one was controlling a high pass filter and one was controlling a low pass filter. For some of the tracks, the filter resonances were turned up very high, so the filters were ringing and acting like oscillators.

This piece seemed a bit poppy, so to further that, I put some compression on the sounds and also a bit of reverb. The source material was from my MOTM synthesiser, edited in ardour and had the final fx applied in audacity.

If you would like to commission a one minute piece, check out my online shop.

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Shorts #33: Birthday Music for Caroline (2014)

[play]Shorts #33: Birthday Music for Caroline (2014)

Commissioned in honour of Caroline’s birthday – “Happy Birthday, love from Lauren and Alistair”

This was a digital piece using a very large number of scripts. First I wrote a SuperCollider script to generate some stochastic sounds. Then I wrote a script to convert audio files into bmp graphics files. Then I wrote a script to convert those files to jpegs, glitch the jpegs and convert back to audio. Then I also did several revisions of drawing more and more on the images in GIMP to transform them. I ended up with several batch processing scripts to glitch audio using visual data processing. I’ve put some of them on github and the rest will go after I fix some bugs I found after finishing this piece.

After generating loads of material, I listened to it and assembled it as a collage in Ardour.

The images are also kind of interesting! 2.aiff.au.bmp.jpg.gl

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Shorts #32: Stochastic Tendencies (2014)

[play]Shorts #32: Stochastic Tendencies (2014)

Commissioned in honour of Paul Berg, who was my teacher at the Institute of Sonology in Den Haag, when I was there for the course in 2006-7.

Paul Berg is the inventor of the AC Toolbox, which allows composers with Macs to do algorithmic sound generation. The class he taught spends the first several weeks covering a very thurough history fo electronic music, before switching to cover how to use several different tools, including AC Toolbox. Paul has decided to retire, so future students, alas, will not get the benefit of this amazing course, which was definitely a highlight of my time in the Hague.

This piece is made on my MOTM Analogue synthesiser, but applies several ideas I would more normally use in digital synthesis. It has random attack times, generated by using a random signal (filtered noise) triggering a switch with a variable threshold. When the random signal exceeds the threshold, the switch sent a bias as a gate to an envelope generator.

This piece also uses a very rough approximation of tendency masks, using a varying lag time for CV voltages that were increasing or decreasing.

It is mixed in Ardour, with some reverb added to the final mix in Audacity.

Because Paul is retiring this year, one of his former students contacted several of Sonologists and asked us to write short pieces to be put into a device called the ‘AC Juke Box’. The only constraint was that the pieces had to be mono!

Paul Berg’s scepticism about multichannel audio is legendary and also makes a valuable point. A musical gesture does not become interesting because it is moving in space. It’s too easy to use spatialisation as a substitute for generating interesting material. Paul’s tools and teaching all were aimed at generating interesting material. I hope this short piece contains some.

This piece is in mono. It also contains low frequencies that may not be audible though the internal speakers on some laptops, so you may wish to use headphones or external speakers to listen.

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Shorts #31: 1416343620 (2014)

[play]Shorts #31: 1416343620 (2014)

Commissioned and titled by David Jensenius, who says the title is the unix timestamp of when he received the commission.

This is an acoustic piece, recorded with a zoom and mixed in Ardour. The source sounds are my radiator, my kettle boiling, shoving a running recorder into a plastic bag and finally feedback from when I accidentally told Ardour to do monitoring of the internal microphone to the internal speakers. The feedback timbre is modified by putting my thumbs over the speaker grates. This does not have as much subtlety as the kind of speaker cupping that PowerBooks UnPlugged does with macs and feedback, but it still works.

The plastic bag portion of the sound is influenced by the Fluxus composition Micro 1 by Takehisa Kosugi, “Wrap a live microphone with a very large sheet of paper. Make a tight bundle. Keep the microphone alive for another five minutes”. I highly encourage people to try that out, as it’s surprisingly wonderful.

If you would like to commission a one minute piece, check out my online shop.

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Shorts #30: A lazy afternoon in the shade of the cliff (2014)

Shorts #30: A lazy afternoon in the shade of the cliff (2014) Commissioned and titled by Dan Stowell. This piece … More Shorts #30: A lazy afternoon in the shade of the cliff (2014)

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