Journey

January 8, 2008 at 12:00 pm (MADA UNIT 1)

This piece of music is derived entirely from a single sample (which you can hear in isolation at the end of the piece).

This piece is cyclical and there are 3 sections to it. In the first section you hear the initial manipulations of the sample. In the second, I sampled the ‘green area’ from section 1 and used that as the sound material for section 2. The ‘blue area’ is the material I used from section 2 to create section 3! In the ‘yellow area’ of section 3 you may hear tiny traces of the original sample, as well as the fragments from the first section once more, completing the cycle.

The image that accompanies that piece are ‘snapshots’ of the audio waveform, arranged in an octagonal shape. The top part of the waveform is the left (stereo) and the bottom part is right (stereo).

*note – best listen to on headphones (or a speaker set-up where L & R are defined)

With this piece I wanted to restrict my source material so that I would push myself to compose in a different way within Logic. I thought it would also lead me to explore the potential transformations of a single sound and its relationship with a space more. My process (explained above) helped me with this too. I limited myself to the use of one sampler (EXS24mkII) & Channel EQ for shaping my sounds and used a single reverb, Space Designer.

Listening back to the piece now, I feel that there are some aspects of it that worked and that others didn’t. I think there are some nice ambient passages (particularly the final section) and a few curious otherworldly jungle-esque sounds (in the intro!). Although in some places the sonic gestures seem a bit flimsy and lack dynamism, the use of space and distance make it interesting again (through the simple use of panning and amplitude). I tried to make the spatial relationship consistent throughout the piece; whenever a sound got quieter (further away perceptually) the ‘space’ surrounding it would get louder (reverb would increase for that sound), much how sounds behave in ‘real’ space.

In terms of what I learned technique-wise, I feel that I explored the use of the EXS24 more, as well as finding ways of making the spatial relationship between sounds interesting for myself.

I think the piece could have been improved in some ways for the listener. For example, I could have presented the transformation of the original source material more gradually (retaining at least some sense of what it was).

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