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A Series of Smooth and Orderly Transitions

uploaded: Sun, Nov 18, 2018 @ 5:15 AM last modified: Sun, Nov 18, 2018 @ 5:18 AM  (add)
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This week I watched on television as the United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May described a proposed plan for the complex and difficult potential separation of the United Kingdom from the European Union as permitting the separation to occur in a “smooth and orderly way”. The phrase drew an unintended laugh from the audience in Parliament.

This track remixes a few tracks by the talented Onlymeith, whom I have drawn, through the miracle of mixter assigments, twice in succession by chance. I created my song in an effort to achieve a series of a brooding, foreboding, and somewhat unresolved cinematic soundscapes. To me, the song is a reflection on events in my own country [US] and in other places in which things are not neat nor simple.

My process of creation on this song used two pieces of software. One is the free and open recording software Audacity, which has grown familiar to me over the past few years, after many years in which I used a Magix commercial DAW. The second piece of software is the free and open software Noiser 1.0. Noiser takes sound sample and applies glitch/microsound algorithms to them, creating soundscapes that can be stunning, beautiful or simply indelibly odd. The process of composition with Noiser is a bit like musique concrete, in that one snip and edits and selects and arranges bits of sound into songs. Fortunately, one need no longer use tape-cutting to do this, as I am always helpless with tape, Elmer’s glue, and construction paper. I like the challenge of using software that defies the user to control it to create something controlled.

This process of using a restrictive method of composition—mixing samples in Audacity, morphing them in Noiser, and then mixing the results once more in Audacity—creates pieces that are a bit chaotic and unrestrained but nonetheless, I believe, a tad musical.

I am grateful to Onlymeith, whose work always contains rich source material. His songs are all recognizable here, though they have gone through what I can only describe as a “smooth and orderly” transition. Someday when I draw Onlymeith as my secret mixter choice, I will write a more conventional song with a proper melody and percussion and a beginning and an end. But here I present a series of imperfectly smooth and orderly transitions instead.

"A Series of Smooth and Orderly Transitions"
by gurdonark

2018 - Licensed under
Creative Commons
Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

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