Tag Archives: Amplitude

Trilithon (Song For The Architect)

Stonehenge 01 ACN 2014

This post will be the last to include a new musical piece in 2014. Its been a good run and for me its been a breathless run, grabbing available time to throw herbs & sources into the mix. This one is the end of the Norfolk Cycle and finishes with a piece inspired by Hampshire & Wiltshire.

Some number of years ago I attended Winchester School of Art and during the first week of December, with Mrs A4+, I went back to have a look around- with the best part of 25yr gap. It was a bit of a flash back pilgrimage, I still have occasional dreams that fix in the town, and I was interested to see any changes that have occurred. The WSA Campus is a lot bigger, there are new shopping centres, but the core of the main thoroughfare and are around the Cathedral are unchanged. With a little more time I would have liked to walk some more of the area, the Water Meadows, the riverside area, St Catherine’s Mount but overall the visit was satisfying.

Stonehenge 02 ACN 2014

The one thing I did want to do when in that neck of the woods was to visit Stonehenge. Whilst its more associated with Salisbury its only 20mins drive away from Winchester. I am really quite entranced by the countries very early history, stone circles and long barrows of the peak district I’ve referenced previously in pictures, sounds and moving images. Stonehenge is the ‘holy grail’ (ok, maybe thats in Glastonbury theoretically) being the largest megalithic structure in Northern Europe. Raised between 3000 & 2000 years BC its an unbelievably impressive example of planning & will. The stones were transported over huge distances, shaped with minimal available materials, organised and plotted with unerring precision and raised by methods we can only guess. The site was used over a millennia and was adapted and evolved throughout that time.

Bronze Age people produced monuments from the Mediterranean, through central Europe and up into the British Isles that have endured and surpassed constructions from later more adept civilisations. I’m always struck by the thought of the individual the directed the concept. No matter what the capability of the hive, there must be an architect, scratching in the sand, watching the sky, pointing the way.

The following images are Holga photographs on 120 film with intentional overlapping.

SH Sec01 Med

SH Sec02 Med

SH Sec03 Med

SH Sec04 Med

Winchester Cathedral is a similarly engrossing edifice. When at college I spent quite a lot of time in there, copying patterns, looking at sculpture and being overwhelmed by the architecture. Despite my issues with organised religion I’ve always been fascinated by the power of spaces such as this. They exemplify wonder & glory even though in the main they were constructed through forced labour, associated poverty and coercion over extended periods of time. From York & Lincoln Cathedrals in the UK, the Sacre Coeur in Montmatre, the Alhambra Palace in Granada and the Sagrada Famila in Barcelona the human impulse to honour abstract and indefinite visions is frightening in its intent.

The following are some motion blur picture taken of the windows in Winchester Cathedral.

Winchester Windows 01 ACN 2014

Winchester Windows 02 ACN 2014

Winchester Windows 03 ACN 2014

So at the end of all this what are we left with? An admiration of the designer, an inability to understand the effort and methods of the builders and the chatter of history – wedding and flowing in it’s attempt to theorise the cause and inception of these great things.

The song / soundscape that I’ve ended up with is a long form piece, a snick over 25 minutes long. It’s roughly in three parts although the overlay doesn’t lead to clean section breaks. The sections are essentially Conception-Construction-Communion.There are repeated sounds in each that link them but they ultimately form the ‘Trilithon. the rock in three parts.

The track uses my ‘kitchen sink’ of tools including Launchpad (for the majority of the chill/cinematic sounds), Amplitude (for effected guitars and for the first time real bass guitar) and is finished off using LANDR mastering which whilst ‘off the peg’ seems to work well in bringing everything to workable level. The middle section might have the affect of inducing some anxiety but it does ‘come down’ in the closing section. In the words of Bill Hicks “it’s just a ride”.

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UrgenCity (Urr-jahn-Sitt-ee)

20130215-185700.jpgSo, two weeks since my last update, barely taken any photos (cold & dull mainly, no interesting day trips) but I have made this little lump of fun. Inspired in no small part by Mark Ward & Chris Olley, and also as a result of listening to a lot of MBV, Primal Scream & Shellac, I’ve ended up with the this 4m26s ‘musical’ illustration and film.

Whilst I a share a love, nay obsession, with music with the above, sadly I don’t share their musical ability. I can just about play 5 chords on my guitar, two of which are made up and not great sounding.
However, aided by Amplitude & Korg on my iPad and Garage Band & iMovie on the computer almost anything is possible.

The underlying theme came from the Korg beat, this textured with effects and layered with Garage Band loops and a feed back track recorded through Amplitude effects pedals using my Tanglewood Bluesound.
The movie is a Hitchcock style single shot, a little over 25 minutes speeded up and squished down to fit the track length. This shot with Super8 on iPhone throughout a painfully long drive home in the snow on Wednesday night.

It took a little while to get YouTube to accept this HD file and whilst I could tweak it endlessly I’m going to set it free and move on with the next project, a slow Death Metal blues ballad with funky bass.
Long live the Punk Ethic! This is UrgenCity!!!

Here’s the second track from this little noise experiment. The full audio file streaming from Soundcloud. Play it loud.

UPDATE: Just worked out what the title is about. I had in mind a ‘period’ like Jurassic, Miocene etc, or something descriptive of a time just before an era that was about to arise. But, if you Google Ceene, other than various Italian names you find CEENE as an acronym for Cumulative Exergy Extracted from the Natural Environment.  I was going to change it, but now it’s glued in.

This is the full audio of UrgenCity. Clearer here without the video compression. As above, loud works best.

UP DATED UP DATE

…and marching towards enough tracks for an EP, here is track 3. This included contributions from DBoy & BabyJ, both who helped record some guitar loops using DBoys mini strat. £20 well spent! This is IyeZ (from ‘eyes’ or maybe ‘I is’),video coming soon.

@f1fanwmm quite rightly pointed out the continuing theme of urban travel. It sounds like a journey through a busy city street, different music coming from diverse venues.

And as if from nowhere, here is the video for ‘Iyez’. Contributions from the looking orbs of my family.

UPDATED 03/03/13

This is ‘Full Bleed’ A short, sharp cut.

And as if by time slipped magic, here is the video. Pictures by DBoy6.03 and filmed with iMotionHD. Quietly pleased with this one.

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