Tuesday 18 November 2008

Dance of the Flower Pot Men

The last few weeks have been quite busy, by my standards. I visited the top secret headquarters of White Label Music, and Met up with Ann and Marc, and Phil - Mirlitron One. We recorded a couple of tracks - me crouching uncomfortably with a borrowed delay pedal and Marc's etherwave - no stand, the pitch antenna at an interesting angle and a badly shrunken pitch field, Phil with a Kaossilator.

Later Ann added a vocal track and I returned to mix it in GarageBand. It's called Spam, in honour of the spam tin turned into an electronic noise maker and presented to Large Number (i.e. Ann and Marc) by Phil, and no doubt it will appear somewhere, sometime as part of the White Label Music catalogue. On my return I also recorded a couple more tracks against a drum machine - the drum machine track to be removed and replaced with something else that Ann will record. Perhaps in time for a return visit that has been loosely pencilled in for sometime real soon.

I have a Christmas present organised. Phil is building a versatile little pre-amp for me, so I can match other things - primarily a microphone - against the etherwave and ring-modulate one with the other. That should be fun.

My new friend from the Lippstadt theremin festival, Fabio, emailed to say he will be recording an album of theremin, sax and electronics with saxophonist Gaspare De Vito, and would I like to contribute to it? So, as it happened the wind was blowing in the right direction and I recorded a couple of things the next day. (Yesterday, Monday) Not having any idea what they wanted, I made a droney pad with delays and a bit of ring-moddery and a lead track with added wah, with silence between phrases so it could be cut into samples and messed around with.

It turns out that they were looking for pads, so now I have a lead track looking for a home. I also have a video downloaded from archive.org looking for some music. I was delighted - it appears that British TV has 50 years copyright, and that means that early Watch With Mother programming is available as source material. Nice to do a UK based video for a change.

So, naturally, I put the two together, and then loaded GarageBand and messed around a while, looking for inspiration. Inspiration came in the form of a drum loop, played not on a drum kit but a fretless bass. Add the same trick again but with drum transposed via MIDI into piano this time. Apply some judicious effects and paste in a couple of samples from the video, tweak a bit and what you get is...

Dance Of The Flower Pot Men

As with many of my recordings, there's stuff going on at very low frequencies, so if you can play it through a decent pair of speakers, so much the better.

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