Archive for the 'Studio Tracks' Category

Nov 18 2014

The Final Three

Published by Sander under Audio Tracks, Studio Tracks

We had created two tracks (the first two of the last three studio tracks listed on the music page) collaboratively. Each was created by sending small bits of audio back and forth between us, manipulating and/or adding bits, and building the tracks in a fairly organic process.

The first track, titled Those Deeper Natures, began with a brief two syllable segment of a Buddhist chant that Sander recorded. It features an environmental recording he made inside the food court at a Japanese market in Costa Mesa, and also includes a rather beautiful drone section.

Carloff is an avid collector of old vinyl records. Somewhere, he found one that was recorded for Brigham Young University, for an English Lit class. This particular record is focused on the spiritual poetry of William Blake, specifically his poems of Innocence and Experience. Carloff created a rather complex and subtle set of edits of this material, which sort of became the frame around which Tiger Tiger grew.

Sander started working on ASA’s third and final studio track just as Robert was going back to school. He remembers Carloff’s instructions were, “DRUMS! I want drums!” Sander took the clicks and pops from his old record and created a rhythmic part in 7/8. He tried, for months, to line up drummers, but it seemed like every time he got close, something would interfere.

Eventually, Sander connected with Brian Campbell, who had studied Hindustani percussion for years, and played for festivals at local temples. He listened to the clicks and pops on ear buds, and Sander recorded multiple takes of him jamming to it. Brian also performed the vocal parts, which Sander chopped up and reassembled them as they are in the final track.

Almost immediately on the heels of that, a previously elusive jazz drummer, Alan Cook, said he was finally available, and Sander recorded multiple takes of him playing various things in his kit. None of these takes from Brian or Alan had any kind of timecode or reference to the click, or to each other. They were all ‘wild,’ and needed to be aligned by hand, which took a very long time.

Sander wanted a kind of culmination just before the big change, so he used a recording of a rather weird, pulsing, water feature in the sculpture garden of the Cerritos Civic Center. He then added heavy drum samples, and took a recording by trumpet player Dave Williams and completely deconstructed it, and reassembled it. He used another recording, of a different fountain, at the very end because the splishly splashy sound evoked the fluidity of Brian’s tabla performance. The Ruling Affection, with starts and stops, took probably a year to finish.

Here are some project screen shots of The Ruling Affection:

Screen shot of The Ruling Affection in production

Screen shot of The Ruling Affection in production

Screen shot of The Ruling Affection in production

Screen shot of The Ruling Affection in production

Screen shot of The Ruling Affection in production

Screen shot of The Ruling Affection in production

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Nov 26 2009

A work in progress

Published by Sander under Studio Tracks

Carl and I are starting a new studio project that began with four tracks of drums, (Frame Drum, Clay Drum, Tambourine, and Baking Sheet) recorded by SRW.   (Yes, a track that has a beat!)  

To that, Carl added voice, Chinese Moon Lute, violin, and some processing.  Once back in my hands, I added several tracks using my Industral Guitar Indy Rail lap steel.  Lately I’ve been using an alternate tuning:  G2 G3 G3 G3 G4 G4.  That’s right:  Three octaves, all G!

We’re still expecting contributions from David Bunoan, David Witham, and Christie Scott.  Still, while we’re patiently waiting for them, I thought I’d share the work in progress:

On This Road

12/08/09 – We just got David Witham’s contribution back, and WOW!  I really love it.  I’ve been listening to it obsessively, and I have all kinds of ideas. I find it really inspiring.

It stands well on its own, but I can sometimes hear parts that could be added… Dunno.

12/13/09 – Things keep unfolding in surprising and wonderful ways. I was chatting with an old High School chum, Janis Tanaka, who is an excellent professional musician. She’s been Pink’s touring bassist for at least her last two albums, and has played in a bunch of bands over the years, including the rather infamous L7.

I was talking with her about her current creative efforts, and sharing some of my own. She asked, “When do you get together to record?” We don’t, I explained, and showed her the links to several source tracks, and some links to various works in progress. The next day, I found this in my email inbox. She’s recorded a synth bass part over David Witham’s track, and it is DOPE!

I love the internet!

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Dec 09 2008

Swimming in Dark Waters

Published by Sander under Studio Tracks

While working on Dancing Upon A Foaming Sea, I had a discussion with my friend Loren Nerell, who is a long time and well established electronic music artist whose work is well regarded by many folks around the globe. We talked about a well known technique which involves taking a short audio tidbit and slowing it down repeatedly, until it sounds quite different. This is a technique used by Brian Eno, most famously on his CD, Neroli.

In DUAFS, there’s a short recording of a chime or bell. It looks like a metal heart, no more than 2 inches across, but inside there is some sort of ball and tone bars. I used this as the basis for Swimming in Dark Waters.

One of the great things about working with Karloff is that, when I share something with him, I know that he’ll find just the right thing to connect with my intention, and then take it to a whole new level. His addition of synth on this track is at first sublime, then… well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

We may yet add more to this. Sometimes it can be difficult to know when to stop. Still, I am happy to present it as a work in progress. Slip on your headphones, and enjoy:

Swimming in Dark Waters

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think!

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Aug 07 2008

Studio Collaboration: Dancing Upon a Foaming Sea

Published by Sander under Studio Tracks

A few weeks ago Carl, my collaborator in Ain Soph Aur, emailed me a short audio snippet with the request that I come up with some parts that might sit well with it. The part was strange, with an unusual meter and a chorused bass part that felt elusive. I immediately recorded several guitar tracks, burned them to a CD, and gave them to Carl within the next few days.

Several weeks passed and, to be honest, I’d pretty much forgotten about it entirely. In my email in-box came an MP3, where Carl had taken his original loop, my guitar parts, and added several more tracks as well. I began to get really excited. He then gave me 14 stereo WAV tracks that made up his mix of the tune, and I began playing with those, adding more tracks, processing existing ones, and generally going crazy.

The result is a 33 minute epic of sonic goodness. Now, Carl hasn’t heard this long-form version yet, and it really isn’t complete. I have no doubt that, when he hears it, he’ll be inspired to respond in some way. I can’t wait!!!

Still, he’s away right now, and won’t be back for a while, so I felt moved to share this as it is, knowing that, down the road, it may change significantly.

So, without further ado, behold “Dancing Upon A Foaming Sea.”

[note: this is a very large, 31 MB, file. People with small hard drives or dial-up connections should wait for the CD release]

The title, which comes from Alister Crowley’s description of the Princess of Cups in his Egyptian Tarot book, The Book of Thoth, may change too, btw.

I’ve also posted a screen shot of the project in my Cubase SX3 audio software.

To the best of my knowledge, the track contains the following: Bass, organ, guitar, cornet, recorder, tin flute, bells, voices, plastic tubes, shakers, metal bowls, dog collars, field recordings of seals and birds, a live performance snippet, kalimba, hand drum, synth drums, and a few other things. See if you can find them all!

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