Eclectic I

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Audio Arts wk8

Sound Event map

Sound Event Map

Sound Analysis

Sound Analysis

Friday, September 15, 2006

Music Tech Journal wk 8

Improvisational Jam with Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh

I apologise that this entry may take a while but I feel it is necessary.

Firstly I just have to emphasise just how much of an incredible experience that the Jam with Dr. Sardeshmukh and just as importantly the rest of my group was.

The entire day I was feeling a buzz or anticipation and nervous excitement. Despite my previous uncertainty of whether our group could reach a point of communicating musically instead of just "fighting for space" (a concern I raised in a previous blog post,) things just fell into place. I felt as a group we really interacted with each other and truly focused on how what we were doing individually contributed to the sound as a whole.

Dr. Sardeshmukh starting learning to play the Sitar from the age of 4! A principal student of the world renowned Ravi Shankar he has a very traditional Indian approach to his instrument and the way he makes music. This provided some benefits and some difficulties. Under the suggestion of Dr Sardeshmukh, the Lydian mode was used as grounds upon which base the music on. This created freedom through having a boundary to keep everyone together.

The idea of boundaries to offer freedom within the creation of music has become a very important idea to me through out this year, which I am realising to a greater extent as time goes on. From the classes with Christian describing the limited features offered by light version or close ended programs being a restriction useful to honing skills, to the ideas within Seb's Milk Crate project and the restrictions set within it, to realising how the stylistic restrictions of all musical styles ranging from classical to modern rock have offered freedom to music making in many guises. Sometimes these restrictions act as a guideline and others serving as a set of rules to deliberately break in order to achieve something new. Even Derek Pascal’s attempts at free music use rules creating boundaries (i.e. follow the leader) to act as what he described as a "spring board" into a music space. (I discussed this in last week’s blog.)

I feel boundaries played a highly significant role in my contribution to the jam. One of which proved to sadly create some difficulty for Dr. Sardeshmukh was that I was unfamiliar with the Sitar, and using a keyboard to follow his rag. I realise he was hoping for some more traditional interaction with those he was jamming with. He looked to me several times to do this but I was unable to do this. I feel grateful that Vinny was able to play the Jembe to offer something familiar for Dr. Sardeshmukh.

The idea behind my approach to the jam was not to play the Jupiter 4 in a traditional sense as you would say with classical piano or Jazz piano, treating the keyboard as a series of pitches to be played in order to create a melody etc. Instead I wanted to focus on the timbre of the sound created.

To do this I constantly altered functions on the Jupiter 4 and my Marshall amplifier.
On the Jupiter 4 this involved a deliberate focus on things such as the ADSR section to increase and decrease the duration of sounds. Towards the end of the jam this became greatly important as I moved away from long drawn out drone like sounds and into more percussive sharp attack sounds.

On my Marshall it involved constant changing of the volume to increase or decrease the prominence of what I was doing within the overall sound. Changing the Bass, Mid, and Treble levels and from switching between a Distorted to a clean channel played a massive roll in the changing texture and timbre of the sound.

The concept of boundaries within what I was trying to achieve played a massive role in the way that I limited myself to the manual function and the live exploration of the sounds, trying to keep in the overall feel of the jam and not come into conflict with what the rest of the group was doing.

My main self criticism is that I should have offered more variance to the sounds I created. It was a great challenge as I didn't want to change so drastically that I fell out sync with the rest of the group and had a sound that grated against what was happening although in Derek Pascal’s eyes (which I can fully understand agree with) this can be a very positive thing, In the context I think it would of contradicted and undermined what Dr. Sardeshmukh was trying to achieve. I also felt at times I was too loud in comparison to the rest of the group and needed to be more aware in that sense.

Another extremely important thing to mention is my direct interaction with Seb who was running a max patch he had created. The sounds I was creating was being fed into his computer and then my original sound was still being bi-passed into the amp while he took small samples of it and used the patch to alter the samples in real time and then play them back. The result was that he brilliantly complimented the sounds I produced by adding extra texture and rhythm. When he suggested we move into more percussive sounds at the end it added a new boundary to what I was doing which sparked a whole new approach. Now playing the keyboard rhythmically, Seb's patch added extra rhythmic variations to what I was doing. This meant that the rhythms I created had to be adaptable to any extra beats which he added.

I am extremely grateful for my collaboration with Seb as part of the jam as we communicated very well from the beginning and were very much open to each others suggestions. I was a bit conscious that I may have been controlling the output to a certain extent and I hope that Seb felt that he had an equal and fair say in what we created together.

Now that I feel I have justified what I was doing musically I want to express how impressed I am with what the rest of the group was doing in the jam. Dr Sardeshmukh provided a much appreciated 'head' figure to set the feel of the jam which we could then all follow and expand upon. The sound of the Sitar, with its beautiful drones set the scene for the grandeur sound that was to soon emanate from the group.

Vinny's loop of thunder like sounds added a stern seriousness as a backdrop, while his jembe playing (as mentioned before) gave something more familiar for Dr Sardeshmukh to work with. The Beats and the sitar together also gave something accessible for the audience to connect with. The importance of reaching the audience was something Dr Sardeshmukh raised as being heavily important in his tradition.

I felt as though Tyrell sat back in the mix to a fair extent, although his washes of sound turned up at some very powerful points in the jam.

Much in the same extent as Tyrell Daniel was a backdrop, and at times I was uncertain whether a sound was him or Tyrell, but irrespective he definitely added something positive to the overall sound.

Poppi's vocals were incredible. The way her voice would come through in jam with such a soft feel yet so powerful and pronounced was enough to make me forget what I was doing for a moment and just listen.

When Steven joined the jam on the piano, I couldn't help but wonder whether he was joining to offer Dr. Sardeshmukh the more traditional approach which he was hoping for from Tyrell and I or whether he was actually inspired to do so by the music? Regardless his addition to the Jam added another dimension which worked incredibly well.

Overall I felt as though I really connected to something ‘spiritual’ through that jam. Something that both Derek Pascal and Dr. Sardeshmukh feel is something that is part of the creation of music. Although as stated Dr. Sardeshmukh felt it was foremost important to reach the audience and that if the musician is truly involved in what they are creating then the spiritual element comes naturally anyway. And it is this sentiment that I feel most powerfully reflects what I gained from the jam and indeed a massive aspect of my creation of music in general.

Picture Reference

#1 Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh. "Improvisation Workshop." Lecture presented at the Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, South Australia, 14/09/2006.

-Courtesy of..
John Delany. John Delany's blog 15 September 2006. 16 September 2006.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I have replaced all the embedded files with Reference links so it will no longer destroy peoples internet quota.

Arn't I a nice guy :)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Audio Arts WK7.1 -Bell Reproduction

Thats right today we are going to learn how little baby bells come into the world...............


Ok now I got that off my chest, I have attempted to use Fm synthesis to re-create the sonic attributes of the recording of a bell we were given. I have done an ok job. What I think is more important is the fact that Plogue is starting to make sense now. I have also began to expand on the concept by adding a couple of multipliers to the basicFm group bidule so as to use several, each one targetting a specific frequency of the sound trying to be produced. I know that the Fm synthesis is ment to use the creation of side bands to approach create these frequencies, but I am yet to figure out how to target specific frequencies and avoid a general modulation between these frequencies. I might have to go over the reading provided again to get a better understanding.

But for now here is the orignal sound proceeded by my attempt at re-creating the sound Using the basic Fm Bidule and an example of Two basicFm bidules running simultaneously off the same controller with one of them being multiplied by 5. I have the intension to start using multiples derived from discovering the fractional difference between the original and the intended frequency, but I left my calculator at home and I'm still learning how to do this. This will hopefully progress into creating a harmonic series for each note played.


Original Bell Sound
Bell Sonogram

Orignal bell Simulator
Original Bell Simulator using the Basic Fm Synthesiser

The two BasicFm Synthesisers where one has the Frequency multiplied by 5

Inside the BasicFm before I got to it

After I got to it

Me taking a different approach to creating a different frequency simultaneous to creating a bass/fundemental

How this sounds
different Approach

Creative Computing WK7

Polyphony has been added to my basic synthesiser


Audio Arts WK6

I'm getting good at this - Doing the work and forgetting to blog it. Although I was positive I had posted this?


This is a diliberate mis-spelling so no telling me off. Artistic freedom etc.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Music Tech Jounal wk 7


Guest: Derek Pascal

Derek took the assembled students (in particular those who had an improvisational jam session with him,) completely out of their comfort zone. Using his individual experience he conveyed his understaning and practice of Improvisation.

A saxophonist from the age of 15, Derek Toured with Pop bands, progressed into a love of Jazz until he ended up doing his masters at Adelaide Uni where for the last 3 Years he has tried to break away from chord structure and move into what he describes as free improvisation.

To begin this journey he began a ritual to combat his intellect from domineering over his creative subconscious. He feels that the concepts of what was good or bad that he had learned prevented his subconscious mind from truly expressing; to be absolutely free of restraints. So each day he would read a page from the "Buddhist offering for 375 days" and play the 'feeling' of the words. If he felt uninspired he would just play the words to "spring board him into a musical space.*1"

Moving on from this he has developed a series of strategies to continue this idea of things that act as a 'spring board' into a creative space. The idea of not consciously thinking of what is being played but just letting it come spontaneously from an 'outside source' always acting as an underlying philosophy to these approaches to improvisation.

Implementing these strategies in the improv jam that occurred between the selected improv group of students had some interesting results. Beginning by dictating that the group 'on stage' should only play 'clicks' of sound while the audience created a drone of sound vocally seemed to be a failure. Only minimal members of the audience attempted to create such a drone while the improv group seemed lost and unsure.

After a discussion of how things went a second attempt followed without the involvement of the audience. There where brief moments where things looked as though they might come together but ultimately it was still not evolving. After more discussion more attempts were made, until the last one attempt where the several Strategies were available to be implemented by the assembled improv group. By this time there were more sophisticated uses of sound but I think that moments to continue to evolve where not utilized because ironically people where trying to conform to Derek’s instructions.

It might be that I am a fan of strange effects and sounds, and that I have often experimented the possibilities with my own guitar and effects, but I found Josh stood out in the group. He was perfectly happy just to play with the sounds and had no reservations about what was good or bad and managed to create some incredible textures. In a sense this encapsulated the ideas Derek was trying to get across. I also appreciate what Marco and Will where doing with amplifying and altering sounds they created live.

I feel that it would be valid to have reservations about Derek’s strategies. The group has been improvising together for a few weeks, learning each others approaches to music and learning to interact in this fashion. Derek essentially imposed restrictions upon their creative output when they were completely unprepared for them. Had they known these restrictions when they started they could have had time to adjust what they were doing as a collective group accordingly.

I am not discrediting Derek’s point of view. In fact it resonates with me and I understand what he is trying to achieve. I do however feel that there are multiple ways of people reaching a place of creative freedom where the intellect ceases to dictate approach. He is discovering various approaches and methods which work for him and could potentially work for others. I think the use of acid by many musicians in the 60’s had similar effects. I also feel that someone could meditate and/or fast for a period of time and attain a state of mind where the conscious mind does not dominate over the subconscious. This comparison limits what Derek is trying to achieve to playing music in an altered state of mind. But in essence this is what he seems to be trying to achieve. The only difference is the intent to use this altered state of mind as a vehicle to be in a state of absolute creation to the extent where he is connecting to an exterior source that he can then act as a conduit for musical creation.

Ultimately I think there is a lot to gain from Derek’s ideas but people should feel free to take their own approach to it. Whether or not people want to create music by these means is another story.

*Pascal, Derek. "Music Technology forum/workshop on Improvisation with Derek Pascal" Lecture presented at University Adelaide, 8 September 2006.

Pic Refrences in order of appearance

#1 Unkown. "Books" Review of book Buddhist Offering 365 Days" by Danielle & Oliverier Follmi Publisher: Thames & Hudson September 2006. (8 September 2006).

Monday, September 04, 2006

Creative Computing WK6

I made a basic synth :)

Basic Synth