sony d-50

Animated Graphic Score as played by Kammer Klang Quartet!

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 | Graphic Scores, Live Shows, Processing | 11 Comments


I’m really happy about how the premiere of the score piece turned out! I think the Kammer Klang Quartet did an excellent job with it. It was inspiring to see how each individual dealt with the notation in a different way while still maintaing some kind of group integrity. It seemed like the whole thing went down well with the audience too, perhaps because they could see the score projected as it was played. I’m going to work on a second score as soon as I finish off the things I have on my plate at the moment, perhaps now the rules have been established it might be fun to bend them a little.

I must thank Lucy for putting on a great night and Dave for his dedication to the sound! Also my thanks to Mr Leo – Simon Bookish who’s criticism and suggestions were invaluable in the making of this piece. 

The Kammer Klang Quartet were:
Violins KATE RILEY & HELENA NICHOLLS
Viola ROB AMES
Cello LUCY RAILTON

Kammer Klang is a monthly event and I highly recommend it!

Finally a note about the video – The audio sync is not perfect, this is a video issue and nothing to do with the fine playing of the Quartet! The sound was recorded on my little Sony D-50 and my Soundman Binaural mic’s laid on a table so it’s not fantstic. Good enough though to illustrate the evening’s events.

All the best,

Leafcutter John.

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Micro-Song #2

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 | Micro-Song, The Making of the 5th Leafcutter Album | 5 Comments

For this micro-song I’m turning what could be described as the national instrument of Greece, a country which for many reasons fills me with joy. The Bouzouki is capable of a wide variety of sounds and emotions and I have not used mine as much as I should so it’s perfect for making a micro-song with.

This micro song is truly experimental in nature. I started of by recording the instrument using my little sony d-50 and my binaural Soundman mics. I gave myself the rule that I could not use my fingers directly to play the instrument in the conventional sense. So I used soft beaters to hit and scrape the body and strings. I used a rubber balloon to create low pitched farts along the strings, and a jaw harp with it’s vibrating metal component against the strings (that’s not me in the video!).

With the sounds transfered to Logic I set about layering parts of the recording to create a composition. I used some compression to get the level up in places and a touch of reverb to tie the sounds together a little. One of the great things about using binaural microphones is that because you wear them in your ears any movement of the head results in panning in the recording. This technique is very evident in the micro-song. From the screen grab you’ll see a MIDI region, this is a sampler playing sections of the original recording.

To listen to the song I’d recommend using decent speakers or headphones as you’ll not hear any bass on most computer speakers.  

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Take care,

Leafcutter John. 

To find out more about the origins of the micro-song idea read I thought you used to be a musician once?

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