March 30, 2015

Dear friends!

I suffered a severe stroke 15th of September 2014. That’s the reason for my diary not being published since then. But, from now on it will be delivered to your mailbox the first Saturday of every month as usual.

A special warm welcome to the recent subscribers.



The MRIMeditation 01 was 69 min on SC instead of the 60.05 in Cubasis. Have to do the editing and uploading process all over again. Working on the linear notes and searching for a suitable photo.

The MRI-sound file from Freesound.org doesn’t cut it. Imported from http://cubricmri.blogspot.se/2012/08/scanner-sounds.html?m=1 using AudioShare. Really easy to import into SoundScaper after that. SoundScaper is like Gestrument. Takes a lifetime to master. Endless exploration.

Will use the new files on MRIMeditation 02. Making new scene in SoundScaper and controlling Alchemy (Alien Water Baby) with Gestrument. New setting in Gestrument using fixed 4ths and 5ths intervals. Nice flowing evolving worlds that comes and goes when using different channel combinations.

Watching the first season of “The Fall”. Really good.



I can’t seem to be able to upload MRIMeditation 01 from Cubasis to SoundCloud. After some trail and error it turns out the file is too big. It’s almost 1 gig (1 hour of music). So I had to convert it to m4a. I can’t distinguish any lack of sound quality.

Changed from “Alien Water Baby” to “Amberville” on MRIMeditation 02. Much better and more interesting when hooked up with Gestrument.



The change to “Amberville” turned out very well. It sounds much more appropriate.

Just listening for hours today. I have a doctors appointment this afternoon. But until then I can relax and head off to different worlds.

The sound worlds evolve in two ways. Either all by themselves. Or if I change the channel on/off in Gestrument. MRIMeditation 01 is “app music”. It’s all performed by the apps, I don’t interfere with it. It creates and plays by itself. App music or “Machine music”.

I will interfere with MRIMeditation 02 by changing the channels in Gestrument and working with the remix pad in Alchemy. Either with my finger/s or using the tilt function. Haven’t made up my mind yet.

Read about the “Sleep concerts” with Robert Rich today. Fascinating stuff. Performance wise but also the questions about how ambient music effects our brain and body chemistry.



My overall goal is to BUY TIME. So far I’ve been pretty successful in living by that rule. I need to recover psychologically and physically from my stroke. During this period still work towards my goal to be able to OWN my TIME.



The remix pad in Alchemy. There are 8 squares. 8 squares/60 minutes = 7 min 30 sec. I’ll give myself 30 seconds to move to new square. That will be 7 minutes in each square.

This is a good development from my static settings on the MRIMeditation 01.

Furthermore, each square can be equal to a specific channel combination in Gestrument. I tried this out today:

* Square 1 Ch 1,2,3

* Square 2 Ch 1,3,5 alternate with 2,4

Numerous exciting changes and variations occur. This way I can give Alchemy even more freedom to expand and discover new sound worlds. The key is to spend hours listening to each position/combination. Document the process in writing and from that hopefully make mistakes and bring the process forward.



Listening to MRIMeditations 02. Switching the five channels I have in Gestrument to different combinations. For my next MRIMeditation there will be more channels. The switching makes interesting changes and renews the sound in a very different way.

Read today that Berklee online is offering iPad music making courses. A good sign indeed!




2 chords where I can switch from minor to major or the other way around just by turning one channel on and another off. 1,2,3 is minor, 1,2,4 is major. One setting equals four different chords. Each channel can have different note values. Creates variation and interesting effects in Alchemy.

Bookmarked “Coltrane Changes”. Circle of fifths but with thirds and septimas. Intrigued to change minor/major with Gestrument settings and listen to the result in Alchemy. Maybe for MRIMeditation 03.



MRIMeditations 02 coming along slowly. Updated iSymphonic and SoundScaper yesterday. I’ve not been able to update for awhile due to some bug. Managed to get around it! Thinking and testing with iSymphonic and I might pursue it. It sounds good together.

Really testing with the iSymphonic “Chamber Arco Strings”. One base note and a chord of whim. Dealing with position 3 in Alchemy which make an almost electric sound. C3 with D5, C#5, H4 in a slow sequence. Good sound universe. Very good. By tuning down SoundScaper I reveal an underlying sound universe without taking anything away.



Listened to MRIMeditation 01 yesterday. I lay on my bed with head phones and was totally relaxed. Not entirely satisfied. I do think I wanted more of a SoundScaper sound.

Today i listened to MRIMeditations 02. The work with the overall settings has turned out well. From now it’s more a question of the balance between the individual parts and recording technique. I need a time schedule to help me change positions and channel combinations. MRIMeditation 02 will be an active recording in contrast to MRIMeditations 01.

Started to lay the groundwork for MRIMeditation 03 today. Tested “Dark emulations” with good results. Especially when increase the attack (adsr) to 50% and stay in the middle of the remix pad.

I added iSymphonic strings (3,4) with the “Ambient Chaos”-effect. Free improvisation for about one hour.

I need new MRI-samples and create a new scene in SoundScaper.



Had a long listening session with my wonderful Bowers&Wilkins P7 headphones. I can wear them for hours without any discomfort.

Moving systematically through different channel combinations in Gestrument and remix pad positions in Alchemy. Following the structures that the music constructs itself.

I prepare for recording. Probably this weekend with an expected length of 60-70 minutes.

When I started to explore different velocity settings on the three channels in SoundScaper I can once more reshape the piece without changing anything of the fundamentals. It’s a better way of creating interesting dynamics and balance.



Back-up of Alchemy. I’ve been living dangerously since Camel Audio closed their site. So without a proper back-up Alchemy can’t be installed again. Camel has been bought by Apple. But the chances if seeing Alchemy Mobile again is zero. So I won’t upgrade my iPad. Because sooner or later Alchemy is going to stop working. But now I have a properly done back-up with all my sound libraries along with an installation file on my MacBook.



Prepared for recording today. That means start practicing from my score. To execute all position and channel changes. It also encompasses a new listening session.

I listen to what the apps create with different positions and channel choices. For every position there is a “main sound”. I can interfere and change the position or the channel, but usually I try to avoid it.

The listening is my most crucial moment. To slowly begin to understand and stop thinking. To listen and just follow along. It’s a way of deep meditation. To let the music create worlds of its own. Worlds it would take me years to construct myself.



Now adding effects. Starting out with AUX:Space with Audiobus. Otherwise same settings as before. On MRIMeditations 01 I added the reverb.

Listening to turned around channel/positions today. Position 1 in Alchemy on channel 2,4 in Gestrument instead of 1,3,5. Testing it out by listening.

The positions on the remix pad I follow in Alchemy are 1-4, 8-5. That order is not carved in stone. One of my thoughts is recognition and that demands me ending on position 1.

I listened a couple of hours and I’m changing the effect to AltiSpace. I want to record into AudioShare. I know it can handle a 60 minute recording.

Listened a couple of more hours. Changing continuously in AltiSpace to find the sound.

SoundScaper and AltiSpace has really opened up new worlds. I have a solid foundation of working with Gestrument that in this case transforms Alchemy into something new.

After my stroke I have much more patience and time to do the right stuff. To listen and listen and listen. To experiment and make mistakes. It’s a healthy brake with my habit of getting more and more detailed last spring and summer.

I will not abandon or quit working on my notation system. On the contrary, I will keep developing it and finish what I have started. I think this way of working with detail on one hand and being much more open to improvisation on the other, will be beneficial in the long run.



Spending the night once again listening and listening. Using the same scene in SoundScaper. It is built round an MRI-scanning downloaded from FreeSound.org using the brilliant built in AudioShare browser.

The actual MRI-sounds are recorded by Mr Omar Alvorado and a part of his “Gainsville recordings”. The sample I’m using is “mrisixthscan.mp3”. The idea of using an actual MRI-sound dawned to me when I underwent an MRI examination myself in September after my stroke. The MRI sounds are very loud and metallic. I wanted the machine to sound beautiful.

Also testing this evening to listen using only one channel in Gestrument for Alchemy. When changing positions in Alchemy it makes the over all sound more distinct. More in collaboration with SoundScaper. Using more channels in Gestrument takes away much of the purposed chimes.



I might have pushed MRIMeditation 2 too far now. What I had after a couple of days was good. The main idea that positions in Alchemy were connected to channels in Gestrument. I think I ought to stick at that idea. I have to get a recording session going. I think I’m just afraid of letting the piece go. That’s why I keep poking it and change things although I really think it matured enough. But I’m not satisfied with the balance.

So what are my recording options?

* Audiobus to AudioShare. Straight live mixing.

* Audiobus to Cubasis. Cumbersome and a lot of things to arrange and keep my fingers crossed everything works during 60 minutes. Does not allow AltiSpace affect. Has to be added afterwards.

* IAA to Cubasis. The above, but allows live separate AltiSpace effect.


The MRIMeditation 1-4 are the first pieces in “The Cosmodrone Series”.



Tried a middle line approach on the remix pad last night. That is just following the remix pad in the middle all the way from 1-4 and playing 5-8 at the same time. Half and half so to speak. This with just one channel open. A good alternative way of playing.



New remix pad positions, the ones from yesterday. But now with two channels in Gestrument.



Listened for several hours to MRIMeditation 02. Starting to hear the results, but still work to be done on balance and dynamics. So I’m working with Cubasis and IAA today. That way I can try different effects on different channels. But, IAA with Audiobus is not an option. I get strange noises from Alchemy when I use the remix pad. Even after a total shut down and restart.

Instead I tried with two chains in Audiobus. Both set to record in AudioShare. I’ve got Gestrument and Alchemy on one chain and SpundScaper on the other. That way I can try different apps in the effect slot without having strange noises in Alchemy. It’s a live mix combination I’ve used before with pleasing results.

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