April 30, 2015


Listening to the first scenes I did in SoundScaper. Now, that’s an app I liked from the very first touch! Brilliant and “think different”.

Two days ago I got Borderlands Granular. Now, those two with Gestrument and Alchemy and I have all the apps I need for a very long time I think. SoundScaper and Borderlands Granular will give me opportunities never seen or heard before.



Started thinking about MRIMeditation 03 and 04. There are a few things that really want to try out. One of them is an organ. Downloaded Strand organ, which is Swedish organ from Kalvträsk.

I bought iCathedral, an expensive app. But I’m very satisfied with iSymphonic Orchestra. So I expect the same height quality out of this app.

I really want to record now. But it demands patience. The sound landscape evolves slowly. The new sound picture/painting turns up only with patience. I think I want my new Alchemy route to be a zigzag pattern and change channel every time. Shift between 1,3,5 and 2,4.

Made some major changes to Gestrument and Alchemy today. I changed the outgoing midi channels from 6 to 5. I added channel 6,7 and 8 to the Gestrument internal synth. I added choir, church bell and vibraphone. I put AUFX: Dub on AudioShare with IAA. 

This new, totally renovated, setting made my piece super dynamic and totally fresh. A big step forward. I have to find the courage to interrupt the music. There are two keys here: COURAGE and PATIENCE. I had a big breakthrough today.

With patience and listening the church bells can really make a difference. Thinking about implementing rhythm patterns in Gestrument for channel 6,7 and 8. I’m glad I spent almost 20 months on learning and understanding Gestrument. Without Gestrument nothing of this would be possible.

Contemplating not to release MRIMeditation 01. It doesn’t really cut it.



My new Gestrument settings increase the possibilities exponentially. Therefore I must find a way to limit these possibilities as much as possible. One way is to listen to my Alchemy positions on the remix pad again. With channel 1 and 5 open. They represent the low and high and creates good dynamic. So far I prefer position 1, 3 and 6. My patience is rewarded as a listener in combination with SoundScaper.



I keep listening. I want to control the chords in Alchemy to a larger extent. So trying out simple major-major, minor-minor, minor-major and minor-minor combinations.

With the current setting in AUX:Dub “delay short” I’m able to develop interesting soundscapes that I can assign totally different soundscapes to. Just by riding on the back wave of sound of the first chord.



MRIMeditation 02: go back. I have AltiSpace on Gestrument/Alchemy. AUFX:AltiSpace on SoundScaper. I have nothing on channel 6-8 in Gestrument. I balance the two separate sound streams. 1,3,5 and 2,4 are good channel changes. I can turn off Gestrument and play chords in Alchemy as variations. Make it as simple as possible.

A good way is to let SoundScaper play the main part. And the different chord combinations play the solo part. SoundScaper changes its sound picture all the time. The chords from Alchemy deliver balance and create a story.

The story can now be told with 8 channels in Gestrument. All linked to the internal synth. Alchemy is perfectly fine on its own. I will begin to put an interesting balance together.

I’ve divided Gestrument and Alchemy permanently. Made channel 1-5 in Gestrument pianos, increased their intervals and started working on individual rhythm patterns. Contemplating at least one more setting in Gestrument for MRIMeditations. Or I can vary the piano setting I’ve got. Tempo and channels are my keys.

Tried the 128:57 SFX on 50 bmp, but Gestrument doesn’t make it with a fourth. Change to full note. Same result. Doesn’t work with 128:49 or 120:57 either. The SFX kills the other instruments if I use “glide” over the whole screen.



A major breakthrough yesterday. Re did the entire Gestrument setting. Six channels grand piano, one choir and a violin. Now I can create variation and try out odd combinations.

My grand piano channels work out splendid due to the four month of work I put into Téli Estéken. Those months was all about exploring the grand piano in Gestrument. That work really paid off now.

When I tested with piano and violin and recorded, I took the midi file and exported it into Notion. Spot on. Some editing needed of course. But now I know that I can take a channel in Gestrument, record and simply open it in Notion and voilá! I have a traditional score. Way cool!

Testing with different scenes in SoundScaper. Feels very good the piece took a great leap forward yesterday. I’m definitely on to something here. Just keep listening, try things out, practice and keep making mistakes.

Did a 10-minute test recording. It’s very different, but beautiful. And it tells me something. It’s not mediocre, but still beautiful. I would characterize it as melancholic.

Piano 4,5 works well. Violin and 8 works as a conversation. The Choir works fine with C4 major followed by G#3 major in Alchemy.

Lots of things left to do. The only objection I have so far is that SoundScaper is a little bit high. And that the recording sounds “thin”. It craves a deeper sound.

Tested with max/min velocity on channel 4,5 in Gestrument. Hence I can control those values with my fingers on screen I can create interesting and charming effects by reversing the values on one of the channels. I have used this technique before, but it’s worth exploring further. There is huge potential there together with governing the four on-screen parameters; pulse, pitch, rhythm and scale.



Found an old pre set in AUFX:Space. Fits perfectly with the Gestrument settings and produces a captivating sound picture. Melancholic. Faraway. Totally up the right alley.

I’m building on my previous improvisations. My goal is to be able to perform the improvisations live. But, I want to play a more active part. So a score is undoubtedly an advantage. Create blocks of music that I can improvise inside and combine in any way I want.



The music. Have to find good opening. Find the different blocks and document the presets for position, channels and variables. I should also document a “best practice” within the different blocks. The recording and the following improve by me or someone else, are based on this document.

The biggest hurdle and that’s counteracting the creativity are the infinite possibilities. What I’ve learned the past 5 years with iOS music making is that I have to limit the possibilities as much as possible. Set up rules. That’s the only way to move forward.

Create a basic structure. Then chop up the basic structure. Within each new block create a new structure. Within this structure create space for variables built on playable experiences (practice and listening).

Actually I don’t write music. The different apps (in this case Gestrument, Alchemy and SoundScaper) create music I have to relate to. And in practice interpret. So I really have to role of a conductor with endless possibilities. As a conductor I have to divide the music into structures to be able to create anything. And the music demands listening and listening and listening.



My unconventional compositions tool arrives today. Looking forward to start using it. It sets me free from using straight lines bits a multipurpose tool in steel, in the size of a credit card.

I’ve written down a sketch of the first and second block of MRIMeditation 02. The third block is to keep the piano on 4,5 (Gestrument), add the choir on 6 and then do Alchemy with C4 followed by G#5 on position 1 Amberville. Let it fade out while playing yourself. The sound comes in waves. Make sure to take advantage of that.

I have to re balance the third block in comparison with the first and second. Tone down SoundScaper and let Alchemy do the solo part. The choir takes to much room at the moment. I could of course rebalance everything afterwards if I recorded with Cubasis. But the piece is intended to be performed live with a score and recorded with AudioShare. Therefore I have to rebalance and document everything in the score.

I don’t think there’s going to be four MRIMeditations with separate scores. I will make one with a score and I will most likely change the title. I need to study my previous unfinished scores (Hotel Gellért and Normafa Hills) and my notes in more detail when it comes to the notation methodology. It is my firm belief that MRIMeditation will be the first iOS piece with a proper score.



Continuing with my music today. I’m trying out general settings for new blocks. Slow advance forward, which is the point. I’m not pressed for time and fortunately I can explore in my own pace. Spending time listening. I need to prepare my workspace at the bar table in the kitchen. I will try to start writing my score next week.

As I mentioned I really should study the work I put into different playing techniques on glass. But the biggest challenge, I believe, is to document the balance. I don’t want to loose the spontaneity by mixing afterwards. It allows me to play “wrong” and mend it afterwards.

I quite like the MRI 04 in SoundScaper. There is a metallic sound there that works as some kind of rhythm pattern. I think I’ll stick to that scene.

Testing some new chords in Alchemy. Changing Gestrument 1,2,3 from major to minor (C4 to D#4). Letting them “echo out” while having SoundScaper on MRI 04. SoundScaper forming the main stem, Gestrument as an accompanist and Alchemy appearing as the solo stem.

Another combo I grew fond of is C4 major to H3 minor while changing Gestrument accordingly.



The most practical way to utilize the Alchemy chords is to follow my Gestrument settings. For example I have a defined Major and minor scale for the ScaleMorph function. How can I take advantage of that?

To move from c-minor to d-minor is an option. Another is to move to f-minor. A third is to move from c-major to any major or minor chord according to Stiles model evoking feelings and emotions. There are in infinite number of combinations and Stiles is bringing some good guidance for me on this part. Apart from these choices I have eight positions in Alchemy and their infinite variations.

Based upon these ideas I decided to follow Stiles model.

* C-major to D#-minor “preparation release”

* C-major to D-minor “preparing, bracing, resolution”.

And, ergo, I can write a sketch for block three:

C4-major (wait: 6 waves)

D#4-major (wait: 6 waves)

C4-major (wait: 6 waves)

Scalemorph: 100%

D4-mInor (wait: 6 waves)



Testing with different C-major variations in Alchemy today together with SoundScaper and Gestrument. And the violin in the background is here to stay in some way.

After working for days I discovered that not any of my effects were running. So I haven’t followed my own routines. When the day is done close all apps, restart and charge. Time to get my stuff together!

And I played 4 cups of MarioKart. Good sign my brain is getting much better than a month ago.



I have to start making decisions and come to terms with that I won’t be able to write down the ultimate version. That version will come when I’m not expecting it during a performance of the piece. I just use channel 1 and 3 in SoundScaper. Makes an improved version with a more clear and honest sound picture.

I have to focus on SLOW and PATIENCE. I can’t push my process of listening. Or at hearing what I’m doing. I still can’t find the portal to this piece, my first ever import and “block”.

I made a discovery and realized a relationship I should have grasped a long time ago. The transposition tool in Gestrument is flexible. And thus I can “follow” it in Alchemy. That gives me much more flexibility with the solo parts on any given channel.

I found “Music and Emotions. Research on the Theory of Musical Equilibration (die Strebetendenz-Theorie)”. Very good read on the connection between chords and emotions from a scientific standpoint.

“Pieces of Life” took me years to accomplish. So I have to remind myself that time is not important. The key is LISTENING and PATIENCE. Everything will fall and find its place in its own time frame.

Been testing in Alchemy. Much much better. More aerie feel and more intriguing. Especially with Gestrument 8 on +B/C#.

Lesson for today. Don’t push it because everything will be apparent and find its place in due time.



Am7 (b5) as a starting point using ArtNoir position 1. Gestrument solo on channel 5. Free chords in iSymphony are a good start. Lovely conversation between the piano and strings.



The chords from yesterday turned out to be good starting points. Maybe they are a way to build an all-encompassing improvisation?

The thing is I’m getting better and better at improvising with my standard apps (SoundScaper, Alchemy, Gestrument, iSymphonic). So there is practice, rehearsals and recordings to come. But, I have to practice standing up! I do everything lying down or sitting up.

Reflector 2 enables me to record my iPad screen AND capture the sound stream. That means Audiobus and IAA is irrelevant. But the downside is that I get one wav-file and mixing has to be done on the fly. But it means I can use SoundPrism Pro with iSymphony if I want. To use iSymphony during practice and rehearsals and recording I’m forced to use IAA in Cubasis.



Listening to the same chords today. But I added a C0 to create depth in my sound picture. And I’ve been consistent in using bpm 5 in Alchemy. When I increase the bpm my sound picture changes accordingly. So by increasing the bpm from 5 to 51 and 101 and changing position on the remix pad does alter my sound picture in a new and exciting way.



The purpose of the score is to give the listener something to follow and give someone else the opportunity to interpret the piece. I enhance this thinking by using Reflector. Reflector is a must when playing live.

I added C7 (#11) one octave higher than the preceding chord. And added the choir in Gestrument and kept channel 5. Raised the bpm to 101 in Alchemy. It will make a good block. It sounds okay in my mind.

1,2,3 + 8 (piano) in Gestrument has an impressionistic feel to it. It took quite a lot of trial and error a month ago before I got the hang of it. I can vary and change the tempo by using the “pulse density”-slider. But a better way to accomplish this is to put pulse density to 0 and then just tap the glass and play manually. I already worked out the notation for this last fall.

By increasing the pulse density (without the hold function) I can activate the angle toggle on scale morph and vary my improvisation even more. The same goes for my PPM-settings.

This is a huge technical leap forward for me. After 18 months with Gestrument I still make major discoveries concerning playing techniques and usability.

After 30 minutes of testing different settings and trying them out I realize that I’ve found a new and exciting way of utilizing the glass for my playing. For me of if the biggest discoveries so far.



Sketched down five new Blocks today and transcribing them. I haven’t published any music in almost a year now.



Sketched out 7 Blocks now. And another one is still in my head. I will be busy transcribing them this week. Then it’s practice, add, subtract and write everything down in phase two.

I’m moving forward. That’s what’s important.

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