We’ve entered June already. I can now honestly say that writing and publishing my music diary this way suits me way better. More time to write, more coherent and well written entries.
My life is changing rapidly, for the better that is. My new circumstances will inevitably find its way into my music. I’ve reached a state a of mind unknown to me for many years. Peace, tranquility and a belief in the future which I haven’t experienced earlier in my life. This excites me, because I know that all this will make a deep impact on my music. I can compose music at my own pace from here on. Wait for it and work hard for it to come to me. Open up my senses and, most important, be more truthful to myself and who I am. I can explore in a vast array of time.
My way of composing have changed this year. In part due to my stroke, but for the most part of my changing attitude and thoughts on the change I’m embracing. I have found some kind of momentary peace in the fact that I now know my limitations energy wise. This will change of course but I have reached a balance within myself.
The way I compose at the moment is mainly by listening and thinking. Due to the fact that I can produce an ever changing automated structure reliefs me from the tedious work of trying and failing. I can now continually listen to my faults, which is much better. But because the faults occurs in the ever changing automated structure, the piece I’m building is based on momentary shining spots surrounded by faults. My job at the moment is to decrease the number of faults. Not trying to create the shining spots. That is a kind of method I guess.
I spend much time just listening. And somehow over time my sense tells me right from wrong.
Typically I record a string quartet loop in Gestrument. The loops are based on my prime number scale made with ScaleGen. I use prime number based rhythm patterns. It creates a very special mood for the music. I try to play the variations as differentiated as possible with the controls in Gestrument using mainly a two finger technique. And sometimes a three finger technique I’ve developed myself. If I from time to time get it right I try to make a score of it using screen shots and Keynote. Sometimes I remember how it I did it, sometimes I don’t. When I feel it is useful and varied enough I make a test recording in Gestrument and transfer it to AudioShare. If I’m in a jolly mood I even export the midi to AudioShare and open it in Notion. And work with it with in a completely different setting than the intended. It can work wonders listening to something completely unexpected!
The Gestrument loop in AudioShare is transferred to Borderlands where I make a grain cloud or two. Then the work with the grain cloud setting begins. That’s where I spent most of my time the recent month. There are some outright fabulous combinations to explore. Automated grain clouds, reverse playing of the loop, the speed of the loop, all the individual grain cloud settings. I’m very delighted to notice that all the hours a couple of months back spent on learning these controls now
slowly pays off.
I started to work with FieldScaper again. This time with the serious intent to start the long journey of mastering this exciting app the way I worked with Borderlands in the past year and worked with Gestrument for the past three years. If I, in a future, master these two apps with Gestrument I’ve come a long way. But it will take time. These apps are instruments. Tools of the trade.
I worked with FieldScaper before. So this instrument is not new to me at all. But at this point the aim is to LEARN to play it and master it technically in order to be free to use it. Just the way I can use Gestrument.
My field recordings from this winter are finally finding a purpose. That was not clear to me at all when I made the recordings. So at present I’m working with a field recording containing the sounds of a cross country skier passing by in the company of a dog.
So in a way I reached a destination here. The stuff I was thinking of doing in December last year, over my period of big failings with the string quartet during spring until I got where I am today. I have reached some kind of solid ground. It has taken me over 6 months to get here through numberless failures and dead ends. But these failures and dead ends are put into my experience account. And over time they will gain interest.
Most of the creative process are failures, dead ends and littered with low self esteem. Don’t let that stop you.
I spent a lovely couple of days out of town. I’m back in Uppsala for the moment for 10 days. Focusing on the music and on my ability to analyse what I’m doing. Silence is so important to me. Both as an environment and for my music.
As I have reached some kind of solid ground to build on at the moment I can start constructing my different blocks. I’m quite clear HOW I’m going about this project. Loops in Gestrument played in Borderlands with field recordings playing in FieldScaper in AUM with AUFX:Space as an effect. Using the preset “Hall” at the moment. And all the different blocks I’m building will be joined in NanoStudio.
In Borderlands I have a new setting I call “New_Journey”. It consists of only one grain cloud so far. I’m trying to find the settings that will give me dynamics, where the different instruments play as a quartet with their individuality intact, different interchangeable and flowing expressions with silence. All in the same grain loud. It takes as lot of listening, but I’ve come as far as saving a preset that is poorly imitating what I want to achieve. It’s better than just quitting without saving. The setting has potential but can get much better. Time will tell.
Did some work, unsuccessfully I might add, with VirtualANS this evening. There was much resistance from the other apps. But they will get along eventually. I’m sure of it.
My days are going by with much more general focus on music at this point. I’m not in any kind of rush and I can develop my music at my own pace. And that is a big difference from six months back. And I take that as a sign that I generally do things right.
One major component in the process the last couple of months is the concept of silence. In some ways it has turned my thinking upside down and lured my mind onto new paths that will benefit me.
I have truly, at this point, after six months reached a point from where I can navigate. I’m not lost anymore. I’ve crossed some borders and reinvented myself and my thoughts. That gives me the courage to keep exploring my life and my music.
Last night I was swearing over Borderlands. I had some major obstacles with it as I was adding it to the AUM-chain. It started to produce a low continuous wobbling sound and my presets wasn’t loading at all. Borderlands has been the real troublemaker lately. After many different tries I gave up and opened Virtual ANS instead.
To my delight I started to try out things that I really valued as promising. I haven’t worked with Virtual ANS for a very long time. I think it was the spring of 2014. I know that one can make amazing things with it. Especially textures and weird but beautiful soundscapes. The app is not easy to get along with. The interface is not the most intuitive, but, it’s worth every second that you spend exploring it.
I started to build things with the brushes, patterns and layers and what not. There is a myriad of settings to be altered with. Then I created a new chain in AUM and added AUFX:Space. It was like finding a new alternate reality. Like walking behind the furs to discover Narnia!
Today I went to the gym, did a good sweaty work out and returned home to take a shower, eat lunch and rest. A usual day in other words. Then I picked up my iPad Pro and fired up AUM. I created a totally new chain with Borderlands, VirtualANS and FieldScaper. But as my experiments last night suggested that I use AUFX:Space for VirtualANS I loaded AltiSpace as the effect for Borderlands. FieldScaper doesn’t need an effect. The filters and oscillators takes care of the manipulation I need.
I started my loop in Borderland and turned on the original field recording in FieldScaper. And then I tried something completely new in VirtualANS. Instead of complicating things with different brushes and patterns I selected one. Made three or four taps on the screen and suddenly I had a beautiful visual pattern in front of me. I started it, adjusted the volume and turned on “Bending resonator” in AUFX:Space. And there it was. All of the apps behaving as friends. After about an hour spent on the controls and settings everything came together for the first time.
Working for six months to reach this point was worth every second!