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This is a track for the Disquiet Junto.
All sounds, samples, beats and rhythms were cutup and programmed by hand. Full details below.
The first minute is a straightforward sonic re-telling of the comic strip mentioned below, and the rest of the track is a kind of journey into the mind of the character in the comic strip, before, during and after he opens the fridge.
If that sounds confusing, read on to make some sense of it...
The assignment for this week was as follows:
"You will re-tell a very short and simple story utilizing sound. It will take the form of a single audio file uploaded to your Soundcloud account. You will construct this track in any manner you choose: with field recordings, music, effects, dialog, or a mix thereof. The story you will be re-telling is this single-page comic strip by Matt Madden:
"(Matt Madden's single-page comic is the template for a book he created titled 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style. In the book, Madden told that same story 99 different ways, each in a different comic-book style.)
"In the process of re-telling the story through sound, you may interpret it in any way you choose. You can do it as straight narrative, or do an abstract rendition, or retell it from another point of view, or contribute a score as if it were a movie, or a record series of foley cues. The choice is yours."
I decided to create, as close as possible, a sonic version of the comic strip, and then to adapt and morph the sounds into something musical, as a way of exploring the sounds and the comic strip itself (along with some of its 99 variations).
I already had a few recent field recordings that could be used - contact mic recordings of door handles, a wooden bed, and a chair being scraped. I recorded a few more pieces with contact mics: my fridge door opening and closing, bottles in the fridge, and my laptop being turned on and off, as well as some typing with the keys. I also recorded my two daughters drawing, using the onboard mic on my Zoom H4n. I recorded the sound of their pencils and pens fairly closely.
However, these recordings were not enough, so I also used elements from all of the following samples on Freesound:
Shoe Slide and Scuffle.aif by ftpalad -- http://www.freesound.org/people/ftpalad/sounds/119931/
shuffling_in_tennis_shoes_on_carpet.wav by daboy291 -- http://www.freesound.org/people/daboy291/sounds/138063/
watch_alarm.aif by Corsica_S -- http://www.freesound.org/people/Corsica_S/sounds/18632/
Tschenuhr.mp3 by Bidone -- http://www.freesound.org/people/Bidone/sounds/66376/
Uhr.wav by Bidone -- http://www.freesound.org/people/Bidone/sounds/65796/
Geology Pinecone and Bars.wav by Razzvio -- http://www.freesound.org/people/Razzvio/sounds/78995/
HorrorStaircase.wav by treyc -- http://www.freesound.org/people/treyc/sounds/123915/
congélateur craquements.wav by darkunst -- http://www.freesound.org/people/darkunst/sounds/84350/
8_fridge_eggbox.mp3 by harri -- http://www.freesound.org/people/harri/sounds/8888/
11_fridge_margtub_3.mp3 by harri -- http://www.freesound.org/people/harri/sounds/8856/
3_fridge_search.mp3 by harri -- http://www.freesound.org/people/harri/sounds/8883/
fridge01.wav by bigD -- http://www.freesound.org/people/bigD/sounds/49540/
4_fridge_beer.mp3 by harri -- http://www.freesound.org/people/harri/sounds/8884/
fridge_back.wav by Cambra -- http://www.freesound.org/people/Cambra/sounds/102690/
1_fridge_open.mp3 by harri -- http://www.freesound.org/people/harri/sounds/8865/
opening_fridge.aiff by KlankOntwerp -- http://www.freesound.org/people/KlankOntwerp/sounds/106489/
FridgeHum.wav by timdrussell -- http://www.freesound.org/people/timdrussell/sounds/51836/
old fridge.wav by Marec -- http://www.freesound.org/people/Marec/sounds/22683/
opening_fridge_door.wav by tschapajew -- http://www.freesound.org/people/tschapajew/sounds/103544/
generator_room.wav by j1987 -- http://www.freesound.org/people/j1987/sounds/73025/
R09_0005B.wav by andysm -- http://www.freesound.org/people/andysm/sounds/76580/
fridge open and close with hum.WAV by uwesoundboiz -- http://www.freesound.org/people/uwesoundboiz/sounds/60393/
refrigerator01.wav by fonogeno -- http://www.freesound.org/people/fonogeno/sounds/17638/
No, really, I actually used something from ALL of the above sounds. I downloaded a few more that I ended up not using...
I then recorded myself speaking the text from the comic strip.
I also liked two of the other pages that are viewable on the website:
So I also recorded the dialogue from the first one (difftext.gif), and was inspired by elements of the second one (thirtypanels.gif).
I cut up all the samples in Audacity, and passed the vocals to a Roland SP555 sampler, and the foley-type noises to a Korg Electribe SX1. I modified my voice using the effects on the SP555, and resampled the vocal snippets on the Electribe.
On the Electribe, I arranged all the sounds into a one minute direct interpretation of the comic strip, and then followed that with a kind of percussive meltdown of all the noises and sounds.
Once the track was assembled, I played it back in full, twice, through a Korg KP3 Kaoss pad, using a 'tape delay' effect, which I played live. I recorded a 'dry' track direct from the Electribe, and combined the 3 tracks in Ardour (digital audio workstation).
Ugh. Then I wrote all this up for reference and went to bed. Probably spent too much time on this - I reckon it took up a full day from beginning to end (about 20 hours). AND it wasn't what I intended to do - I wanted a much slower piece that evolved more over time. Might re-work it one day, in some fashion...
The image for this track I adapted in GIMP from Matt Madden's original image, as linked to above. The morphed thumbs in the middle remind me, happily, of a Foetus (JG Thirlwell) album cover.
More on Matt Madden and his book 99 Ways to Tell a Story at:
More on the Disquiet Junto at: