Archive for the ‘Technique’ Category

Lee Street Beach (manipulated inharmonic series)

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

The sound is that of my aeolian harp modified with lead fishing weights and then manipulated in Sonar X3. Version 1 is in the video.

Version 1

Version 2

Stars and Stripes Forever in Gene Ward Smith’s Hemifamity27

Sunday, July 6th, 2014


Stars and Stripes Forever transtuned to 12 of 27 from hemifamity27 – marching band sans percussion.
The master tuning is here.

The midi file that I found is of medium quality and this is decidedly a demonstration piece – this tune was chosen because it is a favorite of Gene’s. To get around having to transpose each note individually or as a pitchclass I use the method of picking 12 notes out of the 27 note set and used that to retuned Garritan Concert and Marching Band samples. The actual tuning is listed below. I think it notable that the rather large deviations from 12 equal, where each step is exactly 100 cents, is not very evident if at all.

! 12of_hemifamity27.scl
12 of (3/2)^9 * (10/9)^3 hemifamity tempered

The Coming Storm – harmonic series / JI, electric aeolian harp

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014


The Coming Storm is a 25 minute recording of a thunderstorm that approaches and then releases a deluge of rain. The sounds are a combination of wind blown harmonics, the clicks of lightning, and then play of the strings of the harp by the rain as well as wind. There is some residual background noise that I can’t remove without removing the lightning strikes so it was left in. A surprising (to me) variety of sounds result from this onslaught of nature. Metallic clinks, almost light saber-esque stabs, and the sound of huge things being dragged violently across the harp. Starts out quiet and gets pretty loud.

What I Have Done

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

L'Angelus is an oil painting by French painter Jean-François Millet, completed in 1859.
L’Angelus is an oil painting by French painter Jean-François Millet, completed in 1859.

This is a 24 minute long piece, it will take a while to load and play.

What Have I Done is an ambient setting of a poem I wrote which was recited by Bethan Mathis. We are slowly working on an album together. The music are selected recordings of my Electric Aeolian Harp. Additionally there are field recordings that I made and from field recordings by martian, digifishmusic and looijenga.

Video Exploration of DIY Electric Aeolian Harp With Squirrel Cage Blower

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

My friend Phil loaned a “squirrel cage” furnace blower with a 6 amp motor to help me explore my DIY Electric Aeolian Harp. I’m doing these experiments to help with the design of an eventual hard wood, moisture harden version with gear tuners, or possibly an open cage omnidirectional version (or heck, why not both??). I’m also keen on seeing what I can do to change the harmonic series response interactively with the environment. Having a such a powerful fan imitates a strong gale (I felt a definite chill, my eyes teared, and my nose ran using this fan!). This is a long video and certainly not an exciting film but perhaps of interest of those who are making their own version of an aeolian harp. During the film I mute and pluck stings, try some tuning variation and use the zither pin key as a slide.

This post is a follow up to my original humbucker harp post

The Collected Speeches of Joseph Stalin ( in 19 Equal )

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

stalin_n Thanks to Vassily Kaah who posted this photo.

The Collected Speeches of Joseph Stalin is a piano improvisation in 19 equal. It features the logidy UMI3 pedal which gives me access to the 3 other piano pedals besides sustain that pianoteq supports; Una Corda, Sostenuto, and used here at ~5 minutes the Harmonic pedal which doesn’t exist in a real piano. The logidy pedal is the most cost effective solution to accessing these other pedals ($80 Amazon) and is fully programmable and even supports attaching an expression pedal. Obviously this is also a great solution for owners of an AXiS 49 which for some inexplicable reason doesn’t have sustain pedal capability.

Tuning Comparison of La messa de Nostre Dame Sanctus by G. Machaut

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Guillaume de Machaut via Classical Forums (click picture for article)

Here is a comparison of La messa de Nostre Dame Sanctus in different tunings as rendered via Kontakt’s choir sample set. The midi file I used is here. (S.Takahata transcribed the piece to midi) The score with Sonar’s brain-dead accidentals is here.

First version uses Kontakt’s built in adaptive JI (adaptive JI = dynamic pure tuning like this live example video that shows the changes in intonation in real time )

La messa de Nostre Dame Sanctus in adaptive JI

La messa de Nostre Dame Sanctus in Super Pythagorean (scala text file of the tuning)

La messa de Nostre Dame Sanctus in Pythagorean – probably the most historically correct. (scala text file of the tuning)

On Avocado Trees

Friday, June 15th, 2012

On Avocado Trees is an ambient piece created from manipulating steel string acoustic guitar through several effects.

In C

Friday, April 6th, 2012

In C is a piece manipulated for ImprovFriday’s improvisation in C event. It was originally a piece written in 17 equal on an electric guitar and then pushed through severe harmonic series filtering with a fundamental of 32.7 Hz.

Chicago Pile-1

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Enrico Fermi


“There are two possible outcomes: If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery.”

—Enrico Fermi


Chicago Pile-1 is an ambient piece developed through midi recording of change control data via a Korg MS2000 and applying that data to various software synthesizers in 27 note per octave tuning. The following software sound sources were used: ZETA+ 2.1, Absynth 5, Xenharmonic FMTS 1, and Kontakt 4 for percussive sounds. The DAW was Sonar X1.

Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1) was the world’s first man-made nuclear reactor. A much earlier natural reactor was found at Oklo in Gabon, Africa.