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#atozchallenge: O is for Oscilab…

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So, the second half of the A-Z challenge begins today and after my nonsense post on Saturday, I was chatting to my old friend Ho about my idea for today.
The conversation was slightly peculiar, given that we were communicating via text, in language that was inspired by the aforementioned nonsense, resulting in him asking me, for instance, whether my post was “smerdling like a snonk scollog” and congratulating me on it being “froodacious”.

But enough of that nonsense, let’s get to O.

Oscilab is the synthesizer/sequencer/drum machine app that I use to create the one-off, improvised soundscapes that I have recently been uploading to my lovely new Bandcamp page (see link below) and today’s theme of the singular circular sigil was the perfect opportunity to play around with some more sonic noodling, which I did yesterday.

But what to call it?
What unique musical moniker could I saddle my marvellous melodic masterpiece with?

Well, having spent a couple of hours programming, then simultaneously composing, playing and recording my latest tune, I e-mailed a copy to Ho, (my regular guinea pig and quality controller) texting him to let him know it was on the way and he inadvertently gave me the title I needed when he replied:

“Cool, will look forward to stronking throbberati..”

See? I couldn’t pass that up, could I?

So, despite the conspicuous lack of actual throbbing (although there may well be some stronking, who knows?) I have great pleasure in presenting another slice of twinkly, swirling loveliness, which may well be popular with those of you who downloaded my previous tune and remarked on its suitability for accompanying everything from writing to Tai Chi.

Ladies and gentlemen…

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CLICK HERE TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD FOR FREE!

#atozchallenge

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 18, 2016 in A - Z challenge, Arts, Ho., Music

 

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The big five oh oh…

post-milestone-500-2x

When I published One liner Wednesday today, I was delighted to receive a notification from WordPress, informing me that it was my 500th post on Diary of an Internet Nobody!

In a little under 4 years, the blog has had 62,700 hits, it’s been visited by 34,000 of you lovely people and has gained 558 of you as followers.

 

I’m extremely proud of my little corner of the internet and, despite not having had the slightest idea what I was doing when I started my adventure in the blogosphere, I believe that I’ve just about got the hang of it now and I’m enjoying it more every day.

Looking at those numbers, I’m quite frankly astonished that so many of you think my rants, musings, stories and ramblings are worthy of your time, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for accompanying me on my journey of exploration, discovery and improvisation.

Not only that, but I’m also rather pleased that I’ve managed to stick to my original mission statement; having no discernible theme, producing everything you see on the blog with nothing but a smartphone (and occasionally a tablet) and including as much original content as possible (including, but not limited to; general nonsense, opinion, fiction, photography, video, animation and music).

But that’s not all. Now I have three blogs to keep me busy; Diary of an Internet Nobody, the sci-fi collaboration, Starship Gypsies and my photographic blog, Photo Sans Frontiers, along with the other regular features I participate in, such as the aforementioned One liner Wednesday and Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

Speaking of which; I am about to embark on a new participation feature, namely The A-Z Blogging Challenge, which starts on Friday and continues throughout April. That should be interesting, given that I have nothing prepared for it whatsoever.

So, to celebrate this, my 501st post, here’s the latest musical creation to make it onto my lovely new Bandcamp page; a serene little number that may well be the most melodious attempt to date, which I have called, for no good reason (other than the fact that it’s quite floaty) “Glydr“.

Click the big red link below to listen to it in all its chilled-out gorgeousness.

                                                Glydr

http://dalecooper57.bandcamp.com/track/glydr

 

Thanks again for all your support, here’s to the next 500 posts.

 
27 Comments

Posted by on March 30, 2016 in Arts, Blogging, Music, Personal anecdote

 

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Free the music…

In the last couple of months, I’ve been drawn back to my electronic music making gadgets; first producing a tune to celebrate Just Jot It January, then remixing it, which got me inspired to experiment with loops, sequencers and drum machines again.
I’ve made two new tracks since then, one of which I made a very basic video for, (since SoundCloud stopped their mobile upload service) just so I could get it online via YouTube.

After that, I decided to check out what other free music upload platforms were available, because I’m not planning on making any money from doing it, it’s just something that entertains me, like this blog, and I don’t see why I should pay to post music I’m not selling.

By happy coincidence, I was idly scrolling through my Tumblr feed and came upon a post from Delorme, a Canadian musician with a very tasty line in retro synthscapes and an extremely helpful and friendly chap too.
He recommended that I try ReverbNation or Bandcamp and having done a comparison, I chose the latter.

Before I go any further, I should plug the man who advised me so astutely to pick my new musical home, the wonderfully talented Delorme.
Here’s his website – Check it out.

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Here is a link to his Bandcamp page where you’ll find his fabulous new album, The Greatest Cape, check it out and buy a copy if you like it (I already purchased my copy and it really is excellent).

Ok, let’s get to my own sonic output.
I’ve been making strange electronic sounds, the most recent of which very nearly qualify as actual music, for about three years and, although I’m no more musical than I was when I started, I have got the hang of manipulating technology and, by extension, sound.
The fact that I’ve been listening to, and obsessed with, music for my whole life probably helps too, I suppose.

Each of my improvised audio snippets has been uploaded to my free SoundCloud account in the past, where they sit, lonely and unlistened-to, except by faithful guinea pigs like Ho and occasional blog readers who stray onto my Sound and Vision page.

So now there is somewhere that you can listen to the more melodic of my offerings and, if you so wish, download them, for free.
I have uploaded 10 of my personal favourites (including Phasar, a new and unheard tune) to my shiny new Bandcamp page, which you can access BY CLICKING THIS LINK.
Go on, pop over and have a listen, ogle the slick layout and sumptuous artwork, (some of which you may recognise) or better still, give yourself a little present, compliments of the original artist, yours truly, by downloading your favourite track, free, gratis and at no charge.
And remember, each track is a completely unique one-off, composed, played and recorded in one take, with no post-production or edits.

But before you go, I’d like to present a new video I made for one of the tracks available at the link above, Glacial Daze.
I made it using the same gadgets I used to make the last one, but I spent more time synchronizing my limited library of effects to the music and made the background image more interesting by doing a colour changing, stop-motion animation of this composite image I made ages ago…

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…which in turn started life as this photo…

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…taken at Broomhill Sculpture Gardens and has since been used to make weird posters like this…

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…and has even featured on the virtual cover art for my as-yet-unfinished sci-fi masterpiece, Deus Ex Machina.

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I then layered the effects over it, added the all-important soundtrack and…voilà!

 

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Slave to the rhythm…

Over the weekend, in burst of audio-visual creativity, I made another strange gif and produced (composed, played, mixed and recorded) an all new sonic experiment.

Here’s the gif…

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…and then there’s the musical thing; “Klack”.

As I wanted to share my latest masterpiece with you, my lovely readers (and hopefully, listeners), I uploaded it to SoundCloud, as I have done with every other weird collection of bleeps, beats, bongos and boinging noises that I’ve made over the years.

At least I tried to.

It seems that SoundCloud have disabled the music upload feature in the mobile version of their site and now offer the option of “record” only, using your device’s microphone, not by direct upload link.
Which is no bloody good if you’ve spent three hours carefully programming drum loops and experimenting with reverb, delay and bit-crusher settings on a separate app and want to send it as an mp3 file.

So as usual, I set about finding a way round the obstacle, because that’s my speciality and I consider it a personal challenge to my ingenuity.

The obvious alternative was YouTube; after all, I’ve made animated clips to go with my bizarre compositions on many occasions and then I simply embed the videos in a blog post.

But at the time (this was late on Saturday night) I didn’t fancy spending ages doing a stop-motion film, just so I could upload a new tune.
Then I had a flash of inspiration; why not upload a static image to YouTube instead, like you see all the time when an album cover or something is displayed, while music plays on the soundtrack.

So I set up my phone camera in front of an old photo I’d previously mucked about with, (displayed on my tablet) and just recorded ten minutes of that.
When I’d got my motionless video, I simply dubbed my track over it and…

…Ah.

The soundtrack appeared to consist solely of the noise that an ’80s computer made as you loaded a game from a cassette player;

SSSSKKKKKKRRRRREEEEEEEEE KKKKRRRRRKKKKKKEEEEEEE!

Oh bollocks, that wasn’t what I recorded.
So much for my brilliant idea.

I don’t know if it was some sort of feedback from the tablet screen through the camera or what, but I had two more attempts with similar results and realised I was going to have to think of something else.

Maybe it was my old video editing software.
Aha! An excuse for a new gadget.
Excellent.

After two new apps, (and an abortive try at videoing gifs) one to remove the audio from the original video and the other one to…well, you’ll see in a moment, I managed to stick the component parts together and upload the result to YouTube.

Now, the extra bits in the video; they are only there to make it more interesting than watching a still photo for ten minutes, they are not in any way meant to be synchronised with the music, but having done this rather rushed version, I may well practice with my new toy and present further projects for your perusal at a later date.

After all that, you’ll probably either love it or hate it, my musical taste is somewhat acquired at the best of times, let alone when I’m actually making it myself, so a ten minute electronic percussion frenzy might not be for everyone.

Give it a listen anyway, I bet it’ll get your foot tapping by half way through.

Here’s Klack, music and video by yours truly.

It builds slowly…

 
11 Comments

Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Music, Personal anecdote, Video

 

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Sunday chill: Janjot jam…

Today I’ve been mucking about with Oscilab, the loop making app that I use to construct my sonic noodlings, like Janjot, the tune I came up with to mark the end of Just Jot It January last weekend.

Following encouraging comments from my old friend Ho and fellow blogger John Howell, I decided to continue experimenting with the original tune, or at least its component parts, to see if I could improve on it at all.

The result is a slightly darker, more atmospheric number, using a bass drone to add more drama and substance to the background, while the waves of twinkly noises and percussion wash over the top.
It’s a bit of an epic production and I’m rather pleased with it.

See what you think, you can hear it in all its glory by clicking the big blue link below the artwork.

Enjoy.

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Listen to JANJOT JAM via this link.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2016 in Music

 

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Just Jot It January: Day thirty one…

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It’s finally reached the end!
I’ve made it through Just Jot It January, having posted once or more for every day this month and to celebrate, I’ve composed a calming little tune to chill out to.

So may I present the world premier of Janjot, which you can listen to by clicking the link below, (Go on, click it, it’s the only way I can get it into the post, so there’s no point in you coming all the way here and then not listening to at least SOME of it, is there?) because you never know, you might like it.

Thank you to the superhuman efforts of Linda G Hill for curating JJIJ, I don’t know how she finds the time.
And thank you for letting me into your busy lives every day this month, normal service may well return tomorrow; who knows…?

THIS IS THE GREAT BIG, REALLY OBVIOUS LINK TO “JANJOT”, CHECK IT OUT ON SOUNDCLOUD HERE!

#JusJoJan

Pingback to Linda G Hill.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 31, 2016 in Arts, Just Jot It January, Music

 

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The last rock ‘n’ roller…

I’ve been a huge fan of music for 40 years and over that time I have discovered a great many bands and artists who have stayed with me, such was the impression they made on me when I first heard them.

And when one of those cornerstones of my personal music heritage passes away, it always seems right that I should pay my respects somehow, even when the subject of any such tribute would almost certainly scoff at it for being over-sentimental nostalgic bollocks.

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Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister, 24/12/45 – 28/12/15.

My taste in music has always been eclectic, purely because (with the exception of embarrassing childhood purchases like The Bay City Rollers and Showaddywaddy) I have continued to listen to everything I have ever bought, so I’d never seen any contradiction in being a Pink Floyd fan who loved  Kraftwerk, or a Rush devotee who was also massively into New Order, although the tribal subdivisions of youth sometimes caused some friction, of the “you-can’t-be-a-headbanger-and-like-Gary Numan-too” variety.

All of which I ignored.

I didn’t want to be in their gang anyway. Or anyone else’s for that matter.

But then one band, one voice, one thunderous, gloriously over-the-top wall of noise arrived and for a while it was all that I listened to with my small group of junior metal-head school friends.

Even in an era where metal, punk and new wave were all still popular in the record shops and on the chart rundown every Sunday, this astonishing sonic assault was nothing like we had ever heard before and Motörhead soon became the very epitome of “heavy” rock.

And this particular blistering album by them was rarely off the turntables and tape decks of our teenage bedrooms at the time.

The band’s frontman, Lemmy, is credited with being everything from “the godfather of grunge” to “the hardest working man in rock” and was once described as having a voice “like a man who gargles with hot gravel”, but however the media portray him he has only ever described Motörhead as a rock ‘n’ roll band and has repeatedly corrected journalists who labelled them as “Heavy Metal”.

Lemmy did, after all, first find success in another of my all time favourite bands, Hawkwind, the stoner space rock collective who would eventually sack him for reliability issues brought on by his already herculean intake of amphetamines, resulting in his subsequent speed-related arrest on the Canadian border whilst on tour with them in the late ’70s.

Here he is playing with his trademark thundering bass style on perennial Hawks crowd pleaser, Silver Machine…

Undeterred, Lemmy formed Motörhead a few years later and has been fronting the rotating line-up ever since; their style never changing from the original frantic, bass strumming, drum galloping, speed soloing, throat shredding, grimy rock bulldozer that finally found them international fame with the archetypal Lemmy tune, Ace of Spades.

Seemingly indestructible for the last three decades or more, Lemmy Kilmister died today, only a short time after being diagnosed with cancer.

It’ll be a long time until someone who so perfectly embodies the term “rock ‘n’ roller” comes along again and the world will be a less entertaining place for his passing.

Killed By Death, indeed.

Like I said, he wouldn’t have given a toss about any fawning retrospectives on his contribution to music, so I’ll leave you with the best possible tribute to one of the world’s last real monsters of rock; the man in his own words.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Lemmy: The Movie, enjoy.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 29, 2015 in Arts, Music, Personal anecdote, Video

 

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