Learning to Run

December 25, 2022

Happy holidays! One of my goals for this past year was to record and release an album of music, totalling at least thirty minutes and ten tracks. I accomplished that goal! You can listen to and buy the album on Bandcamp and it is also available on most streaming platforms as well.

I wrote about the album on Lines, a forum centered around music, computers and synthesis that I am a moderator of. Briefly, though, I wanted to collect some thoughts about it here as well. I set myself a constraint for the album: I wanted to use only the Max4Live devices that I created that serve as polysynth, monosynth and drum synth. When I sat down to finish the third track, I discovered that it wanted vocals, and was surprised to discover that I didn’t hate the sound of my own voice quite as much; as a result there are vocals on seven of the ten tracks.

One of the gratifying parts of creating things like the synthesizer plugins is learning and being surprised by them. I was very pleased to discover the range that these plugins have.

Partway through the year, Lines users @sixolet and @nonverbalpoetry released sacred cyborg harmony, a script for the monome norns that allows you to harmonize vocals à la Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek. I was super inspired by this script; it appears on three of the tracks, and I bought a mic stand in order to better use it.

The album was mixed and mastered by my friend StephTheGirl, who did a truly incredible job making my demos sparkle and shine.