As I was now nearing the mid-way point of my internship, I wanted to focus on putting some ideas together for the composition I would make for Lauren to perform. This week has also seen me process a majority of the rest of the pieces mentioned in last week’s post, using EQ, denoisers and layering to achieve fairly successful results across all of performances recordings. Lauren also kindly invited me to attend a contemporary music concert she was directing and performing in, where all of the performances were outstanding and a pleasure to watch.
It was during the concert that I found the inspiration for my initial ideas for the composition for Lauren. Whilst admiring St. Gregory’s Centre I thought that the electronics part of the composition could be made from recordings of the room the piece would be performed in itself, after a lot of experimenting and processing of course, I would like to create chords and textures out of the ambience of the room. I also had the idea that the piece would start off with these ambiences before they are processed, so as the audience are listening to the piece, it would blend in with the ambience of the room and as the piece progresses. These would morph into new textures and the ambience of the actual room would seem to as well. On top of this I would write chords for Lauren to perform that would play along with the electronics. With this idea I discussed it with Lauren and asked where the piece is most likely to be performed, which turned out to be within the Canterbury Campus itself. As we were close, we thought it would be a good idea to look at the room to see suitable recording spots, and as we was there Lauren showed me the basics of that particular organ, which would aid me in the composition.
I also had the chance to show Lauren some of the pieces I had been working on, ones that I thought were sounding close to being finished. These pieces were her own entopic landscape, Tina Krekels Grapefruits like to be squeezed in the dark and Unseeing Red Eye at the Lungs Heart by Huw Morgan. Listening back to the pieces we both agreed that they were more or less where we wanted them to be, the only things we picked up on were audience noise throughout the recordings, which I am going to experiment in removing by using the audio analysis freeware Spear. We also thought it would be a good idea to send Tina her piece, so she could have a input into how the piece comes across for the final CD. As we are meeting up with Huw next week, so I will show him what I have done with his piece then.
As I have mentioned, next week I am going to meet up with Huw Morgan, who is very experienced at composing for organ. I would like to find out about his creative process when composing his piece Unseeing Red Eye at the Lungs Heart, and also show him how I have mixed the recording, so he can also have a say in the process. Along with this, next week I would like to record the room tone for my composition for Lauren, I would like to get this done as soon as possible so I have more time to experiment with the recordings. For this I will be using some of the microphones from the university, these include a number of AKG condenser mics, Soundfield and a couple of Shure SM57’s. For this recording I would like to use an omnidirectional microphone, as opposed to using a cardioid, as omnidirectional mics pick up more of the low end frequencies, and cardioids tend to cut these. This will make my recordings much more dense and they will have much more character, which will hopefully come across in the composition. I will also use my own portable recorder, which is a Olympus LS12 PCM Digital recorder and uses a stereo pair of microphones. Lastly, I will go through processing all the remaining recordings through Spear, to have a go at removing the audiences noises as much as possible.
– Barni Sparkes (Organ and Electronics Intern)