gwozdziec: pounding the last nail in

i’ve decided to call the gwozdziec album done.  it’s been almost a year since i first started the project, and it hasn’t moved an inch for several months.  my goal was to produce 10-12 tracks for the album, but rather than trying to drag out a project i sort of lost interest in, i’m quitting while i’m ahead.  i listened to the tracks this morning and i actually quite like them.  i’m not the sort of person who would do an album like chinese democracy and go over and over and over it for 10 years, i’m pretty much the sort to record it, mix it, and be done with it as soon as possible.  and i’m taking the lack of momentum on gwozdziec as a sign that the album is done.

so, i’m gonna get my shite together and upload tracks to the bandcamp site and get the same sort of package deal that s3quence has with the bonus content, except that, this time, everything is free.  it came from free, creative commons sources, and it goes back out into the world with a free, creative commons license.  much like my old band the loafmen, anyone can become a member of gwozdziec by taking the material and doing something with it.  i only ask that if you did want to remix it, to leave the gwozdziec name attached to it, just so there’s a breadcrumb trail left behind to follow.

look for stuff in the coming days — i’d like to get it out before february when my musical thoughts should be focussed on RPM 2010.

gwozdziec, track 4 and 5

i’ve discovered a new method to creating randomized, creative commons-based music.  wolfram tones will generate an entire composition based on variables you define in probably every musical style known to man. wolfram has been essentially compiling a database of all knowledge, ever, and it is being used to power a variety of applications, of which wolfram alpha is one. because i’m aware of the project and what they do, i’m fairly sure that they actually do allow you to create a composition in any style ever conceived, because each style, with its’ own unique scale and patterns, is stored in the database.

this track is my first experiment in wolfram tones. i created a composition in the “ambient” style and gave it 5 tracks. i played around with the individual instruments a bit on the site but after it sent me the midi file i changed them all in ableton, using the sampler tool to pull from some generated instruments i created out of loops from nine inch nails’ “beginning of the end” (which, since i have the bonus disk with the ableton tracks from yearzeroremixed, i had lying around). the result is dirty, and not very ambient (maybe if i changed the bpm to, say, 20, it would be more ambient), but it’s interesting, and i think i like it. i especially like some of the effects going on on some of the tracks.

at any rate, it’s a beginning, and possibly something that will pull me through the rest of the project. next step is making something more listenable, as this was pretty deliberately experimental.


i realized after completing this track that i had downloaded samples for track 4 but had not actually created the track. so i used this as an excuse to test my new wolfram tones experiment. this time i created a random hip hop track and took out the drums (i added in my own drum loop later). i used the samples i downloaded as the instruments. then i ramped up the bpm. the result is much more, i dunno, digestible? while still having a real experimental/glitch/tweaker ambience from the sampled instruments. not sure i’m gonna finish the album like this, but i definitely want to try a few more things before i call the wolfram experiment done.


since both of these were done in ableton, i’m going to include the full ableton tracks when i release the full album. i think it will be interesting with these because you’ll be able to see the creative process and all the effects i used.

gwozdziec, stall

i realize that i have hit a stall on the gwozdziec project.  part of that has been due to technical difficulties — a couple of the times i tried to do stuff my computer decided not to output any sound from those applications.   but the main part is that i’ve gotten bored with the formula.  so i’ve decided that rather than just doing the same basic formula for each track, i need to change it up a bit once in a while.  i’ve toyed with the idea of using the analog synthesizer vst i used on the RPM project and rolling dice to determine the patch, where to put the notes, etc.  the last track i did any work on i did a random yahoo query and used windows’ built-in text-to-speech engine to read the text on the main page of the random site to use for the vocoder app.  this should make each post about the tracks be more interesting since it won’t just be a list of dice rolls and freesound samples, but it does mean i’ll need to spend a little bit more time figuring out how to compose each track and make it built on concepts of random and creative commons.

more as the project takes more shape in my head.

in the meantime, check out my new lifestream page.  I might change up the format but I’ve decided to use my own technology and site design rather than a 3rd party — storytlr was cool, but styling it looked like it was going to be an insane amount of work just to make it match my existing site, and even as I use this new technology (i’ve switched to profilactic), i realize that there isn’t anything special to any of these technologies — for the most part they’re just mashing up various RSS feeds that your online activities generate into a timeline.  storytlr had the option to break it down and create specific stories, which was cool, but something i hadn’t used and probably wouldn’t unless we went on a trip somewhere (and since I don’t have a laptop, the end result would be some pics from after the fact anyway).  lifestreaming is an idea, not bound to a specific technology, which didn’t fully occur to me until after i went to the lifestream blog. but the main thing i want to change on the lifestream page is to have the full articles for each item (where applicable), not just the headline for each post, which i’m thinking of doing by letting SimplePie handle profilactic’s main RSS feed.

gwozdziec, track 3

here are the 19 samples:

By Gmaleson

By smallsushi
breathehope – kitchen – 07.wav

By Matias.Reccius


By stackpool
river otter or weasel 2006-09-17.mp3

By absreports

By MShades
Daihikaku Senkoji bell.mp3

By mw_1984
OceanGeorgetownm Penang.MP3

By Meutecee

By rotcav

By huubjeroen

By dirkbag

By Guitarz1970

By Scylla

By moffittmusic
indoor pooltime at summer camp.wav

By gussyrikh

By tezzza

By Sumanguru Gyra Jones
Wade Laughing.wav

By lofabred
snare hit c.wav

i’m realizing that i could be saving the remixes i’m making of these samples, but i’m not.  but i’m sort of doing that vaguely intentionally to keep the random/one-time-only sort of thing going on for this project.

and here’s my quote:

We are able to laugh when we achieve detachment, if only for a moment.
May Sarton 


i’m stripping that to the bare essence and calling this one “detachment”.

with this, there were so many samples that i grouped them together by a very loose criteria of subject matter/source.  there were several ambient noise samples which i used as the main component, linking them together and beginning and ending with the sound of the ocean.  i had several moderately “percussive” samples which i hacked to create a sort of drum looping thing.  and then there were several synthesized noises which i tweaked even more and layered to create textured drones.  it was early (or late, depending on your perspective) and i was going on very little sleep so i’m not really able to attach a value to this one.  i think i like it.  i think it tells a story, and i think there’s a zen feeling to the progression of natural sounds and human noises bookended by water.  this one i actually saved the percussion track separately.  which, by the way, when this is all done, i’m going to have a zip file with all the source materials so that will be in there.

with that, here’s the latest track.  upon re-listening, i think i do like it.

also, as a side note, i downloaded analogX’s vocoder software, which i played with a long time ago and several computer incarnations ago for another project.  i’m not sure how it will be used here, but i decided it would be a fun tool to play with.