"They emerged from the ground..Cicadas!!"
I was doubtful that my mess of files and use of just a few of the tools and techniques to be found in MetaSynth and Xx would be of any interest or use to other artists or musicians. I was looking through my projects that involved only or mostly Metasynth and or Xx looking for the perfect utilisation of all the available tools in a clear to see organised demonstration or model. But in practice I dont usually need to use every tool in one particular project but revel in the ability to be able to jump around between tools and occasionally even discover combinations or applications of tools and processes that are new for me. Every project, mood and length of time available to work on some sound or music construction can require its own particular approach from planned singular concept and linear approach to stop /start and many cycles of iterative experiment review and re-do. Often I am searching for some fascinating detail, transformation or combination of sounds at other times I might be attempting to create something inspired by something else Ive heard somewhere or have some utilitarian function such as creating a sound effect or soundtrack for some installation, performance or audiovisual format. Metasynth and other digital tools allow me to ‘perform’ things definitely beyond mine and sometimes even anyones’ practical traditional music instrument skills. Sometimes I may be striving to follow my own limited understanding of music composition techniques and theories but most often I find myself following little journey’s of sound discoveries that take me on their own paths. One interesting sound treatment, transformation or construction or ‘failed’ experiment leads to another sound or different sonic pathway. After many hours(and years) this has become like a non-real time improvisation. Specifically with Metasynth image synth for instance, I might start with a simple drawing, photographic texture, or analysis of a long section or tiny detail of recorded sound environment or music instrument playing. I adjust these pictures visually according to any interesting sound in them and shape to abstract, sound effect or perceived musical interest. Once these pictures are rendered to a sound file I then might filter them with the image synth and try many effect processing out of pure curiosity and or ideas or purpose in mind. Often these transformed sounds are interesting resynthesized as pictures and the process started again. At some points I start to isolate or transform either sounds or pictures to create what I think might have the potential to be complimentary parts or sections in a composition. Sometimes I take these sounds out of Metasynth into traditional DAW for sequencing/‘composing’ sometimes I create a submix or final mix in the Montage Room within Metasynth other times again a soundscape may go back and forth between DAW and Metasynth etc. I have a long held interest in Music composition but I probably have an at times undisciplined approach, a perfunctory laziness and or , open ness to forces greater than my conscious striving and limited skills, the value of happy accidents, chance and supposed ‘random’ choices that are actually intuitively selected and structured. Alongside this I can treat working with sound the same way as image and movement in timebased media such as VJ performance and Non-linear Video Editing ; I try to apply common design approaches of juxtaposition, balance, repetition, contrast, tempo, pacing and progression. Sometimes I put loops and sequences of video with their own associated sounds into a Video Editing program for non realtime intricate editing.sequencing and composting into a ‘music composition’ or now even perform an improvisation of this in a VJ program this experience also becomes cyclical and iterative; vj performance influences video editing and vice versa.
This self examination of my process has beens something of a justification of its benefits and caveats of its limits in the use of Metasynth. My Metasynth projects and music skills are not any great model that I would wish on anyone else ..but I know that I am always fascinated getting insights into anyone else’s process and practice and maybe it is most instructive to see how many similar, different and varied approaches people can have to the same creative tools.
So with all the mistakes, failings and positive inspiration(positive or negative), I am happy to share the production files for this project “They emerged from the ground..Cicadas!!” One of the Xx sequences is an example of a different pathway springing up in the process this developed into a very different soundtrack for another short film. There is also an Artmatic video made using this track in sound responsive Artmatic projects rendered as video files and edited in Final Cut X./
They emerged from the ground..Cicadas!!
Metasynth Project all files:
Video made with sound responsive trees in Artmatic - rendered to separate videos and composited and re-sequenced in traditional video editing software (Final Cut X).