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Intimations of mortality: Cyanosis. Edit: collab stems folder now live

edited May 22 in Creations

*Edit: @JudasZimmerman has made the excellent suggestion that this piece needs drums. If you are interested, or fancy mucking about with any other aspect of the track, I’ve now uploaded the AUM project, individual channel stems and Koala song to a Google Drive. Feel free to rework my own piece, or use the materials anyway you like in your own. Interested to see what people might come up with:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1SMfHf05CkHVIa6yUp3sa-QGmiPRm_CwL

A trigger warning: this piece discusses the final hours of personal existence.

Terror Management Theory, developed by social psychologists Greenberg, Solomon, and Pyszczynsk, argues that the prospect of our own individual and inevitable death causes terror; and that much of human ‘culture’, including the urge to create, to write, make art, or music, and so on are strategies we have developed in response, to attempt to imbue our lives with significance sufficient to transcend that terror; to strive through our works for a kind of immortality, in effect, no matter how futile the attempt.

I have literally no idea why I should want to make a piece based on the NHS guidance on what happens in your final hours. (Read the full text here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/end-of-life-care/changes-in-the-last-hours-and-days/ )

Oh, on an entirely different topic: did I mention I celebrated my sixtieth birthday this week…?

( I can confidently predict even fewer than usual will like this piece, btw. Research in the field of Terror Management Theory has shown a rise in negative thoughts amongst cohorts exposed to consideration of inevitable mortality in the immediate aftermath of such exposure. Myself, I think of it as a kind of exposure therapy, like an arachnophobe petting a tarantula…)

Comments

  • Creepy...but I like it...
    Oh, and Happy Birthday...

  • That's a weird voice for that material! Like a robot trying to understand mortality. Sounds nice; I think a drum track would work with this also?

    And happy birthday!

  • Happiest Birthday! My mom, who lived to 98 would have declared “60? Young!”

  • edited May 21

    Hi all, and thanks for the birthday greetings :)

    Still here. So far…

    @lasselu : thank you! Creepy is my lodestar! :)

    @JudasZimmerman: Ah! You spotted my Brechtian alienation effects! I usually push against the inherent oddity of phrasing the Talker app delivers, (split out onto Koala pads here inside AUM), trying for a more natural conversational rhythm in these occasional sprechtgesang pieces.

    But on this occasion, after I built the backing (three layered, varispeeded and variously effected instances of the same whale-song field recording from Freesound.Org - no actual instruments or sequencers used), I chose to lean into the weirdness.

    I liked the idea of a kind of David Lynch Red Room Recording Angel, or maybe an AI, being the thing that is speaking directly to my dying brain, explaining it all to me very matter of factly, and with no emotion or empathy…

    … So I chopped and modified the Talker phrase punctuation to accentuate it, and played up to gift-moments like ‘…may be followed by a pause…’ (long pause) ‘…before breathing begins again.’

    It seemed a better fit for the oddly distanced, almost wilfully clinical language of the source NHS page, as if the original text itself, in an effort to remain detached from the drama of what was being described, had been not written by a human at all but, as you say, parsed by an Artificial Intelligence tasked with explaining death. Hence the strange obsession with mucus…

    Yes, I totally agree about drums, but to my ear, of a very particular sort: the kind of stoned, abstract skitterings you might find on Tricky’s Maxinquaye or on anything by his earlier outfit Massive Attack. I’m not great at drum programming, despite having been a drummer, (go figure), but I offer this out as a general challenge/collaboration: anyone want to make a drum track for this?

    If so, I can send you the final mix, the AUM session, and the stems. It’d be interesting to see what someone else could do with it, actually. Maybe even a full remix…

    So: anyone up for a collab?

    @LinearLineman : 98 is a very good age. I could settle for that, so long as I can keep my marbles in play, that is. Live forever, or die in the attempt… :)

  • I'm not really perturbed by the subject matter, nor the content created by Talker (btw this has been a fantastic use of Talker, doesn't sound like AI at all)

    Initially I thought iOstrakon would lap this up, maybe he will soon.

    Collabs are my thing in the Koala Sampler FB/Discord group.
    So that's how I would assemble everything, then send it in AUM to Multi-Out

    For the remix I would be gravitating towards DnB.

    To add to drums on your track, definitely a skittering approach sounds best

  • Til hamingju með afmælið!

  • Great piece, lovely use of text and mournful horn type sounds. I can definitely see the dnb remix working well; I’m not sure if it was @dasgoods suggestion or not but I kept anticipating rapid complex beats emerging from your evocations…

  • edited May 22

    @Paulieworld : Þakka þér fyrir!
    @Krupa : thanks for the listen, and the comment. (gotta love that whale sample - so flexible!) Yes, I’m interested to see what might develop…

  • It was my birthday on Sunday gone as well.

    Happy Birthday.

    Have a great one.

    🙏🏾

  • I was so focused on the art that I forgot to wish you a happy birthday, same to gravitas, many happy returns to the both of you 🥂

  • If it were me I’d just slap prodigy’s break and enter drum sample over it.
    Quite an amusing track, and happy birthday!

  • edited May 22

    @Gravitas @krupa: thanks both! :) and, @Gravitas : many happy returns to you too. :)

  • I'm sure it's cliche, but my first thought was a heartbeat and an EKG sound for a drum beat. This is such a good piece!
    I have to agree with @dasgoods , this seems like it would be a perfect match for @iOSTRAKON .
    Really impressive how you made Talker sound.
    Congratulations on 60 trips around the Sun.
    Hope you and @Gravitas make many, many more !

  • edited May 22

    @pedro : do feel free! :) @MadeofWax : thanks, a good thought, I did a track a while back with exactly those elements (ever the cheery one :) ) and I have one self imposed rule: ‘never the same river twice’. However, if you are interested, I’ve thrown all the materials into a Google Drive folder for anyone to play with here:

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1SMfHf05CkHVIa6yUp3sa-QGmiPRm_CwL.

    Give it a go if you’d like. My rule only applies to me! :)

  • Do you hereby grant all the rights for when we get a multi-million deal out of this?

  • @pedro : if you get a multi-million deal out of this, you’re welcome! (I’m reasonably confident I’m not passing up my shot at the big time… :) )

  • @Krupa @LinearLineman @MadeofWax @Svetlovska
    Thank you for your birthday wishes.
    🙏🏾
    I'm still celebrating.
    I maybe for awhile.
    🤩

    @Svetlovska

    Does the piece have a tempo or is it free form?

  • edited May 22

    @Gravitas : AUM is running at 20bpm, but only because that is as slow as I can ever make it go :)

    As I suspect you have correctly ascertained, beat and bar fidelity are not really features in my landscape…

    The whale song loops are various fractions and offsets of the AUM tempo, as File Players, the state of which is saved in the AUM project file, but I also recorded six minutes or so of stems from each individual channel from the running ‘live’ session, the original Freesound whale sample, and a Koala Song file with all the vocal phrases loaded up. The full original mix as featured above is also on there, either awaiting drum enhancement or just to mess with.

    I’m primarily interested in drums enhancement of my own piece as-is, but I’ve thrown it all in the Google Drive for people to mess with in their own way, and to make of it whatever they want, entirely without reference to the original, if they like. Just curious to see what people can make of it…

  • @Svetlovska said:
    @Gravitas : AUM is running at 20bpm, but only because that is as slow as I can ever make it go :)

    As I suspect you have correctly ascertained, beat and bar fidelity are not really features in my landscape…

    The whale song loops are various fractions and offsets of the AUM tempo, as File Players, the state of which is saved in the AUM project file, but I also recorded six minutes or so of stems from each individual channel from the running ‘live’ session, the original Freesound whale sample, and a Koala Song file with all the vocal phrases loaded up. The full original mix as featured above is also on there, either awaiting drum enhancement or just to mess with.

    I’m primarily interested in drums enhancement of my own piece as-is, but I’ve thrown it all in the Google Drive for people to mess with in their own way, and to make of it whatever they want, entirely without reference to the original, if they like. Just curious to see what people can make of it…

    Very cool.

    I'm going to dive in and see what surfaces.

  • edited May 23

    Thanks for the heads up! Currently on the road escaping the New Mexico fire // take care all

    @MadeofWax said:
    I'm sure it's cliche, but my first thought was a heartbeat and an EKG sound for a drum beat. This is such a good piece!
    I have to agree with @dasgoods , this seems like it would be a perfect match for @iOSTRAKON .
    Really impressive how you made Talker sound.
    Congratulations on 60 trips around the Sun.
    Hope you and @Gravitas make many, many more !

  • @iOSTRAKON

    Godlike speed.

    Stay safe.

  • Thank you // we need anything positive right now

    @Gravitas said:
    @iOSTRAKON

    Godlike speed.

    Stay safe.

  • @iOSTRAKON said:
    Thanks for the heads! Currently on the road escaping the New Mexico fire // take care all

    @MadeofWax said:
    I'm sure it's cliche, but my first thought was a heartbeat and an EKG sound for a drum beat. This is such a good piece!
    I have to agree with @dasgoods , this seems like it would be a perfect match for @iOSTRAKON .
    Really impressive how you made Talker sound.
    Congratulations on 60 trips around the Sun.
    Hope you and @Gravitas make many, many more !

    Take care of you and be safe. Hopefully positive things are heading your way.

  • @iOSTRAKON unbelievable… it’s like the Appointment In Samarra. Fuck. So sorry, bro.

  • Here's my interpretation of adding drums (and other stuff) to @Svetlovska piece. I only used a one minute slice from the whole because original is quite lengthy. Anyway, I hope you like this. :wink:

  • @spyrogaia : wow, I like it! Very different, very… intense! Totally different mood, and I liked the frantic drums and especially the addition of the bass stabs you put there. Not to mention the spooky addition of happy birthday at the end. Oddly enough, you have the distinction of being the first person to ‘sing’ that song to me this year! :) Good title too. (In fact, I keep a bank of phrases in Notes on my iPad as possible piece titles, and sure enough, ‘A Curse’ was in there, just hadn’t got round to using it yet. Doh! :) )

  • @Svetlovska
    This has been an eye opening experience for me. I have never tried anything like this. In fact, the nature of your piece makes is difficult to (for me anyway) think of expanding on it. This challenge has opened up new paths for me and I thank you for that. I think more of such challenges could be good. :smile:

    The happy birthday was a sample I recorded from the Westminster Choir College video on YouTube. Kind of a last minute addition. People don't sing this tune on birthdays anymore I guess. haha.

    The title: I was listening to the original I thought he said "A Curse" - what he actually said was "occurs" but I thought it was fitting that I misheard it and so the title was born.

  • @spyrogaia said:
    Here's my interpretation of adding drums (and other stuff) to @Svetlovska piece. I only used a one minute slice from the whole because original is quite lengthy. Anyway, I hope you like this. :wink:

    I like this a lot.
    Really cool.

    The "Happy Birthday" sample on the end was a wonderful touch.

  • Having made the suggestion I felt I had to make an attempt too:

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