A: “Heptagramic Approximation”
B: “Alpha Crucis”
Recorded 2012 in Brooklyn, NY USA
Instrument: Make Noise Shared System
Upon receiving the Shared System in the post, i proceeded to look at the instrument sitting in the corner for about two weeks without touching it. The process by which i came to the compositions on this record was a slow one. I had come to know the components of the system individually and in combination with others modules from a number of designers, each with different aesthetics. That was always a major reason for my interest in modular synthesis, the possibility of combining different strains of thought from one module to the next. This all in a format that would allow such ideas to congeal.
For this series we were given fairly strict parameters within a system coming from one designer with a heavy aesthetic. The challenge was to create two real time patch pieces recorded without multi tracking or any sort of outboard gear, effects, etc. Everything you will hear on these sides was done in a single pass without treatment of any kind outside of what was in the synthesizer. any delays or echoes you hear are generated by the machine.
With Heptagramic Approximation the patch was minimal and the interactions were simple. The end result turned out a bit more like Raymond Scott’s more jaunty compositions, as the focus of the whole piece was more to do with pluck and bouncy Low-Pass Gates. The static nature of the percussion was to be broken up by fluffs of melody produced by a pressure sensitive controller which gave a slightly deeper dimension to the motorik charge of the percussive clacks.
Alpha Crucis was a much more complex patch utilizing every module in the system. The goal was to drift into a dreamlike state, almost like an extension of the melodic undercurrent from the A side composition. As if to contrast the first composition, i focused on layering and dragging, where Heptagramic Approximation was upbeat and clean. The overall feel of the piece lives in a more contemporary space, which is nice to see that juxtaposition as well as an exercise in exploration of the instrument’s capabilities.
Sleeve design by Zach Smith.
Printed by Kelly Kelbel