Triptych [old masters]

triptych ~ quandry::umbrage::ascension is another tune from the same period as the last piece. Also sequenced using Sony Acid, it used more of the bundled loops and less found sounds than what I shared from earlier, but I still did my slicing/dicing/modification bit with the loops to try and make them my own, including pitch changes and effects. The inspiration came from Delerium during the Spheres era (space music inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, with samples of HAL in a few songs) and by Synæsthesia’s Desideratum album. I treat them as separate bands, but the two are just different projects by Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber, who also went by about eight other monikers over the years (Front Line Assembly being another).

I was way into these kinds of ambient artists at the time.

As you can probably tell by the name of the song, it is a three-part piece — a three-panel song. For each section, I attempted to use at least a few melodies and instruments from the others to give it a sense of continuity.

  • Quandry is intentionally, airy and disjointed, meant to elicit confusion. What am I seeing? Why does something seem off? Why do I feel outside of events?
  • Umbrage is meant to exhibit anger at the discovery of betrayal. The things seen in Quandry were not imagined, and there is a reactionary rage. If I were to redo this, I think I’d add the sound of smashing bottles as percussive elements. In fact, I think I tried that, but I couldn’t find any satisfactory samples to use.
  • Ascension is overcoming the anger and confusion, acceptance of things as they are, rising above, moving on. Vocals are modified bundled loops, again: sliced, modified, reorganized, and blended to get what I hoped was a personalized sound.

It was loosely inspired by the divorce of my first marriage (ten years earlier). But I was also at the beginnings of my worst peak with alcoholism, so it is hard to recall the exact motives. Essentially, was putting away a six-pack of strong ale a night, at least (that would be a “sober night”). And that wasn’t even close to how much I drank at my peak. Yeah… details are a bit fuzzy.

Another one of those “whole five CDs sold”. Probably with good reason, although I didn’t do much to promote the CD.

Remember CDs?

9 thoughts on “Triptych [old masters]

    1. I’m glad you liked it.

      The “throat singing”, as I recall, was an artifact of the limitations of trying to pitch-scale the female vocals to the note I wanted. It was an accidental sound that ended up sounding “right”.

      If I recall, the pitch-scaling worked for about 2 octaves either direction, but started cropping audio artifacts beyond that. I knew about throat singing (Tibetan, right? Or is it Mongolian?), but there weren’t many samples out there to steal from at the time. I probably would have used them, as the project was intended to be a multicultural celebration — hence, the call to prayer so soon after 9/11 and the title of the CD, “Akhirah”, which is a “term used in Islam to describe the belief in everlasting life after death”.

      The project’s name, aera cura, is the Roman goddess of “care” or “concern”.


      1. Along with the female vocals it worked perfectly.

        It’s from around those parts.
        I’ve heard it once in person, I still remember the facial expressions to this very day.
        Plenty of samples around now.
        I don’t know how popular anything Islamic sounding would have been around that time. No matter how good the intentions.
        Was it released?


        1. As I told Tara, I think I sold 5 copies total. Yeah, it was released on CD (on-demand production), largely at cost with a token $1 or so for “profit”. I’ve a dropbox folder if you are looking for copies. No charge.

          I was intentionally being provocative by adding Islamic samples in the same way as when I played traditional Iraqi folk songs at the record store when I worked during Desert Storm.

          Thinking about it, it’s probably why there was zero interest. Although my promotions were severely lacking. As in — occasional mention.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I read that fact after I commented.
            I could write something to some of the instrumental stuff. I would credit you of course if it ever amounted to anything.

            In other words you were poking the patriotic eagle with a sloppy kebab.
            Surprised you didn’t get more of a response.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You know me, always open to collaboration. If you want to do something with what’s there, cool. If you want to do something new, lemme know and I can see if I can develop something that either fits what you wrote or for you to write to — have you spoken word it and mix it together (I might be able to do it with the old stuff, but the original files are lost somewhere, I only have the mixdowns).

              As for the other comment, I was miffed about the fucking “Freedom Fries” bullshit in congress because the French were wary of something that ended up being fiction (WMDs). Yeah, and I happen to also like different cultures and thought painting them with a broad brush because of a few extremists was sad and wrong.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I was thinking I could use one of your instrumentals as inspiration. Something in the 3 to 5 minute window. Put the player in with whatever I come up with.
              Not sure when I would get around to it though.

              I thought the freedom fries were hilarious! I would expect nothing less from America. Entertainment!
              One side says patriotic the other says extremist. Words like bombs thrown back and forth. Not much has changed.
              Hoping for more civil words moving forward.

              Liked by 1 person

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