Since I started to experiment with sound in 1989, even though I was and still am truly fond of electronic music, I always used acoustic elements (sampled or recorded) in many if not most of my compositions but never made the step to compose pieces for acoustic instruments only, without electronic processing (apart of field recording pieces).
Chordophone is the first piece I composed for one instrument without effects, without mastering, without cleaning.
The primal sound source is a zither, I have chosen this instruments because of its resonances, harmonics and natural reverb. I will not reveal all the tricks I used but the main one is applying an EBow on several strings to make them resonate and record the sound with a microphone (an Oktava MK-012-01) with a portable amplifier (FEL MinimicBooster) as the sound of the vibrating strings was pretty low, everything was recorded and edited in Reaper.
Once I felt happy with the recorded material, I cut, pasted, mixed, modified the pan and volumes of some of the parts to build the piece. No equalisation, no distortion, no saturation, no reverb, no pitch or other electronic effects have been applied.
I also decided, for once, to not go through the cleaning and mastering processes, hence a few little accidents and some background noise remained.
The final result sounds like... electroacoustic music but as no electronic process was used, it is probably closer to musique concrète and contemporary classical music, isn't it ?
Together with the final piece, you will find the recorded parts I used and if you wish to experiment, please, feel free, I would like some of you to make a composition based on those sounds or entirely made of them but I do not wish to hear a remix, I wish to hear something new and original, acoustic or electronic or else, all is fine, I'm just curious to see what some of you would do with this raw material. You are free to use those sounds commercially or not but you need to credit me if you publish your work and have to keep the same licence as the one I used (Attribution Share Alike, see creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
). You are not obliged to send me the result but I would be happy to hear at least some of compositions.
If I receive enough tracks and like some them and think that there is some coherence or enough interesting material, and if the selected artists agree, I would like to publish an online compilation with those (a lot of "ifs", so maybe all this will not happen and don't be upset if I don't select your piece, I'm picky and it doesn't necessary mean I don't like it or that it is "bad").
Deadline to receive the pieces 28 February 2021, any time zone, release in March.
Since we can hardly interact in the physical world any more and since we will most likely not be able to travel soon, that could be an interesting way to virtually share some moments and art together.
The samples were recorded at 96kHz, 32bit FP and are provided to you in a lower but still high quality format : 48kHz, 24bit - I didn't clean them at all, even though I tend to have a cleaning obsession, for once, I kept the dirt, yes, there is sometimes a lot of background noise from the room, the computer, the cables, perhaps the trams and me breathing sometimes.