homemade software - bring earplugs

over the last few months i've been 'hanging' (as i believe the young people say these days) with my friend conor (aka CJC). conor makes very nicely crafted electronic music and is clever enough to write his own software patches. we've had a few sessions where i noodle away on the double bass or lap steel or whatever while he processes the noodles through a bewilderng array of filters of his own design. the results are sometimes swooningly gorgeous sonic cathedrals of sound; at others they can erupt into massive swathes of distended, earsplitting noise. as conor says, "homemade software - bring earplugs". this is as good a tagline as any for when we get to do gigs.

what has happened apart from a few moments of temporary deafness and possible monitor damage is that we're gradually evolving a way of making music that is really new to me. while i'm used to shoving instruments through loads of boxes or processing them into submission with software, i'm not used to someone else doing it to what i'm playing while i play. conor's treatments coax weird ghost frequencies from the bass; the gentlest of bow strokes produce sighing, angelic choirs; plucked harmonics are mutated into the kind of ethnic percussion you might find on the planet tharg. it's actually more like two people playing the same instrument, only one of them is redesigning the instrument while it's being played. knd of digital (as in fingers) meets digital (as in zeros and ones)...

what helps is that conor's as much a musician as he is an engineer; what it actually sounds like is as important to him as the elegance of his code. which is pretty much why it works. and probably why the sounds are often so lovely.

there'll be more from us soon. have your earplugs handy.

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