First track on new album: “Groove was in the House”

I've just published the first track on my new album, "Time Shift". The album is the result of a little walk down memory lane in 2022, particularly just before Christmas, remembering the standout things in my former life in South Africa: the local music scene, the wildlife, the wide-open spaces, the sounds that you only … Continue reading First track on new album: “Groove was in the House”

My ears are tired

My ears are tired of writing music. They are ringing, buzzing, echoing, twanging and refusing to process any more auditory signals. I often think that Sound Engineers have the most amazing hearing - and the most amazing auditory signal processing cortexes in their brains. It's something you're born with, but still, to be able to … Continue reading My ears are tired

HD version of music video for “Busted Piano”

"Busted Piano" gets tweaked One of the features in iMovie that I hadn't known about until recently, is that you can set the speed of a clip by percentages, faster or slower. This means that you can much more precisely match the movements of the people in the clips, to the beat and tempo of … Continue reading HD version of music video for “Busted Piano”

Away and Back Again – “Outro” on “Painting Music”

The closing track on Painting Music is Outro. So Outro is the outro. Sorry for that pun. Couldn't resist. I was stuck for a name, much like Deadmau5 said he sometimes is, and then he resorts to calling his tracks things like Some Chords and Lack of a Better Name. Outro is the track in … Continue reading Away and Back Again – “Outro” on “Painting Music”

I chose Vimeo for my videos

After a long debate with myself about where and how to place the lyrical videos I've made of my music, I finally settled on Vimeo. It's not free - but I did not feel comfortable with the sometimes questionable advertising, and being lumped together with all sorts of weird stuff on YouTube. Vimeo is a … Continue reading I chose Vimeo for my videos

What exactly is “Exquisite”? – Lyrical video of “Exquisite Machine”

This lyrical video was enjoyable to make, because it was not as hard to synchronize as others had been (since it is an easy 4/4 beat at 110 bpm), and because there were a lot of options for depicting the themes of the song. When you get down to it, how do you express two … Continue reading What exactly is “Exquisite”? – Lyrical video of “Exquisite Machine”

The Most difficult and the Best Result – “Exquisite Machine”

Track 8 of 9 on the album "Painting Music" took major effort. It was the most difficult track on this album and the one of which I'm proudest. I started it on Sept 9, 2022 and finished it on Oct. 6, 2022 - 4 weeks of working on it every day, all day. Doing this … Continue reading The Most difficult and the Best Result – “Exquisite Machine”

I’ve Discovered E chords! (And they make me happy!)

If, like me, you are self-taught, the theory and structure of music are sometimes quite difficult to understand. I know what I want something to sound like, and I know what sort of melodies and which keys, tempos and rhythms give which feelings. But often I don't know how I got there, or what to … Continue reading I’ve Discovered E chords! (And they make me happy!)

This you’ve got to see: Music video of RAMMSTEIN’s “Adieu”

À propos my post about music videos, I was sitting with my mouth hanging open when I saw the official video for German band Rammstein's latest release, Adieu, the last track on their album Zeit (Time). It was released on Nov. 24, 2022 and has had, to date, more than 9.8 million views. There's high … Continue reading This you’ve got to see: Music video of RAMMSTEIN’s “Adieu”

Becoming more machine-like: Hirajōshi & Sky – Chris Perry Mix

This track, just released on SoundCloud, is Track 7 of 9 on the album Painting Music. It's a new mix of one of the songs on the album. The song started with two types of sound recordings: the first was made on the “Sky” canvas of Google's experimental “Paint with Music” platform, which is in … Continue reading Becoming more machine-like: Hirajōshi & Sky – Chris Perry Mix

Track 6 on “Painting Music” – “Busted Piano”

Busted Piano is the result of playing around on the Plink platform, and in the video you can see the visualization used on the platform - a moving line, waveform of little blobs. I chose a particularly whiny, mechanical sounding synth for an instrument on Plink. To my ears, it sounded like a badly maintained … Continue reading Track 6 on “Painting Music” – “Busted Piano”

person playing string instruments

Now for the videos

How to visualize your music I am not in the league of Taylor Swift (eh, obviously), with a team of professional choreographers, dancers, musicians, cinematographers, designers, etc. etc., who can - as she puts it - "tell the stories" of her songs through video. Her music videos, like those of other best-selling musicians, are works … Continue reading Now for the videos

Track 5 on “Painting Music”: “Appleblossom Blink” – A Bit of East & West to a Trip-hop Beat

Track 5 on album "Painting Music" Appleblossom Blink is a somber melody with some sweet chords. It's an original instrumental created from sounds generated on the web audio generation platforms Google Arts & Culture Paint with Music and Plink by DinahMoe. The composition is in the Japanese Hirajōshi scale, and features the melancholy shakuhachi flute … Continue reading Track 5 on “Painting Music”: “Appleblossom Blink” – A Bit of East & West to a Trip-hop Beat

Techno with a Twist – The Making of “Appleblossom Blink”

Track 5 on "Painting Music" - How it was made The melody for Appleblossom Blink started as experiments on “Plink” and “Paint with Music – Paper”, both web audio sound generation platforms. While the "Paper" version of the sounds on "Paint with Musics" are pleasant, the range is quite limited. I therefore created another few … Continue reading Techno with a Twist – The Making of “Appleblossom Blink”

To whom does music belong?

In his conversations with fans, The Red Hand Files, Nick Cave recently responded to someone who is angry because he found out that a public figure who he despises is a fan of a particular musician, same as he is. His questions are about who owns music - to whom does it belong? I found … Continue reading To whom does music belong?

“Swagger & Swing” – Track 4 on “Painting Music

The melody of Swagger & Swing started as notes on the fourth option on the “Paint with Music” platform, the “Street” canvas, which looks like a granite wall or pavement (shown below). This canvas has a more atonal sound than the others, and includes effects like scratching and hissing, which give a more grunge-like effect. I … Continue reading “Swagger & Swing” – Track 4 on “Painting Music

“Water Music” – waves, whale sounds and melancholy wind

Track 3 on "Painting Music" Water Music This track has nothing to do with the 1717 Water Music Suites by George Frideric Handel, though when I chose the name I might have dredged up a memory of it, since it is one of my favourite classical music compositions. I could not resist having some fun … Continue reading “Water Music” – waves, whale sounds and melancholy wind

Track 2 on “Painting Music”- “A.I. Opera”

And a-one, two-, three... Here we go! Ooooh... Lah Laaaaaah LAAAAAAAA!!! A.I. Opera: It Started as just fun and ended up as real - and really nice Dealing with very short audio clips like these ones, forced me to keep things focused and tight, and did not leave much room for getting fancy.  The parameters … Continue reading Track 2 on “Painting Music”- “A.I. Opera”

Singing Opera with Blobs

The tracks on my latest album, Painting Music, are the results of me experimenting on online platforms that produce both sounds and visuals from a user’s input. One of these is “Blob Opera”.  All the platforms are experimental, meaning that as users use the platform and upload their creations, the database is expanded and the … Continue reading Singing Opera with Blobs

Track 1 on “Painting Music”: “Hirajōshi & Sky – Luke Garfield Mix”

Cōdae · Hirajoshi and Sky - Luke Garfield Mix (Above: Track #1 on "Painting Music" - "Hirajōshi & Sky - Luke Garfield Mix" Luke Garfield, Sound Engineer, Banana Llama Studios) All the songs in this collection contain small clips or samples of machine-generated musical notes. I used online platforms that produce both sounds and visuals … Continue reading Track 1 on “Painting Music”: “Hirajōshi & Sky – Luke Garfield Mix”

My New album “Painting Music” has Dropped

I make music in ways that interest me, and in ways that I can get my head around - bad grammar, but what it means in practice is that with every song I produce I make a bunch of mistakes, and learn something about myself or about music, or about the creative process. And then … Continue reading My New album “Painting Music” has Dropped

From hesitant beginnings to happiness

Everyone has to start somewhere, when you create things. Something cannot come from nothing. I have learned this rather late in my life. You have to DO something: take a step, make a move, decide something, in order to create that thing you have in your mind. Or that thing that's been bothering you and … Continue reading From hesitant beginnings to happiness

When the only way forward is to can it – A New “Sunrise”

Sometimes, you can work at a composition until you have tried every trick and technique you know of, and it still doesn't sound right. Something went wrong with the programming. Recently, Lex Fridman (computer scientist, artificial intelligence researcher, and research scientist at MIT) interviewed world famous, pioneering programmer and developer. John Carmack. Carmack said something … Continue reading When the only way forward is to can it – A New “Sunrise”

Superb: “This Much I know To be True”

The documentary about Nick Cave and his albums Ghosteen and CARNAGE, This Much I Know To Be True (2022), is now available on MUBI, I just had to watch it. It was beautiful, memorable and thought-provoking. I don't often get so enthusiastic about something that I jump straight to the conclusion and just say - … Continue reading Superb: “This Much I know To be True”

For lack of a better title, just call it “Outro”

About the Outro on Armin2016 Thinking up a name for a new song is as tricky as trying to name a band or an album. Just like with a book you've written, you have to find something that explains its essence, also contains words that fits it into the genre or category, and at the … Continue reading For lack of a better title, just call it “Outro”

How long is a piece of…song?

When Morning Comes, on the album Armin2016, is a short, rhythmic track with a real hook of a chorus in which the key changes from minor to major. That’s followed by a throbbing drop and and outro of pulsating synths. It’s simple but full of energy – a song with which to greet the day, … Continue reading How long is a piece of…song?

A story about pianos, diamonds and goats

It has been said about upright pianos that they turn into “1200-pound heirloom paperweights”, unless they are kept in tune and are played regularly. Otherwise they are simply large, heavy, awkwardly shaped pieces of furniture, not good as bookcases, nor any good as seating, often a home for mice, and sounding worse than an out-of-tune … Continue reading A story about pianos, diamonds and goats

Breaking down a trance-classic fusion – “Sonata in Trance”

Last week, my track SinT (Sonata in Trance), track 5 on the album Armin2016, went live on SoundCloud. It is, of course, not something that is to everyone's taste. Even a film soundtrack would not be one unbroken piece of music, but rather short parts played in the order of the scenes in the film. … Continue reading Breaking down a trance-classic fusion – “Sonata in Trance”

Contending with the challenge of creating music in context

People tell me that you can get inspiration from anywhere - in your imagination, from what you know, from what's around you, or people. David Byrne (he of Talking Heads) writes in the opening lines of his book How Music Works, that, actually, the music we create does not necessarily come from some internal source … Continue reading Contending with the challenge of creating music in context

The sad sound of an oud – Limbo, a film by Ben Sharrock

Limbo (2020) is an award-winning film that recently played on Mubi. It's one of those gems that I discovered on Mubi, which has its fair share of unwatchable weird stuff. But it has also had a couple of masterpieces that I would never have discovered had it not been on the channel. I would not … Continue reading The sad sound of an oud – Limbo, a film by Ben Sharrock