Occasional Ramblings on Sound and the Creative Process
Although I was trained as a visual artist, creating album art is often a challenge! One of the things I enjoy most about sharing my work are the sensations or visuals people share in response to hearing a piece. “I saw outer space and a huge asteroid field!” My album covers are where I leave a clue about what I see when I listen to the piece. I try to strike a balance between creating something visually striking that hints at my vision, while leaving things ambiguous enough that the listener can have their own take on the imagery or story of the piece.
Creating album art is the stage I am in with my latest piece – and like everything about the creative process behind As Above, So Below, it’s taking me even longer than usual! I’ve made several different versions of the cover so far, but that perfect fit remains elusive! I’m so looking forward to finishing this one, but I think I’m just going to have to make peace with the languid pace. It’s gonna get done… eventually.
Sometimes, projects just don’t work out the way you expect them to! Been gnawing on the faery music idea for months, but when I finally got into the studio, something entirely different unfolded. The result is just another reminder that being led astray by a sneaky Muse is usually more productive than expected! Here’s a sneak peak at the work in progress:
So far, the whole 45+ minute piece consists of wave-like sounds accompanied by various high and low pitched drones. Most of the sounds were created in my kitchen with glasses, bottles, and Tibetan singing bowls. My refrigerator makes a few appearances, as does some radio static I recorded a couple years ago and some pink noise I generated in my editing software. The “waves” are made of a hiss sound I pulled out of another recording last year and manipulated with a pitch bender effect.
Although I enjoy all the noise and glitches I capture in my field recordings, significant time spent editing out noise in search of pure tones for this piece has me thinking it might be time to look into creating a soundproofed space somewhere in my house for recording singing bowls, voice, and instruments. Ever since I used wind chimes to warm up the sound of Cloud Chases Cloud, I have been growing increasingly interested in mixing field recordings with more melodic, instrumental sounds. This piece pushes forward in that vein and I’m really enjoying the effect.
Anyway, stay tuned in the coming weeks for more updates, including release details for the currently untitled album! I still have to decide what parts of the whole piece to edit, cut, or keep, but I know for sure that this piece needs to be surround mixed to really shine, so it might take a while to get to album art and the like.