The Making of Belizean Heat: Part 6 & 7 – Hideaway & Stowaway


I’m grouping Hideaway and Stowaway together in this post because in a way, they are two sides of the same coin. By that I mean that they both use the same processed cricket recordings as their source.

Hideaway Caye is a tiny peaceful mangrove island and is home solely to the family that runs a guesthouse and boat access restaurant, their two dogs, along with many crabs, seabirds, iguanas, and lots of crickets. The island is so small that rather than taking their big Rottweiler out for walks, they go out in a kayak and he paddles along behind them. Our host Dustin explained to me that before they built the houses there were no crickets or iguanas. While bringing over the thatch for the roofs these little stowaways hitched a ride and then decided to call the island home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHideaway is a layering of several takes of cricket recordings, which were processed with Paulstretch and my modular synthesizer. In particular I used the 4MS Spectral Multiband Resonator, Atoner, and Noise Swash, along with the Intellijel Rainmaker to extract musical tones from the crickets chirping. There is one little arpeggio from my Arturia Microbrute, but everything else in that song comes from crickets.

Once I made Hideaway, I wanted to make a live version of the song so I loaded it into my Octatrack where I could chop it up and make it into sequences. This turned the ambient wash of sound into repeating swelling pads that I could use as a backdrop for my synths and drum machine.


Stowaway and Caves Branch were two of the last songs I finished for the album and they were made with a very different workflow than the others. These ones were made much more spontaneously using my live rig as more of a compositional tool. Xibalba on the other hand was much more the result of traditional DAW multi-tracking. I’ll discuss those songs further in my next two blog posts, so be sure to check those out if you’re interested in learning more.

The next chapter takes a look at Caves Branch.




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