Maker Faire 2014 and a WCMA Nomination!

Maker Faire SpreadOn June 8th I performed Sonidos de Cuba at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. My wife was also showing off her Drift clothing and accessories (you can check out her stuff here). Previously I had used a laptop running Ableton Live with an Akai APC40, a Korg Electribe ES1mkII and my trumpet. This time I debuted my new live setup focused around the Elektron Octatrack. I’m also using an Arturia MicroBrute, MFB Kraftzwerg, Electo-Lobotomy Sonic Forest, Manastone Hank Drum and Trumpet. Changing my setup has caused the songs to evolve quite dramatically. I’m still playing back stems from each song on the album, but sequencing them on the Octatrack has changed the way they’re configured. The Octatrack is also sequencing the two synthesizers which imparts some great new life into the material. Continue reading “Maker Faire 2014 and a WCMA Nomination!”

The Original Sonidos

I recently posted a sound collage featuring the original field recordings I captured with my H4n in Cuba. These are the sounds that eventually became the foundation for Sonidos de Cuba. I’ve also gone through my sound collages and commented to label the various sounds they feature. I should be posting two more soon. One will feature recordings I gathered on Galiano Island here in BC. The other will feature some recordings I did with a few mics from Cold Gold Microphones. They were kind enough to lend me a few to test and I really enjoyed using them. I actually brought the simple contact mic with me to Japan and Thailand. It was a lot of fun to use on mechanical devices.

I’ve been listening to a lot of music from astrangelyisolatedplace lately and I’d really recommend checking it out. There’s some beautiful ambient soundscapes there that you can listen to free of charge by some talented artists.

The Stories behind the Sonidos

Sonidos de Cuba (Sounds of Cuba)

In March of 2010, I travelled with my fiance to Cuba for ten days. Despite the short amount of time I spent there, I was overwhelmed by the complexity, culture, rhythm and pulse of the country. I brought with me a Zoom H4N portable recorder and gathered various snippets of the rich acoustic landscape. After returning home, I began using these recordings as a foundation for my own music. I spent many hours editing, warping, looping, filtering, sampling, and mangling the sounds to distil them into songs. Over the next three years, I created an album of electronic music that attempts to tell the story of this visit. I made this music in an effort to relive and restructure not merely the recordings, but the memories of my time there in order to share this journey with others. Hopefully you’ll feel transported as you listen and enjoy these Sonidos de Cuba. Continue reading “The Stories behind the Sonidos”

Sonidos de Cuba has a new look!

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Check out the cover art for my album! It was recently finished by the beautiful and talented Tania Clarke of Side B Design Studio (side-b.ca) who also happens to be my wife. She took some gorgeous photos during our trip to Cuba. If you’d like to have a look please visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidebdesign

In other news, my show at Sequential Circus 11 on August 18th was a lot of fun! I was pretty nervous leading up to (and during) my set. I’ve never sweat so much while playing and my slick lips had a hard time hitting my higher range. I was feeling pretty sloppy with my trumpet playing, and not feeling too good about my performance until after I finished. I received a good round of applause and was given a lot of congratulations on my set so I guess it wasn’t as bad as I thought! The rest of the evening was fantastic.

Phonotactic had a great journey of a set using Ableton and a Kaosspad. He went from mellow funky dubby music to thumping floor fillers. Then Tarekith took the stage with his Elektron duo (Octatrack and Machinedrum). His set was smooth, cool, and full of slick production. Next, Dark Arps emerged with gut throbbing basslines and tech funk delights. My friend dubbed him the Techno-borg as he was wearing a Sci-Fi suit that glowed and flashed to the music. It was hot enough there in shorts and a T-shirt so I imagine he was baking in his Borg suit. Muxx followed him with a high energy techno set that reminded me of fun times in early raves. His “One night in East Van” had the whole crowd chanting along with him. Lastly Vincent Parker switched things up with psychedelic synth washed dubby beats. Good times indeed!

The Sequential Circus crew should be posting the sets on their website soon if you’d like to hear them for yourself. I’ll post a link once they emerge. Meanwhile, I’m working on sound design for one of the rooms at this year’s Dunbar Haunted House. It’s turning into a fun creative project making the atmosphere for a Daycare of Doom. I’ve even done some voice-acting. Just one song left to complete for Sonidos de Cuba. This one’s called Ascensor (for now) and features a recording of the elevator in our apartment in Vedado. It would only go up to the 7th floor, but our Casa Particulaire was on the 9th so we’d have to hoof the last two floors. Working elevators are something I never realized I took for granted in Canada until then. Once that one is finished I’ll spend some time mastering the album and then I’ll be able to finally unleash it on the world!