a room of one’s own, week eleven

A new TRB song is available.

trb - week11

Week 10 was the second Bye week. So, here’s week 11, and next week is the last one. I haven’t done exactly what I set out to do, but this has been an educational experience, and I have 1 or 2 things in here I can actually work with.

This one is called “Robots die alone.” It’s pretty sad, and has an annoying drum sequence, and a lot of stuff going on, but here ya go.

a room of one’s own, week nine

A new TRB song is available.

trb - week9

I have grown very annoyed at myself for the excuses these posts have been making about the lack of time, so I’m gonna try and steer clear of that.

Inspirado came very easily for this. It’s about 4 minutes long, it’s relatively simple, and it was put together in about 3.5 hours total. The title will be “There is no escape.”

Enjoy, or don’t, if you find sampled acoustic guitars an abomination.

a room of one’s own, week eight

A new TRB song is available.

trb - week8

So, the thing is, every time I say, “Man, I’m never doing a concept piece again, what a trainwreck.” I forget it like a year to the day later. I said it a year ago, I said it tonight, and I hope someone will remind me I said it about 50 weeks from now.

This is a concept piece, and it is god freakin’ awful. I wouldn’t put it up, but it’s something and I hate to burn an off week, so I suppose I pull a Mulligan on this one, and this will hopefully be the Fancy Pants of this project. Like Fancy pants, it is mercifully short, though it is unlikely that it could ever be made awesome on stage via a Zen Drum.

Since I’m putting it up, I might as well explain the title and the concept. I was reading some random stuff, and came across the phrase “Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate” in reference to punch cards. If you aren’t familiar with this phrase or what punch cards even are, well, you’re probably either under the age of 50 or don’t find yourself interested in obscure trivia of the history of computing. I do.

I’ll spare you the overall history of punch cards – there’s a Wikipedia page for that – but suffice to say they have had a massive impact on the development of the computer, and the first really popular and widespread uses of computers involved carrying a stack of the buggers around, which more often than not had the phrase “Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate” on them. This is because they were paper, and had holes punched in them, and had to be fed into a machine that recognized when holes were punched into paper. Mutilation of these cards would be like resting your hard drive on a giant magnet that is on fire.

I found it interesting that this once household phrase had essentially died out completely, and found I rather liked it for the title of a song – not only the cadence of it, but the nod to history. After all, without punch cards, I would not have this snazzy computer to sequence nonsense on. So, I thought, okay, I love this as a song title, but what the hell do I do with it?

What I did was make little 6-note patterns with a little robot sample, and put them in a huge sequence, like one would a deck of punch cards running a math problem. I thought this was a cool concept piece, until I realized that it would fall under the curse of all my concept pieces, and sound like digital cat dissection on live subjects.

Anyway, I added a bunch of stuff to the sequence, but this is high concept and low tolerability. It makes me laugh because it is so bad but has some sort of wacky, fun vibe going for it – described to me as a robot singing a song it doesn’t know. I suppose that’s about right, me trying to infuse a computer history lesson via step sequenced “punch cards” into an entirely digital 21st century 32bit synth rig. I have no idea how I thought this was going to be a song I could sing.
In closing: Man, I’m never doing a concept piece again, what a trainwreck.

a room of one’s own, week seven

A new TRB song is available.

trb - week 7

I started this Today at 7:15pm – the final mp3 exported at 10:45pm. That’s 3 and a half hours, and I ate dinner and watched from the poisoning scene in Princess Bride onward in there somewhere too.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, this was fast.

It’s amazing how much faster things come together when I allow myself to use a stock beat to get going. I’m still not happy with the piano sample on this one, and as always with the room of one’s own releases, I really wish I could even out some of the mixing issues, but I have some more real life to attend to, and I’m just flabberghasted that I have anything to post at all. Going into today with absolutely nothing, I was already trying to figure out how I’d punish myself for failure. This isn’t great, but it’s something, and that’s part of the idea. Plus, no punishment for failure.

This has a nice mellow feel to it, but still got my toe tappin’  for a second or two, so I’m pretty happy, especially considering the timeframe. Give it a listen and see if my 2.5 hours is worth your 3 minutes and 53 seconds.

a room of one’s own, week six

A new TRB song is available.

trb - week 6 inc

This one is actually flat-out incomplete. If you ever wanted to see a larval stage TRB song, here you go – it’s got some of the main loops arranged, some other sounds designed, and an end point mapped out, but it utterly lacks cohesion.

This is kinda what I get for starting something on a Tuesday afternoon when the deadline’s supposed to be midnight Wednesday.

Anyway, in keeping with the rules, I am publishing it incomplete in the hopes that my self-shaming will get me to do some work on week 7’s piece over the weekend. I will be taking the time to polish this up into a completed track as it becomes possible to do so. This should have been up last night for the deadline, but I had an mp3 export issue. Nothing has been added to this content-wise in the interim, much as I wish I’d been able to.

a room of one’s own, week five

A new TRB song is available.

trb - week 5

For sanity and personal scheduling reasons, I started this one on Monday, so I have only had 3 nights after pretty late depatures from work to play with it.

As such, it’s pretty basic, but I was expecting to only be able to squeeze out 2 minutes of crapola, and this is significantly better than expected, and over 3 minutes in length. Also, it has drums! Yay drums!

The title will be “Never enough time.”

a room of one’s own, week four

A new TRB song is available.

trb - week 4

Week three was a bye. For personal scheduling reasons and creative difficulties that were exacerbated by them, I had to burn one of my off weeks. Here I am, a month into this thing, and I haven’t even finished the informative How this Came to Be page. That should tell me something.

In any event, this is the track for week four.

Composition wise, I think I am mostly happy with this one, and it is easily the best of the bunch thus far. The title will be “What have I done?”

I am out of time to do a proper mixing job, so there are about 3 really bad clipping zones that will simply sound bad on certain audio rigs. This will likely be corrected by the end of the experiment.

Now, I have to sleep.

a room of one’s own, week two

A new TRB song is available.

trb - week two

A very fast paced one this week. I didn’t have a lot of time for music this go around, so I was really feeling the pressure of this deadline. I got to the point where I almost used a patch I’d created beforehand (breaking a rule) and I definitely am at the point now where I’d rather it be done and over than be good. This is sad, as that is exactly what I’d hoped to avoid. Perhaps I will have more to say about this musically after some sleep.

 I can’t seem to get the faced paced ones to work for me now. Next week I’m going for something very down tempo and pretty.

a room of one’s own, week one

A new TRB song is available.

trb - week one

I’ll go into the concept behind A Room of One’s Own when it’s not quite so late, however there’s a beginning summary over at the blog. I still can’t seem to keep these things separate.

This track has been hacked to pieces from what it was early in the afternoon today – I loved it then. I’ve alternatively hated and loved it over the week it took to get it here, and the paltry 2:45 runtime is a sign of me wanting to put something up so I keep at this project fighting against me really wanting this album to have more polish than anything I’ve done before. The part of this song I really like is all after the 2 minute mark, and I cut 2 minutes down to about 30 seconds because some of the beat patterns just didn’t match up, and it was killing the good part. One nice thing about making relatively general rules for myself but making sure I stick to the important ones is that I can reserve the right to futz with this some more later before it becomes the final version, as long as I have time left on the calendar.

Anyway, the likely title for this one is “The Worm has Turned.” It’s not at all great, but since it had been almost a year since I’d really developed anything past a minute long demo, I figured I’d be rusty, and I was right. Life prevented me from doing a couple practice warmup tracks prior to beginning this epic project, which should mean Week Three will finally hit something approaching the last thing I made that I truly loved, which was Hope on the Wind.

So, week one is a massive disappointment to me right now, but it may turn out that tomorrow afternoon I like it again. The important part, though, is that I’m sticking to the regimen. Some recommendations to wash this one out of your ear canal, and to remind myself I don’t totally suck at this: Hope on the Wind, DaybreakThe Hopeless Romantic, and Diversionary Jam Session.

[the life was sucked out of it by forces entirely beyond my control]

TRB goes Blog


I have moved all the TRB posts from the z axis over here, and in the next days will begin skinning this blog to look like the TRB site, and feature handy 21st-century flash players, so you can play the tracks right on the page. It’s like living in the future!**

This should make updating considerably easier. Now I just have to finish the PHP for the skin, fix the feed, create static pages for all the downloads…and actually make some more tracks to describe in updates.

Still, though. Woot.


* now 2007 word of the year

** For the purposes of this declaration, “the future” may be construed as the year 2004.

TRB On the Web