Posts tagged music
“ I’m interested in exploring. I’m a student. That’s why I do free software. In proprietary software, you can become Steve Jobs. If you write free software, you become a student. I like that.”
No Shame Shuffle 036
Avril 14th // Aphex Twin
“Tristram” Liner Notes - July 19, 2000
Poor, poor, Tristram. What did such an innocent little village do to deserve such a dark fate? This track originally consisted of only the newer music - the last three minutes of the current selection - until Max here at Blizzard North suggested using the original Diablo town music. As it turned out, both are actually in the game, though the original Diablo track is what greets you first when you return to the hometown of that strange evil which swept through Khanduras.
I would like to consider the original track, presented here in the first 4:45 of the tune, as being a victory of inspiration over limited resources. All of the guitar, flute and ocarina in the original tune was recorded directly into a $150 AKG microphone attached to a Ensoniq ASR-10 sampler with exactly 16 megs of memory.
This tune is the grandfather of the Diablo musical world, first commited to paper in the spring of 1995. The main musical themes of Diablo, which can be heard in almost every tune in one way or another throughout both games, make their first appearance in this piece. Though I was originally attempting to capture a medieval sensibility with this tune, it is funny how stylistically far away from the music of that period this particular song is. I would hope that no one thinks I recorded this tune in a few straight takes and finds themselves frustrated when trying to reproduce it.
The track was recorded bar by bar, and originally consisted of at least two dozen chords and phrases which were stitched together in the sampler. Some retuning was done to make those harmonic runs possible, and some of those chords are impossible to perform in a manner which sounds as smooth as the final product. What strikes me when I listen to this track now is, believe it or not, the Peruvian influence. The selection of tunes on my favorite tape back in 1996 featured many gorgeous waltzes written by the legendary Chabuca Granda, and I spent a fair amount of time trying to emulate the finger-picking style used by the guitarist who accompanied the vocalist on this tape. The newer material was originally intended to be used as the Act 1 music in Diablo 2 way back in 1997, though I ended up finding the pacing a bit too tense and linear for the dreamy feel that makes for ideal shopping music.
- Matt Uelmen
MUSIC doth uplift me like a sea
Towards my planet pale,
Then through dark fogs or heaven’s infinity
I lift my wandering sail.
With breast advanced, drinking the winds that flee,
And through the cordage wail,
I mount the hurrying waves night hides from me
Beneath her sombre veil.
I feel the tremblings of all passions known
To ships before the breeze;
Cradled by gentle winds, or tempest-blown
I pass the abysmal seas
That are, when calm, the mirror level and fair
Of my despair!
I found him, this time, squatting between two vicious-looking drum machines I hadn’t seen before, rusty spider arms folded at the hearts of dented constellations of steel cans fished out of Richmond dumpsters. He never calls the place a studio, never refers to himself as an artist.
“Messing around,” he calls what he does there, and seems to view it as some extension of boyhood’s perfectly bored backyard afternoons. He wanders through his jammed, littered space, a kind of minihangar cobbled to the water side of the Market, followed by the smarter and more agile of his creations, like some vaguely benign Satan bent on the elaboration of still stranger processes in his ongoing Inferno of gomi. I’ve seen Rubin program his constructions to identify and verbally abuse pedestrians wearing garments by a given season’s hot designer; others attend to more obscure missions, and a few seem constructed solely to deconstruct themselves with as much attendant noise as possible. He’s like a child, Rubin; he’s also worth a lot of money in galleries in Tokyo and Paris.
William Gibson, “The Winter Market”
This passage is a pretty good summation of what I hope to achieve with my life.
“ Music is not some subset of human intelligence; it’s a language. In fact it’s the only fundamental art form that’s known to every human culture that’s ever been discovered. There are some primitive societies that don’t have pictorial art or dance, but every one has music.”
A reasonable answer to a question I had as a kid: will we ever run out of music? How many permutations of notes and pitches arranged into melodies are there?
Halloween 2012 Playlist
There are some loud and hectic moments to keep you awake, but since I’m a much bigger fan of the unsettling, disturbing, and creepy, this year’s list is, as usual, much heavier in that regard. Though I had no specific goal to start, the list for the Year of the Dragon came about as a result of my imagination wandering out to sea. I ended up having a bit of fun imagining loose plotlines—namely, a half-crazy, grizzled old sailor with a thousand yard stare and a nightmare to share. The details of that nightmare, I leave mostly up to you. Enjoy.
art: Kraken vs. Lighthouse
© Copyright 2012 by ~srnoble
- Suicide Seed - “Intro”
Beneath the black of the ocean, the beast awakens. Its dark eyes scour for prey, the feeble lamplights of lighthouses and passing ships like stars in its polluted sky…
- Antihoney - “Dove”
“Sleep on, dear little child, day is young, and the water is freezing (don’t wake)… night is so deep and slow. Close your eyes, dream on, dear little child. In the sky, stars are still fading away. Dove, you’re a dove… into close Sleep on, dear little child, day is young.”
- Contemporary Noise Quintet - “Even Cats Dream About Flying”
Something wasn’t right. We were lost. I knew it, Captain knew it. Crew wasn’t stupid, they knew it just as well. We’d seen the swallows tracing patterns ‘gainst the clouds days earlier, yet we never hit land. Like someone moved the island when we weren’t looking. Now those birds had flown, and it seemed like it had been too long since the last daylight. Like the sun would never rise. Everywhere you look, black. Black as a Spanish girl’s hair. Black as the cap’n’s kitty’s fur, with those “lucky” eyes eatin’ into you like the waves. Even the stars seemed “off” somehow, before the clouds boiled up over ‘em, anyhow. No one was sayin’ it, but we were scared. Wishin’ we were those birds, so as we could fly up out of it…
- Darren Korb - “Mother, I’m Here (Zulf’s Theme)”
“I set my sail/ Fly, the wind it will take me/ Back to my home, sweet home/ Lie on my back/ Clouds are making way for me/ I’m coming home, sweet home/ I see your star/ You left it burning for me/ Mother, I’m here/ Eyes open wide/ Feel your heart and it’s glowing/ I’m welcome home, sweet home/ I take your hand/ Now you’ll never be lonely/ Not when I’m home, sweet home…”
- MONSTER CAT - “Underwater”
“So I’ll hold you underwater/ Breathe with me if you can/ Slowly fading with the sunlight/ Your face is turning blank.”
- Tom Waits - “The Ocean Doesn’t Want Me”
Even after the ship was gone—after the blackened sea had drank them all in a binge—it refused to take me. Floated there waiting, holding onto anything I could find. Splinters of the hull, a piece of a crate, fella’s leg trailing oily red under the moonlight. I waited for it to take me, too. But the ocean didn’t want me that day.
- Les Fragments De La Nuit - “Des Restes Vivaces”
I’ve no idea how long I floated there. Long enough that the waves set me to sleep for a spell. I woke to strobes of light from a distant shore. A lighthouse, to be sure, but the shoreline was none I recognized. Faced with little choice, I made for land, paddling against the current with all the strength I could muster. That’s when I heard it. The rumble bellowed up from the underdark. Exactly from where, I couldn’t say for sure, but close enough that I felt it quaver my bones. My sweat fed the ocean. I swam for my life. Waves crashed over me and around me. As I gasped for air, the light swept across my face, blinding and thick like tallow in my vision. I could not tell if I approached the shore or found myself carried away. On occasion, I caught glimpses of apparitions around me in the sea; horrible, slender tendrils of black. Always black. Somehow blacker than the night and the ocean. They rose around me, writhing and dark, and all I knew was darkness.
- Animals as Leaders - “Espera”
I lay on a foreign beach, bruised and sore, my throat choked with wet sand and the smell of copper. The endless night continued with no indication of change forthcoming. I searched for the lighthouse, but found nothing: only stone ruins wreathed in bramble, a rusted and broken telescope set near the base. The stars had returned in the sky, giving me courage to venture further inland. I made haste for the woods.
- Kinski - “Semaphore”
As I followed the footpath through the trees, I became consumed with the feeling of being watched. Branches swayed around me, the fingers of these brittle-leaved trees reminding me of the ghost appendages that had chased—or transported—me here. I walked faster, wincing at the pain from my injuries. Up ahead, a quiet noise skittered up through the woods. A feeble meow. The captain’s pet? I did not know. Pressing on, I came to a clearing in the woods. A campsite, in ruins as the lighthouse had been, but remnants had been planted in the ground: flags from almost every port I could name, and many I could not.
- Tim Hecker - “Chimeras”
The flags were in tatters, and seemed impossibly ancient. Stripes and patches were sewn into some, sigils of nation-states and merchant fleets and rogue bands. The strange patterns on others were frightening. Some held depictions of animals made of mismatched parts, bestriding the Earth; others yet showed men with featureless faces and strange attire, and the silk of these felt unreal in my fingers. I wondered as to the identity of those marooned here before me, and what had befallen them.
- The Dillinger Escape Plan - “Come To Daddy”
A fearsome growl rose up from all around me. The wind howled. At once, the flags were ripped from the ground and soared into the night sky like those birds we’d missed at sea. Dead leaves leapt from the ground in a furious whirlwind. The tiny knives snaked around me, constricting my view. I swatted at the angry swarm, stumbling as I tried to avoid their bite. The reanimated corpse of the forest seemed to thrust and attack me all at once, flaying my skin in an uncounted many places. Yet, I had more dire concerns. The growl was not the wind.
- Subheim - “Stranded”
I could not tell you how long I stayed. Somewhere I had lost sense of time. It seemed the appropriate length. Along with time, I lost sense. Sense of my surroundings vanished under that endless blanket of night. Days, what seemed like hours, perhaps weeks, months, I do not know. Through it all, I must have found food. Shelter. For here I am. Yet, when I think back, all I can remember is black. A void, filled by naught but my thoughts, thoughts which were taken from me and replaced. What remains in my mind is only a residue, like a faint odor of a long dead lover’s perfume. When I remember, the darkness drinks it back down into me before my lungs can cough it out. I remember only feelings, faint voices. I can hear her whisper.
- Poe - “Haunted”
“Ba da ba ba/ ba da pa pa/ Come here/ Pretty please/ Can you tell me where I am?/ You, won’t you say something?/ I need to get my bearings/ I’m lost/ And the shadows keep on changing/ And I’m haunted/ By the lives that I have loved/ And actions I have hated/ I’m haunted/ By the lives that wove the web/ Inside my haunted head…”
- Lovedrug - “In Red”
“Out of love for the hunt, out of love for the catch, for the thrill I will sail across this ocean. Out of love, for a pirate seeking fortune. Out of love for the sea, out of love for your majesty, for the thrill I could change, out of love for my captain. In a memory, I fall into the arms of a dancing girl. Fall inside of her. Fall inside of her now. All the blood that we spilled can not fill my empty heart. I can’t change, no, I can’t. On a beach we’re dressed in red, on a beach we’re dressed in red. On a beach we’re dressed in red, on a beach we’re dressed in red. On a beach we’re dressed in red.”
- Open Hand - “Risky”
As the sun sank bloody into the water, the sailor paused his story. He pulled a pipe and flint from his pocket. His stare wandered away from the horizon and down the beach to a group of barely-clothed teenagers who danced around a bonfire made of driftwood and beach detritus. Their skin flashed in the firelight, and they laughed and whooped when the mutt they’d been playing fetch with all night vaulted over the spitting flames. The seadog stared at them hard, silently leaking smoke like a covered pot left to burn. “They probably don’t even realize,” he said.
- Fear Before the March of Flames - “Lycanthropy”
“They probably don’t even realize,” he repeated. “Or maybe they just don’t care. None of that lot cares these days.”
- Murmuüre - “Amethyst”
They’d been pirates, he told me, though not in so many words. Searched far and wide across the seas and around the world for new marks to rob, new fortunes to find, new exploits to brag. On the other side of the globe, where the perfume of the dirt and the water were intoxicating like the finest rum, they’d found riches beyond their dreams. Jewels, pristine and perfect they’d lifted from around the fingers and necks of royalty. Tucked away in the hold, or perhaps, now, the belly of the tentacled monster that sundered their vessel in the night. He did manage to salvage one memento from those days of plunder, he told me: the gaudy sash worn as a belt, encrusted with brilliant violet pinpricks, like dust of a crushed amythyst. The owner of this garment did not protest, said nothing, but her stare was cold like the deepest waters, and it followed them all the way to the horizon as they set sail for home.
- Protest The Hero - “Sequoia Throne (C0ndu1t Chupachabra Remix)”
I found myself wondering what sort of pillager this man had been. He did not strike me as the murderous kind, but neither did he impress me as a thief, so my first judgment was wrong. Were he and his crew victims of the vicissitudes of the ocean? Or did they bring their fates upon themselves? It seemed a bit much. That sash! Clinging to it even after the haunted tale he told. Perhaps there was something special about it. It seemed likely that I wasn’t hearing the whole story. After all, he was the sole survivor. Not even the black cat, usually a sailor’s good luck, escaped drowning in this otherworldly storm he described. With no witnesses, all I had to go on was the word of a waterlogged madman who claimed to hear voices in the haunted woods of an island he couldn’t, or refused, to point out on a map. Maybe I’ve met the monster in the storm. Maybe the storm never happened. Maybe he killed them all, and washed up here to die.
- The Agonist - “Dead Ocean”
Stuck in the earth, we’ll stay…
- Venetian Snares - “Szamár Madár”
“Damn stupid bird,” the old seadog grumbled at first, then shouted, his hands cutting swathes through the night air. The gull had made a vicious dive for his head, and now continued to arc around us on the docks at its pleasure. Where it landed, it sat upright and stared. It stared at him and his garish belt. It did not stop. He continued with his yarn, but the bird stared, standing eerily still on the wood, barely moving. Staring. The old pirate tried to ignore it, but I know he felt its gaze from the way his words faltered and his eyes swam wearily between the beach, the sea, and his audience.
- Wintersleep - “Orca”
“I’ll be a killer whale/ when I grow up, I’ll be a vulture/ I’ll be an animal, a carnivore/ I’ll be a monster/ Clenching my jagged jaws/ Over the captured/ I’ll be a killer whale when I grow up/ I’ll be a tidal wave when I grow up/ Crashing on harbors/ I’ll be a temperamental element/ A raging water/ I’ll be a perfect storm swallowing over/ I’ll be a killer whale/ When I grow up, I’ll be a monster/ I’ll be a hurricane when I grow up/ An ugly thunder/ I’ll be a forest fire about to flood/ Over an empire/ I’ll be an avalanche chewing it’s raptured/ I’ll be a killer whale/ When I grow up I’ll be a MONSTER/ I’ll be a killer whale.”
- Damon Albarn & Michael Nyman - “Manifest Destiny”
“We have to go back,” he kept saying, slumped to his knees, head against the stone wall of the tavern. He’d had a few. I said I didn’t know if I could carry him back inside with so much rum in him already. He waved me off, repeating “no, no, no.” Not the bar, he said. The island. Said it was their place, he had to go. Said it called to him. No, no, no. Not the island. Her voice. “Why is it always so dark?” he said. “Black like her hair. We have to go back…”
- Django Reinhardt - “Stormy Weather”
I pitied the old dog. He seemed far beyond repair. I did what I could for him, though it wasn’t much more than an ear and a mouth in all the right places. All my efforts seemed a pittance after he gave me that pretty purple sash to pay. Said he couldn’t stand to look at it anymore. All the other girls seem like they agree with him, but that’s only because it looks so beautiful on me. It’ll sure get the attention of all the other sailors. Makes a good story for the pillow talk, too. Him? He’s gone now. He sailed back out there some time ago. It was a Friday. That’s the worst luck.
“ No one really understood music unless he was a scientist, her father had declared, and not just a scientist, either, oh, no, only the real ones, the theoreticians, whose language mathematics. She had not understood mathematics until he had explained to her that it was the symbolic language of relationships. “And relationships,” he had told her, “contained the essential meaning of life.”