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Travelling in time(lapse)…

One of the main reasons that I keep getting behind with posting stuff, is that I’m continually sidetracking myself with things which seem more interesting than whatever I’m doing at any given moment.

Yesterday, I thought that I’d better write some more in the collaborative space opera that is Starship Gypsies, as I have been very lax recently in keeping up with the story. But, despite my best intentions and having made good progress on a new new episode, my magpie mind soon drifted upwards, to the clouds above my head (serves me right for sitting out in the sunshine, I suppose) and to thoughts of trying out the timelapse feature on my camera.

So I stopped writing (I’ll get back to it this afternoon, honest I will) and set up my impromptu studio on the patio to do an experiment.

While I cooked Audrey and I some dinner, my trusty smartphone camera patiently clicked away in the garden, recording the passage of big fluffy clouds and gently waving trees. Then, full of spaghetti, meatballs and after dinner coffee, I began to apply the all-important “mucking about” element to the collected images.

I decided to add one of my swirly musical compositions to the resulting visual creation, after having run the original thirty second clip of the sky above our garden through several different editing treatments and ending up with the following, rather hypnotic, multi-media presentation.

So please sit back, relax and enjoy this little video for Speedwell

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 6, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Music, Photography, Video

 

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#atozchallenge: L is for Lion…

#atozchallenge: L is for Lion…

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Audrey is following what letter I have reached on the A-Z challenge and, since she likes doing guest spots on the blog occasionally, today I thought I’d feature another of her many craft projects.

A few weeks ago, when our regular sitter was unavailable, (Rhonda sometimes has to start work early, before I get home in the evening) Meg, our next door neighbour looked after Audrey for an hour or so, during which time she made a clay model of a lion.

So, this evening we decided to make a little gif of her creation getting his first coat of paint.
No doubt I shall manage to shoehorn a photo of the finished article into a post at a later date.

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#atozchallenge

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2016 in A - Z challenge, Animation

 

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A – Z challenge: A is for…

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Today is the first day of the A – Z blogging challenge, which has all sorts of complicated stuff attached to it, but boils down to; post something every day in April, (except Sundays) with each post themed around a letter of the alphabet.

Initially, I decided to go for A is for Alternative, but then I changed it to something else…

…which was A is for Apathy, but I couldn’t be bothered to write about that.

A is for April just seemed foolish.

I thought maybe A is for Architecture would give me something to build on…

…then I got sidetracked by A is for Absence and…No, it’s gone.

A is for Agnostic seemed like a good idea, but I’m not sure I believed in it.

I can’t put my finger on why, but A is for Abstract doesn’t appeal to me.

I could have used A is for Artificial, but that might seem a bit contrived.

I disregarded A is for Auxiliary, because I didn’t want to make extra work for myself.

A is for Aggravation sounds like far too much trouble.

I had a real dislike of using A is for Antipathy.

And I wasn’t sure I liked the look of A is for Appearance either.

Going with A is for Average struck me as rather mean.

You really would have needed to egg me on to use A is for Albumen.

I could have just picked something at random, like, um,…A is for Arbitrary.

But I eventually settled for this:

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#atozchallenge

 

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Free the music…

In the last couple of months, I’ve been drawn back to my electronic music making gadgets; first producing a tune to celebrate Just Jot It January, then remixing it, which got me inspired to experiment with loops, sequencers and drum machines again.
I’ve made two new tracks since then, one of which I made a very basic video for, (since SoundCloud stopped their mobile upload service) just so I could get it online via YouTube.

After that, I decided to check out what other free music upload platforms were available, because I’m not planning on making any money from doing it, it’s just something that entertains me, like this blog, and I don’t see why I should pay to post music I’m not selling.

By happy coincidence, I was idly scrolling through my Tumblr feed and came upon a post from Delorme, a Canadian musician with a very tasty line in retro synthscapes and an extremely helpful and friendly chap too.
He recommended that I try ReverbNation or Bandcamp and having done a comparison, I chose the latter.

Before I go any further, I should plug the man who advised me so astutely to pick my new musical home, the wonderfully talented Delorme.
Here’s his website – Check it out.

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Here is a link to his Bandcamp page where you’ll find his fabulous new album, The Greatest Cape, check it out and buy a copy if you like it (I already purchased my copy and it really is excellent).

Ok, let’s get to my own sonic output.
I’ve been making strange electronic sounds, the most recent of which very nearly qualify as actual music, for about three years and, although I’m no more musical than I was when I started, I have got the hang of manipulating technology and, by extension, sound.
The fact that I’ve been listening to, and obsessed with, music for my whole life probably helps too, I suppose.

Each of my improvised audio snippets has been uploaded to my free SoundCloud account in the past, where they sit, lonely and unlistened-to, except by faithful guinea pigs like Ho and occasional blog readers who stray onto my Sound and Vision page.

So now there is somewhere that you can listen to the more melodic of my offerings and, if you so wish, download them, for free.
I have uploaded 10 of my personal favourites (including Phasar, a new and unheard tune) to my shiny new Bandcamp page, which you can access BY CLICKING THIS LINK.
Go on, pop over and have a listen, ogle the slick layout and sumptuous artwork, (some of which you may recognise) or better still, give yourself a little present, compliments of the original artist, yours truly, by downloading your favourite track, free, gratis and at no charge.
And remember, each track is a completely unique one-off, composed, played and recorded in one take, with no post-production or edits.

But before you go, I’d like to present a new video I made for one of the tracks available at the link above, Glacial Daze.
I made it using the same gadgets I used to make the last one, but I spent more time synchronizing my limited library of effects to the music and made the background image more interesting by doing a colour changing, stop-motion animation of this composite image I made ages ago…

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…which in turn started life as this photo…

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…taken at Broomhill Sculpture Gardens and has since been used to make weird posters like this…

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…and has even featured on the virtual cover art for my as-yet-unfinished sci-fi masterpiece, Deus Ex Machina.

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I then layered the effects over it, added the all-important soundtrack and…voilĂ !

 

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Slave to the rhythm…

Over the weekend, in burst of audio-visual creativity, I made another strange gif and produced (composed, played, mixed and recorded) an all new sonic experiment.

Here’s the gif…

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…and then there’s the musical thing; “Klack”.

As I wanted to share my latest masterpiece with you, my lovely readers (and hopefully, listeners), I uploaded it to SoundCloud, as I have done with every other weird collection of bleeps, beats, bongos and boinging noises that I’ve made over the years.

At least I tried to.

It seems that SoundCloud have disabled the music upload feature in the mobile version of their site and now offer the option of “record” only, using your device’s microphone, not by direct upload link.
Which is no bloody good if you’ve spent three hours carefully programming drum loops and experimenting with reverb, delay and bit-crusher settings on a separate app and want to send it as an mp3 file.

So as usual, I set about finding a way round the obstacle, because that’s my speciality and I consider it a personal challenge to my ingenuity.

The obvious alternative was YouTube; after all, I’ve made animated clips to go with my bizarre compositions on many occasions and then I simply embed the videos in a blog post.

But at the time (this was late on Saturday night) I didn’t fancy spending ages doing a stop-motion film, just so I could upload a new tune.
Then I had a flash of inspiration; why not upload a static image to YouTube instead, like you see all the time when an album cover or something is displayed, while music plays on the soundtrack.

So I set up my phone camera in front of an old photo I’d previously mucked about with, (displayed on my tablet) and just recorded ten minutes of that.
When I’d got my motionless video, I simply dubbed my track over it and…

…Ah.

The soundtrack appeared to consist solely of the noise that an ’80s computer made as you loaded a game from a cassette player;

SSSSKKKKKKRRRRREEEEEEEEE KKKKRRRRRKKKKKKEEEEEEE!

Oh bollocks, that wasn’t what I recorded.
So much for my brilliant idea.

I don’t know if it was some sort of feedback from the tablet screen through the camera or what, but I had two more attempts with similar results and realised I was going to have to think of something else.

Maybe it was my old video editing software.
Aha! An excuse for a new gadget.
Excellent.

After two new apps, (and an abortive try at videoing gifs) one to remove the audio from the original video and the other one to…well, you’ll see in a moment, I managed to stick the component parts together and upload the result to YouTube.

Now, the extra bits in the video; they are only there to make it more interesting than watching a still photo for ten minutes, they are not in any way meant to be synchronised with the music, but having done this rather rushed version, I may well practice with my new toy and present further projects for your perusal at a later date.

After all that, you’ll probably either love it or hate it, my musical taste is somewhat acquired at the best of times, let alone when I’m actually making it myself, so a ten minute electronic percussion frenzy might not be for everyone.

Give it a listen anyway, I bet it’ll get your foot tapping by half way through.

Here’s Klack, music and video by yours truly.

It builds slowly…

 
11 Comments

Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Music, Personal anecdote, Video

 

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Just Jot It January: Day thirty two (?)…

Ok, it’s not actually Just Jot It January anymore, but I thought I’d do a quick post to register my appreciation for the last month’s entertainment, provided by Linda G Hill and her annual feature.

It’s the first year that I’ve taken part and it was a very useful experience, not only because it gave me a challenge to come up with something to post every day, but because of the huge range of blogs and talent that I have been made aware of in the process.

One of the best things about blogging is the opportunity to meet new and interesting people who I would ordinarily not have had contact with, so this type of blogging community-based project is particularly rewarding.
Not only that, but I’ve gained several new followers and attracted considerably more traffic to the blog than during an average month.

Whether or not these extra readers will continue to be regular visitors remains to be seen, but I shall certainly be keeping an eye on a great many of the blogs I came across in my random ramble through the last thirty one days.

I might even be inclined to post more frequently from now on, as the idea of going back to only writing two or three times a week leaves me feeling at a bit of a loose end, even as I write this.
We shall see what happens.

I don’t know what February will bring, but I’ve already signed up for an A – Z blogging challenge in March and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m tempted to get involved in other regular features as the year goes on.

For now, I should try and catch up with Starship Gypsies and concentrate on one or two other projects that I have been neglecting recently.

My final contribution to this thread though, is a gif that I made from Linda’s JJIJ participation badge, which is bestowed on anyone who took up the challenge last month.
So, until I work out how to display it in a more permanent setting, here’s a stick man doing a little Just Jot It January victory dance.

Because I can, alright..?

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Thanks again to everyone who visited Diary of an Internet Nobody in January, it was great to meet so many new and talented writers and artists.
And a last, but certainly not least, thank you to Linda for all her dedication and patience.

#JusJoJan

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Just Jot It January: Day twenty four…

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I’m going to cheat again for today’s JJIJ post, because I spent so long writing the ninth episode of The Wrong Stuff for Stream of Consciousness Saturday Sunday.

So here’s another gif for you, (no, the novelty of my new toy hasn’t worn off yet) as we enter the final week of this month’s challenge, this time a self-portrait.

You don’t mind, do you?

Shake your head..

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#JusJoJan

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