February Harmonitronica

Introducing … harmonitronica. As some of you may remember, I was experimenting with some electronica approaches last year, and I’ll be going much farther in that direction this year. I started writing this song and programming the drum loop last night, then recorded a synth drone today (more about that in a moment). After that, it was all harmonica and vocals. I spent much more time on it than I’d planned, but I like it, although it’s not what I’d call musical.

The lyrics are somewhat incidental, but more prosaic in origin than they might sound. The jam I run on Sundays is in a bar with a fireplace, and on many Sunday nights, I am, in fact, smelling like smoke. And I was waiting up for a phone call last night … from my main consulting client, to let me know whether or not to launch a new web site.

Oh, and the synthesizer part … that’s my Droid. Yes, I’m playing my phone. It’s got an interesting little synth application, which lets you program some parameters to follow the physical motion of the phone. So I basically built a weird patch, then recorded it playing a single note, while waving it around like a nut case. That track runs through almost the entire song, alongside the higher-pitched weird thing which is actually a small piece of the opening harmonica wail, looped. You’ll probably hear more from the Droid as well as my iPod Touch and, of course, the vintage analog synthesizer I bought in Tucson at Christmas.

Above is a photo of my music setup for FAWM this year, right by the window. I’ll talk more about the effects rig on the floor, but that’s where most of the harmonitronicking happens. I’m using the Zoom H4N as an audio interface for the laptop (it doubles as a room mic, which is useful, although not for this stuff).

More songs to come. But now, sleep.

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