Mobile Music

My eighth song for FAWM is “Interstate (A Mobile Tribute to Ralf und Florian),” which was created entirely on handheld devices, and recorded in the car driving home from upstate this past weekend.

Don’t worry, I wasn’t doing anything stupid. The recording was unattended. I had a digital recorder with me, running on and off for much of the drive, from which I drew a lot of found sound as well as most of the percussion (mainly treated door-slams). I also have an interesting graphical synth app for the iPod (Jasuto Pro) which I used to set up a patch with some parameters driven by the iPod’s accelerometer. (See photo.) So with the recorder running, and the synth app playing through the car stereo, I just drove.

The iPod app created the weird whooshy swirly thing that runs through the entire song, just by responding to the motion of the car.

I programmed the basic riff in the same Droid synthesizer appliation I used on my first song this year, again assigning the X, Y and Z variables from the Droid’s accelerometer to various parameters of the patch. I let it play and do its own bouncing around.

Best of all, the harmonica on this track is … an iPod application. Yes, that’s right: Benjamin McDowell’s Harmonica app for the iPhone, which a musician friend of mine showed me at a bluegrass jam.

This song contains a brief sample: Yo La Tengo’s version of John Cale’s “Andalucia,” playing through the car stereo at one point during the drive.

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