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Croquis

by Ashen Simian

supported by
Lasse Lindgren
Lasse Lindgren thumbnail
Lasse Lindgren This ethearal album beautifully captures the here-and-now moment and the excitement of new discovery. The listener is being taken on an austere but comforting journey through cubic auditory landscapes. Favorite track: Entropy.
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1.
Candida 01:49
2.
Cistern 01:58
3.
Delta 02:05
4.
5.
Entropy 01:58
6.
Fauna 02:26
7.
Germination 01:36
8.
Geyser 02:11
9.
Azurite 01:17
10.
Beatae 02:22
11.
Habitat 02:10
12.
13.
Downlink 04:12
14.
Hydra 03:38

about

A selection of short improvisations designed for random/shuffle play. A minialbum of 37 mins as name your price item - it's free if you want to!

The working method was as follows: I improvised with one synth and effect units for two or three minutes, then used about 10-20 seconds to select another sound and the effects. This I did 7 times in a row while the digital multitrack recorder was running. Then I repeated the process two times, overdubbing the intial set of recordings. So the result was me x 3, "instant composing" the material. All in one go, so it took me about less than an hour to record all the sound material for 7 tracks. The idea was that I basically forgot what I had done on previous takes and had to react quickly to what I heard.

The sounds and effects I selected were pretty random, so there were a lot of surprises for me as I went on. This all resulted in a quite inspiring situationist working method. I repeated the process the next day and as a result I had 12 musical sketches... a bit like making Croquis drawings from life. I wanted to make the results more or less tonal, so I had decided to make one improvisation for each of the 12 keys in the octave... in the first day it was the whites and the next the blacks :) So all the "musical croquis" parts are in a different key.

I also tried to limit my options technically and all the tracks are made with a Kawai K1ii digital synth from the 80's and a couple of Strymon effects. A few percussive instruments, kantele and overtone-flute were also used for the tracks in "black keys". I had aquired the synth a couple of weeks previously and spent a couple of days overwriting all the boring preset sounds with my own ones. So I wasn´t at all familiar with the sounds already. It worked well, as I had more or less skipped the tedious method of properly naming the sounds in a Kawai... and the sound I dialed in for each track was often something else I had expected.

This minialbum includes also three outtakes from my album "New Horizons" of 2015. I think they suit very well for this as they were made more or less using a similar method, just with much more time and care to set the sounds and using three sets of overdubs for each improvisation. And they were not made all in one go, but separately... about in one hour for each. "The Garden of Nixe" is made with Korg DS-8 + some field recodings, "Downlink" and "Hydra" are all Yamaha DX7 with outboard effects. All sounds my own, as usual.

This minialbum was a nice diversion and the lack of finesse is probably offset by the freshness of the material. If you put these in your portable player and select shuffle or random play, I think they work rather nicely together.

credits

released August 19, 2017

A. Simian, cover image J. Torikka

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Nemesis Kokkola, Finland

Northern ambient sounds since 1987...

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