Sudden Noises (2009)

Sudden Noises

Copyright © 2009 by Tom Law


radio, wiimotes, laptop violent outbursts...uncertain rhythms ... irregular soundplay


radio, wiimotes, laptop swooshes... mangled voices... but I stuck to a steady beat on this one!


radio, wiimotes, laptop slow droning pain

Nettles (first mix)

radio, wiimotes, laptop stop 'n' go... disorienting tempo shifts
(distilled from a 15-minute improv)

Nettles (second mix)

radio, wiimotes, laptop (thought I'd lost the first mix, so I made a 2nd from the same tracks)

May 12, 2009 - I've been playing lately with a disembowelled battery-powered radio... using my moistened fingertips to short-circuit various points on the exposed board... so I can make almost-controllable electronic noises (along with whatever broadcast the radio is tuned to).

And furthermore, I also recently learned that the remote controller for a wii game machine can be used to send control signals to my laptop, which I can convert to musical information, such as triggering notes or altering the texture. I immediately went out and bought 2 of these "wiimotes".

So, I decided to create a series of mostly-improvised pieces, using these rules:

  • use only radio and synthesizer as sound sources
  • use only the wii remotes (instead of a MIDI keyboard)
  • use only 8 simple pre-recorded drum loops
  • spend no more than one evening on each piece
The goal is to improvise the entire piece, with very little editing afterwards, in hopes of honing my quick-thinking skills a bit.

Since I have a swell new subwoofer in my studio, I decided to make full use of the sound spectrum, esp. the low end. Unfortunately, it all sounds like crap if you only have tiny I recommend listening to these pieces over good headphones if you don't have your pc hooked up to a decent sound system.

Anyway, these are the pieces I've done so far. I did cheat some.

Software used: Cycling '74 Max, Ableton Live, Propellerheads Reason.

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