Back in the studio I began to create some noise from my memory of what I had heard. I would do this using the Nord Modular, it was a new objective, to create a sound from noise that would be the beginning of a song. Ok, it’s not original but personally I had not tried it before, what was important though was I had a starting point. When creating a song you only need a little inspiration to start it off. Sampling is a great example of this, take a short piece of music and create a new song from it, very much the way I write many tunes.
Artists have always done this, knowingly or not. It may not be a direct sample, it could be a song they have heard, the way an instrument is played or they way light falls on an object. I believe that new creation or style of music is extremely rare. Artists take their ideas from previous art and change it, but here I am taking noise that is just random frequencies and moulding it into a sound that hopefully is appealing to others.
First I added a little LFO to two noise generates to try to recreate the noise I heard on the walk. It had a pulsing in a slow but rhythmic way, but what I had created, Noise 1 sounded more like the sea washing in out and never changing. It was nothing like what I had heard so I developed the sound further and created Spooky Noise.
Not a very original title but it is spooky, it’s amazing how changing just a few parameters and adding a little more has changed the noise into this. Nothing to the noise has been added just taken away, noise contains a lot of sound we just have to remove some to hear more detail. I enjoyed listening to the result which began to conjure up more ideas in my head. Was I to add melody or something more rhythmic? I started to throw ideas down and after a number of hours I had lost the vibe of the spooky noise. Thus is a common problem, I took a mix of what I had done ‘Lost the spook‘ stripped everything out except the noise and started again. While the computer was busy sorting itself out I began to think of the walk I had just been on. I came over feeling melancholy, though the woods had been bright my thoughts were sad. I could not understand my feelings, thinking again of the noise I had picked up, it was odd. Should I go back another day with the phone or even better a radio to see if it could pick up the station more clearly?
Returning my mind back to reality I took the tempo down and started again and tried this time to keep the walk in my mind. The problem was I couldn’t get that feeling sat here in my studio, somehow I had to get the forest vibe on this track. I couldn’t take all this equipment into the forest but I could bring a little into the studio. Remembering the tug of war from earlier I reached for the phone first and then the dog lead and headed off back to the river. I was going to record the walk on the phone camera and then bring that back to the studio, not the best quality but it would do. For some reason I took a slightly different route after passing the shrine, I walked up the river which felt repressing, dark and as if I was bending watched.
This was not a feeling I was unfamiliar with. I have had a number of haunting experiences especially when I was young, at the time it was uncomfortable but strangely not frightening. Not until I reached my teens did I realise that these experiences were unusual, I had always put it down to growing up and that children have imaginative minds but now I know it was not normal. I wanted to leave the forest, this feeling which was quite real and growing into a fear, like a smell that takes you back this wood was stirring memories I had not experienced since I was around eleven years old. I hurried back out to the open road and instantly felt better. Emerging from the forest and out into the open, the space lifted the gloom and my sprit. I noticed plants and flowers that I had not seen before even though I had walk this many times in the last few weeks, it was good and had taken my mind away from the wood. They looked brighter and stood out like they were asking to be admired, after taking some pictures of them I returned to the studio. I transferred the video to my computer and while my feelings were still fresh I immediately began writing, starting from the noise once more on a new tune.
The video worked, it kept the vibe in my mind and it was not long before I had a version of the song that excited me. I finally got some inspiration and could not wait to video another walk. That night at the time when your trying to get to sleep and your mind thinks of all the things to make sure you cannot get to sleep, my mind could not stop asking why I had such strong feelings during the walk. They had stirred up memories from long ago, I never expected to feel like that again now I was an adult. I felt insecure and troubled, I was tired and needed sleep but could not.
I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go back to that river again, what was it that brought this on? And what of the strange radio station? I couldn’t think of any answers or if I had I cannot remember because at some point I must have fallen asleep.