Computer Aided Composing

An account of my recent doings at Musical Keys with a photographic interlude.

INTRODUCTION

A few sessions back at Musical Keys, an event run for autistic people that I am a regular attender of, I switched from using Scratch to using a different package called Reaper. This Saturday just gone I reached a point at which I feel that my work on Reaper is now worth talking about. Also I have some good pictures that I can slip in as part of the back story.

SCRATCH AND REAPER

Scratch enables one to play notes on various musical instruments and also has some saved sound loops for variation. Effectively therefore Scratch enables one to play music and sounds but not really to create anything beyond the framework within which to do so. Reaper is both less and more – less in that it has no versions of musical instruments, more in that is really all about combining different recorded sounds into a larger whole, and therefore has much more of a creative element to it. 

BEFORE SATURDAY’S SESSION

I had spent one session assessing the available sound segments, working out which ones I liked and which of those combined well together, and a second session combining shorter segments into longer ones by putting together segments that would or could naturally flow together, but at the start of Saturday what I actually had was a set of useful components that I could start to think about assembling into proper length pieces…

INTERLUDE –  WALK TO THE SCOUT HUT

I had decided to lengthen my walk to the venue by taking in a stretch of the Great Ouse before rejoining the regular walking route to Gaywood by way of Seven Sisters and the Vancouver Garden, and a quick sampling of the air outside my flat convinced me of the need to don an extra jumper – it was cold, as some of the photos will make very plain. I had also allowed myself time for a visit to Gaywood library, since I would naturally pass very close to it. It may have been cold, but the birds were out in force, especially near the Great Ouse.

lapwings and a gulllapwings and gullsFlying lapwingswimming birdBlackbirdsBlackbird

Leaving the river by way of Hardings Pits I headed for the South Gate and thence Seven Sisters and the parkland areas…

framed magpieKL signSouthgatestarlingsthree birds

Among other things the walk through the parkland provided me with absolute proof of how cold it was – gulls walking on water. 

Gull walking on waterGull walking on water 2Gull walking on water 3rooksBlackbird II

DECEMBER 9TH AT MUSICAL KEYS

John, who usually supervises the sessions was not feeling well, so having driven the equipment over he spent the afternoon sat in his car, while his assistant Kirsten took charge of the sessions. 

Once I had opened up Reaper, checked and adjusted the speaker volume (at least 99% of the time it is set too loud for me and I have to reduce it, often considerably – on this occasion it had been set to 70% of full volume and I reduced that to 35%) it was time to put my plan of exploring options for combining various elements to make a larger whole into practice. Before moving on here is a photo I took at the end of the session.

Reaper

The piece that I called Organ and Strings was one of three background sounds that I used in the bigger pieces, the others being the drum and brass backgrounds. “Ensemble” and “Composite” as those names suggest were medium sized components, while “Horizontal” and “All in” were the two large scale components that I combined to make the final full size pieces. The two big pieces (12 and 16 minutes long respectively) were comprised of “Horizontal”-“All-in”‘-“Horizontal” and “Horizontal”-“All-in”-“Horizontal”-“All-in” respectively. By the time I had listened to the 16 minute piece at the end it was pretty much the end of the session. The next session is on January 6th and I shall work out some way to build on what I have already created. 

 

Midweek Mishmash

As it’s title says, this post is a mixture of all sorts of things – enjoy!

INTRODUCTION

I have a wide range of stuff for you, including pictures and links.

GREYFRIARS

In the second of my series of posts about “Buildings of King’s Lynn”, I put up some pictures of Greyfriars Tower. Tucked away in one corner of the grounds is a scale model of the friary as it would have been back in the 14th century…

Model + Key
A five image composite showing the model and the key (four images)
Key
The key
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eight individual images starting with this one.

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PICTURES FROM TODAY IN KING’S LYNN

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For more about what this company does click here.

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More details about the company that this second survey boat belongs to cna be found by clicking here.

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For the opera lovers among you.

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LINKS

I have a plethora of links for you today. I start with a subsection dealing with…

PETITIONS

Two petitions today:

On the Government’s own petitions website, is this call to protect academic freedom. The government have new legislation in the pipeline to include an ‘anti-lobbying’ clause in all government grants, and this petition seeks to exempt academic research from this law.

My second petition is on a matter of local interest. A new factory farm is planned for Sedgeford, Norfolk and if you find the notion as repellent as I do please click here to sign and share the petition against it.

AN APPROPRIATE STAND ALONE LINK

Appropriate because the MP about whom this piece was written, the dishonourable Julian Lewis, is in a club of one as a British MP who will not accept communication by email.

A TRIO FROM COSMOS UP

The website cosmos up has been in fine form recently, and here (two of them accompanied by images) are three crackers they have produced in less than two full days…

First up, details of a method by which we could get to Mars in three days.
Photon Power

Second, with no images, this about the brightest and darkest objects in our universe.

Thirdly, is this examination of the question of what life would be like on a donut shaped planet.

Donut Planet

This picture shows the orbital path of a donut planet’s moon should it have one.

A NEW POST ON WWW.LONDONTU.BE

A reminder of the existence of my London Transport themed website. Today’s new post focusses on London Bridgepartially inspired by this picture…

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REMINDER: POSITIVE AUTISM AWARENESS CONFERENCE 

This will be taking place on April 15th at the Dukes Head Hotel, Tiesday Market Place, King’s Lynn, starting at 9:30. It has proved very popular – my latest information is that just 13 tickets are yet to be bought.

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The venue for the Positive Autism Awareness Conference.