Friday, January 22, 2010


I've been working on music today. It's been a long time since I've done that and I know it will take days of drifting and seeming listlessness, thinking, trying, thinking, trying, before anything happens. Unlike painting I tend to sketch in things and modify, like painting plein-air. That's not the way I paint, and for my last album I wrote the themes on piano first, which is easier when the instrumentation is limited to simple orchestral ones (cello, strings, woodwind) instead of the full gamut that the electronic ensemble can provide.

Today I made a few musical "sketches". I have a few rough ideas for unifying themes that would make an album, but nothing firm. Now I'm simply getting re-acquainted with the process. I need more passion and drama.

I thought I'd share today's sketch, it's like a rough underpainting of sound. This could be expanded in size, or layered to add details, enhance contrasts and finesse exactly as with a painting, but I think I'll not go much further. These first few steps are to test the water. I know it'll take a day or two of mind bending to retrain my brain musically, and then the music will write itself.

The download is temporary, so if you're reading this in future months it will be gone, sorry!


John Salmon said...

Good so far Mark. Was that the door slamming towards the end of your sketch?

Did you say you use a sequencer or have you got a midi keyboard rigged up with you music sound generating program?

I have Fruity Loops and it would have taken quite some time to seqeunce that. I don't have a keyboard.

Mark Sheeky said...

Hi John, it's software only. I decided to program my own because I was frustrated at the slowness and complexity of doing basic things, so my music is done using that, it's called Noise Station 2. I used to use Octamed, a tracker program from the Amiga days. Noise Station isn't that different but it has better time resolution and it's a synthesizer too. It's not on sale, but there is a program called SFXEngine on my website that is based on it. That uses only the synthesis parts.

PAMO said...

Mark- your sketch makes me think of a movie drama where the central character has just gone through some major disruption and now has to take a new course of action. I really like it so far!

Mark Sheeky said...

Thanks Pam. I'm not sure what to do with it. It's got growth but I'd like to know what it's growing into before going further!