So for my final project I decided to make a song because I enjoyed the audio element of our video project’s earlier in the term. I thought that making a song would be fun and take what I learned in that project a step further. I didn’t know exactly what I was looking to record as I hadn’t been playing any music in quite a few months. As I started to get to work I began writing on my guitar and rather quickly a song came together. I made a rough recording on my tape recorder and showed it to my friend who has a recording studio and he let me come in one afternoon and record my song onto his 2 inch tape machine. I played the bass guitar parts to a click track and then played the guitar chords over that. Next I tried to do the drums, but as I am not a drummer, I quickly gave up on that. So I called it a day and asked a drummer friend of mine to listen to my rough song and think of what he could do with drums on it. Luckily he agreed and once the drums were added a few days later, I was amazed that I had something that sounded like a real song. That day I recorded the lyrics that I had written, and had another friend double my voice with hers. I really liked the result of the male/female element to the vocals. So now I had a song with drums and vocals but it still sounded thin or maybe a little amateurish. My friend suggested that I start to layer guitar parts and that really is what started to make the song sound distinct. I just kept going and going with the guitar parts basically for the rest of the three hours my friend had given me to use his studio space. I was extremely lucky to have this kind of a resource available to me, as everything I could have ever needed to make a professional recording was made available to me. So now I had about ten guitar parts and a bass track, drums, and multiple vocal tracks of me and my friend Julie. I could now start mixing in Logic Pro and about a week later I had a rough mix happening that I liked and with a few last minute overdubs of a little synthesizer and adding effects like reverb and compression, all of a sudden I was finished. Then I continued to tamper with the mix and and almost ruined what I had by overmixing. I should have left it alone but I couldn’t resist and had to stay up all night fixing what I had done. I subtracted a few guitar parts and got it back to the kind of sound that I had wanted, and overall I was really pleased with what I had accomplished. The song is called ‘Life’s Planned’ and I really happy with the result.
p.s I have been trying for two hours to upload the song but can’t so far, I’ll keep trying, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
My project is an idea I got when I saw a build- it-yourself-robot kit in Creatron. This robot follows a path that you lay out for him, (a black line). I wanted to come up with something that could improve the workflow of an artist at work. I find that fidgeting with things like materials and carrying out routine procedural and cautionary tasks to be disruptive to my train of thought. Every time I get the jump to get up and at something I want to be able to just get to the meat of my idea.
My robot would cart things to me like paints or solvents and brushes. Also my robot could do creative things too. Like finishing preliminary drawings for me. He could follow a few lines, while making new ones, then it will begin following those new ones, while drawing more lines still. I could be doing something like gathering materials to use and colors. The only thing I would have to do is decide when to stop the robot.
So we are supposed to write about a recent visit to any exhibit or installation we have attended. Since Kate suggested it and since I am familiar with it, I will tell you about a video installation by Candice Breitz, that was on display at the Power Plant, called SameSame. Anyways I’ll describe my thoughts to you about this piece as best as I can,(or should. AsI was dating one of the subject’s of the piece). So I had a unique glimpse into the production of the piece as well as the finished work. I remember when Hanna replied to the Craiglist post in the spring about an artist seeking sets of twins to be a part of a big art project.
The concept was to gather many sets of identical twins and extensively interview them about their lives and experience being an identical twin, delving deep into their personal thoughts regarding very personal and intimate subjects. They all discuss their individual sense of identity now as well as what their past beliefs were. The open and relaxed feeling that seems to be allowing the subject’s to be so candid is probably due to the fact that she kept the crew and herself out of sight as much as possible so that the only thing the interviewee saw usually was the camera. She interviewed each person individually for about five hours and she herself even hid behind a blanket while asking questions so as to not influence the interview more than minimally.
She gets each of them to open up about their experience being a twin and having to carve out their own place in their families first before learning to portray a uniqueness to the world at large. It is interesting to consider how people always first just see two identical people without thinking about how much all identical twins struggle to have their own sense of individuality. The answers from the three sets of twins that made it into this showing of the work were so revealing and enlightening.
Of course I had my own attachment to the work but no matter how many times I saw, it was always interesting and engaging. The last time I saw it we brought my parents along to see it. That was interesting to say the least to walk in just as she was describing the first time she ever got fingered by a boy, but everyone was so moved by the end, and it’s not like she was being gross. She was just being honest and expressing herself openly. That was pretty funny though, our timing, but it was really a cool day.
Also as a side note, if you did happen to miss the show, you will have another chance eventually. On opening night it was announced that the show had been purchased by the AGO, so you will get to see this work from this very unique artist from South Africa.
So my video is about the seasons. Specifically Autumn. The Canadian fall is a special time of year, one where we settle back in to our general-life routines after a period of blissful warm weather and a more relaxed attitudes. Spontaneity gives way to caution as the weather cools and the leaves change color. We spend less time outdoors and much more time getting dressed to go. We tend to make plans to meet friends more, where we might have just counted on running into them at some point in the warmer months. We flip up our collars and hoods and suddenly remember all the short cuts we’ve ever known. It’s a unique time of year in that as we miss the summer, and our hands are always cold, we also try to make the most of the last bit of civil weather we will see for a long time. Because around the corner is the nasty blue monster called Winter.