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Picture of the Dry Spring instrument


This is a picture of the Dry Spring instrument. It is a 12″ piece of 1/4″ Sitka Spruce wood, with lots of things glued to the surface: tooth brush, rocks, comb, rubber strips, plastic, steel, cork, & glass. There is a contact microphone on the back side. For my latest piece, I recorded short samples of some of the sounds to use as percussion instruments, controlled by Csound.

Better balance

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Remixed with speakers. Never mix with cans. Now you can hear the flute trills better, the finger piano arpeggios are quieter, and the percussion is audible. Much better.

Up and down again


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Today we hear from some new sections. Trills are handled by multiplying a note by a function table, like one shown on this page. The numbers represented by the graph are generated in csound with the following code:


f 421 0 256 -7 1 16 1 0 1.1249114 16 1.1249114 0 1 16 1 0 1.1249114 16 1.1249114
0 1 16 1 0 1.124911356 16 1.124911356 0 1 16 1 0 1.124911356 16 1.124911356
0 1 16 1 0 1.124911356 16 1.124911356 0 1 16 1 0 1.124911356 16 1.124911356
0 1 16 1 0 1.124911356 16 1.124911356 0 1 16 1 0 1.124911356 16 1.124911356 ; 9 : 8 120 up & down 9

I tell Csound what function table to multiply the note by, and then get a trill. In this piece, the C is tone 0, D a 9:8 above is tone 9, and E a 5:4 above C is tone 17. I multiply the C by the function number 421, and it trills from C to D. I create a triad with C, E, G, also known as 4:5:6 in just, and trill it to D, F+, A+, also known as 9:11:14. With a certain amount of randomness, it might play zero, one, two, or three notes at a time.

More flute

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In the major keys, the flute gets to play the cello parts.

Moving about 1 step at a time

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One of the joys of 53 tone equal is that movements of a single step are so subtle as to be almost imperceptible. Each measure is in one key, then the next measure is up a step, then up another, and then back down in one step increments. Something sounds strange, but you can’t put your finger on it.

How about a cello?

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There is a nice Cello sample, played rather forcefully, in the McGill University Master Samples. It’s called cello martele, but it’s not as short as the other martele bow strokes. This one is more just an accented tone.

Another remix

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Adjusting the relative levels of each instrument.