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Balloon Drum Music 6

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This is a work in progress…

Today’s revisions include a better mix of volumes among the instruments and some tempo experimentation. This version is taken from one of a many 7 minute realizations generated for my walk by the Boise River tonight. The posted segment had the most interesting combination of sounds and tempos from those I listened to. I can make more.

Music that’s “Fake but Accurate”!
Web page: http://prodgers13.home.comcast.net
Complete examples available at: http://www.soundclick.com/PrentRodgers

Balloon Drum Music 5

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This is a work in progress…

I’ve decreased the volume on the finger piano and increased it on the flutes, and added a new arpeggio:

&obo1.o+1d8h10e8&c1/1. &e5/4. &g3/2. &b7/4.
d4h5o+1&d9/8. &f11/8. &a13/8. &b15/8. o+1&c1/1.h48d0v-10&shift-*.

The

&obo1.

triggers some initialization code for the oboe sample;

d8

is the duration, 8 clicks, about an 1/8th note before the next note plays;

h10

is the length of the sound of that 1/8th note, sort of a legato articulation;

e8

is a sharp envelope, with a down slope at the end;

&c1/1

and the other note names are the notes to play. The last note,

o+1

(up and octave) C is held through the next measure, and shifted from the left to the right channel during the note duration. Lots going on here.

Balloon Drum Music4

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This is a work in progress…

Today’s edition includes a new finger piano part, and more repeatability in the indeterminacy. Each instrument picks a random part to play for each 6/8 measure. If it doesn’t pick the same measure as it did before, it picks another random choice, among the 8-10 to choose from. If it tries 5-6 times and still picks a different one from the last time, it plays the new one. In this way, the piece tends to repeat each measure for a while, then change, after repeating itself a few times. This is one of several algorithms that I can use to tweak the indeterminacy.

Balloon Drum Music3

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This is a work in progress…

Today’s addition is some new bass finger piano and alto flute parts. Ten minutes a day, four pieces a year.

Balloon Drum Music2

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This is a work in progress…

Today I made some additions to the oboe part – more notes, and to the finger piano bass – the use of an exponential envelope with a fast bass line. Clipped and sharp.

Balloon Drum Music1

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This is a work in progress…

The balloon drum is a 3″ sewer pipe with a balloon membrane head. The head is struck with a short rubber covered mallett. This version is a single 48″ model, sampled and manipulated with Csound. Also on the track are finger piano, flutes, oboe, and guitar. The notes are the otonality on C. 8:9:10:11:12:13:14:15:16. More later.

For the Downwinders – Completed

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Liner Notes

“For the Downwinders” is based on a scale derived from the ratios of the otonality, starting at 10. Another way to think of it is the rations of 10:11:12:13:14:15:16:18:20. This mode gives me a minor feel when I stress the triad E G B.

I started this off when Christopher Bailey talked about trying to compose something for his least favorite chord, the C-G-C# triad. He asked if there is a tuning that could be based on this, and several microtonal theoreticians came up with some ideas. I explored how the Partch Tonality Diamond, taken to the 15 limit, has many instances that approach this triad.

For example, the following three notes chords are variations on his triad:

Ratio    - Note names & ratios
9: 14:20 - D 9/8 - B 7/4 - E 5/4
10:15:22 - E 5/4 - B 15/8 - F 11/8
11:16:24 - F 11/8 - C 1/1 - G 3/2
12:18:26 - G 3/2 - D 9/8 - A 13/8
13:20:28 - A 13/8 - E 5/4 - B 7/4
14:22:32 - B 7/4 - F 11/8 - C 1/1
15:22:32 - B 15/8 - F 11/8 - C 1/1
8: 12:18 - C 1/1 - G 3/2 - D 9/8

They all have a different feel, but they all include close approximations of the chord.

The title is taken from the recent trial in Spokane, WA, in which those who lived downwind of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and sought compensation for thyroid cancer. They won a Phyrric victory, when the damages awarded were far smaller than their legal costs.

Starting in 1944, the Hanford Reservation in central Washington produced Plutonium for nuclear weapons, including producing the components for the legendary “Big Boy” atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, to hasten the surrender of the Japanese and end World War II. It continued to do this for many years to support the cold war arms race.

Because of the war-time rush, the Hanford plutonium plants processed the irradiated fuel without allowing the radioactivity enough time to decay. For still unknown reasons, Hanford kept processing this very radioactive fuel even after Japan surrendered. As a result, vast quantities of pollution, especially iodine-131, were discharged into the air. In 1945 alone, more than a half million curies of Iodine-131 were released. The accident at Three Mile Island was estimated to have released about 20 curies. People were exposed to the airborne radiation by breathing the air and consuming certain foods, especially milk from goats or cows that grazed on contaminated vegetation.

Those who lived “downwind” of the plant have been seeking compensation for their losses, including cancers and related injuries. Those who claim harm have taken their case to court, and won a partial victory. They won several counts, but their monetary damages were far less than their legal costs.

I have enormous sympathy for the victims of this tragedy. The contractors were caught between their drive to quickly produce components for a weapon that could end the war and save the thousands of lives that an invasion of the island of Japan would cause, and safety. Safety lost.

Prent Rodgers

Bumper Music

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This is a work in progress…

Today’s excerpt takes the retrograde of a counter theme and appends on the primary theme played by the guitar. The ending is a spring glissando up and down simultaneously. Here’s a picture of the spring. It’s made of .080″ piano wire (very thick tempered steel wire), which is bent with a pair of plyers and a blow torch into interesting shapes. The wires are then brazed onto a steel plate, and magnetic transducers are attached to pick up the vibrations. Csound is used to glissando up and down. Here’s the function table that goes up, and the one that goes down:

f312 0 256 -7 1 256 1.3; a table of values sloping from 1 to 1.3 - up slowly
f313 0 256 -7 1 256 .80; sloping from 1 to .8 - down slowly

Then in the orchestra, the following code moves the pitch of the sampling synthesizer:

kcpsm oscili 1, 1/p3, i10 ; create an set of shift multiplicands from table - glissandi
kcps2 = kcps * kcpsm ; shift the frequency by values in glissando table
a3,a4 loscil 1, kcps2, ifno, ibascps,0,1,2 ;

There is more in the Csound code on my web site if you’re interested. loscil is the key to a sampling synthesizer using Csound.