a tender palsy

click here to listen to the aiff file.
click here to look at the code (messy, i'm warning you).

when i was livecoding in the park yesterday, i was experimenting with sets of impulses. as i have been interested in irrational rhythmic relationships recently, i was playing with an octave of 32-tone equal temperament, from 1 - 2 hz. i love the sound of filtered impulses, especially when i use convolution as the filter, but i'm often disappointed with windowed convolutions because they don't provide ample time domain resolution in the response. while this is fairly trivial in certain contexts, the lack of resolution is very pronounced when attempting a convolution with something close to an ideal impulse, which is what i'm doing here. it occurred to me to use several layers of convolution, with different window sizes, to allow for more resolution. i had tried this a few years ago with somewhat unsatisfactory results, because i was using nested filters to cross-over between resolutions. this improvisation does no such thing. there are no cross-overs implemented here, so i imagine there's a fair amount of combing.

the recording i have provided does not follow the standard rules for livecoding because it is a reconstruction of a livecoded event. my laptop had one of its rare freak-outs this morning just before i could save yesterday's work. saving work is one of those areas where my process needs to develop. grrrr. anyways, reconstructing the code was a good exercise because i could then expand on the idea. i think i've found some interesting territory. i'll definitely be refining this parallel convolution process, ideally with some kind of cross-over that doesn't suck. now that i know a little more about what i'm doing, i think it's possible.

the piece itself made me think of some of the sleep incidents i've had growing up. i suffer from sleep paralysis, a disorder also called 'night terrors.' they aren't always bad, in fact sometimes they can be quite amorous, if you get my drift, but they always involve a large portion of my body being paralyzed, while i lie there completely alert. occasionally this is accompanied by the sensation of my head exploding. sometimes i'm able to move my head and talk, in which case i try to yell as loud as i can, in order to wake myself up. i remember, as a child, being able to predict one of these episodes coming on because i could hear it. the sound was a kind of whooshing noise, a bit like a off-balance drier, but more intense. this recording reminds me of that a little, hence the title 'a tender palsy.'

ps - i decided not to embed or link to the mp3 because lossy compression artifacts are absolutely wretched on material like this.

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