Made In Japan Retrospective-Track 3 “Locks”

“Locks” was one of the later tracks I made on the album. As the pool of available recordings from the trip became smaller, I started to rely on more creative processing of fewer bits of recordings to make each track.

The vast majority of “Locks” comes from a recording of a Geisha performance that involved dancing, singing and an orchestra of eastern instruments. I sampled very small sections of this 90minute recording using Izotopes RX software to isolate individual instruments, before moving into samplers to make new instruments I could play myself.

This process resulted in a large collection of instruments that worked well in very small frequency ranges before they started to lose any semblance of organic texture.

This limitation in instrumentation and the octaves available to me really helped solidify the scale, tempo and style of the piece, as it was a very fine line before they would quickly fall apart.

Listening back, the only instrumentation that wasn’t from the 90minute field recording comes in the second half of the piece; the bass line programmed on a Prophet 05 and the drums in the second half taken from a sample library of a Simmons drum machine.

A highlight from the track for me is the pad like collection of chords that comes into the track from 2:19 to it’s conclusion. This was made using PaulXstrech; a piece of software that pulls even the smallest parts of audio outwards into cavernous elongated pieces. It turned a single note played by the woodwind section of the orchestra into the sound you hear on the album, processed with some audio degradation tools to smooth out the sound.

It is a great example of the creative use of processing to completely warp the original signal into something new but also how the ability of the technology forced me to keep it within this particular note range.

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