Diary of a Lockdown
in London (eventually also somewhere else) [but in the end it was only in London. - added in 2021]
In a lockdown, there seems to be little hope to get on. So, in an attempt to stay sane and make the best of this unusual time I have started a musical diary of a lockdown. Varying in styles, purposes and materials used the following are pieces of music that have come to existence in this wistful attempt at finding productive use for time (that doesn't include social media...) Each bit of music was created in one day, some are more inspired than others. Each day a new one will be uploaded - well... almost each day... some days may be taken by something else (like online teaching...) and some may take more than a day to complete... - until we can be free to continue not knowing what to do, but at least being able to go get a coffee somewhere! Enjoy! (and go wash your hands!!)
the first day, that feeling of taking an empty tube in the middle of the night, alone, the quiet, peaceful, but always with the slight feeling of danger creeping around.
dancing on the overground
the second day, well, there was that thing I downloaded last year and never did (the animation above - this was part of the making music day celebration of 21st june from last year, it was organised by spitfire audio inviting people to create music for it using their sample libraries, almost a year later here it is!) for this one I created two instruments: home drums (the improvised drums I used for the soundtrack of OneGirl) and funghi drums (literally recordings of me tapping on solid funghi hanging off tree trunks organised into a sort of pitched percussion instrument). Listen to the music on it's own too:
the dulcimer of destiny
the third day, great... already have run out of ideas... let's see where this Bb will take us... the instrument is a dulcimer and playing that Bb is a weird fact of destiny... the proof? well... what other note should I have used??
no music... day of preparation for a day of online teaching
no music... the day of online teaching has arrived
running through Bach's pipes
the fourth day, technically the sixth day, but who's counting anyways? ...indeed, I am... it's a diary after all... anyway, inspired by my mildly inspired teaching (let's say it's hard to be very inspiring when you are quite aware that you are basically speaking to your computer in your living room! - I guess this will improve over time?) which involved analysing a Bach chorale, that's what brought my inspiration Bach - I know... very bad pun... - the first phrase of that chorale (Jesu, meine Freude) was used as a harmonic basis for this one.
deconstructed fungussed piano
the fifth day, technically the seventh day, but who's counting anyways? ...indeed, I am... it's a diary after all... anyway, repeating jokes is not the best of ideas... you can clearly see what I copied and pasted! one week in time seems to melt, much like the sense of time in this piece. it uses a mix of sampled pianos (felt piano from spitfire audio and my own creation samples off a piano in italy.. when it was still fine to travel...) and my lovely fungus drums that you already (if not the go to day 2) heard, hence the fungussed (is that even a word?) piano!
31/03/2020 & 01/04/2020
Day 8 & 9
of days they will now become the number of the pieces, so the sixth piece, inspired by the poem by Audrey Ardern-Jones called Loose Thoughts - find more about Audrey here. the music creates an atmosphere for the reading for the poem and is inspired by the text...
02/04/2020, 03/04/2020, 04/04/2020 & 05/04/2020
Day 10, 11, 12 & 13
working on a more complicated project!!
...and there was another day of online teaching...
but it will be hopefully finished tomorrow!
so, stay tuned!!
06/04/2020 & 07/04/2020
Day 14 & 15
give me a breath I & II
and here goes the 7th and 8th piece. two times the same thing but different versions, watch or listen to both and get in touch to let me know your favourite! give me a breath, a play on give me a break, apt for what we are currently living. enjoy! this was created with elena cappelletti. feel free to listen only or watch the video!
give me a breath - version I
give me a breath - version II
oops... nothing new today...
inside my music box
and the ninth piece it is...! this one was a bit of a more happy one, sort of... it's like being inside all day, something new at these times, no?? but in this case it's being inside a music box!! not a cassette as the image might suggest...
10/04/2020, 11/04/20, 12/04/20 & 13/04/20
Day 18, 19, 20 & 21
there was easter and lots of chocolate and oops...
no new music these days...
14/04/2020, 15/04/20 & 16/04/20
Day 22, 23 & 24
the slow progress...
and the tenth piece is also the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth piece! the first version is inspired by Steve Reich's piano phases, but slightly different in principle and execution. the second version adds some drums and percussion. the third adds some brass and pizz. in the strings and the final version adds some more strings and some winds, slowly occulting the pianos that started it all...
and so it became a small experiment on the development of a piece and how different layers interact with each other and lead to the creation of new materials:
17/04/20 - 21/04/20
Day 25 - 29
the fourteenth piece is not mine, instead it is by Tchaikovsky. this progression of chords at the beginning of the second movement of his 5th symphony is one of the clearest demonstrations of hope and how fragile it can be that can be found in music. this was a small experiment in working with sample libraries, in particular BBC SO from spitfire audio. in this I repeated this initial progression twice with brass and strings.
on this day I have decided to take more time in between new pieces to create and work on longer projects!
23/04/20 - 03/05/20
Day 31 - 41
the fifteenth piece is another collaboration with elena cappelletti. the desire to meet again has become quite big by now. these happy feet get a chance to meet each other, they dance, they play, the kiss, and then one leaves and the other runs after!
04/05/20 - 10/05/20
Day 42 - 48
confined to new traditions
the sixteenth starts a short series of pieces, that aren't necessarily related, except for something that a good observer will quickly notice! some of these are experiments in new styles of music and musical creation. this first uses a sample of the new tradition of covid times namely the weekly applause for essential workers.
11/05/20 - 20/05/20
Day 49 - 58
the seventeenth was an experiment on some of the factory stringed instruments that came with Logic Pro X, together with a few other things.
21/05/20 - 24/05/20
Day 59 - 62
vitamin c dissolving
the eighteenth is actually an older experiment, but very well suited to the current situation! inspired also by sounds found inside the house, and this is a vitamin C dissolving in the water, with some flute and other things layered on top.
25/05/20 - 08/06/20
Day 63 - 77
identifying the hidden cymbals
the nineteenth is an experiment in sound design exploring the use of filters to process sounds in a musical way. this is a more synth-y sounding piece of music. what has also been used here is inspiration from the sounds found inside the house, for example a spinning washing machine.
09/06/20 - 20/06/20
Day 78 - 89
the twentieth is a collaboration with irene ros who created this fun video, the moment when all comes back into colour.
21/06/20 - 30/06/20
Day 90 - 99
at this point I decided to take a break of 19 days. In parallel to these I also worked on the next thing.
wait... what??!! 100 days of lockdown??!! to think we thought it would only last a few weeks... anyways this is 10 days of break.
02/07/20 - 09/07/20
Day 101 - 108
the rest of the 19 days of break. did you get the joke??
month of may and June
#westworld scoring competition 2020
as a twenty-first thing that I have done during this lockdown this has been a lot of fun. for the month of may spitfire audio together with HBO launched a scoring competition, where one could score a scene from the series westworld season 3 episode 5. this is what I created for that using lots of my own samples as well as some stuff from spitfire and logic's factory things and some others. enjoy:
lockdown eventually finished and projects that started in this diary slowly expanded to the physical world...