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I was invited to compose this piece for an installation my friend Derin Emre was putting on at Arta Gallery in Toronto. The concept was to have a few artists score different videos of the lights around their city. Of all the clips Derin had I felt the most compelled by this one of fireworks going off by the lake.
My friend Jan Willem put together an application called Mideo (link below) which allows you to select colors to track in a video and converts their position on screen into MIDI note data. Loading the fireworks video into this, I sent the MIDI from my computer to two channels of Hermod, creating two streams of notes out of the one (splitting MIDI between multiple Hermod channels makes it cycle through them for each new note it receives).
The first note stream is quantized by Ornament & Crime to a scale of B C# D# F# G# A# and sent to nRings. nRings’ Brightness is modulated by the original sound from the fireworks video, which is sent to the modular and converted to more usable CV via a Pittsburgh Detect envelope follower.
The second note stream is quantized to a different scale of B C# E F# A# to sequence the bass voice, a sound I created with Plonk. I also removed the majority of the note triggers via Branches, so that the bass voice would sound much less often.
With the two-scale set up we thus have a bass that anchors our harmony on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th degrees of a major scale, while the melodic flourishes from the other voice play pretty stuff that works on top of that (ie. a major scale with no 4th, which is the note I find the clash-iest).
Plonk goes through Z-DSP with the Valhalla card and nRings is given a bit of delay and reverb via uBurst.
This was multitracked to Ableton for mastering, and I edited out a few bass notes I didn't like - some that happened too rapidly in succession, and some where it was the same note repeated multiple times in a row.