the assignment was to record the sound of ice in a glass, and make something of it.
the track picture shows my lo-fi setup for the field recording segment. i balanced a logitech USB microphone (which came with the Rock Band game) on a box of herbal tea (to keep it off the increasingly wet kitchen table), and started dropping ice cubes into a glass tumbler. audible is the initial crack and flex of the tray, scrabbling for cubes, tossing them into the cup. i made a point of recording the different tone of cubes dropped into a glass of hot water. i also filled the cup with ice, then recorded the sound of water running into it from the kitchen tap. i liked this sound enough to begin the song with it.
i decided that my first song of 2013 should incorporate the piano, so with the ice cubes recorded, i sat down to improvise an appropriately wintry melody. the result is a simple two-minute minor motif. i turned to the ardour3 beta to integrate the field recordings and the piano improvisation.
it’s been awhile since i last used my strymon bluesky reverb pedal, so i figured i should use it for this project. i setup a feedback-free hardware effects loop using my NI Komplete Audio6 interface with the help of #ardour IRC channel, and listened to the piano recording as it ran through fairly spacious settings on the BSR. (normal mode, room type, decay @ 3:00, predelay @ 11:00, low damp @ 4:00, high damp @ 8:00). with just a bit of “send” to the reverb unit, the piano really came to life.
i added a few more tracks in ardour for the ice cube snippets, with even more subtle audio sends to the BSR, and laid out the field recordings. i pulled them apart in several places, copying and pasting segments throughout the song; minimal treatment was needed to get a good balance of piano and ice.
title reference: Job 37:10