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Rosie Louise Mountjoy

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Visual Musicianship – DIY Video

Task 4 – DIY performance video

Task four allowed me to experiment with camera angles to an extent and gave me some ideas of where I want the cameras facing in my final video. I settled on doing a piano and vocal original song as this is similar to what I will be creating for the final video to so a practice run of this seemed like the best idea.

I used two iPhone front cameras as they offer a HD shot and as I have one and so do my friends it was easy to sort out another one to use for a short while. One of the cameras I had on top of the piano with a shot of my face to capture the vocals, and the other was rested between to keys to get a close up shot across the full set of piano keys. Due to the time constraints when making this video I had to settle on the head shot I had but, if I was to do it again I would have it more set back with the piano in the visual because I didn’t take into account the empty space all around me in the shot even though I wasn’t even central.

I didn’t go to experimental with the editing as it wouldn’t suit the song so I tried transitioning through and editing the colour of the shots. Im really happy with the piano key shot however the light in the very back of the shot didn’t allow me to edit the colour as the bright shine was restricting.

Plug and Play Sm2 – Yousemes

Set task 4 – Select one song and highlight your understanding of the musemes function within track (200 words + link to track)

The track that reflects the idea of musemes for me is ‘The Velvet Underground – Heroin’.

The Velvet Underground introduce you with an electric guitar playing the two chords that stay consistent throughout the song and is joined a few moments after with the beat of a drum. The drum reminds me of a heart beat, this beat speeding up and slowing down through out the song imitating what happens to your heart after heroin is in your system. Thus creating a feeling of unease and confusion. This confusion is also fed into the lyrics from the very start, the first line being, ‘I don’t know, just where i’m going’.

There are constant references to the way drugs affect the way you think and feel which are not only carried though the lyrics but displayed in the instrumentation. I love the way the song makes you feel on edge and brings you up and down with the dramatic changes of tempo, there is never a time where you feel safe in the song with it drawing to the end only getting more sporadic in the guitar patterns and quite frankly the beat is dropping in and out of time.

I feel the songs theme ‘heroin’ is represented in every sense, it takes you on a journey which is not something music now a days does.

Polyphonic Me Sm2 – Performance Proposal

Task 3 – Performance Proposal

Group – Ophelia Neville, Chloe Wood and Rosie Mountjoy (myself)

We started of by making a playlist of songs that we liked the sound and ones that reflected the idea we were intending to create. It’s difficult to choose just one artist as we wanted to take ideas and influences from a range of them. Using the looper to create layering is definitely an approach we want to take as we are all singers capable of harmonies; This layering approach is something ‘Alt J’ are known for doing this is why they are one of our key influencers. The story is the main concept, our idea being that the song is themed around schizophrenia and we are the three voices, this creating a confused, eerie vibe.

This Alt-J song is the closest one that incorporates the harmonies, layers and eerie sound that we strive for.

 

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Plug and Play Sm2; Practice in the Studio

This is just a little blog post sharing the challenges and problems that occurred when practicing in the studio in preparation for the final track for this module.

I decided before going into the studio with my final song ready I wanted some time to practice which I shared with Ophelia, doing this with someone else meant we could help each other and also its impossible for me to record and press buttons so we really relied on one another throughout the whole project. These ‘practice’ studio sessions were probably the most valuable as we were learning new things every time we went in, we made mistakes at this point that could be fixed before our final project and it allowed us too experiment. To be quite honest I was not confident with recording at all, I had previous experience with using cubase, but a new studio with new software and new people to work with was hugely daunting.

Setting up Mic’s and finding the ones we loved the sound of was one of the main things I wanted to focus on as because I’m planning on my song being just vocals and piano I feel like this attention to detail of the original sound of the piano is hugely important as it is so exposed.

We had a A B Microphone set up (Rode NT3’s), XY mic set up (Neumann) and a figure of 8 mic set up (C414’s)

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Setting up all these mic’s gave us the choice to hear what sound and tone from what mic set up I like and prefer.

Plan is too when it comes around to record the song for the module I will still mic up the piano exactly the same with all the microphones shown above as it gives me options.

One huge benefit that came around during one of our practice studio slots was that, we found that the piano was making weird sounds when the pedal was used which ended up turning into a few weeks of Marcus trying to get the piano guy in too sort it out as it could be heard on all of our previous takes.

” Screenshots of  Emails too Andrew and Marcus”

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Prior to us receiving the email about the piano man coming to fix it, we tried to dampen the sound by covering the sustain pedal with my jacket. IMG_5725

(It didn’t work!)

Due to the piano not working this pushed me to use the Nord which actually ended in me finding a sound that I could possibly use in my final track.

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I decided to record the original that I wrote for last semesters plug and play module as a practice run before I recorded the new original for this module, as I wanted to get a feel of the studio before using it for the ‘real deal’! Unfortunately I didn’t have chance too mix and master the track or else I would have included it as an example but your just going to have to take my word for it!

The Vocals were recorded on the sm57, U87 and the (find out the name of the third mic) and overall i loved the sound of the u87 so this is the mic I shall be using for my final track.

Microphones were something we had a difficulty with ad to be quite honest we had a few embarrassing moments which included Marcus coming in on multiple occasions telling us the Mic was facing the wrong way or the switch wasn’t at the right setting, but I guess thats what the practice was for. An example of this was the lower microphone for the figure of eight set up was facing the opposite way to what it needed to be.

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1st photo – Ophelia being my producer for the day

2nd photo- Inputs in the piano room

3rd photo- Desk

4th Photo – my track so far

5th, 6th and 7th photos – Studio booking emails.

Plug and Play Sm2 – Objectify

Set task 3 – Using object writing, select four distinct timbral and lyrical semiotic elements that define the theme without making any explicit references to the theme itself

Group – Ophelia Neville, Matt Yapp, Rosie Mountjoy (Myself).

The object we chose for this song was a Window. We wanted to choose something so simple that could also be a metaphor. Our initial idea was to hold the theme of a family having lost a close family member and the relative being stuck only able to see them (through the window).  The characteristics of the window was the main starting point and this is what the lyrics centre around. We wanted the window to become the relatives eyes metaphorically speaking but didn’t want this too be to obvious; The line ‘But no more breath to fog the glass’ was the closest we came to hinting at this subject, as obviously you wouldn’t have anything to fog the glass anymore. The rest of the lyrics hint a little more at the subject with the rest focussing on characteristics of the window and how the window/family changes through seasons, we really wanted the warmth of family to come through the lyrics.

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Lyrics –

Cold to touch
The muffled warmth seeps through
From the character filled haze
Distorted by those drops
But no more breath to fog up the glass

That yellow ochre paint we chose
Dressing the worn wooden panes
Peels and stains
Peels and stains

The barrier between you and I, me and them, and the world?

The season smells which lined our path
Of living,
Loving,
Being,
Now only memories left clinging to the frame?

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We recorded an instrumental part to accompany the lyrics and we decided with spoken word instead of singing.

Polyphonic Me Sm2 – session view sketch

Task 1 –

For this task we had to create a session view sketch which portrayed how I am capable to use different techniques and effects with in Ableton.

I started with a 3 chord progression with an 80s sounding keys instrument, Added vocals which I transposed up to make it sound like samples not a voice. I used an 80s sample pad and just played 1 note which I added reverb and delay too, and I added the same effects to the other vocal track I recorded to give them this haunting ‘ooo’ sound. The drums I added on last using a looper.

 

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Visual Musicianship – Live sounds/Acapella

Task 4 – Live sounds/Acapella video

This task was the one that probably took me the longest due to just one tiny section that was really fiddly! I used footage of family and friends making simple noises and when you put them all together with a little playing around it creates something like this…

The song I’ve created through these sounds are more abstract than a song with a beat which would of been more clear but this task gave me the opportunity to experiment with the whole image, for example I used all the effects tool that it offers to rotate, resize, colour changing and speed. The changing of speed actually came about by accident when I was trying to copy a clip but noticed the speed tab in the right click bar so this opened up many experimental sound doors. I didn’t take this video so seriously as it is meant to make you laugh a little bit and making friends sound weird is great fun.

 

Visual Musicianship- Sample Video

Task 3 – Sample video

The idea for this video was to cut up videos of pets playing instruments and create a song  from it. One main issue that arose when trying to create this was everything was in different keys and beats, this constant battle with trying to find animals with instruments that were in a similar time or key was so difficult, hence why the video is only 30 seconds.

Ive never tried anything like this before let alone cutting up video and audio and creating something out of that. Through each task I was learning how to add new effects and this one I taught me how to transition smootly between clips by clicking right at the end of a clip and clicking the transition tab; Little things like transitioning techniques will help me hugely in the creating of my final video as I plan on my song being slow so will need smooth transitions.

For this sample video I raided the internet of dogs playing drums, animals playing piano and even parrots singing which resulted in a funny compilation of musicals pets.

Plug and Play Sm2 – The Cut up

Set Task 2 – Utilising the cut up technique, choose ONE piece of literature (newspaper/book/blog/article) and create an original song.

The focus for this task was too take either a clipping from a newspaper/magazine article, book or blog post take out the sentences/phrases to create a song. I chose to use a blog post as they are something that I read a lot of anyway so I knew exactly where to go and find a post that I like and could write about.

A blog I have kept in touch with is one of which if written by a girl I went to school with who diagnosed with cancer while in her last years of high school. Her blog focuses on the challenges she faced while having therapy and the ones now she’s in remission. She uses the blog to inspire other cancer patients and also as an outlet for her emotions. Cancer is a subject which I touch on quite a lot within my songs. A lot of them being emotionally stirred from the feelings brought on when I use music and songwriting as an outlet.

The blog post I used was titled ‘Survivorship? more like survivor-shit.’. The title in itself is a strong so this is why I wanted to create a statement not your usual song writer song but something that is out of the ordinary. Below I have linked the blog post.

http://lights-cancer-action.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/survivorship-more-like-survivor-shit.html

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I cut up not only sentences and re jigged them but also cut out words in sentences and put them somewhere else to create powerful statements.

Sentences and short phrases I used-

‘It’s gruelling, draining, bitter sweet and the hardest part of this whole journey.’

‘the day to day life of living with cancer.’

‘I am burdened with guilt, and I do not feel amazing, brave or an inspiration.’

‘Quite simply, I feel guilty.’

‘Remission’

‘I am stuck between extremes; trying not to die of thirst while fighting not to drown under the waves.’

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With this song I didn’t want it to be a ‘pop’ song but more of a tune over accompaniment,  sung like a poem. I chose two chords to play under the lyrics, C and Em

Finished Lyrics –    (audio following)

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