dface (Practice This Video)

Another demo of a Feather Hammer piece [edit: the Feather Hammer demos have been taken down] "dface (Practice This Video)" uses the audio track from an instructional Youtube video (included at the bottom of this post) and a collection of patterns that mostly use the notes DFACEG, the spaces of the treble clef, though not necessarily in that specific range. I'm not sure how close to the finished product this piece is, there are about 3 very different versions that exist and one of those could very well make it on to the album. However, in making this particular version I tried out a new method of writing that I thought was worth a comment.

Approaching this piece the primary aim is creating interesting textures and playing with the proximity of those sounds. A secondary aim is to recall the feeling of early piano lessons and repetitive practice routines, pattern based technical exercises, the warmth of harmonies built from 3rds. After recording the various patterns using a variety of mic types and positions, I used Logic's space designer, delay designer, some FabFilters, in addition to scissors, stretch and flex-time to manipulate the material. Each "part" to the arrangement is a unique pattern that repeats, so my starting point was this thick texture of all of the looped up cycles working at the same time. The arrangement you hear in the demo below is the result of "carving" into that cyclic material, editing, erasing and eliminating certain bits to create some sense of form. This way of working reminds me of a method my artist friend Kristian Purcell often describes to me, of applying thick layers of media and then carefully stripping it away to reveal the piece.

Here's where I got the sample from:



Big thanks to PianoforteMaestro for letting me use it.