Hello friends. I’m very pleased to announce the release of my debut electro-acoustic solo venture: ‘In Bloom, In Blend’.
It’s a concise collection of seven, mostly mono-thematic textures: sound collages of samples I’ve collected over the past couple of years, paired with some more recently synthesised sounds. Some have evolved to include a harmonic and melodic element also. Reoccurring sounds of note include some urban field recordings (from here and abroad), unorthodox percussive samples and a bunch of bells and jangles, which I’ve come to find I have quite the affinity for.
You can listen to it below through Bandcamp (the world’s best music service) or at the link https://nickcalligeros.bandcamp.com/releases.
This foray in audio manipulation has been a long time coming. I spent the last five years watching Ableton sit idle on my desktop, never able to muscle up the will power to spend the required amount of time to develop my skills beyond the rudimentary. I was definitely debilitated by what I saw as the vast world of audio production and an lack of surety in how to enter it.
The path revealed itself about a year ago when I decided to reach out to a couple of audio wizkids. They graciously agreed to showing me the ropes and kickstarted my study of audio production. Let it be known, sending out an enquiring email is a great tool to work ones way out of a slump.
Two of those wizkids were Nick Henderson and Chris Abrahams. I’ve known Hendo since our days at the Con and ever since I can remember he’s had his fingers in the audio production pie. We had a couple of early Ableton hangs (he taught me how to side-chain two or three times [sorry Hendz]) and then when the ball got rolling for me he was always happy to listen and provide feedback to my experiments. When I asked him if he would mix and master the record he was very obliging and has really made them sparkle (through some of his analogy gear!) I’m really thankful to all he has contributed to the music.
Chris Abrahams I met more recently. He happens to be the mastermind behind the album ‘Fluid to the Influence’ which since first hearing has been a hugely influential record. As far as I can remember it was upon hearing that album I realised I wanted manipulate and pair sounds. Everyone go check it out!
Chris, most easily recognised as pianist of cult band The Necks, is in my opinion one of Australia’s great musical minds. He is also an v kind soul and agreed to have me over to discuss music and production after I sent him a cold-call email. It was after my hang with Chris I went home and bought the latest (and legal) version of Ableton after it proceeded to fuck out while showing him some stuff. I then went and mucked around all the cool shit he mentioned during our hang with my new bought version of the program.
Speaking of music that’s influenced this project, Berlin-based electronic music label Project Mooncircle should be mentioned. They seem to have a knack of releasing electronic beat-music with a strong textural focus. Two producers on their roster who have been particularly influential are Kidanevil and Daisuke Tanabe (plus their collaborative project Kidsuke). Years ago now I remember stumbling upon their music and being drawn to how both these guys utilise organic sounds in their drum kits and pads, as well as the lightness in their music. If that sounds intriguing maybe give their collaborative record a whirl -https://projectmooncircle.bandcamp.com/album/kidsuke
Potentially the album’s most explicitly influential track was a Project Mooncircle release off a 2016 EP release I thought I’d check out by an artist called Sumberse. The EP’s called ‘Awake’ and the penultimate track ‘Turn Back Something is Wrong’, with it’s initial clicking and wall-of-sound tapestry including the likes of water, ‘verbed out string pads and some simple but affecting harmonic movement, made me feel each listening was like diving into an intense, new world. I remember spending ages trying to unpack all the sounds within it and eventually using that list as the scaffolding for my first track ‘texture 4’. You can check Sumberse’s track here https://projectmooncircle.bandcamp.com/track/turn-back-something-is-wrong
I should probably also thank the youtube channel ‘You Suck At Producing’, which really made learning new things on Ableton far less painful than every other instructional video. I highly recommend checking it out if people are looking to gain some Ableton chop.
So, thanks to the above people I begun to gain some momentum in expanding my skillz. Armed with my library of sounds, I developed the approach of making these mono-thematic textures, each time trying to utilise a new effect or instrument. Over the course of six months I built up a library of 20 or so textures. When I decided to publish them I chose what I thought were the best handful and spent the next month tweaking them. I then had a good ol’ go at mixing them too (a whole new skill in itself).
The method of learning through creating within limited parameters ended up being quite addictive and cathartic. I would consider myself a more theoretically learner- someone who likes to have an understanding of the theory before giving it a practical go- but this method not only shed all the unease I had of entering this vast new world but also was a reinvigorating renewal to my relationship with the creative process. The ability to create without self-conscious or bias (like the one I/we have towards my/our primary instrument) was v refreshing.
Anyway, there’s a bit of behind this collection of sounds. Let me know if you dig. There will be more to come in future. I also hope to pair similar sounds and textures with an acoustic band so hopefully somewhere down the line I’ll be able to share that with you too. Thanks for the support x