Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Poison Springs and Deeper Vanity

I woke very early and had Kix breakfast cereal. Then I fell asleep and woke up at 8 a.m. I took Beatrice for a walk at 8:30. She loved it, though the humidity took away some of the advantage of the morning cool.

At 9:30, I headed to Towne Lake Park. I walked there. I liked the pictures of the Eastern Kingbird I took over by the beach volleyball area.

I stopped by KFC for grilled chicken breast and wing and a little flat beaker full of green beans. Then I headed to Allen Station Park. I listened to a 2013 episode of a podcast as I walked. I lingered in the nearby Allen Heritage Park. All of Allen's historic old homes and churches, more or less, are gathered in one place there.

In the afternoon, I sat down at my computer and composed two songs. One was for a compilation called "Ambient Arkansas", devoted to songs by artists with Arkansas connections. My childhood was spent in Arkansas (except for ages 0-3), and my artist name, Gurdonark, comes from an Arkansas town name.

I wanted to get some new software synths, so I went to KVR Audio, a source for such things. Simple VST software synthesizers are not the hobbyist field they once were--I think that makers have moved on to the Raspberry Pi and building hardware synthesizers. But I did find a fun 2010 free standalone device called the Atomic Cloud, which takes existing samples and applies granular filters to them.

This got me interested in making a song with the software called Noiser. I popped some samples in Noiser and let its algorithmic filters generate new sounds. After much play and editing, I got a useful beginnings of a song. I tweaked it in Audacity with various effects and filters to create "Poison Springs". Poison Springs is the Civil War battleground near my Arkansas home towns, now a lovely pine-tree-covered state park. The song is more ethereal and odd than martial, but the world has enough martial music and all of it is better than mine.

I sent it off to the compilation sponsors. Then I recalled that Cerebral Rift podcast also had a call out for a song. In short order, I worked out a cool melody that I called "Vanity". I liked the song "Vanity" because of a humorous post the artist Mystified posted about an ambient album with extremely fullsome praise, whose first song was called "Hyperbole". I thought that was great, so I resolved to name my song "Vanity". As I was about to turn in the song, I read the compilation's instructions. They said they wanted something edgy, like stepping "into the rift". So I ran "Vanity" through Noiser, and then merged it with the original song to create "Deeper Vanity". I felt my work was not in vain.

We wanted to go to Umeko, the Taiwanese and sushi restaurant in Plano. To our dismay, this fine restaurant was gone. Its successor, Yama, was under remodel, but had a hand-written sign that it would open in two weeks and that (like Umeko) it would have Chinese food as well as sushi (Taiwanese cuisine went unmentioned).
We had great pho ga' at Pho Hue Quong, and felt ourselves well-pleased with our day.

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