Stochasm [2022/016]

The 16th entry in Saturday Sounds is “Stochasm”, a trancey tune.

The name is a portmanteau of “Stochastic” and “Chasm”. “Stochastic” because I experimented with a few of Ableton’s probabilistic components. As a result, this track is subtly different every time I play it in Ableton Live. This, I suppose, is the canonical version as I have committed it to fixed form here. But I cannot ever recreate it exactly like this again. Admittedly, the differences would be slight and subtle and I’d probably have to point them out to you from play to play. But nevertheless they are there.

“Chasm” was two-fold. A nod to my falling into a chasm of despair last week, and also to me nearly falling into a chasm of playing with Ableton Live gee-gaws again instead of writing music. But I had come up with one of the riffs on Tuesday, and then spend a goodly chunk of Wednesday and Thursday evenings fleshing them out and adding those probabilistic “events” to the track.

The spoken word part in the middle of the breakdown is from an episode of the old time radio show X Minus One. The protagonist is chastising the architects of a future society obsessed with perfection, but I felt the message is universal. In my younger days I would listen to this show and others on WVXU in Cincinnati when I had a job that was a lot of driving. I happened to come across a trove of these a couple weeks ago and the phrasing and delivery of this part caught my ear as I was listening to some of them this week while working. It fit almost perfectly as a counterpoint to the patterns I established. I had to do virtually no adjustment to the meter. I slightly slowed it down, pitched it down more, and added echo/delay effects. A few small tweaks to the meter and I thought it worked pretty well!

I’m fairly satisfied with this one. I think it’s currently a contender for that top 8 to 10 tracks I am going to select for re-work and deeper production effort in 2023. I think here’s the list so far, in reverse chronological order:

  1. Stochasm
  2. Time And Tide
  3. Cloud Nine
  4. Coherence
  5. maybe “Antique Land“?
  6. ??
  7. ??
  8. ??
  9. ??
  10. Profit!

Thanks for stopping by this week! I hope you enjoy the track!

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