Mission #3: Atmospheric soundscapes

The idea for this mission was born as I was thinking on how priveleged we are to live in this period of history and in peaceful parts of the world. I hope I’m correct in assuming this is true for all of us, at least to a certain degree. As a contrast, if this had been 100 years ago we’d currently be experiencing hell as the world went up in flames around us.

So, mission #3 will be to create a sonic landscape inspired by the mood or events of my favourite poem, Dulce et decorum est by Wilfred Owen.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering,choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

The goal of this mission is to go pretentious and artsy. To explore the boundaries of what music can be using your favourite machines. No rhythmic or melodic parts required!

All music gear allowed, but the focus should be on Elektron machines. Common sense applies here. A guitar as a sound source for Octatrack mangling would be perfectly fine, but something made entirely on a modular synth and just recorded to the Octatrack would not.

Premade samples and loops are allowed, but should be clearly described or uploaded to soundcloud so that everyone can judge how they have been used in the recording. Again, common sense applies. Creative use of Elektron machines is the point of the mission, not recording some loops from a sample CD.

Other than that, anything goes.

Deadline: October 15th

Some elusive, highbrow description of your entry in the style usually found in texts describing art is also encouraged. If it is meant in earnest or is just silly nonsense is less important. :slight_smile:

Thoroughly intriguing ‘worthy’ brief, until the bit about ‘the goal is to go pretentious and artsy’; sorry, but sadly that sullies it ‘pour moi’ … whilst on the surface, choosing a sequencing device may suggest ‘beats and whatnot’, it really needn’t only push the user that way. For me, and to be honest, probably all people compelled to sometimes make sounds sans beatz there’s nothing pretentious about it whatsoever - nothing. There’s also nothing new or surprising about this concept, music challenging the cultural norms was conceived way before your poem was penned. I like a laugh as much as the next man, but to cap it off with the ‘elusive,highbrow description found in texts describing art’ line consolidates this notion that it’s insincere or in need of explanation. I simply don’t subscribe to this characterisation of a vast, and very established, body of sound ‘art as somehow being lesser, outsider or feigned; however light, welcoming or jovial the intent was.
Anyway, trust me, i haven’t got this all out of proportion, we’re all cool, these are just my thoughts and it’s still the most interesting mission to date, not only to (potentially still, now we’re straight) contribute to, but also to see how others are going ‘off-piste’ with their sequencers (on or off).
Let’s not get all them and us. If you think about it, it’s unsurprising that infants are as much comforted with white-noise as with a heartbeat - the universe is as chaotic/organic/empty as it is periodic/ordered/harmonic. I’m not a great fan of interpreting others’ work myself, but i look forward to see what happens here in the coming months despite my ‘earnest’ (or was it misplaced) criticism. No offence meant btw; it’s your show - subscribed !
:+1: Good stuff (mostly :wink: )

Good feedback, and you are absolutely right. What happened is that as I typed up the description for the mission it all started to read a bit too serious and dark to me. This is supposed to be fun and including. I wanted the threshold for submitting an entry low, and thus clumsily tried to lighten it up a bit.

The kind of music I’m encouraging here is one that I’m into myself and have high respect for. I think this mission would be at its best and most interesting if taken seriously.

How about I’ll let the text stay in its current form for a day or two, and then adjust/update it depending on the feedback expressed in the meantime?

No! I need to get a Elektron piece of gear to do this first!!!

anyone reading this^ reply can see all they may need to know :slight_smile: your show tbh, but our subsequent replies may look odd if you reword - especially if you’re sentiment was non judgemental; i figured you struck a welcoming tone and it’s not always possible on the internet to read what was written !
perhaps to deter the easily offended (ahem, cough) from fleeing prematurely you could add a clarification/smiley in OP
anyway, glad we’re all on the same page - all good :+1: … must. make. time.

I love your idea about the poem <=> war and peace…

No rhythm/melody required means I can still use some, right ?
I’m not really into pure noisy stuff.

Sure! Melodic is fine, but it should still be some kind of soundscape.

OK, I see…
Seeds are planted, ideas coming :slight_smile:

Nice mission.
I’m in.

One week left until deadline!

Hey Abhoth…

What about delaying a little bit this deadline, like 2 weeks ?
With this Science Lab Challenge, I’m sure everyone with an Analog machine has dedicated some time to his entry…

Good point. New deadline is October 15th. :slight_smile:

Thx my dear :+1:

I really hope I can get the time to do something for this.

I studied Dulce Et Decorum Est at school and it’s stuck with me ever since.
May’ve discovered this thread too late as I’ve got to finish an EP by the 20th which is likely to eat up all of my music making time.

Really interesting brief, hope there are plenty of submissions to listen to.

Indeed this is interesting!

I’ve never did such thinks to be honest but it’s a great chance to learn a few things.

There’s not much time left and I have some family duties but I’ll give it a try.

Good luck for all…

…and the time is up! No submissions, unfortunately.

I suggest that whoever have an idea for a mission #4 and want to arrange it may do so.

Any thoughts/ideas on what can be done to boost interest in missions? I like the concept, personally, and would really like to see future missions become popular. I assume the amount of time it takes to create something worthwile is the main hurdle. Perhaps some kind of mission where one has to start with a blank project and then create something realtime in five minutes or something?

I had ideas for this Mission, I discovered how to make drones on the Monomachine, and other glitches, lots of things.

But man, wish I had more time !!

Can you develop your idea about 5 minutes improv ?
It seems fun, but I don’t see how to set this up for real.

I know the whole point of this mission was to be pretentious, but I think that’s what might have put people off a bit! I read the poem that was to inspire the piece of music and thought, ‘Really?!’

It’s a great poem in isolation, but the opening post as a whole struck me as being a bit tooooooo artsy and pretentious and maybe that’s what didn’t encourage people to finish a track, even if the idea itself of stretching our Elektron machines in this way was a good one.

If I was to suggest a future mission, it would be for a 3 minute pop song. Something that aims to be as commercial as possible, which is against many people’s instincts on this forum, I’m sure! I think we’d come up with some interesting stuff.

(The 5 minute impro things sounds good too, though. You’d have to come up with some kind of honour system for making sure it’s true impro!)

…that’s a shame…
events eclipsed me, but I was looking fwd to the results - couldn’t even make the right headspace for the official ‘prized’ Elektron one either
pretty disheartening and whilst it was the most interesting brief to date, perhaps for the sake of future success it may be an idea to reflect on why it didn’t happen - my only reflection on this would be that by (ironically making it easier to enter) allowing any instruments to be used it makes for infinite scope and possibly less focus
the idea of making a 3 minute pop song is anathema to me, but for sure defining a catchall mission to engage the most people is likely a challenge in itself
the missions with the most restrictive briefs are the ones I find the most interesting because it forces creativity with a very focussed start point - I think void had one based around creating a track with just two steps !

anyway - maybe the next brief needs to be briefer, but it’s possibly a thankless task at this rate !