«MONONOCLE» is about transforming sounds and wooden noise. Hum, thunk and clunk. It is like listening to repeating sounds in different ways without recognising the source sound. That’s the beauty of the album.
MONONOCLE is a conceptional album based on the session called STOCKWERK created for a Belgic radio show in August, 2012.
1. Melting Point 5:10
The source sound of the opener is a sinus wave sound out of an old oscillator which i used a lot on my previous album «STILLE». I love the high freuquency sounds. They hurt in the ears. They are heavy and shrill. Kid Schurke told my two years ago, that he is not able to listen to the whole track «Húm», because he is getting dizzy. That is a compliment!
The basic structure was made in 2010, right after finishing «STILLE». I have added sounds of an old typewriter, which i also used for EREMIT and OKO, and added sounds of my squeaking parquet at home captured with different microphones. Transformed everything.
Exploring new soundscapes
2. Eremit 8:37
EREMIT and OKO are based on old shots from 2008 made with Reason3. The main synth sound of EREMIT is developed with my patch for Combinator built in 2007. I have called it TP77. That is a shortcut of my old artist name which i used during the first years of Nation of Clang: Tytus Pixiedust and 77 stands for my year of birth. I came up with this sound again in august during a sleepless night while looking for old recordings at my discarted PC and found this recording called Blade Runner. How excited I have been. Some of the TP77 sounds have been used back in the days in Nation of Clang’s «Earth in dust». It is released a few days ago finally :-)
Furthermore i used jazz brushes and scratched an old typewriter and a narrow carpet at the same time, placed a microphone between them and enjoyed the sound coming out, sounding like coal-shoveling down in an old scary mine or if you like – digging a grave! I transformed this sound, too and used it in every track of this album in different ways.
The track develops very slowly. A quiet bassdrum in the background. The listener gets enough space for his own imagination. Weldroid made an automatisation which goes up and down on the 2nd synth layer. It is like acting as if in a trance.
3. Kodama 4:41
KODAMA is built on the “beat like sounds” made for STOCKWERK. I came up with the idea of that track during my last stay in Tokyo while i was watching rain drops crashing on the ground in a temple. Ending sounds are modified violin sounds. The whole track is made out of «Stumme Orgel, Stumme Geige». The floating synth in the background is made by Weldroid.
Stumme Orgel, Stumme Geige:
4. Stockwerk 44:59
This track is the heart of the album. A friend of mine asked me if i would like to do a radio show. I said – yes why not! – And STOCKWERK was born. The literal translation of the German word “Stockwerk” is “level”, “floor”, the word “Stock” means also “stick” and “Werk” stands for “creation”, “movement”. Maybe an inspiration by Stockhausen or just by Jarre’s track named “Waiting for Cousteau”? STOCKWERK contains parts of my older works. Especially the wooden sounded «Stumme Orgel, Stumme Geige» and the whole previous album «STILLE». But also a short piano sequence of «The Room» made with Virlyn.
Therefor i have used a selection of acoustic sounds of Violins, Celli, Organ, their cases and my squeaking parquet at home. The intention was to make new structures out of those captured sounds by remixing them. I did this using KP3 and Memory Man while sampling the output with Max5 again and again. The result sounds almost like a kind of beats and altered violin synth sounds. Sometimes like a female voice whispering incomprehensilby or even vinyl scratches.
One shot is a transformed sound out of a coffee grinder recording session which i did for John Cage’s Musicircus in Darmstadt (D). It sounds like a crazy DIY toy sound box.
Some soundscapes have been modified with Gleetchlab3 additiolally.
5. Oko 8:26
OKO is the last track of the album. It is the dark epilog. OKO contains the same sounds as all other tracks but transformed again. The soundscapes have been modified with Gleetchlab3 additiolally.
If you need some dark and heavy stuff for the long winter days – this will be your soundtrack :-)
Hardware: Violin, Piano, Monochord, Cello, Organ, Cases, Coffee grinder, Type writer, Pipes, Bells, Tuning fork, Jazz brushes, Oscillator, KP3, Memory Man, Binaural mics, Contact bow, Contact mics, H4n, H2
Software: Logic, Max, Gleetchlab, TP77
Performers: Violin by Anne-Catherine Vonaesch; Piano, Monochord, Tuning fork, Bells by Cornellia Stromeyer; Organ by Michael Schmid; Cello by Jackie Knöpfel
Mixing and mastering: Weldroid
Cover photo: Dominik Grenzler
Cover design: Mateusz Bąkała