Audio Sketch 1: Subway, Streets & Stars

Today in Comm Lab, we covered how to edit audio using Audacity and GarageBand, both of which I have worked with before, but it was good to get a review. This week’s assignment is to create a 2 minute audio piece using audio we recorded or found sounds.

Besides the soundtrack to Herbivores, I haven’t done much music lately. Especially since the last time Hepnova made music together was almost a year and a half ago. Later this week, I’m scheduled to work with Elizabeth, who I worked with earlier on the Herbivores animation, but I just couldn’t wait to get back into making music again, so I just went ahead and composed my own piece today. I will still make another track with Elizabeth later this week.

This track is called Subway, Streets & Stars. It is composed of recordings I made in the subway and streets of New York City as well as an audio sample of stars (the ones in space, not the ones in Hollywood) from the BBC. I used Fission to chop up samples, iDrum to create rhythmic loops, and GarageBand for putting everything together.

Click here for the uncompressed AIFF version.

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  • K-Hizzle

    very interesting. i love the blues-ey beale street close. the opening reminded me of the flute solo in ravel’s second daphnis and chloe suite, 1:57 of this clip:

    (on an unrelated note, check out Elvis at 0:42!!!)

    i liked the back-and-forth between the A-major and diminished chords. the repetitive alternation reminds me of the finale of john adams’ grand pianola music, starting at about 5:36 of this clip:

    here’s the back story on the above piece, if you 1) have time and 2) can get over the cheesy beginning. apparently he lived in berkeley and was inspired by a dream in which he was driving over the bay bridge. the scene at 2:01 is becoming quite familiar to me:

    and what youtube orgy is complete without our previously-mentioned “it’s gonna rain”

    the BBC star clips sound like something from the 50’s show Lost in Space – that ageless, generic “spaceship” sound

  • The flute solo is from a Chinese guy playing in the Times Square subway station. All of the twangy sounds, as well as the bluesy ending, are from a guitarist playing at Astor Place. The percussion sounds were taken from Christian rock band playing in Union Square as well as cut up samples of subway noise.