Blackbird was created 11/2009.


The piece begins with some noise, created with Massive. It is modulated and will be amended by two more Massive instances with different noises. The noise has nothing to do with blackbirds, it is more like the “sfumato” in renaissance oil/tempera painting (a kind of haze that makes some details remain unclear).

From 0:06 on, an MS-20 is controlled in pitch and filter with a recording of a singing blackbird. The oscilators are tuned down some octaves, everything is put trough a distorted simulated tube amp (Guitar Rig: Gratifier).

At 0:32 there’s the second Massive and a first blackbird voice. The voice is made of two recordings, with 1 octave difference, resynthesized in Cube and morphed around with a fast and more or less rhytmic complex envelope.

At 0:58 the “hymn” begins. The noted are again derived from the same blackbird recording. The midi notes are from Cubases pitch recongition, with a second voice being the crab canon of the first voice. Both voices are different Absynth sounds (remotely reminding of woodwinds or brass). This is doubled two octaves below with celi and double basses from Peter Siedlaczek’s Strings, put through flanger and delay and an additional tuba added. The melody is several times slower than the original bird song.

At 1:04 we have the third noise generator (Massive).

In the middle part at 2:24, there’s again the original recording, transposed up and put through a granular effect made in Reaktor.

Around 3:22 again the melody derived from pitch recognition. Now faster than before and as three voiced canon (3:30 and 3:38 are the starting points) with violin ensembles, heavily highpass-filtered and modulated.

The piece slowly dims, and at the end we have the original recording again, amended by a virtual ARP2600 that plays the extracted midi notes in the originally sung tempo.

Instruments used:
Arturia ARP2600V, Korg Legacy Collection Analog Edition 2007, NI Absynth, NI Guitar Rig, NI Kontakt, NI Massive, NI Reaktor, Virsyn Cube, Kontakt Libraries from East West and Peter Siedlaczek, Steinberg Cubase 5.1