My music videos

Video isn't the obvious medium for a musician

Sure, it has been argued that "video killed the radio star" and that's a catchy line in a catchy song.

And, admittedly, I initially studied video production to broaden my skills in marketing.

However I ended up shifting to publishing my music in videos as a result of necessity.

The first prompt came in 2011, when I started a project remixing playgrounds and initial feedback from friends was that they couldn't link the sounds to the locations.

At first I began editing video to match the remixed results, which was a laborious process.

Within months I discovered that Ableton Live could handle video, and began preparing the material by exporting the videos to contain the contact microphone recordings.

The loops I made in Live would be exported (at a lower resolution) and then composited together in video editing software, such as Motion and Final Cut.

(In recent years Apple disabled Motion and I've been steadfast in refusing to be blackmailed into upgrading.)

The second prompt came when Soundcloud disabled the groups functionality.

I was sensitive to the destruction of online communities after Ninja Tune removed the forum from their website, which had been a part of my life since moving to regional Australia near the start of this century.

It led me to make the decision to no longer use Soundcloud, and the obvious alternative at the time was Youtube.

These days I find more traffic on Facebook, although both services have been playing games with smalltime producers like me.

Anyway, the result is that I publish on both platforms and have built a huge collection of videos.

This body of work will contribute an exhibition later this year.

Case study

The Disquiet Junto is a regular activity and one that prompts me to develop most of my material.

In fact, I'm surprised to see this is my 174th video for the Junto and you can find my Disquiet Junto playlist here.

This week I've sampled a video that I shot outside Canberra's Questacon of my son playing a concrete xylophone/marimba-style instrument.

I used a small Panasonic camera and the audio was recorded using the onboard microphone, so it sounds a little brittle but the levels are good.

For the Junto this week I've used a number of loops from that source video to create a piece of music that reflects the idea of concrete wallpaper.

Each loop was individually exported from Ableton Live, then composited together in Final Cut.

For a Junto project last year using a single tone to create a piece of music, I used the same source material in a different way.

You can see that visually it has a different look, with the individual loops treated with duotone effects in Final Cut and then layered on top of each other with transparency.

Rendering the video takes a while but otherwise I move fairly quickly.

Sometimes the track and the video can be created in a single day, although often the video takes longer than the composition of the track -- which is something I feel is a weakness in the result.

I'm trying to remind myself that it's good to have a day or two and return to a piece with fresh ears.

Sometimes I will revisit a track, usually before it goes on Bandcamp, but more often I will develop new music using older material.