Creating, Capturing, and Augmenting Sound 

I remember as a child of 6-8 years old independently coming up with the idea of multi track recording through layering tape bounces. The idea was to record the sound of the cast iron grate of our defunct fireplace on my parent's boom-box tape deck, and then add layers by playing the tape back while simultaneously recording on another tape deck. I didn't get far with this idea, because I didn't have any idea how music worked or what to play. Since then I have graduated through the boom box to a Boss digital multi track, to Audacity (I spent countless hours with Audacity visually quantizing and de-qualtizing individual drum strokes) and now to a proper DAW and interface setup. I've been studying recorded sound pretty diligently for the past 3 years and I'm finally feeling like I'm getting somewhere with it! More often than not, I am able to recreate the sounds that I hear in my head!  

I am now offering a variety of recording related services from engineering and/or mixing a session, to producing a whole record. I am by no means a "pro" yet but I am very passionate about hunting down exact sounds through whatever means necessary. If you want to hire me for these services, I will happily give you extremely good rates in the interest of building my portfolio and the learning that comes with the challenges of each unique project. 

Things Coming Up! (Summer 2017) 

Hello blog readers of the world/internet

I have a little bit of downtime (only on paper) so I thought I would take this opportunity to write a post about some of the things that are coming up in the next few months. I just finished playing a bunch of shows with the Tirgan Festival in Toronto, a 3 day Persian music and cultural bonanza! I'm now proudly participating in two different Iranian music projects and I couldn't be happier about it. I really have a strong fondness for all middle eastern music so being at, and playing in a festival like Tirgan is very fulfilling for me!

In a few days I will be taking a road trip out to Nova Scotia where I will be doing a little bit more than simply lying on a beach and visiting family. I have several recording dates planned including the following: Kirtan Album in Halifax, Hip-hop/Rap EP with Pete Adams (AKA Sewa, AKA Split Adams) in Fredricton, possible hip hop beat recording session/classical percussion sampling session with Andrew Johnson in Wolfville. I'm pretty stoked about all of these things! 

Just 6 days later, I will be returning to Ontario to play at the Toronto Ska Fest with Harmonauts. Immediately after that I will be packing and moving to my new apartment. If you follow me on instagram (@peter.bull.bass) you have probably seen a couple posts from me showing of my new studio room where I will be doing the majority of my recording, videos, mixing, practicing, scoring, etc. This is really exciting for me! I will soon be graduating from one corner (complete with construction and traffic noise) to four whole corners of a SILENT ROOM!!! No marathon honkers* to interrupt an otherwise magical take. Ready to nail that drum fill??? Well you'll just have to wait until the cement truck is no longer parked less than 10 feet from your window.

Anyway, once graduating to my own music room, I will be jumping right into a couple different recording projects. I am going to be recording a CD for a Norwegian street performer in late August and beginning work on scoring for the short horror film: Adventures in Babysitting. Excited for both.

There will also be a Dog Leg Dilemma gig at Sonic at the end of August. 

That's all for now!

See you soon,

-Peter

*(you know the ones who just hold it down waaaaaay longer than necessary (as if honking at stopped traffic caused by a construction bottleneck is ever productive))

Is Music Inherently Spiritual? 

I was raised Anglican going to my dad's church every week. One of the things that happens in the Anglican church and many others, is the recitation of certain prayers. Today I had a certain line that I believe comes from, "the Creed" (not the band) that goes something like this: "I believe in God the father almighty, creator of heaven and earth." This got me thinking about what that line could actually mean to me. I think the most common interpretation is probably that God, whatever that means to you, created these things called heaven and the earth some immeasurably long time ago. But what if we take it more as a present-tense description of "God"? God as the pervasive creative force in all nature? Something more along the lines of: "I believe that the Divine is reflected in every creative act in this world, and all others, and every spontaneous creative act is a blossoming expression of our Divine souls: the core of our very being". Affirming my belief in that, is a prayer well worth reciting! 

What is Traditional Music??? 

In the jazz world, and elsewhere, I hear people talking about "The Tradition" a lot. But when we break it down, I'm not so sure everyone who uses the term has a clear picture of what counts as traditional and what does not. In jazz, there is even a tradition of breaking tradition. When "the greats" were creating the style of playing and improvising known as bebop, they were revolutionary. Many established and respected players of that era hated the music. Why? Because it was new. Because it broke the rules of the style they had codified and popularized.

These days I hear a lot of people complaining about lack of tradition in modern jazz to which I say, which tradition? The one that excludes anything past 1970? To me, someone like John Zorn is one of the most traditional players/composers because he has consumed and internalized so many different traditions: Klezmer, Bebop, Hardcore, and 20th century classical to name a few. People talk about "getting into the tradition" as if there is just one. What about the tradition of polka? How about traditional Dubstep? or Scandinavian black metal? Aren't these "valid" as well?

There is a certain sickness that takes hold of so called traditionalists who, at some point, decide that music from their preferred style is intrinsically "better" simply for fitting into the middle of an artificial category created for it. I'm sure this happens in all genres, I just happen to be most familiar with this in the jazz world. I'm sure there are just as many hundreds of people saying, "Now, this is real Baroque," as there are people saying, "Now, this is a real post punk band!" as if it makes the music better. It may mean that the music is more Baroqueish or Post-Punky but it's not "better" or "worse". Quotations around better and worse because what does that mean? It's much more meaningful to ask, "did you feel something when you listened to that music?" rather than, "How authentic was that?"

If we can start to analyze music based on the way it effects us personally, then we can begin to create music that is more in touch with our own feelings. And isn't that the whole point of making creative music? I'm currently working on a song about finding an unidentified french-fry under my coffee table and the existential turmoil that ensues. I can trace elements of the song to surf-rock, metal, comedic bands like Mr. Bungle and Frank Zappa, reggae, Ben Folds Five and probably some other stuff if I really think about it. Lately a couple different people have called me a genius and I must admit, it makes me very uncomfortable. I am not a genius. Far from it in fact. I just don't buy into the merit of successfully executing a single style.

Let's put more stock into knowing our own roots and trusting our personal instincts and feelings.

Patreon 1st official! 

So I'm on Patreon now!
 

I finally finished my first multi-shot self-tape solo music video for the launch. It feels good to have it out in the internet world! This first one was a big learning experience for me, in a positive way. I'm sure future projects will only get easier as I figure out my work-flow for video editing. The cool thing about creating and publishing things on the internet is that you have no idea who is going to watch it. I had a kind of surreal couple of days last month when J-Filt, hip-hop producer of Very Sick Beats contacted me asking me to record some samples for him! Crazy! Who know if and when this video will lead to some kind of collaboration! 

Please like, share and subscribe to help me build my channel! And if you really love the music, consider supporting me on Patreon!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPv6rq4OLlk

-Peter

To Blog or Not to Blog 

Blogging is one of those things that sort of feels silly at first. But then I remember, that I frequently have these thoughts that I really think might be interesting to someone. I may tell one or two people what it is i have thought to myself, but then I often wonder, "wouldn't it be great to have a blog for this?"

And so, thusly, I enter into the infantile stages of my bloggerhood, to willfully construct, this, my blogdom. 

Welcome and bon-voyage, 

-Peter