The Noja Recordings Archives: A1 / So Free

by Carlo Barbagallo



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The experimentation of the sound possibilities of audio feedback systems is an aspect I always find very fascinating and interesting, esthetically and conceptually.

With "A1" (presented at Prize Phonologia - Centro Culturale San Fedele, Milano - November 10, 2012 / performed at Emufest - International Electroacoustic Music Festival, Roma - October 29, 2013) I focus my attention around electronic feedback, assembling an instrument with stomp-boxes effect pedals in a multiple feedbacks closed system. I used different kinds of effect-units as filters, delays, modulations and distortions; analog and digital, commercial and self-builded. My intent was to experiment the playability and expressiveness of this assembled instrument.

During rehearsals I defined a list of “sonically” interesting parameters settings to manage the auto-oscillation of the system and the different sound “aspect” of the noise generated by the electronic components and the electrical network. I proceed to find modes and times to “slip” between the listed settings, so discovering the musical functions of switches and potentiometers noises. Experimenting and improvising I writed a sort of operational score to follow, freely, when performed and recorded the piece.

Listening the recording I had the idea to create two more parts generated by the recording itself. I’ve done this, sending the recording through the modulation chain of a physical modeling synthesizer (Korg Ms2000) and improvising different changes to its parameters. Recording this improvisations, I set a threshold where the recording signal (from the synth output) feed back into the input of the synth, so allow me to use another feedback system, generating digital distorted and compressed clips (for the joy of professional sound engineers!!!) as unexpected synthesis events. I editing these recordings as two parts played live by two synth players and the result is “A1” (the title indicates the month and day when I realized the piece - April 1st, 2012).

The days after I think how it could be to work on the spectral analysis of the stomp-boxes and synths parts of this piece to realize a sort of orchestral transcription for traditional instruments.

I use SPEAR to analyze the first synth track and with an empirical, casual and visual approach to the spectrogram I choose some relevant frequencies for each sound event in a window time of few second. I played the selected frequencies through different acoustic instruments or programmed sample-based software instruments and after a lot of hours analyzing, choosing, playing, programming, editing and mixing I realized a minute of the arranged transcription of the spectral content of the synth track.

Since that days I didn’t work again on the piece and now I’m not anymore so “deep in it” to do it, so I decided to leave it as it is, a miniature titled “So Free”.


released November 12, 2012

by Noja Recordings:

Production Dates:
A1 - April 1, 2012
So Free - April 2-4, 2012



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Carlo Barbagallo Italy

Carlo Barbagallo is a sicilian musician, composer, sound engineer, producer. He always played & recorded his music, experimenting the possibilities of home & studio creative recording. Owner of totally DIY Noja Recordings; founder or guest member of a lot of different bands/projects. Full info at ... more


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