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Healing Mix - texture produced by harmonic changes

In January, while Catherine was in the hospital (she's ok now, thanks for asking), I was passing time by playing with Henry Lowengard's iPhone app, Droneo.  Droneo is a microtonalists dream.  Even if you don't want to make a "drone," it's a wonderful way to be carrying around a microtonal harmonic sketchpad in your pocket.  Any up to 8 note chord in any tuning you want can be heard almost instantly.  I began experimenting with various 13th chords in various tunings, and playing the results for Catherine, who was at this point recovering from surgery, and was pretty fragile.  It was fascinating to hear what sounds (when heard over her cell-phone speaker) she felt were relaxing, or healing, and which sounds were annoying.  At first, almost everything was annoying - only the most filtered of sounds, played softly, were acceptable.  As healing progressed, higher harmonics and more harmonic motion was found relaxing.    And so it went.

I was house-sitting for composer and vocalist friend Carolyn Connors at the time, so after a day at the hospital, and running errands, I would return to her place, and experiment with the iPhone, recording its output into my netbook and mixing the results.  All listening took place over headphones.  In the end, I made a 56 minute piece which has just one chord for all that time, although the chord is heard in 12-tone equal tempered, just-intonation, and Pythagorean versions.  Sometimes there's just one tuning happening, at others 2 or more tunings are heard together.  Each tuning produces a different internal life in the chord - the sound throbs in different ways, different pitches emerge from the mix, depending on the tuning.  Each mix of tunings also has a different texture (or beating or throbbing) than any of the tunings heard on its own.  The tunings and tuning mixes progress very slowly, and the changes in tuning produce the overall life of the piece, which is changes in internal sound texture, rather than changes of harmony, or notes or melody.  I found the results very healing (for myself) at the time, when listened to over headphones. 

Then things began to happen fast, Catherine was getting better, we had to arrange social security benefits for her, I began to have job interviews, and oh yes, we had to move all our stuff from Wollongong to Daylesford.  The piece, in mp3 and wav forms just languished, forgotten, on a USB stick.  About a week ago, as things began to calm down a little bit, I decided to play the piece on the speakers in my studio in our new home.  I found it very beautiful.  And to my delight, Catherine, now well on the road to a complete recovery, found it very beautiful as well.  

So I would like to share the piece with net-friends everywhere.  Here it is, all 56 minutes of it:

 And if you want to download it, just go to www.zebraandmoose.com/sounds/Droneo-Healing-Mix.mp3.  In Google Chrome, at least (I don't know about other browsers), a player will appear, and if you right-click on the player, you can download the 108mb file.

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