I’ve been fascinated by outer space and science fiction my whole life.
Recently I started exploring generative music using the Octatrack only, and the idea of combining semi-generative music and the space theme came up: here is MOON, a soundtrack homage to the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary of the moon landing on July 20th, 1969. “….one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Octatrack MKII wooden-buddy
While fine tuning my skills on this deep sampler I found myself carrying it around back and forth in my backpack; Elektron boxes are marvelous machines, but they are quite heavy too. I thought it was the right chance to make a wooden body for my Octatrack MKII - way lighter and a little more a la “Cremacaffè” 😉
(check out the one I am working on for the Digitakt here).
Generative Music. How is it going to sound like?
Generative music is a term popularized by Brian Eno to describe music that is ever-different and changing, and that is created by a system (Wikipedia).
With generative and semi-generative music performances you can’t predict how satisfying the outcome is going to be. The most important thing to start with is planning ahead (boring at times, yet needed) and picking up the right ingredients (sounds/sources); throw in happy accidents, a bit of luck and let the fun begin!
Tip: There are no rehearsals; Record everything! 😁🎶
I’ll be writing more about Octatrack Generative Music in a new post.
MOON is a semi-generative music session based on one pattern only on the Octatrack MKII, where the elements I interact the most with are: 1) Synth-pad chords sequence - a set of chords in slice mode, pitch-shifted across three scenes and controlled by the cross fader ; 2) track volume levels ; 3) a stereo FX sound on track 5 which I triggered from time to time. The whole music piece evolves around a 9 minutes long audio excerpt from a dialogue between the astronauts, recorded while they set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969.
All the sounds you hear in this soundtrack are from the versatile ELZ_1: a very special synthesizer by Sonicware which features several synth engines capable of powerful crisp sounds; I sampled it straight into the Octatrack.
MOON - takes 2 & 3 available on Patreon
From all the recordings I made, I chose three favorites: the one from the video, a second version which took a more subtle and atmospheric spin, and a third one, a night session. Find them all here.