Laundry Day

Image of dryer with a red garment hanging out like a tongue.

Image: “Looks like our dryer needs its meds” by Chuck Gregory

Hooray! It’s Laundry Day!

Weekends are good for taking care of those household tasks that need doing, including challenge tracks for At Water’s Edge.

The challenge…
Create a track whose base elements consist solely of sounds you would hear in a laundry room. You can alter the sounds however you like, but you may only use these sounds, and no additional instruments or synths…

The results…
Five artists came forward with tracks, and three of those artists supplied two tracks each! Laundry sounds apparently lend themselves to long form, and the results are as varied as the artists themselves.

The Challenge Tracks:

“Resonant Cycles” – Thomas Park
“Drone To Dry” – Thomas Park

Only sounds of a washer or dryer were used, recorded using a contact mic.

“Storm” – Museleon

“Storm” is made solely with sounds of my washing machine. 

As Museleon, I set myself monthly challenges and in 2017 it was to create short sound pictures based on haiku’s. For the month of December, I created a piece based on the sounds of my washing machine – Merry Washmas – but it was still recognisably washing machine sounds. For this challenge for Radhaus ‘At Water’s Edge’, I decided to take the original sounds and try to create something that didn’t sound like my washing machine.

The result is Storm. I imagined an isolated arctic station being bombarded by a fierce storm causing metal to swing, creak, scrape and bend, wires to reverberate and howls through windows. A beacon calls out to the rest of the world. 

After 18 years as an electronic musician under another guise, I finally decided to create a side project which allows me to break away from some of the conventions that I use elsewhere, and to experiment more with sound. I’ve always been interested in how sound can morph into beautiful complex patterns of noise with the minimal use of tech and processing. It’s the ‘small sounds’, anomalies, mistakes and the sounds ‘between’ that catch my ear. Museleon tracks are experiments in sound and are best listened to via headphones.

Odette Johnson / Museleon

North East England  

“Laundri Dei, a Voluntary” – Glenn Sogge

All made from a part of a clip by ‘earthsounds’ on of a washing machine spin cycle. The background is a stretched bit of a washer rinse cycle. The ‘organ’ is a small snippet from the same recording manipulated in the Reaktor Form instrument. I used the C Double Harmonic Major scale for my piece. That seems to be my current favorite crutch when doing tonality nowadays.

“Tide Pod Coma” – Skoddie

This track began as recordings in my garage (laundry area) made on my Zoom h2n which I then mangled and distorted in paulstretch and Adobe Audition. I used some pretty extreme settings to get the final sound, and I’m hoping it sounds like taking a nap in the laundry room. Or perhaps, on a darker, more meme driven note, it could be what it sounds like to expire after eating the forbidden fruit (Tide Pods).

“Underground Laundering” – Skoddie

This uses the same samples as the previous track, but running through my modular. The actual patch was Music Thing Radio Music -> Erica Synths Pico DSP (stereo delay) -> Mutable Instruments Warps (parasites firmware, variable rate delay mode) -> Mutable Instruments Clouds. So basically, three complex delay effects. The variation was accomplished by changing the delay speed and getting aggressive with the feedback controls, recorded live.

“Machine Washable” – Carbonates On Mars
“SpacedOutLaundry” – Carbonates On Mars

The Library Tracks

“Household apocalypse” – Altocumulus – Household apocalypse (2010)

“Washing Day” – Lucette Bourdin – Drum-atic Atmospheres (2009)

“In Memoriam ~ My Old Ordinary Life” – Slate – Clean Slate (2010)

“It Was Clay, Not Mud” – Petal – The Last Season (2009)

2 thoughts on “Laundry Day

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