Perchance to

Image of a lion and lioness sleeping in the Serengeti

“The hypnagogic state is that heady lull between wakefulness and sleep when thoughts and images flutter, melt, and transform into wild things.”

Glenn Sogge and Boson Spin (Stan Magendanz from Brisbane, Australia) released an album a couple of months ago called Slumbers. As Glenn describes it, “This album began as a challenge track for the Facebook Synth-Portland group’s weekly challenges. It got a bit out of control.”

The four tracks that make up the album were worked twice. In the first hour of today’s program, we’ll hear the first four tracks of the album, comprising Slumbers Number 1-4; the second hour will be dedicated to the reworked versions of each of the Slumber Numbers. We’ll complement those tracks with a selection from the RadioSpiral library, rounding out the program with William Spivey, Altus, and Numina.

If you sleep through today’s program, that’s OK! 🙂

Glenn Sogge with Boson Spin – Slumbers (2019)

  • Slumber Number One
  • Slumber Number Two
  • Slumber Number Three (“Second Sleep”)
  • Slumber Number Four
  • Slumber Number One vs 2:50 (with Boson Spin)
  • Slumber Number Two Revisited (with Boson Spin)
  • Slumber Number Three Revisited (with Boson Spin)
  • Slumber Number Four Revisited (with Boson Spin)

The FB Synth-Portland occasionally runs a few months of weekly challenges similar to what [Edges of Dreaming] does. One of them had the prompt “Slumber”, which fit in with one of my general meta-themes. I had just inquired about a possible change to a Reaktor factory synth and Greg Cole of Empty Vessel (sound and preset developer from New Zealand) rose to the occasion and figured out how to make the modification.
As is often the case with me, I took the “new toy” into the battlefield of making a piece with it. Slumber Number One was the result.

I liked the result and decided to explore it in some additional ways (plus getting a tweaked feature change). I jokingly threatened on the board that an album might result.
The music: hypnagogic states fascinate me and the line between pleasant and unpleasant dreams is always tenuous at best. I never succeed in make something all clever fields & and sheep but also can’t get the night terror thing completely right, either.

About the time I posted the 2nd track, Stan (Boson Spin) posted his reworking of the first track. I told him there were probably at least a couple more coming and asked if he want to to the same thing with all of them.
He agreed. So, I rounded it out to almost an hour with a couple more and he added his magic sprinkles work to them.

In particular, Stan took #1 and combined it with some of the parts of an existing suite of pieces that are all about 2:50 in length (hence the title — with the added suggestion of a very early morning time.)

More nerdery: the fundamental tool is the Space Drone synth for Reaktor. It uses 96 tuned (often hi-Q) band pass filters driven by a Geiger counter kind of random generator. It’s wonderful for wind, sandstorms, water drops, and other random yet constrained sounds. I figured there should be some way to tap into the control system and, hopefully, output MIDI so it could be another controller besides NOD-E and Spiral in my oscillator. Turns out I was right and Greg figured out where to put the mods.

For all these pieces, I kept the Space Drone normal audio output involved but then used a variety of other synths plugged onto the MIDI. I may have used them a couple of times on a track as my “skill” with the environment improved.

Glenn Sogge

Sleep Number 555 – WILLIAM SPIVEY – Balance (2013)
Session 8 – Altus – Sleep Theory Volume 3 (2017)
Asleep Before The End Of The Story – Numina – Dreamsleep (2006)

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