Apology (the version with the subway and not the voices)

Here's the version of Apology that didn't make the cut on to the Feather Hammer album. When I asked by Facebook and Twitter friends which version they preferred, the reaction was split 50/50 between this and the version with the voices that I ended up using.

If you're interested to hear how it might have been, knock yourself out!

[Feather Hammer] demo 1 Apology (with subway) by leahkardos

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Copal 2 & 3

More improvisations. Copal 2 was captured while I was playing about with some velocity mapped sample layers (Zitherrette, Bambalong and Cider Pot from Tonehammer).

Copal 2 (improv) by leahkardos


Copal 3 is a sentimental little piano piece that I played shortly after learning that a childhood pet had finally died. Claudia was my little Burmese cat, such a delicate soft little thing. She would sit on top of my piano while I practiced as a youngster... so a little bit of simple child-like piano music seems appropriate in the moment. Aww rest in peace sweet kitty cat.

Copal 3 (improv/Claudia's Song) by leahkardos


Right. That's enough improv for now, I think. There's a lot of proper writing I need to be getting on with.

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Copal 1 (improv)

I was asked to take part in an online collaborative project, working with other composers and producers to create music based on the sounds of dreams, memories "trapped in amber".

This is an improvisation I came up with earlier this evening, based on a simple 5 note right hand oscillating figure in G minor, stretching out and making use of the warm ambient tones of the piano.

Copal 1 (improv) by leahkardos


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Black Mouth of August - II Dance Movement (excerpt)

Piano and technology improv piece, video art by Matt Greasley. One day when I get my shit together imma write a bunch of these and do some whacked out psychedelic improvised multimedia gigs with Matt and a bunch of interfaces/laptops...

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"My first recycling experiment" or "how I hacked up Rob Davidson's String Quartet beyond recognition"

So I have to give a seminar at UQ (Aus) in about 3 weeks time, my confirmation of candidature. Basically it's an opportunity for the postgrad people at the school to meet me in person, ask me questions about my PhD research and check that I am not a crazy person. I'll have limited time, which is probably a good thing since I could easily chat all day long about myself, the artists and examples I am inspired by, cool things I have read recently.... and just generally harping on about the wonderful creative potential of technology. As it stands I only have 25 mins to "wow" them, so I figured it would take less time trying to explain all the stuff in my head, when I can probably just play them some examples of what I'm talking about.

(What I'm talking about is the subject of that last blog of mine - this whole idea of a composition evolving, the recorded artefact becoming the starting point for a new creation.)

So I decided to experiment, to find out how easy it is to chop and manipulate an existing recording in order to create something completely different. My string quartet is not finished, so I stole Rob Davidson's String Quartet - a live recording that had some really interesting room ambience in the mix, and some fun audience sounds (coughing, sneezing, etc).

Here's an excerpt from Rob's recording (the opening):

String Quartet - Rob Davdison (Opening/Example) by LeahExperiments


The following experiments/hack jobs were made purely by recycling bits of the above recording, with bits mostly taken from the first movement. In Logic, I used EQ, scissor, time-stretch, reverse, reverb & flex tools to completely mess it up.

Experiment 1:

Experiment 1 (recycling String Quartet by Rob Davidson) by LeahExperiments


Experiment 2:

Experiment 2 (recycling String Quartet by Rob Davidson) by LeahExperiments


I'm not sure if the results are good enough to play at the seminar, but I think they are interesting all the same. There are some peculiar dissonances that I wasn't expecting, which resulted from combining notes and chords taken from different places where tunings had slightly shifted in the performance. In some places this is pleasing, in others it definitely grates! When I took a short sample and stretched it a long way it produced a rustling guitar-like effect, which I thought was a happy accident. The limitations in my examples are clear with regard to melody/harmony/tonality - this was partly due to the fact that I chose to focus on a short section of the recording to plunder for samples, but mostly due to me being lazy and opting for drone-based harmony layers and glitchy rhythms.
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Forty Six & Two (for piano, string quartet and female vocal)


This crazy idea
came about because I wanted to properly learn how to make the VSL solo string patches sound good. And also because I have always loved the song and I just needed an excuse.


Forty Six & 2 - arr. for piano & string quartet by leahkardos
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The Spy Who Clubbed Me


My first game oriented demo, and my first project using the new VSL samples I got for my birthday. I know it still needs mixing and tweaking - but I’ve uploaded it to the GANG website for a thorough criticism. I decided to go with a spy-genre theme but twist it in with some breakbeats and live bass (courtesy of Matt).


Spy Game Soundtrack [demo] by leahkardos
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