Selected tracks made with a Roland MC-303, while living a London squats life
Released: June 06, 2010
Cover by: Andrea Callea
The following backstory is from 2010, when I first published this album on Jamendo under Creative Commons.
thanks for having downloaded this “album”. You saved an Oarfish =)
“A Symphony of an Ignorable Average” is a suite made on a Roland Groovebox MC-303 between 2000 and 2002, when I was living in London. I own an mc303 despite the fact I don’t really like the all in one solutions, I bought the mc303 because I was so broken and needed something to play, else I could die. mc303 was the cheapest option that had a few things all in one. I also had a Korg Poly 800 (for a short while, but that’s another story you don’t wanna hear about) and a person living with me in the same squat, Jerome, lent me a Boss DR-202 from time to time. Playing all of them together was fun and good enough to save my creative ego.
I call it “a symphony” since I made it with the intention of making classic music and, all in all, it is a “good” suite with songs of classical kind with “some” electronic moments. I borrowed the title from a phrase I heard before a Coil’s concert (at the Barbican Centre, London) when the opening band (Plaid) was playing their stuff and some guy from the public shout: “you are of an ignorable average!”. I like the Idea.
I composed all of the songs you can hear in this “album” (and some more that I don’t think I’ll ever release) in that period, then the storing space on mc303 was full. After that I just played with mc303 but I couldn’t record new songs. Well… I’ve sometime deleted some to make some more, but that was pretty much it.
….At some point in time I came back to Italy…..
Fast forward to 2010. Whoassshhh big jump 2002 => 2010.
In 2009 I bought some MIDI musical equipment and I’m also studying MIDI by myself with the aid of a really good book by Robert Guérin (a really good book!!). After I’ve rearranged the room, the musical equipment found a good place on the shelves I have behind my desk under my bunk bed. That day I also took my mc303 out of the lost things drawer and listened to the old songs I made in London and I’ve decided that I would make an “album” out of them.
My orignal plan was to import it all using MIDI but then I withdrew the idea when I found out that it was going to be real HELL (at least for my MIDI level as of today). Anyway when I’ll master MIDI I’ll take those songs on the computer and arrange them to make a better version (recorded with multitrack) to re-publish on Jamendo. The main deal breaker has been the fact that I cannot find or extract (please tell me if you do know how to!) the mc303 sound bank/fonts, and this was going to change the sounds of the suite. Which it’s and idea I didn’t fancy.
The real reason of me going toward MIDI is not to be locked in (like the groovebox thing) in any kind of hardware from which I cannot extract my music easily. So I bought all mute equipment that will sound with software I use on Linux. The sound and the patterns and “scores” will always be in software on my PC. The hardware will be only to make things up.
Anyway, after seeking help on Linux Musicians forum (thanks again DP =) ) and in the #renoise chat (thanks Suva, cent and corun) I’ve realized that the best thing for now would have been to plug it in and record the audio stream. In fact the very one you see here it’s been played and recorded through Audacity on an audio level (mc303 L/R + headphones connected to my sound card). What you’ll listen to it’s faithful to what I’ve played with the only exception that I had to make some cut at the end of some songs and the beginning of the following ones, just to square them. Unfortunately I couldn’t record it all at once otherwise it would have been a huge file that I couldn’t upload due to file limits policy of Jamendo. I could have worked it out, but I preferred this way.
Just a last note on quality: unfortunately the volume levels are quite low :( That is because of trying to keep low the background noise generated somewhere in the connections. Most likely from the mc303 jack out. This volume levels are the best compromise I could get. I apologize for that. Sorry.
Well this is it.