Hella Gems | Original Music Blog

God Reigns

March 2nd, 2009 by


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I did this sitting in the Georgia Tech Library (pic) over the past few hours. This is more in the “poodleface” vein than the “erf” vein, though really it goes back even further to a group I was/is in with my friend Joe (he of “Six Hands” fame) called Social Security. Any poodleface mashup video ideas I’ve had have likely been possible due to my participation in this project, which was highly influenced by the collage artistry of Negativland, among other artists.

I wanted to do something simple, so I made a simple additive composition in Live 8, starting first with the drumbeat, then the keyboard part, then the bassline. After this I decided I wanted to have a tremolo post-rock sort of part, so I used one of the Guitar presets from Tension and filtered it through NI Guitar Rig, using the MIDI plugin Arpeggiation ahead of the instrument set to 1/32 to give an approximation of what I was looking for. Lastly, I used a strings preset from Tension, running it also though a Guitar Rig amp, then panned them left and right. (pic)

I was not satisfied with the mix, so I went hunting for resignation speeches of a certain length to match the sort of tone I had stumbled upon. Eventually I turned to Spiro T. Agnew’s, who is someone I’ve used before as far as sampling. There is another speech where he criticizes the Yippie movement that I had used in a short piece back in 1999, so I knew the timbre of his voice would fit in. I didn’t do any warping to the voice as I’ve done before, though I would have been tempted if I wanted to spend more time on this piece. The very last thing I threw on was some crowd noise in an attempt to make the crescendo and subsequent ending feel a bit more… anticlimactic I guess.

The title “God Reigns” is intoned several times within the speech. I had no particularly reason to emphasize one thing over another, so feel free to interpret and feel however you wish to. Though my mixing skills are still lacking, I’m mostly happy with this, especially since I played all these parts on the QWERTY on this laptop with no velocity.

Samples used:
Crowd Noise
Agnew Resignation Speech

For the “cover image” above, I traced over a portrait of Agnew with my Tablet PC and grabbed a random image labelled “Our God Reigns!!” on Google Image Search.

4 Responses to “God Reigns”

  1. Billings

    Guitar rig is the best.

    Also: I like it. There, my critical faculties are exhausted.

    Also: difficult captcha.

  2. gojirra

    Thanks for the crazy detailed post. Awesome track, I love the keyboard part. Brilliant idea with the hellagems water mark lol!

  3. Graham

    Nice to hear more SS political work. The background in particular is tranquil and could stand on its own.

  4. Pynk

    Yeah, a very pretty track except for all the blathering. 🙂 Did anybody else get thrown for a loop when he said “farewell” instead of “God bless America”?

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