Posted on October 1, 2021
I decided that I wanted to assemble an EP, which isn’t normal for me – typically I release my songs as singles so each song can have its own custom album cover (an integral piece of the project). However, I had a song or two I thought would go well together, and was developing a third that I thought could also fit. It was just a good time to assemble an EP.
Sonoma and I were about to start cat-sitting for my mom and stepdad. My stepdad really likes Jeopardy, and has one of those one-a-day calendar things that gives you one Jeopardy question per day. Each day’s square looks like this:
And, in Jeopardy style, you’re supposed to guess the question:
As they were about to leave for their vacation, we were practicing the house systems and making sure that everything was set. We had just taken out the trash and put in a new garbage bag, and then my stepdad threw away his Jeopardy calendar page from that day. When Sonoma and I looked in the trash, we saw nothing but a sheet of paper that said “QUESTION / What is North Korea?” Which we thought was hilarious.
One thing led to another and we had an album cover:
See look, it looks like a thin sheet of paper, isn’t that cool? (Please don’t sue me Jeopardy)
Here’s the “back” I created, but flipped and not as transparent, (just for you:)
“But Binaural Beat isn’t the name of the song!” you say… and I say.. read on…
- This song popped out of nowhere – I was fucking around in logic and the song materialized without warning
- The song was named after I went on a hike in Kettle Moraine State Forest with my friends Sierra and Sonoma. Throughout the hike, we came across weird jelly-like piles of fungus (we think) that sat on the dirt path. The vibe of the song reminded me of these piles.
- Originally, this EP was going to be called A Walk in the Woods, which was going to be a lofi-type album where the beginnings and ends of the songs would blend together, complemented with the sounds and conversations of walking in the woods (see: Kettle Moraine State Forest). However, as the songs developed, I realized I didn’t make any of them into lofi, and I didn’t like the forest sounds. So instead, I titled the EP Friendly Resonant Disk, but the titular fungus reference remained.
- The big synth solo in the middle of the song, named “big synther”, has very dynamic automation on it. Can you see which lines are doing what while listening along?
- This song was mostly created in March 2021 when Sonoma and I were in Sedona, Arizona. At the time, we were interested in binaural beats, which is an auditory illusion created by listening to two slightly different tones at the same time.
- The intro of the song, the middle interlude part, and the end consist of stacked “binaural beats” (which are basically just tones) that I fade in and out with other sounds. The frequencies of these tones align with the frequencies of the seven chakras
- The main instrument in this song is called “The Chordinator” – a logic preset I made that plays an entire chord when you hit a single key.
- When I tried to upload the song titled as “Binaural Beat”, my distribution service wouldn’t let me: “Stores (streaming services) don’t allow binaural content”, it said. So I translated the title into Esperanto
- In my head, this song’s title is certainly still “Binaural Beat”.
- I created this song as a joke. I made a really way-too-big synth that was sidechained to basically every other sound in the song, then slammed the volumes of every instrument as loud as it could go without distorting. But then I liked how it sounded, so I developed it.
- Right before the quiet piano part starts, there is a specific devolving synth chord pattern (from 0:58 to 1:11 in the song). This reminds me of the synth chord pattern devolution in Old Friends right before the “switchup”, which happens from 1:01 to 1:08 – the two are nearly identical in chord structure (and even melody).
- After producing basically the entirety of Slow Flow, I got fed up, frustrated that I couldn’t figure out the end of the song. I just wanted to get it over with. My friend Drew told me to “Thwart it back”, “Unleash beat gen energy”, and “Fuck it”. So I did, and I really glitched things out.
- I straight up copied the “cough cough cough” idea at the end of the piano interlude from this song
- The melody of Slow Flow was inspired by a piano melody I recorded the day before we went on the Kettle Moraine hike. You will inevitably like the piano version better:
Friendly Resonant Disk (the song)
- Whenever I release a collection of songs at once, I like the final song to be a combination of all the other songs. In It’s a playlist, not an album, I created a straight mashup called “This Digital Mess I’ve Made”. While I considered doing a straight mashup this time, I wanted to try something different.
- Given that I am currently living in a cavernous space, I thought that double-reversed echoes could sound cool (especially if they were recorded from two different places within the cavernous space). Friendly Resonant Disk was recorded on Sonoma and mine’s voice memo apps
- If you listen with headphones, you can discern the difference between the two microphones (as one is panned slightly left, and the other slightly right). Sonoma’s microphone was further from the speakers than mine, so hers captured the majority of the echoes.
- At the very end of the song (aka the very beginning of the recording), you can hear the straps of my Teva sport sandals creaking.
What is Friendly Resonant Disk?
I imagine Friendly Resonant Disk as a place above wherever you think it is. The disk glows white, spins slowly, and welcomes you when you see it. Quite friendly!
In reality, Friendly Resonant Disk was the name of a song draft I made in early August, 2021 (as of writing, that song is still under development). The tentative title of that draft song is now “Leaving the bathroom when you’re at the club”, and it will likely be a part of my next musical release. Here is the original: