This is the first piece of music i have completed for my ongoing North Norfolk coast music project.
I originally did the field recording at Old Hunstanton back in October 2022, when , unbeknownst to me i was having the early symptoms of my first (and only so far) bout of covid (that was not fun). I chose Old Hunstanton as my first location to record as it sort of marks, for me at least, the tip of the corner between west norfolk and north norfolk coast.
Old Hunstanton has a long golden beach that swings north eastward toward Holme next-the-sea (the next recording location). It is here that the cliffs of Hunstanton gradually give up and peter out, giving way to sandy dunes and dune grass.
When starting to record the piece of music for this location i started off by trawling through the audio i'd recorded and saving individual snippets of interesting sounds, like bird song, wave noises, etc, as individual audio files. I then went through these, loaded them into the Logic Pro simple sampler and started manipulating them to see if i could come up with something musical.
I happened upon a really clear recording of some birds song, from when i was further up in the dunes and facing some pine trees. This collection of bird song became the intro to the song and also the main bird song motif that continues, in different keys, through the song.
Once i had the bird song loop in place i then tried writing some melodic lines to try and interweave and almost call and response to the birdsong, initially these were piano parts but i changed them to piccolo as i felt that better suited the timbre. Once those parts were in place i started playing around with cello virtual instruments and parts, which evolved into the 2nd section. In my head these two sections are like reflections of the two sort of distinct aural environments at Old Hunstanton, the first reflecting the bird song that was very prevalent in the recordings, the second being a more persistent, powerful, rumbling sounds of the sea and the waves.
After playing around with how to evolve the 2nd section i came up with a paino based chord progression that ended up being the coda. I'm currently really into really thick chords, using upper extensions, 7ths, 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, and a few of them are in there. (note, i don't really know how to play piano, i just put my hands down and find interesting things that work, then bash them out into logic, then use logic to fix my mistakes and timing :)).
From there, i started working on the different sections, creating parts to help one section flow into another, and adding additional parts to add interest to a section.
The song ended up evolving into a 7 minute piece of music, sort of by accident, i wanted to go from section 2 back to section 1 at least once, i tried to write a bridge that would take me back, but ended up pitching section 1 up by i think 4 steps so the end of section one flowed nicely into it. I decided i wanted to have the bird song loop continue through the song, though at parts its barely audible, and pitched that up to reflect the change in key.
The last element i added was the driving drums and bass and accompanying parts, like the jangly guitar part. I'd wanted to add some interest to the second time through the 2nd section, i wanted it to be slightly funky but also driving, pushing against the established timing. I used the logic pro 'Motown' drummer, added a simply intro fill and then recorded my fender mustang bass. I'm quite please with how it turned out and almost feel like i could make another song entirely out of that section. I like the fact that it sort of comes in out of nowhere, yet works, and also isn't somewhere you'd expect the song to go from listening to the first 30-40 seconds.
Now this song is done my plan is to continue to complete the pieces of music for the other locations, i've got 5-6 pieces in different states of completeness. I'll try and complete them in the order they were recorded, so Holme next-the-sea will be next, but I'll see where my inspiration takes me.