My musical practice spans across composition, performance, archiving, improvisation, installation, and instrument/tool building. I release songs as outputs as an electronic music producer under the name Jack of the Suburbs. In this element of my practice I experiment with musical ideas using a range of different tools, which are then consolidated, refined and produced using Ableton Live. I tend to reference alternative/avant-pop electronic music sound worlds for song structure and sound design, and often incorporate found sounds captured during field recording exercises, both explicitly and minimally manipulated, and as part of software instrument creation with heavy manipulation.

I use the DAW as a songmaking tool, i.e. as an environment to play and experiment with musical material, as well as a mixing and production environment. And generally speaking, I compartmentalise these two processes as distinct from each other - while both are creative, the former I see more as songmaking, and the latter more as songtidying.

For Cinema Now I made use of Envelop’s suite of Max-for-Live plugins for spatial audio in Ableton. With the additional possibilities for spatial exploration beyond standard stereo, the making process had an uncanny quality. While I was obviously familiar with Ableton and its technical and workflow affordances, this project required me to think differently while making arrangement decisions, and allowed me to think differently while making compositional decisions.

For example, in the song (??.??) I wanted each note of the melodic material here to be placed in a unique position, which would change on the Z plane each time. The melodic pattern is made up of multiple channels in Ableton, with 1-3 notes of the pattern separated and allocated to an individual channel containing the software instrument and audio fx. Each channel also contains the Envelop plugin Spatial *******, which allows me to virtually position the output of the channel in a specific place in the auditory field, and an LFO plugin which is mapped to the Radius (Z plane) of the auditory field, which impacts the melodic pattern by shifting how ‘close’ the note from the respective channel feels to you. Prior to this project, to create anything similar to this effect I would have utilised a much simpler process of keeping the melodic material contained to a single channel, and made use of a single planner plugin to create movement.