cloches oiseaux

January 31, 2011 12:48 PM

A collaboration with nicolin: a bossa nova collage that takes its time.

For this month's collaboration challenge, nicolin and I were paired together based on a random drawing. I'm glad we were, because I think we found a lot of common ground.

Nicolin provided the soundscapes of birds, conversations and church bells recorded in France, as well as the acoustic guitar loop that the first section is based on. Here in New Orleans, I used his loop as an excuse to work on my samba percussion skills, including the cuica, a squeaky friction drum that sounds like a straw vibrating in a covered coca-cola cup.

About halfway through, it segues to nicolin playing a bossa chord progression and soloing a bit.

It was great fun. I wish I could have dedicated even more time on it that we did. We have another song in the works as well, that we'll try to finish soon.

posted by umbú (15 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

This is so lovely. It definitely does take it's time, but in a great way. It builds and then slowly ramps down without really losing the lazy momentum of a bossa track. Excellent collaboration, you could hear the distinct additions that each of you made, but still created a seamless song.

How did you decide on what kind of song you were going to do?
posted by baxter_ilion at 2:30 PM on January 31, 2011

Wow yeah, that's real purty. I'm a sucker for loops and layers, and these all just fit together so nicely. I really dig the field recordings, too.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:12 PM on January 31, 2011

I think we found a lot of common ground. It sure sounds like it. This is incredibly smooth and soulful. You guys make it sound easy to do, but I'm sure it wasn't.
posted by snsranch at 3:38 PM on January 31, 2011


Well done umbu and nicolin.
posted by Zenabi at 3:43 PM on January 31, 2011

Thanks, all. Baxter, nicolin and I know each other's posts here pretty well. We just went back and listened to each other's songs again and then brainstormed what we should do.
posted by umbú at 4:09 PM on January 31, 2011

This is just... this is beautiful. I love the ambient sounds in the early part, so peaceful, so calm.

Really, this is gorgeous. What a wonderful collaboration.
posted by ORthey at 9:12 PM on January 31, 2011

Yeah, this is super.

The cuica makes me want to see a cartoon of a bulldog and he's complaining and waving his front paws around.

That -- laugh? -- at 2:23 is perfectly timed.

The bells afterward are great, too.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:34 AM on February 1, 2011

Holy crap, I'm such a tramp. Umbú definitely made the difference here. Thanks for that challenge, it was a very good idea and maybe something to implement in the long run as a section of mefimu.
posted by nicolin at 2:26 AM on February 1, 2011

Pretty, pretty song!

It has such a good balance between sadness and hope.

Also, Latino rhythms get me everytime.
posted by Zenabi at 2:47 AM on February 1, 2011

Beautiful. The field recordings really made me happy. Great stuff.
posted by mintcake! at 8:01 AM on February 1, 2011

I knew immediately I was going to love this. I love when the percussion first comes in, it fit in an unexpected way (at least unexpected to my perhaps uninitiated ears). The church bells, the birds, the lazy conversation; this screams spring.
posted by Corduroy at 1:47 PM on February 1, 2011

I agree with baxter_ilion -- it's seamless, even with the disparate elements, and it just sounds like a single organic entity. I really like the open space and the mellow ambience. It's like I've been transported somewhere nice outside or somewhere peaceful and indoors, with all the windows open for fresh air. It reminds me of the adage "stop to smell the roses" -- here, it's stopping to enjoy the sounds: the birds, the bells, the music. I guess the only thing that disappointed me about the song was that it ended so soon.

The field recordings sound excellent. What gear did you use to record them, nicolin?

I'm definitely curious as to what your next collaboration will sound like!
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 11:29 PM on February 2, 2011

All my field recordings have been done with a Md-mt190 by Aiwa and a very inexpensive sony Ecm -T6 clip-on mike.

Thanks !
posted by nicolin at 2:14 AM on February 3, 2011

posted by peterkins at 5:39 AM on February 3, 2011

Thanks, nicolin. That's pretty good for such an inexpensive microphone.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 1:03 AM on February 4, 2011

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