Introducing… Canabrism’s “Faster Than Thought”

This year’s Canabrism album for the RPM challenge is called “Faster Than Thought”. Although the first draft was sent off to RPM HQ on March 1, a few more tweaks have been applied since then to arrive at this final version…

RPM Diary

Faster Than Thought Album Cover

As always, the RPM Challenge acts as a sort of February diary for me; the title is taken from coverage of the episode at CERN where scientists thought they had discovered neutrinos traveling faster than light.

It seems that science (or perhaps just science journalism) is full of events/phenomena that upon further inspection turn out to be larger/smaller/further/brighter/faster than thought…

The cover photo was taken in Berlin – it’s a shot of an art gallery window, and the reflection of the street opposite shows a wall with a minimalist graffiti illustration of Berlin’s famous TV Tower “Toothpick”.

The album itself was composed in Logic on a Macbook Pro, mostly sitting on a couch in Dublin’s city centre. The only other equipment used was a portable USB-powered mini keyboard, a ZOOM H1 field recorder, a Ukulele and a guitar.

Faster Than Thought – Tracklist

And as always, I name each song after something I observed on the day I began composing it; some observations being more mundane than others, and a disproportionate amount of them seem to be associated with food. Perhaps this is because during February I tend to devote much of my non-work time to the RPM challenge, and so meals are the only other main event of the evening – or perhaps I should just acknowledge my hedonistic tendency to indulge in epicurean delights, and move on.

Here are the tracks – titles with a play arrow can be listened to in the browser (or right-click to download). However, be careful not to put the web player’s volume too high, or it will distort the sound – use your computer’s audio panel to boost the volume if required.

1 – Shepherd’s Bush

At any rate, on 1st February I began the first track of the month, which ended up being the first track on the album, Shepherd’s Bush. Not connected with London, but rather the fact that a nice lady baked me a pie.

2 – Bison The Cake

The second track – Bison The Cake – was written on a Ukulele, and some electronic whooshings were added in later. I’m not sure of the origins of the name, but the Bison refers to a tasty Polish vodka called Zubrowka, each bottle of which contains a blade of Bison grass. There may also have been cake (I did complete Portal 2, so probably deserved some cake).

3 – Tiffany Allsorts

Track three – Tiffany Allsorts – is another Ukulele-driven piece; the name was inspired by a Ukulele session in my house during which we played “I think we’re alone now” as popularised by former pop icon, Tiffany. Now that I think about it, I should have thrown a couple of Tiffany samples in there.

4 – Brave Containers

Brave Containers was written on a Friday, and the name was inspired by a feature on the Six One news; I can’t recall the details, but it involved exporting large shipping containers filled with good things from Ireland to a place that was in dire need of good things.

5 – Late Skater

Late Skater is another food-inspired moniker; I went out for dinner with work colleagues and between hours and minutes it was quite late by the time we actually got around to eating. I ordered skate, and there we have a song title.

6 – Foot Frenzy

Foot Frenzy is based on an ostinato, but I can’t remember the origin of the title – probably a reference to Cristiano Ronaldo performing Riverdance.

7 – Lost Prawn Falling

Lost Prawn Falling was the problem child of the album, requiring the most revisions. It was not helped by the fact that at version 2, Logic decided to forget what settings my software instruments were on, so I had to recreate most of the sounds from scratch. The name is taken from a dinner-making adventure in which an intrepid crustacean made a last-ditch lunge for freedom – later on I added in some lyrics which continued the maritime theme.

8 – Glutinous Messers

Glutinous Messers is another track that changed significantly from the February version, with guitars, drums and miscellaneous effects added in to the middle section. The name is taken from another dinner at my house during Ukulele night, where there was a lot of rice and some messing.

9 – Frog Patches

Frog Patches, by contrast, didn’t change a whole lot, but was a tricky one to fit into the running order. The title is a quote from the weather forecast, though fortunately the predicted frog patches over the midlands didn’t appear in the end.

10 – Human Duvet

Human Duvet is a reference to my personal night-time heat radiation capabilities, and was composed for the nice lady who baked me a pie.

If you would like to download the entire album, feel free to do so by using this link:

Canabrism – Faster Than Thought (2012)


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