Introducing… Canabrism’s “A Stillness Building”

Although the idea of the RPM Challenge is to write, record and produce an album from start to finish within the temporal confines of the month of February, observant readers will note that Canabrism has been inclined to push these boundaries a little…

This liberal interpretation of the RPM guidelines was pushed to new heights last year, with the 2010 album ‘Little Bobby Tables‘ being finally presented in December.

This year, although still painfully stretching the time limit (which is actually quite appropriate considering the theme of the album), I am pleased to present Canabrism’s ‘A Stillness Building’, more than three months in advance of the Christmas rush.

Building On Local Talent

The title of the album comes from a poem by Dublin poet Colm Keegan. The phrase ‘a stillness building’ struck me as a good title for an album when I first heard it at the Brown Bread Mixtape in the Stag’s Head in January, so I decided to appropriate it for my RPM album.

Stretching The Truth

The album itself is founded on a bed of extreme timestretching, thanks to a remarkable piece of freely downloadable software called PAULstretch, created by Nasca Octavian PAUL. You can grab a copy of the software here…this is what was used for that viral hit when a Justin Bieber single was transformed into a 40 minute ambient Sigur Ros style epic.

Apart from the seventh track, ‘Froublink’, the stretched material is not generally the main focus of the songs, serving instead to provide sonic backgrounds and textures on which the music is overlaid. Stretching out recordings and then sampling a short fragment of the result can provide some very nice source material for performance as a sample based instrument, or for further processing.

Playing The Field

Canabrism: A Stillness Building

For the first track, I used some field recordings that I captured at my friends’ wedding in North Carolina, almost exactly a year ago (exactly exactly a year ago this Sunday, to be exact). Several relatives and friends of the family were playing songs on the porch of a large cabin overlooking a lake, surrounded by forests, mountains and revellers in the wake of some mighty downpours…in this context, the track ‘Alleleuia, the great storm is over’ by Bob Franke was particularly apt, and a snippet of this found its way onto ‘Happening to Wait’. The main pulsing sound of this track is created using a Paulstretched sound fed through Pro Tools’ own filtergate plugin…

If you would like to check out the album in its entirety, then you can download it for free here, or purchase as mp3/CD. If you could also pass it along to anyone you feel might like it, I would be much obliged…

Canabrism – A Stillness Building (2011)


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