Watch a year in the life of Bassling


Cyclic Defrost contributors share a love of music and many practice what they preach. Jason Richardson records as Bassling and this clip reflects on his productions in 2016.

What follows are Jason’s words:

Duke Ellington is attributed with the line “I don’t need time, I need a deadline” and one of the things I like about my various online projects is that they encourage me to record regularly.

The results vary widely, from field recordings to songs, but the weekly deadlines keep me productive.

In recent years I’ve been a regular contributor to the Disquiet Junto and Naviar Records’ projects.

The Junto is a weekly prompt that usually uses a creative constraint as a direction and, while the process is often interesting, one of the biggest rewards is hearing dozens of results and learning from others.

Naviar Records use literature to suggest a mood to inspire composition, particularly haiku but in the past they’ve also used short stories.

Looking back over the results of 2016 I can see landscapes are still an influence, from field recordings through to an application that interprets wi-fi networks as musical notes.

It was also the year that I quit Soundcloud because it seemed like the only way to protest against their shuttering of the Groups function, which was where these online projects would come together to share notes.

As a result I focused on using Youtube as the platform to publish my sonic experiments and it became an interesting creative constraint, as I needed to plan a visual result as well as an audible one.

(One unlikely outcome was a series of videos about toasted sandwiches but that’s another story.)

The video above is a mixes together some of my recordings from 2016.

I’ve layered toothbrush recordings on top of circuit bent jams, birdsong with contact mic’d farm machinery, as well as running water over rock songs.

The process is much like a mash-up, where parts combine to create something greater than their sum, exploring serendipitous compositions through resonance and dissonance.

When I started I thought I’d explore possibilities for a new album of material but now I can see there needs to be a way to share sights as well as sounds — although it’s often better to close your eyes and explore the pictures that come to mind between your ears.

You can follow Jason’s sonic adventures here. And you can follow his literary adventures for Cyclic Defrost here.


About Author

Living in regional Australia led Jason Richardson to sample landscapes instead of records.