who i am is where i'm from

I've made it a small mission of mine (when I have the spare time) to relate my process of writing and producing a bit more using this site as a venue and conduit for my thoughts. There may even be some goodies (for the most part, free sounds or stems) that pop up on here from time to time so check back every now and then. Also, if you want me to post about a singular track or album or mix or anything, shoot me an email at banewaker@gmail.com and I'll see what I can do! 

In this section I won't post things up until I have something to say about it (each entry will be dated when written, and I'll more than likely revisit each post), but if you want to just listen to pretty much everything I've released, use the main fidelium page.

I hope giving some insight into what I've created it might help you understand where I am coming from a little bit more.

[In]Fidelium

As I sort of mentioned already, I'll be editing these posts as I find more info in my archives on whichever subject. So visit back often. I'm planning on planting goodies in here, including but not limited to: stems for tracks for anyone to use as they please (except for commercial purposes, but we can talk about that if you have a really cool idea), visual art made by me or by others who inspire me, links to other people's work, things I've never released before (such as samples and sound files and full tracks whether finished or not), synth patches, and tutorials. For the most part this section of my site is an outlet for musings and thoughts to give any reader access to my processes and journey as a composer and producer, because who I am is where I'm from.

This isn't an opportunity for me to ask you for money. It's really just a way for those touched by my music to connect to it more. And it's an interesting way for me to connect to it as well, because I lose focus often.

this page is more for me than it is for you.

I realize some people reading this are close to me and they will read or see things they didn't know about me for the first time. Like drug use, idiotic escapades where I almost died, bad decisions, etc. My advice is just try to realize that the whole point of this is for you to know me better. I'm sorry for hiding. It was only because I was afraid.

"Bluffs" (IBFWID 2013) 


this was written for my brother Ryan Baker around 2005-2006. I was about 20 years old, maybe 19, him 17-18, and I was in the midst of falling off the deep end with drugs and booze. just partying too much, I was a mess and he was the first one to call me out. we had a huge fall out and he was very angry with me for some mistakes i made, i failed him as a big brother in a big way as we were young and growing men. I'm a total dumbass and always have been, a goddamn ticking timebomb of energy that says yes too often yet not when it's the most moral thing. I don't know, I've changed a lot. I hope ryan sees that now, it's been over a decade. this song represents the energy i had toward that in my late teens. One of those things you write where you don't remember the exact situation that caused these emotions, yet you recall the exact place you were sitting when you did write it and exactly how you felt when it all just came together like you're simply assembling this mental puzzle made out of pieces of your brainstream. me? I was sitting in the exact room we had a bunk bed in, with the same bleach stain on the carpet from a story I'll let Ryan tell you. I was pathetic... sober, but not. Just not honest with myself, or anyone really. Moved back in with the parents, because I had nowhere else to go. Sad and confused. Production station setup, motivated to write music but incapable because I was hiding from myself. You can't hide from your little brother.

anyway, in highschool we used to go to these bluffs at the end of old town fair oaks. they overlooked a river... some river... we would smoke weed and socialize, all of our old friends were there and they remember it better than I do. we would just talk about life as we knew it and philosophize over things we probably would now find trivial. there was this cool bridge. yeah, a bridge. and like, birds. I have crappy photos of all this somewhere (or not). FYI though, this was before everyone owned a cell phone, and phones were certainly not smart at that point yet. huh. can't remember whether it's the american or sacramento river we overlooked... whatever. it parallels HWY50, does that help? one of my friends who reads this will correct me, probably Bern. 

my brother and I spent a lot of time on those bluffs. i had a girl break-up with me there. pretty sure he possibly lost his virginity with in the vicinity. it's more than that shit though. it's where I feel he transformed from my naive little brother into a man who could survive outside of my shadow, which he hid under for most of our childhood. he just started excelling, above and beyond. 

he's 29 this year. he's really become an amazing guy (read that as: he's always been amazing, and maybe it this 'coming of age' saga is more the about ME coming to the understanding that he's always been amazing; i just had to stop being self-absorbed for five seconds). for real though, all of us transform together, sometimes connected and sometimes not. so i'm not taking credit at all. I was transforming too. I am not claiming to be the catalyst that made Ryan Baker who he is today, but I guess I just am happy that I got to be there, for the most part, to watch those little transformations take place within his soul, which, like all Bakers, translates directly into facial expressions. So I mean, I got to physically see his river run through it like a costume change during an opera, because my kin's faces instantly make stupid and overexaggering expressions when we feel things. oh i'm the worst one. Ryan is close second. case in point:

what a strapping young lad eh?

pretty sure he's farting.

Diametry, 2011 ("DUH I'M A TREE")  Podcast



Album name:
Diametry
Album release site: https://fidelium.bandcamp.com/album/diametry​
Date: 2011 
Type: LP/Full Album
Genre: Electronic/Dubstep/Ambient/140bpm/IDM/Bass music

Listen here while reading!



OK. I have copious notes, and I have some organization to do with this post so bear with me while I do that. Here are some of the things I wrote in the process of creating Diametry. 
 

Diametry is full of samples with relevant and contextual musical snippets and quotes from various people. Here are just a few of them that I pulled from memory. I'll try to talk more about this and cite where each sample is located (for now I just will provide track names... see if you can spot them yourself for now!) 

- a cassette tape recorder, (very beginning and very ending of album)
- John Cage, musican and innovator (Diametry - Intro)
- Richard Dawkins, scientist (Intro)
- George W Bush, president of the united states (Transfigure)
- Jeff Goldblum, actor
- Harry S Truman, president of the united states (The Volcanist)
- crackhead recorded from my living room window on Polk street, san francisco (Streetlight Daydream)
- Aaron Russo, political activist (Radiation)
- Chinese women's chamber singer choir (Streetlight Daydream)
- muni/Bart (various tracks)
- Unknown choir singing in unknown African dialect (Radiation)
- Muslim prayer chant (Infinitesimal)
- modern inventor (Transfigure)
- dijeridoo (Diametry - Intro)
- sample of child saying "God created the world" 
- Mahalia Jackson (Beyond)
- Terrence McKenna (Stoned Ape)
- various newscasters (various places, definitely Stoned Ape)
- Barack Obama (Stoned Ape)
- Bilbo Baggins from "The Hobbit" animated 1970s cartoon (The Volcanist) (listen for it -- "and I shall call you... STING")
- ... and the sound the dying spiders made when Bilbo fought them in Mirkwood Forest of the same cartoon
 


I'm a total fucking goober.

In winter 2014, the concept for Diametry came to me in a dream. I jumped out of bed and started trying to apply my whirlwind of thoughts into words. This is what came out of that: 

Diametry

Diametric objects are direct opposites of one another, like water and land, but are connected symbolically and symbiotically. Both are necessary to the survival of the other, each completing their life circle. In diametry two people that are the farthest from eachother in contrast are more alike than anyone else in the world.  

Diametry follows the story of two wanderers who struggle in, and eventually attempt to pull themselves out of, a hazy nightmareland filled with Huxleyan oppressors and hellish warmongerers. Refusing to be overtaken by the drugged stagnancy that destroys the essence of the good (or their perception of what is good), the two wanderers quickly discover they are polar opposites and that by Fate's sense of humor alone did they collide. Using their spiritual diametry to their advantage, they manage to escape the gates of the dark city. In getting closer to what feels like enlightment, and upon exiting the thicket of propaghandish media saturation and entering a forest of self discovery, the wanderers discover the failure of their nature and the inevibility of their downfall. As the house always wins, no human or breathing being cheats nature. While they happily shed the giant burden of numbed senses, they take on the bigger burden of being extremely self-aware. Many adventures are experienced and many hurdles are jumped. Broken and weary from their journey and the pain of newly acquiired reality, the wanderers happen upon a large body of water where beyond the thick fog lies the daunting unknown. Only those that truly understand their futility are permitted to float into what would be the pineal gland equivalent of heaven, a place where celestial gates are actually a mist thicker than that of the dark city they escaped. Both wanderers shed their belongings and dip into the current, hoping to emerge into the only life that will accept those that have decended in to the madness of reality and returned none the same.  

My goal behind this is to provide a speculative look into the nature of morphing sound environments that occur and transform over time, much like the way that we experience sound on a journey through a visually enticing place. No instance is ever the same and your senses are flying in every direction. Imagine yourself Getting on the train and enduring the rage of metal meeting metal, then entering a city into a crowd of jammering and scuffling people. Then Venturing through the alleys and the tops of buildings, down into the belly of the earth, and finally reaching the edge of a dock on the water where every sound is distant except for the slowly flowing water and soft rain storm. You end up in a world that is the opposite of the world you started in, and even after all the pain you experienced in pulling yourself through the door, appreciation of the mindstate you shed will remain in hindsight.  

 I am interested in the sound events that occur naturally and incorporating them in to my workflow. this album is based on the input and oversaturation of media and how this mixes with the metamorphosising atmosperes we experience minute by minute. Diametry blends in layers, melding with our consciousness and keeping us whole. We are who we are because of it, It is a reference to human connection and the roles we take in it.  

Use stems to help with track transitions (these need to be mastered too)  

Finish the ending to understand with orchestral build up that fades into sound of rain and water splashing. Have the final sound be a super epic build up of bass and synth that stops short, so that if the album is on repeat it will flow perfectly.  

Diametry final tracklisting forecast:

1. Diametry  
2. Streetlight Daydream  
3. Transfigure  
4. Radiation  
5. The Volcanist  
6. Infinitesimal (record stefs music box and use)  
7. To See Eye (use non beat part from one of your epic parts on LLELL, make it more ambient ish, add subbass and sick sound sample design of glass breaking and over compressed and stretched machinery samples. Add sound samples you havent used yet. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style.  
8. Beyond  
9. Stoned Ape  
10. Into My Eyes (Remix)  
11. Prism  
12. Understand

The first track i worked on that made realize "wow this is going to be a  full length ablum" was The Volcanist. 

I still remember coming home from some party, I'm pretty sure it was Pinch or Scuba at Public Works (Pinch spun this all vinyl set, some guy bumped the table his decks were on, he got super pissed), sitting down at my shitty self built PC and being in the middle of sequencing the beat from that track, and almost dying from how excited I was by it. Shit sounded GOOD. REAL GOOD. Everything just seemed to start coming together at once. The gears began spinning.

That's how writing this whole album felt: like it was supposed to exist. Everything kept falling together over and over again. From Maura's vocals on Radiation to the African chant in Radiation. I would just drop samples into the timeline and somehow they would sound right, and with a bit of manipulation, sound perfect.



Upon the album's completion and release, I came to this realization and jotted this down in my notebook:

"You released Diametry on the same day the Norway massacre happened.  

So trippy, one of his main court dates fell on my bday, also I released diametry on 22 July 2011"

I found this random thought in my notes and found it interesting to include for historical context of the time Diametry was released. In a lot of ways, tragic acts of violence that humans commit on each other is one of the many subjects of this album (Volcanist is a reference to the atomic bombs dropped on Japanese citizens by the United States, ending world war two and tarnishing humanity to this day). As Norway is such a serene area of earth inhabited by peaceful people, this event rocked the world and threw it on its side. Obviously, I hadn't planned things to go down this way, but I remember hoping that my music could somehow help those affected find a way to heal their wounds. Music is a very powerful healing agent, 

....

 

so trippy.

s                     .
o                 .
o              .
o           .
o        .
o     .
o   .


trrrrrriiiiipppppppyyyyyyyy










 

wtf is wrong with me.



Diametry is a seemless album where each track fades into the other without spaces between. To do this, you have to be very specific where each cut happens. Here are the timings:
 

Diametry transition timings 

Diametry 0:00.000 to 01:33.05689 

Streetlight daydream01:33.05689   to 08:11.15635 

Transfigure 08:11.15635 to 15:31.12543 

Radiation 15:31.12543 to 22:03.42807 

The volcanist 22:03.42807 to 29:23.18901 

Infinitesimal 29:23.18901 to 37:07.29562 

Two see i37:07.29562 to 40:40.01860 

Beyond  40:40.01860 to 47:46.28341 

stoned ape47:46.28341  to 52:47.31874 

Into my eyes 52:47.31874 to 57:59.25768 

Prism 57:59.25768 to 1:03:58.16420 

Understand 1:03:58.16420 to 01:10:44.29606
 


The Art

Diametry's colorful visual concept was constructed by my friend Chris Hines, who I know through IDMforums, based on a number of landscape paintings by Stefani O'Driscoll. 

Stefani and I were dating at the time (around 2010) and lived in this little rinkadink yet kind of cozy 1br apartment in the Tenderloin (downtown San Francisco), back in 2010. Our purpose of moving there was so that I could pursue my education at SFSU, and that we both could get the fuck out of Sacramento. The idea of moving to the littlest big city on earth seemed so romantic and carried so much artistic appeal that it was hard to resist. The transition from Sacramento to SF was both a dream and an extreme challenge for us, and we had to adapt. It was rarely easy. The first year living in this place not-so-far-from-home still made us feel like we had entered an entirely new universe, but we gave ourselves little choice but to fall into it, all in, all bets off. While I produced the sounds that made Diametry from when it became dark and pretty much until the sun came up, Stef had to bear with me while I looped samples and tracks over and over again at a loud volume. i damn near drove her insane. I can understand, as I make weird fucking sounds, and they would drive me insane if I wasn't already insane. in the end she appreciated the outcome. Diametry. Even though this was a difficult piece of art to produce it will remain special between me, Stef, and a the other people involved in its creation. More on them later...

Stef's paintings that we included with the liner art were produced with acrylic on canvas by her.  One day that I can almost remember, with the sun shining through our wannabe bay windows in mid-afternoon, she painted this piece evoking a misty green threshold to a forest, a prairie, with a red tree guarding it. Something about the contrast in colors attracted me to the idea that this symbolically portrayed that, in our reality, things that don't typically belong in a certain place/reality/dimension generally, eventually, tend to thrive where they are blessed to be -- they flourish, even. this budding concept of opposing colors and silly double entendres (if you don't get the "duh I'm a tree" along with the fact that there is a big fucking red tree on the cover, and the album is called. fucking -- **DIAMETRY**. just say out loud, do you get it now? yeah that reference. you get it now. good job... what were we talking about?) fit so well with my message that I had to see it through. I don't care what your opinion is regarding run-on sentences.

I asked Chris to royally fuck up the tree forest with digital art, and he was all on board. Stefani was never happy with the idea of someone layering ideas on top of her art, but my vision was to push the idea of Diametry further. What defines that idea better than to expose a portal of digital glitch computer art pouring itself out into the canvas of an organic painting? I felt it was the most appropriate idea. 


I'll post the work in progress from him once I get the ok. It's pretty funny, for example:


Yeah that's my face. I'm really regretting not making that my album cover right now. Chris is a fucking hilarious guy. He makes great music. In fact, he just released an album here. I mastered his album "Dollarstore" on IDMf that you can find here. The further you delve into this guy's life, you're going to very quickly realize that Chris is a genius. Yibbon is brilliant beyond words. Please pay attention to Chris Hines and everything he does. Thank you.

Ok back to me.

I have a lot more to say about Diametry so when I have time I will come back and add things as I go.

I just need to make sure you got this on repeat: Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. Wooosh woosh amon tobin style. 

attached is the original version of my remix of Toronto Is Broken's "Into My Eyes" which has the vocal sample from somewhere that I couldn't include it in Diametry (honestly don't know what i was thinking... I included every other fucking thing in there). Enjoy! Take it for free, I give zero fucks.

Updated 02/18/16

ZXYZXY - ひので (Hinode) (Fidelium Remix)  Podcast

Album release site: http://zxyzxy.bandcamp.com/album/hinode
Date: 2009
Type: Remix

This reworking of ZXYZXY's emotional Hinode track was a huge turning point for me in my music. I attempted to shift my production style over to be more dance friendly, but instead I found myself dealing with some kind of late 2000's artsy dubstep track. I was really into the atmosphere and sub-friendly aspects of dubstep at the time, especially what was coming out of Bristol for years already at that point. On constant rotation was a lot of Vibesquad and Bassnectar at the time so that helped... The wobblebass sound itself, as opposed to the fad that grew out of it, attracted me to try my take at it, and I even enjoyed the strenuous work of manipulating LFO>filter cutoff envelope automation into patterns that made the bass, in a way, come to life like some kind of creature.

Greg (ZXYZXY) approached me with his original version of the track, and something about its harmony spoke to me and awakened a musical spirit in me that I thought was dead by this point (so dramatic of me). I'll explain and try to be brief: At the time that I started this remix project, I had been on a huge, involuntary musical hiatus for the usual reasons: I experienced a pretty grueling breakup in 2007 that rendered me pretty hollow, as well as homeless... but the worst consequence of it was that I had nowhere to live for awhile. So I had to move home with my parents. My dad had also been diagnosed with non-hodgkin's lymphoma (spoiler: he's all good now), and that hit the family pretty hard. I like to think that my presence at home while my dad fought cancer in a way helped us both out of the funk we were in, his physical for the most part and mine psychological and emotional. The only downside to all of this ground-zero healing going on is that 1) I had little access to any computer to record or produce on, and 2) I felt zero inspiration to make anything. That all said, it was a good time to focus on Wayne the person, not Wayne the musician. I got happier, my dad and I grew closer, and in general we both got better. I moved to a small apartment in downtown Sacramento and tried to get my life back together.


Check out ZXYZXY's other tunes on this album and his others if you get the chance. I had the honor of doing the post-production for Subclass of the Dead, and I highly recommend it. If you want to know what he's been working on more currently, visit his other artist page here:  http://gregorypappas.net/. He's even written a book!


Greg has been a huge influence on my growth and education as a solo artist and a producer.