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Intimate Spaces Making-of Pt.3: The Pool


The last months have been quite busy and chaotic, so this new instalment of Making of Intimate Spaces comes with a bit of a delay. This will also be the last update on the matter here on Horizontalpitch, my notes on the remainig 3 tracks can be found on my website: kvsu.net/kurodama.

My process here was a little different from the other tracks in that I used a simple, homebrew Puredata patch to come up with a first musical sketch. Short loops taken from the recordings were pitched down, layered and sometimes reversed. I was mainly after the implicit rhythmic quality of the sounds, which emerges in the second part of the track.

Later, I recreated this sound collage in the DAW and combined it with rhythmic patterns made using a granular processor (Mutable Instruments Clouds) and several layers of drones made on the modular synth.

The main sonic element here is the drip sounds coming from the service room. I really liked them, and due to the strong reverb, and the added resonance of the room, they were even more interesting when pitched down and/or reversed.

Like all the tracks, this one underwent several changes over the years. An initial version featured a drum part, made from the drip sounds, which later was removed. Here’s an early version in which the watery sounds were a lot more present. Later, also thanks to some valuable feedback from a couple of friends and fellow musicians, I turned these sounds down a bit, moving them more towards the background.

Some of the modular sounds provide hints to the knowledgeable listener that while working on this track I was testing – a then still to be released – module from Mutable Instruments: Tides v2. I really liked the “different frequencies” output mode, which quantises the output to just intonation intervals, and I used it extensively.

As in all of these tracks, not everything that sounds like a synth really is one. Often, it’s just the recording that was heavily processed and mangled. For example, the dark drone sound that can be heard from 3:20 until the end is mostly just the noise floor, from the service room itself.

4 years after making the original recording, I went back to the service room. Interestingly, I could hear completely different sounds this time. The highlight was a plane passing by, resonating in the pipes and creating this wonderful roaring drone.


Graphic designer, illustrator and soundmangler. He makes music as kurodama and as part of the electronic music duo kvsu. Together with his wife Elizabeth he runs Papernoise, a small design studio located in northern Italy, specialised in graphic design for the world of music.

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