BlogThe usual and unusual happenings involving me and my musical projects

With Tortured Affection Track Deconstruction

neo | Nov, 29 2013 at 2:45 UTC | Track Deconstruction

Smear Campaign's fifth track, With Tortured Affection, was created exclusively from pieces of the track Nowhere Safe. The title was one of my entries into the Name My Horror Film contest. This title seemed quite suiting for the track in that it was created from a part of the film's score.

There are a couple of elements making up the barren soundscape at the root of this piece. The first is the acoustic percussion section, which was elongated to build the lower, more distant portion of the desolate wind layer. The second was the glitch industrial drum portion appearing in the first half of Nowhere Safe. This part was manipulated in a similar way to create the higher wind sounds. The idea was to give a true feeling of emptiness.

The melodic content comes courtesy of a very harmonically rich bowed glass segment. The instrument was not capable of producing a strong defining root, which resulted in a very dissonant and unsettling drone. This melodic layer is brought in and out of the foreground, again to try and portray an image of desolation. 

The harsh buildup is a heavily manipulated layer, which consists of a good amount of distortion from Kombinat and a very high reverb send level. The basis comes from a small atmospheric clip buried in the mix of Nowhere Safe. This just proves that you should never leave a stone unturned when designing sound, you could very well miss the gold.

The melodic ending is pretty much a verbatim copy of the bell-like ending to Nowhere Safe, only on a much longer scale. I felt a bit of beauty was needed to complete the portrayal. 

The overall process was quite similar to creating The Deepest of Black Waters, which I tend to think of as the older sibling to With Tortured Affection.

I suppose that With Tortured Affection could be seen as a longing. That being without a person makes the world feel cold and bleak, like being alone in a barren land surrounded only by dirt and skeleton trees, the only sound being that of the frozen wind. The more serene ending is somewhat like coming home.

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