JeremyCumbo.com
Composer/Sound Artist

My Music

Ditto

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Through It All

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Synth and classical textures interwoven. An attempt at bridging the gap between very modern timbres and very dramatic scoring.

Restive

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Trying my hand at something more up beat. A mix of virtual/sampled instruments & analog synth.

Once

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Just trying to create something beautiful. Harp and Piano are sampled, but all else is created using the modular synth i've been building... attempting to make the synth sound as natural as possible when combined with more traditional instruments.

Pulse

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Attempting to expand my musical styles a bit, this is an attempt at something a bit less 'classical'. Also my first real attempt at using a modular synth in my work.

The Fates

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Loosely based on the three Fates from greek mythology: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. A mixed ensemble piece with intense counterpoint, built up by a canon of increasing complexity.

Sea-shell Wind-Chimes, Dawn

Download Sea-shell Wind-Chimes, Dawn

A while ago we received a gift of a beautiful set of wind-chimes made out of sea-shells found on Fire Island. I set about creating a piece of music incorporating them and, after many months of revisions, this is what I created. The rhythmic pattern of the sea-shell wind-chimes was created via a PD program, as were some of the ambient effects. Vocals were provided by my beautiful wife Juliana.

Weaves

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Another short piece for Jun Kang. Simple instrument doubling combined with layered effects.

Persistence

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A piece I've been working on for quite some time. Essentially an electronic percussion ensemble with strings. Trying to find a way to create music in such a way that I can take advantage of all of the power of the computer while not giving up the musicality of traditional classical music.

Sunbeams Through Stained Glass

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Another piece for Jun Kang. All of the sounds used in the piece were made by convolving alto flute and vocal samples.

Shimmer Pairs

Shimmer Pairs

Another short piece written for director Jun Kang. Just piano and heavily modified tremolo strings.

Sines & Ground Loop

Sines

Ground Loop

Two experimentations with sine waves. Both for director Jun Kang.

Creative Commons License

All music and content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.

Contact

I live and work in beautiful Austin, Texas and am always looking to get my music out there. If you are interested in my music or in working with me get in touch at contactjeremycumbo@gmail.com.

Audio Software & Programming

Expert Sleepers Disting Quick Reference

The Expert Sleepers Disting is a multi-function Eurorack module that can play many roles. But all that versatility comes with a cost: every time I use it I find myself having to review the manual. And while the online manual is rather good, it's a pain to have to open a web browser to view it each time. So for easy reference i've put together a quick-reference PDF, linked below. Doesn't include the full detail, of course - just a summary of the feature selection.

Expert Sleepers Disting Quick Reference (pdf)

Eurorack Filter Demo: Doepfer A-108 Filter Sweeps

Having recently gotten into Eurorack modular synths (may the Eurorack gods have mercy on my checking account, and my wife on me), I recently bought a Doepfer A-108 filter. It's a "Moog-like" ladder filter with, I think, a great sound. More information: on ModularGrid.net, and on Doepfer's website. When trying to decide whether or not to buy it I noticed there weren't many demos available for this module (aside from the excellent demo by Andreas Krebs) so I decided to do a quick demo.

The filter sweeps were recorded using the saw wave output on an Intellijel Dixie II, through the A-108 (audio level set to '3' - or roughly "10:00 o-clock" on the pot so as not to distort), into an RME babyface, and recorded into Logic Pro X without any further processing. Five filter sweeps for each of the 5 outputs are recorded, each with different resonance settings (or "emphasis", as labeled on the module). Specifically:

Enjoy:

Evolving Melodies

In recent works i’ve had an interest in using the concept of evolution to help with composition. There’s a value in having alternatives presented to you, giving you ideas that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of. Pure randomness is interesting, but tends to result in far too much variation - at least for my taste. What seems to be ideal is a tool that will vary musical ideas, but only slightly and gradually. This allows for variations on a theme rather than wholesale scrambling.

Enter evolution. Or at least a rough approximation of evolution.

What follows is a relatively simple Python program which can take midi files and create variations of the musical contents. It produces a set of files that are based on the original file, but vary in minor ways. For example: one pitch of a melody will be shifted up or down, notes will be split into two, note durations will be decreased or increased, etc. Disclaimer: I tried to model evolution with this software, but it’s not intended to be an accurate model. I deviated (some might say cheated) where I thought it would produce more interesting musical results.

My process so far has been to run this program once or twice a day, picking the variation that I prefer from those generated, and using it as the input to the next iteration. In a literal and evolutionary sense the user of the program is the ‘selection mechanism’. Each running of the program is somewhat like a ‘generation’ of offspring. Starting with a very basic melody (the same pitch repeated as quarter notes), each progressive ‘generation’ gets more and more diverse and interesting. The initial melodies are very very basic, almost unlistenable. But out of that monotony, gradually, you get some interesting musical ideas. The results are still dependent on my tastes (again, i’m the “selection mechanism”, choosing the variations I like best) and another person would get different results, but it’s unlikely that I would have created these melodies from scratch; doubtful these exact variations would have come to mind.

'Evolving Melodies' Source Code (right-click and "save as...")

Initial melody:

Fifth iteration:

Tenth iteration:

Final iteration (13th):

Easy Convolution with SoundHack.

SoundHack, a freeware program by Tom Erbe, has some terrific and unique functionality for manipulating sound - including convolution.

Convolution, a type of analysis-based sound file manipulation often used for reverb, can be used to generate some extremely interesting sounds by "cross-breeding" two source sound files. This can be done programatically with a number of music programming languages like CSound and Max/MSP, but SoundHack makes it quite easy (and free).

SoundHack user interface.