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Every Photon, 100 Times a Second

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Author Comments

This is my final entry for NGUAC 2017.
[edit: I won 1st place! hooray!]

I was inspired by the incredible videos of hummingbirds created by Anand Varma for National Geographic.

Not only was the information fascinating (of which there is more in the linked article at the bottom of the aforementioend post) but I had an emotional reaction to the videos themselves. His images captured a world very familiar, yet when slowed down, have an otherworldly ethereal beauty.

Harmonically, everything is based on stacked 5ths. The harmony is extended in the bridge.

Most of the sounds came from the acoustic guitar (played with fingers, chopsticks, ebow, allen wrench, and slide). Other sounds for the percussion came from cardboard boxes, a wood block, and simple wave forms (mostly white noise and sine waves). There's an 808 bass drum sample as well.

The prominent melody is voiced primarily by sine waves, then doubled with glockenspiel and vibraphone. I also used a really crappy flute soundfont which was mangled, distorted, and detuned to mimic the feel of a mellotron.

The guitar glitches were painstakingly chopped and hand placed.

The guitar was purposely tuned just a touch flat in the beginning and was distressed using a combination of distortion, eq, heavy compression, and a vinyl plugin. Background noise and tape hiss is purposeful and in some places, added artificially using a combination of pink noise and samples from various fans (air conditioner, kitchen vent, bathroom vent, computer). In general, quirks like hisses pops and subtly (and at times not so subtly) drifting pitch are the name of the game.

I encourage you to listen to this track while scrolling through the videos linked above.

Thank you for the opportunity. This has been fun.

website: http://sleepfacingwest.com
instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alwaystokyo/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvyxqBpnrzFqw7VW1UxR2hA
twitter: https://twitter.com/SleepFacingWest

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Ah, I just came back onto Newgrounds after a bit, and forgot what I Favorited, and saw this. Man, I remember why I Favorited this, it is very soothing, yet kind has a trance feel to it. Keep doing great music!

Awesome work and congrats on winning first place!
It's been a while since I last checked NG, and the first thing I see on the front page is this, love it!

sleepFacingWest responds:

Thanks! Great to see you back here. I somehow missed your terramonsters intro. Really can't wait to see more of that.

This is phenomenal. Really great work, both the production and the composition. Really well thought out! Well deserved first place. :)

sleepFacingWest responds:

thank you! I didn't expect to even get to the last round. There were a lot of really great musicians taking part. Winning was a very pleasant surprise.

I'm very impressed, this should be one of the bests songs i've heard on Newgrounds ever, it's so well done :0

sleepFacingWest responds:

thank you! This competition has reminded me what a difference working with live instruments makes.

im 122% sure that this is the best song ive heard on ng

sleepFacingWest responds:


Credits & Info

4.49 / 5.00

Aug 12, 2017
1:24 PM EDT
File Info
9.3 MB
4 min 4 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.