Sacred Bits

All songs composed and recorded by Dianne Hackborn.
© 2002 Dianne Hackborn. All rights reserved.

0001. Spies With Guns‡* (3:49) began as a joke. I wrote the first part of it while visiting my parents one Christmas, having only their computer's built-in General MIDI synthesizer with which to hear it. I thought I was writing a dorky bass line with cheesy orchestra hits (a computer's synthesizer will do that to you), but when I got home and played it on a real synthesizer it was actually kind-of fun. It's still a silly piece, but the drum part almost saves it. The main inspirations for this piece where Propellerheads and King Crimson.

0010. Sacred Bits(6:15) is the first song I wrote using the Proteus 2000. The acquisition of that synthesizer created a fairly significant change in the kind of music I was writing, which I started to realize as soon as this piece starting coming together. The ending was written because of my brother Eric's comment that the first bass line was the best part of the song.

0011. Alone, Looking In†‡ (5:09) is, I think, about as close as I can come to goth. It was inspired largely by Switchblade Symphony, particularly the emphasis on bass parts as is heard at the beginning here. I can't say that the rest actually ended up much like one of their songs, and I have no idea how that reggae sounding beat during the chorus got there, but I do enjoy how it all came out.

0100. Tool Experiment #2(:49) is one of a number of pieces I have written to explore the algorithmic composition tools in Sequitur. The piece is almost entirely built using a tool called "Echosystem," which generates strings of notes in lines. One of the parameters in the tool allows you to modify how velocity changes across the line (a simple decay results in an echo effect, hence the name). In this case the tool's velocity curve is usually set to a sinusoidal wave of various periods, which then beat against other lines with different waves.

0101. May I Have This Dance?†‡ (5:07) is your basic piece of dance music, or at least an attempt at one. The song itself is fairly simple... but that would be the point, wouldn't it? Like many songs I write, this one started out with the bass line and progressed from there

0110. The Lost Valley(2:55) started life as the basic two bar chord progression that still introduces the piece. I had those two bars sitting around for a long time and kept stumbling across them, thinking "I really like that thing; I should do something with it." Finally one day I added the bass part, the melody appeared almost as-is, and that was that.

0111. Into The Breach(5:03) was originally supposed to be an acoustic percussion thing in which to play around with the themes from other pieces on the album. That was the plan, at least. I first picked out 16 interesting sounds from the Proteus, then began to write the piece... and discovered I actually had very few acoustic percussion sounds. So, instead of the original plan, over the course two or three evenings this is what came out.

1000. Conquest†‡ (4:56) is the first piece I wrote that really makes use of the V-Drums. It originally started as the initial bass line that remains here, with a drum part on the Proteus. I couldn't get that drum part to work, however, so finally tried switching to the V-Drums. The natural sound of the V-Drums largely drove the psuedo-progressive sound of the rest of the piece. The middle slow section was inspired by a Styx (yes, I have no shame) song.

1001. Bells‡* (5:59) is the oldest piece here. It was originally written soon after I got my spiffy new Yamaha TG-100 synthesizer. (It is that old.) One of the instruments that tickled my fancy on that synthesizer was the tubular bell, and here it is in all its glory. The version here has been arranged to make use of many of the better sounds found on the V-Drums (not including the tubular bell!), though it probably still suffers in comparison to the other songs.

1010. Empty Evening†‡* (6:47) developed over the course of about eight years. During most of that time, the only synthesizer I had was the TG-100. I wrote most of this piece (up to the 3:10 mark where it transposes) early on, but through attempt after attempt could never find anything I liked to continue it at that point. When I got the V-Drums I re-arranged many parts to use that instrument, but was still stuck. A while after getting the Proteus I did some more arranging for that instrument (particularly the World Expedition sound set), and finally the last half fell into place.

1011. Sacred Bytes†‡ (9:34) takes some of my favorite parts of other songs here, mixing them all together. The song included here marks my third attempt at doing this ("Into The Breach" being the second), and finally I didn't get distracted by other things. The piece probably doesn't stand up all that well on its own (too many unrelated parts crammed together), but serves pretty well as a restatement of the rest of the album. Fittingly, of all the songs here the last minute or so of this piece is probably my favorite part.

All sounds heard here came from the †Proteus 2000, ‡Roland V-Drums TD-8, and *Yamaha TG-100 synthesizers.
All songs composed and performed with Sequitur for BeOS and recorded with the Aardvark Q10.

Dianne Kyra Hackborn <>
Last modified: November 8, 2004

This web page and all material contained herein is the fault and Copyright 2004 Dianne Hackborn, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.