Rome, day 03. Bamboo clones, cactus fans.


An intriguing sound in the cactus glass house, clone video experiments in the bamboo garden.

Today I went to Botanical Gardens. I always do in every city I visit.


Rome Botanical Gardens are quite nice, well kept, neatly organized. Proper. It’s a botanical garden you can trust. Maybe not the botanical garden you’d bring to a romantic movie, but it’s the kind of garden that pays the bills on time and empties the dish-washer every day.

Here I found the first really interesting sound. In this super-long glass house, the ceiling fans where running on max to move the air.


All the fans spinning with almost exactly the same frequency, creating a loud, wonderful chorus-y buzz-y tone. Moving through the house created lots of phasing and flanging effects.


I took the recording into Melodyne, where it quickly identifies each separate tonal element of the sound, and lets me adjust it to the nearest musical pitch. Here’s a Soundcloud example of the original sound, the fixed sound, and some simple playing around with it.

I also have some masking, layering and slow-motion ideas I want to try out, so I set up a Gopro in the bamboo forest and ran around for while. It took some time figuring out how to do it, and I’m not sure it will work the way I intend. But it was an interesting experiment, and I’m really happy for the Cactus Fan sound. I used it as an instrument to play some drone and simple pads, creating a spookier resulting video then it really was.

Here’s a picture of bamboo.



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