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Clark D. Crawford

Members: Clark Crawford

Years: 1993-Present

Genre: Lo-Fi, Instrumental, Electronic, Modern Music


Not much to say here... I am me. I write and record music. My journey into multitrack recording began in December 1993 when my parents bought me a Tascam Porta07 4-track cassette recorder for Christmas. After that... I never looked back.


My current recording rig is Logic Pro X and Pro Tools HD 12. After many years of having a studio full of analog synths, in 2009 I made the decision to go all virtual. In place of the synthesizers, I've started acquiring more obscure stringed instruments like a baritone ukelele and an Irish bouzouki.

Virtually all of the personal recordings I made between 1993 and 1996 were done under my own name. Sometime in 1997, I started writing and releasing tracks under a variety of pseudonyms according to various styles or projects. Since then, the pieces I have written and recorded as Clark Crawford have typically been more of the academic, modern music sort of thing.

Glimpses Of America (From The Backseat) (2003)

This was a sound installation I did for one of the Willow Street Concerts in early 2003. The concept was based on my childhood memories of sitting in the backseat of the family car while we drove across the country on vacations. I would often sit and just stare out the window watching the towns and houses and people pass by. Even as a child, I had an awareness of the fact that they all had lives full of dreams, successes, fears, and sorrows and yet in my world, they were simply blips on my radar that quickly passed by... never to be seen again.


The original installation was 8-channels on four sets of stereo speakers and the layout of the room can be seen in the diagram below. The arrangement allowed for people to walk in, sit down for a while and then get up and leave whenever they desired. The stereo speakers at the front and back of the room played infinitely looping road noise (tires on asphalt). The stereo speakers to the left and right of the room were each connected to a CD player set to random repeat. This way they would randomly select tracks off the CD and play them infinitely.


Each CD was a mix of short piano vignettes and long tracks of silence. The ratio of silence to melodies was roughly 3 to 1. I recorded the piano tracks myself and processed them to quickly fade in and out along with a Doppler effect. Depending on which side of the room they were going to play on they were also panned either left to right or right to left so they would both move front to back during the installation.


The effect of sitting inside the installation was that of sitting in a vehicle moving past piano melodies on either side. From time to time I consider updating this piece and trying to have it shown in a local museum.


This installation was dedicated to my father, Joseph Virgil Crawford, for always taking his family on vacation.

Installation Diagram
QE+DS+GCCM (2002)

This album is a selection of pieces done either for or with, my dear friends, Brent Fariss and Bill Thompson.


“Quartal Expansion (For Two Friends)” began as a simple chord progression I came up with as part of an assignment for Dr. Riepe’s Mysterium class. We were tasked with writing a number of progressions using a variety of non-standard types of harmony. The progression I came up with for the quartal harmony exercise had this nice sense of symmetry and I fell in love with it. So much so that I was afraid of ruining it by incorporating it into a larger work and it wilted on the vine. Years later, the thought occurred to me that the progression itself could become the piece if I simply slowed it down to the point that each chord lasted 3-4 minutes. This would be accomplished by simply layering and expanding the tones. I decided to utilize techniques commonly employed by both Brent and Bill when writing the piece and dedicate it to them. This piece made its debut at the first ThomFariCraw Loft Series and is one of my favorite pieces from the era.


“Designated Sonorities” was written specifically for the three of us. The piece consists of three movements, one each for our first, middle, and last names. I created a system of assigning notes to each of the letters of the alphabet and then the letters of each of our names determined which notes we were each allowed to used by each performer, per movement.


Sometime around 2000-2001, Bill started a revolving improvisation group known as The Gates Ensemble. One of their many performances was recorded and plans were made to release a CD of remixes. “Gates (Closing Credits Mix)” was my contribution to that project and although nothing ever came of it I was very happy with the way my mix turned out.

Scores & Notes
Conspiracy Project (2001)

In late 2001, Mat Mitchell contacted me to see if I was interested in writing some music for a project his friends were working on. They were making a DVD of psychedelic computer generated animations that would loop infinitely as a sort of screensaver for televisions. They wanted some accompanying ambient electronic music that would seamlessly loop every couple of minutes to go along with the imagery. I had recently gotten a copy of Reason 3.0 and had been messing around with it quite a bit. I decided to accept the project and use Reason to write all of the music. Mat and I mixed the final tracks in 5.1 and the end result was really cool to listen to. The project ended up getting canceled but these stereo mixdowns remain.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation (1997)

This ep was written and recorded in San Marcos over the course of two weeks in the summer of 1997.


To my extreme delight, I discovered that the local population dwindled significantly when school wasn’t in session and with it the number of personal distractions. This created a perfect environment for me to completely focus on my music for 10+ hours per day.


Having recently completed “Meet Ze Beat,” I began experimenting a great deal with creating tracks by destructively editing stereo mixes (as opposed to sequencing MIDI events in Cakewalk). A number of the tracks on this ep were written using those techniques.


“Requiem for America (Live Inside My Head)” was simply me playing my Roland Juno-106 with the addition of some vinyl noise and a canned applause track. The Juno (and its built in chorus effect) does such a great job of creating frequency beating.


The title for “We Have Come to Rock and Pile You” was a ripped off lyric from the Japanese heavy metal band, Loudness. The drum sounds for this track were created with my Novation Bass Station Rack and sampled with my Akai S3000XL. They are still some of my favorite electronic drum sounds. This track would later be retooled for mr. Harten’s The T*A*S Boobie Joint.


“Magnetic Vinyl Attraction” was completely done inside Sound Forge using a drum loop and some source material I had played on various synths.


“SSR” stands for Severely Scratched Record and that is exactly what it was. I took an old House 12” and spent several hours abusing it with a large serrated bread knife. I then recorded the entire thing into the PC and edited away.


“The Fuzz Loop” and “Completely Outlandische” are two more examples of tracks recorded completely with Sound Forge. The opening of “Completely Outlandische” was done with the 12” used for “SSR” before I destroyed it.

CDC vs. GBF (1997)

“Opinion Music” was the first composition I wrote for Dr. Riepe’s composition studio at Southwest Texas State University. Although Music Composition was not offered as a minor, I decided to take classes for my own benefit. Dr. Reipe was the perfect mentor. He was very knowledgeable and incredibly open-minded. When I pitched this piece to him I fully expected him to laugh me out of his office. Instead, he backed me 100% and even ended up presenting a recording of this piece and the score to a music composition summit in Scotland the following summer.

This recording was made during the premiere of the work at the SWTSU Recital Hall on the evening of April 29, 1997. During the performance, I assumed the role of Performer 1 and Brent Fariss was Performer 2 along with his contrabass.

That same evening I played my Akai S3000XL sampler on Brent’s piece, “Real Men.” Afterward, over some celebratory beers, we decided to put the two recordings on a CD.

Score & Diagrams
Miscellaneous Solo Works Volume 1 (1993-1995)

The first of a two-volume collection of random solo works I recorded with my trusty 4-track.


“Walking Backwards” was the first thing I did with the Tascam Porta07 when I took it out of the box. The central piece of the track is a series of messages left on my answering machine by Nathan Wood while on was on vacation with my family. I then added a reversed bassline, well, because I discovered I could do suhc a thing by simply flipping the tape. Add to that some sound from a porn tape and me eating an apple, burping, taking a leak, etc. and ta-da... my first single.


“Lovetorn” was written for Mandy while she was at home with her family for the Christmas break and I was missing her. One of the things I loved most about the 4-track was the new ability to record multiple bass lines in harmony with one another. Many of my early recordings were written exclusively for bass even though I had access to several guitars.


“Confused” was just that. I am not sure what I was doing here. When I hear it now it just annoys me. I think it was a two and a half minute setup for a Robert Smith sound byte I recorded off the TV and spliced into the music from a commercial for some forgotten Japanese electronics company.


“High in the 90s” was recorded one afternoon while I was housesitting for my parents. They had recently purchased a piano and I was anxious to record with it. I also borrowed my dad’s Yamaha acoustic guitar. The drum track was handled by a newly acquired drum machine, well actually a fancy metronome, a Boss DR-220a. I paid $18.50 for it at a local Action Pawn and ended up using the living shit out of that thing. Anyhow, the feedback at the end of the track was me playing with a Shure SM58 plugged into a small guitar amp that I put inside my mom’s Kenmore dryer. The title came from the NOAA weather alert unit that I sat down next to me while I was recording the guitar part. This is one of my favorite recordings from 1994 and incidentally it was recorded on the same weekend as the majority of stuff on Roman Candle's The Lost Tapes.


So NPR called me one afternoon at the apartment I was living in with Nathan and asked if I would be willing to submit an original composition featuring multi-tracked acoustic bass for use as bumper music in between segments on All Things Considered. With that in mind, I wrote “Twice Returned”. Not really.


“Experts Agree” is what would happen if Robin Guthrie got trapped inside the boiler room of a cruise ship and the engine suddenly died.


“Relish Me”... Hmmm... Let’s see here... Sounds to me like somebody got a little too caught up with his new multi-effects processor and forgot that a song should have some amount of structure. Oh well, they can’t all be winners.


Based on the huge success of “Twice Returned” NPR commissioned a follow-up and I delivered “Thrice Returned”. Not really.


“Filter” was my final project for the music composition class I took one semester at ACC. Once again, we have a piece written for multiple basses. I was watching loads of old movies at the time and dubbed a long conversation from one of them off the TV into the Tascam Porta07 as a background texture.


More of an exercise than a composition, “Beat One” was an experiment in continually altering a simple drum beat in real time via the use of multi-tap delays and pitch shifting. What can I say... I was listening to a lot of Steve Reich at the time.


Originally titled, “Mrs. Nemec Can't Write My Name on the Board in a Burger Joint,” this track (later shortened to just “Mrs. Nemec”) was inspired by an encounter with my 7th-grade algebra teacher at a local Burger King. I was 20 years old at the time. By 1995, I was losing interest in guitar-based music and missing all of the electronic instruments I had access to in Dreamstate. I started recording more electronic pieces with whatever I could scrounge together. This track was done with a simple drum beat, a cheap Casio keyboard I dug out of a closet at my parent’s house, and an Alesis Quadraverb Plus. This is one of my favorite early electronic works.


God bless Austin Access TV. Nathan and I spent a ridiculous amount of time watching crazy drunk old men spout apocalyptic nonsense on channel 13 and recorded dozens of cassettes worth of source material in the process. Add some drums and you got yourself a track. I called mine “How Is It Gonna End?”


“A Brief Melody Enters” was another of my “poor man” electronic tracks. Using the same keyboard I used for “Mrs. Nemec” I placed a small fan in between the speaker and microphone and ran the microphone through a distortion pedal to get a unique sound on the piano melody. I honestly miss the organic methods I was often forced into due to a lack of decent equipment. Less really is more.

Miscellaneous Solo Works Volume 2 (1995-1997)

The second of a two-volume collection of random solo works I recorded with my trusty 4-track.


“The Fleeing Ability” was yet another of the lo-fi electronic tracks I recorded during 1995. A drum beat through the Alesis Quadraverb Plus, an angry preacher recorded off the TV and a screwdriver tapping on the strings of my bass which was running through several distortion pedals and a wah-wah. That about covers it.


“Blood” was my Father’s Day present to my dad in 1995. I found some old lyrics to songs he had written in the late 1960s and wrote music for one of them. The track was recorded with using only basses.


“Passage” was one of the first things I recorded after moving to San Marcos to go to school. I had a pretty killer cold at the time and in the intro, you can hear my kitten, Speck, playing with one of her toys. Unquestionably the most direct and honest song I have ever written. I was in a pretty emotionally dark place at the time and my mom suggested I write a song about it.


By 1996, I was really ready to start focusing more attention on electronic music and wanted some decent equipment. After a series of lengthy conversations with my dad, I was allowed to borrow some money from my college fund and purchase some gear. The list included an Akai S3000XL sampler, a Roland Juno-106 analog synthesizer, an Oberheim Matrix 6R analog synthesizer, and a Yamaha DX7IIFD FM synthesizer. Once I got it all hooked up and configured I stayed in my bedroom for several days straight just writing. “Online Me (Demo)” was the first track to come from those sessions. It ultimately ended up becoming a FLiCK track and was recorded for the FLiCK album.


Around this time I was either writing purely electronic tracks or stripped-down singer-songwriter fare. “Let It Be for Me” was the first attempt at merging the two by taking a simple song and adding some synth bass to the end of it courtesy of the Roland Juno-106. Another one of my favorite recordings.


My next gear acquisition was a Novation Bass Station Rack monophonic analog synthesizer. I opened the box, plugged it in, sequenced a quick beat in Cakewalk, rolled the cassette tape and started improvising. The end result was “Sweeping Meat” which I promptly hopped in my truck with and drove to Austin to play for Nathan. I loved that synth... So incredibly playable. Everything about it just felt right.


The first proper track I recorded with the Novation Bass Station Rack, “Low Taste”, also featured another new piece of gear, the Korg M1R digital synth which is playing the “breathing” strings. Additionally, this was the first (and oddly one of the only) electronic tracks that I played bass on.


“Death To Pixies” was written as a requiem for The Pixies. A long, evolving ambient track, it featured a sample of their song “Death” from the Doolittle album. Most everyone I played it for at the time said something to the effect of, “Why the hell did you ruin that pretty piece of music with all that crap at the end?” Worth noting... the loud whistling sound that comes in around 07:24 was not an intended part of the song. Some incorrect MIDI information was routed to one of the unused synths during a safety/backup recording to DAT and since it was simply a backup I was not monitoring the mix. The original master DAT was destroyed years later and this is the only version of the song that remains.


One evening, while spending the summer with my parents, after everyone went to bed, I decided to cover a Devo track. I thought “Beautiful World” would be fun to play on a fuzzed out bass. I was recording a lot of material with FLiCK at the time so Theo’s electronic drum kit was at my parents' house and I had been teaching myself to play the drums and decided to play the beat myself on the kit. Rather than record the audio I just recorded the MIDI output of the kit so that I could quantize as needed. It is the first time I actually played drums on a recording.


“Meet Ze Beat” was a landmark track for me and completely changed the way I composed music from that point on. It was written late one night at the Fire Station Studio. I was the night manager which consisted of being available to let other students in and out and assist with their recordings from 6 PM to midnight 3 nights a week. In return, I got keys to the place and could use it whenever it was not in use. Anyhow, I was bored and waiting for a student to wrap up so I could go home and I started screwing around with Sound Forge 4.5 on a PC in one of the machine room. I had a few CDs with me and imported three tracks: “Crush Me” by The House Of Love, “Meet Ze Monster” by PJ Harvey, and “Spasmolytic” by Skinny Puppy. I took 4 bars of the opening drum break to “Crush Me”, the 3-second guitar chord that opens “Meet Ze Monster” and a 1 bar drum snippet from “Spasmolytic” and began destructively editing them together in Sound Forge. I used a calculator to determine how many samples equaled a 1/4 note or 1/2 note, etc. so that I could edit the beat and create new phrasings by simply copying and pasting smaller segments of the drum breaks. I then began mixing in the guitar and played around with looping and reversing it. I also spent a fair amount of time applying unique amplitude modulation setting to the individual snare hits to give the drums a sense of evolving as opposed to just looping. It really opened my eyes to what I could accomplish via destructive edits to a two-track mix and I immediately started taking the final stereo masters of everything I was writing and pulling it into the computer from DAT so that I could add little things here and there. It was a tedious way to work but dramatically expanded my sonic palette. These techniques were the basis for the How I Spent My Summer Vacation ep.


“Ripples” was written at the request of my dear friend, Beth, to be played at her wedding. It is based on a simple sing-songy, call and response melody and one of my favorite pieces.

Miscellaneous Debris
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