This is the title frame for Rambinactivist’s Video Podcast 2022/31.
“There is no movement without rhythm”

‘A Porch Door in 6/4’

A musical experiment in ‘rhythmic D-I-Y’ beats, set to the video of the couple of weeks taken to restore a Victorian porch door in a Welsh chapel.

Ramblinactivist’s Video 2022/31
Soundtrack: ‘A Porch Door in 6/4’

Download the soundtrack as an MP3 or an Ogg Vorbis file.

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This is the title frame for Rambinactivist’s Video 2022/31.
Click here for the music video

I wrote previously about how manual work inspires rhythm. But as I try to make a video of that piece of work, it doesn’t reflect my true feelings about the piece. Instead, I sample the video soundtracks then throw them all as a bespoke drumkit into Hydrogen, to make something far nearer to my actual experience.

Rambinactivist’s Video 2022/31 – a picture of the porch before restoration.

I don’t like modern power tools. They’re just too noisy, cumbersome, and if your mind wanders for just a moment (as mine is apt to do) then in a second you can mess-up the piece of work that you’re trying to form.

I can tolerate the short, controlled bursts of a power drill, but the array of gadgets and devices available today really don't inspire me (well… OK, a really big disc-cutter on stone or steel can be fun!).

I much prefer using hand tools: It’s what I was raised as a child to use by parents and grandparents; and when you’re playing with probably almost two-century-old oak and pitch pine, the slow and steady elegance of hand tools seems to work far more closely with the wood’s original form – because almost identical tools would have been used to create it all those years ago.

Rambinactivist’s Video 2022/31 – a picture of the porch after restoration.

When you take time to slowly work wood rhythm is essential – not just to get into the repetitive motion, but as an essential part of energy conservation. Work songs are not just there to make people happy; they provide co-ordination, even when you’re working alone.

This piece is a set of about two-dozen samples organised using Hydrogen to create a beat track. The only way to replicate the rhythm I was working to – using old trestles on some uneven ground – was to do it in the dotted-half beats of a compound 6/4 time signature (weirdly, the same signature as Chopin’s ‘Nocturne No.1’, but this is a bit faster).

So, compared to my last effort this piece is far nearer to the music that was actually in my head while working on the doors. And if you see the video, you’ll be able to appreciate the joy and beauty of working on such a lovely old building.