Category Archives: Sountopia


Mixtape Making Part 1 of 9

May 29, 2013, by

I was given the task (along with 9 other kids) to pick 2 songs that would be great for setting the mood at a graduation for our school. While I looked for these songs I looked for songs that had good beats, good timbres, and good pitches. I learned what kind of beats, timbres, and pitches usually resonate well with people and then put chose songs that had them. I am proud that I was able to find songs that would go great with the graduation that will be taking place at my school. 😀 The songs for the  project are down below and so are the statements of why they go with graduation! Enjoy the music!

Touch the Sky (Carlos Serrano Mix)

Kanye West Vs. The xx


I chose this song because I feel that it sets the perfect mood for graduation, which is achievement and happiness. I believe that the sound sets this mood by the happy pitches of the voices and instruments used in the song. I also think that a key thing in making this such a good song is how the beat fits is so well. The drums/beat went perfectly with the tempo of the two songs that were being mashed up. The happy pitches and the great beat makes the song resonate very well. It just lifts it to the sky.

Fist Up



I chose this song because I believe that it is extremely unique just like the entire class of students that are graduating this year. I think this song is unique because of the way that the DJ changed the unique pitches and timbre of the guitar and trumpet to make most of the sounds in the song. The timbre of the trumpet is brassy and raspy while the timbre of the guitar is clear, crisp and happy sounding. It invokes the feeling of happiness and celebration in it.

Erase Me Everlong

May 21, 2013, by

In a class I am taking, we were learning about beats and how they make people feel. We were then given the assignment of creating a mash up in order to see the power of beat and how it moves people. I am proud that I created a song that made people get happy because it showed me that I achieved what I had been hoping for my track to do. What I learned was how to find an instrumental and match the beats of it up with the vocals of another song. You can listen to my Mashup below and then read the artist statement below it to understand the process of coming to it.


Erase Me Everlong – JM

     For our music course at school we were learning about beats and how they affect people. So, the purpose of this project was to learn how beats and the mashing of different beats and music invokes utopic or dystopic feelings inside of people. I then mashed the song Everlong by Foo Fighters and the song Erase me by Kid Cudi in order to create a song with an utopic beat and that turned the lyrics utopic by doing so. I will explain now how I came to creating this mash up in the following paragraphs.

     What we did in class was we learned about beats in music and how they make people feel through experiencing new and already known tempos and seeing how they made us feel. We then found songs with beats that either made us feel good or bad and decided to try and mash them up. We failed. We then had a DJ come in and teach us how to mash songs together. We then made our mashups and succeeded.

     When building the mashup, I struggled immensely. I spent almost all of my time looking for songs that would sound good together. I went through around 20 songs and finally chose the song Erase Me by Kid Cudi because it had a very appealing beat and it was also very constant. I then looked rigorously for a vocal track that would sound good with the background beat and track. I finally found the perfect vocals for it which was the vocals to the song Everlong by Foo Fighters. I then mashed the lyrics accordingly with the beats of the instrumental.

     My final product was extremely utopic. I found it Utopic because it was filled with a never ending happy background beat (Erase Me – Kid Cudi) and tones that I mashed with some dystopic vocals (Everlong – Foo Fighters) which made the vocals in the mashup seem utopic. The beat contributes to the utopic feeling because it is in a moderate tempo and it is a very constant and song building beat.

Mocking a Mockingbird

May 1, 2013, by

This project is for the Soundtopia course I am taking. In this course we were supposed to recreate the pitches of any song we wanted as long as it meant something to us whether it was utopic (happy) or dystopic (sad). I chose the song Mockingbird by Eminem because it made me feel dystopic and I feel that I can relate to it. I learned how to create an instrument (the diddly bow). I am proud that I was able to recreate the diddly bow and use it to create the pitches for my song because I didn’t think I could at first. Check out my recreation of Mockingbird below and then check out my artist statement that explains my reasoning behind it.


Mocking a Mockingbird – Artist Statement – JM


     The project we were given was to recreate the pitches of a song that had meaning to us. By being given this task, we asked to create instruments that would allow us to recreated these pitches. The instruments we created as a class were the Kalimba and the diddley bow. I made my own instrument and it was a drum so that I can match the pitches of the drum in my song.  I learned how to make all of these instruments. I also learned about the science of pitch, how it is measured and how it is imperfect therefore making it appealing to our ears.


     The story that fits with the pitch of the song is that sad story of a family that falls apart. It is the story of a family that focused around the 3 children. The parents tried to give the kids a happy life and in exchange the kids were asked to do thing just like in any other normal household. But there was an everlasting evil there. It lingered and could lash out at any time. It was the father. If something goes wrong, the lives would seem to be a fairy tale or nursery rhyme that had gone bad. That had what seemed to be a sad ending or a hidden feeling that was all sour.

     I feel that the pitches of this song definitely fit the story that is a part of me. I believe that this fits because the song has a set of pitches that are meant to be in a major up and down scale but is put to a slightly lower pitch and slowed down to make it slightly dystopic. But then it becomes more dystopic due to the pitch of the rap voice since it is also somewhat in a minor pitch due to the fact that the rapper is sad when rapping this song.

     To make this whole project possible it took a long process. We first studied what made pitches appealing to us and unappealing to us. It turns out, that the reason why we like music is because it is imperfect rather than perfect. The nexts step of the process of making the project was to choose the song we wanted to recreate and what it meant to us. After this step we created our diddly bows due to the great FE guest Jay. After we made diddly bows we made our own Kalimba’s (thumb piano’s). We were then left to recreate the song. I decided to create my own version of a snare drum so that I could make the pitches of the drum in my song. I then divided the different tracks of my song (beat/drums, piano/melody, singing voice/chorus, Rapping voice/Verses). This allowed me to created my song in a more organized manner. After recording these, I uploaded them to Audacity and edited my audio to recreate my song. This then gave me my final product.

View from The Mountain Top

April 18, 2013, by

This post is going to be interesting. Its for a new course I am taking called Soundtopia and the first project we had to complete for this class was to create a soundscape using our voice and by collecting sound that we can produce and this soundscape had to tell a memory of ours that was either Utopic (good) or Dystopic (bad). The purpose of this piece is to tell a story we hold close to us through sounds we make with our voice and with sounds we make with objects we find. I am proud that I learned how to create a soundscape by only using my mouth for the most part. I learned how to use Audacity to its fullest ability. I hope that you enjoy my sounds and in order to understand it better, you can check out my artist statement below it. 😀


A View From The Mountain

This is the 1st action project for the Soundtopia course. In this project, we were given the opportunity to depict a story of either something happy or sad in our life but we are to tell this story through using the different timbres of our voice and by collecting other sounds we find. Before we get into the explanation of the project, I would like to say that through this project, I have learned how to use Audacity to its fullest capability. I have learned how to put different sounds into loops that allowed my project to envoke images to its fullest advantage. I also learned that stories can not only be told through drawings, writing, and stories with words being said. I learned that stories can be told by expressing yourself in your own way.

The beginning of my story is that an airplane I am flying in is landing in Turin, Italy. I wake up and walk out of the airport. Me and my crew of musicians open the doors of a car that is waiting for us and we get in and shut the door.The way that I described this part of our journey was by creating the sound of the plane flying. I then made a yawn and with the timbre of airiness and roundness in my voice, I invoke the feeling you have of when you wake up from a nap. I then placed the sound of someone walking. I then captured and placed the sound of someone opening and closing a door to show that I entered a vehicle of somesort.

The next part of my story is that I am riding in this car and as we turn the corner on a road that is on a mountain and by doing so, I get to see the beauty of the city of Turin. It gleems with radiance and brilliance and life, even from such a far distance. When I created the part of the sound track to depict this scene, I had a genious idea. I decided do use my voice to make a profound, thought invoking, and loud timbre that would make you want to know what exactly is it that is found. Then at the peak of a climb with those timbres, you here them at the very tallest they can be. You feel the presence of something great and that is what I wanted to invoke with those timbres.

In the story, I begin to sing a song that I make lyrics to describe the city’s beauty perfectly. This part of the story is represented by the timbres of profound, flowing, bodied, and smooth sound of my voice singing the part of the song I am thinking of.

The final part of the story is that as we get closer to the city, I realize this view will not always be available so I take a picture before its gone. Then I take a sigh and as the car comes to a holt, the doors open again and they shut again as me and my musician friends make our way to our first international music experience. The way that I depict this moment through sound is by the song I am singing slowly fades out, you here a rustling and then the sound of a camera shutter opening and closing. Then you hear an airy and bodied sigh come from me as you hear the sound of the car on a highway fade out and the doors open and close again. Then you hear the walking again as it fades away.