Whereas In the Past

All sounds here are produced with a Korg MS-20 Mini, with added reverb for an atmospheric effect and tape delay to produce echo.

Though the Korg MS-20 Mini is a monophonic synthesizer (i.e., only one note can be played at a time), a simple patch can produce a paraphonic capability, whereby the lowest note played on the keyboard sustains and notes above sound on top of it. I found the patch by following this tutorial:

The combination of reverb, tape delay, and paraphony allows for the ambience that characterizes this piece. Though I didn’t use this trick here, drenching the MS-20 Mini’s signal in reverb and arpeggiating notes quickly can imitate playing sustained chords. A more applicable piece of this effect is “The American Spirit,” though the arpeggios aren’t quite fast enough to produce the sustained chord quality (they’re eighth note triplets played at 120 bpm). Nevertheless, the reverb produces an interesting harmonic background to the arpeggios. I talk more about that piece here.

The image accompanying the song is a photograph I took shortly after taking off from Zagreb’s Franjo Tuđman International Airport, the last European destination I visited after finishing a four-month academic program in Paris in 2015.


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