Home > Torley on Creativity, Asperger’s, and Music Production

Torley on Creativity, Asperger’s, and Music Production

Torley on Creativity, Asperger's, and Music Production

A truly unique figure in the electronic music world, Torley describes himself as a “time-traveling, universe-crossing, autistic, cyberpunk monk.” I was drawn in by the (over 800!) videos on Torley’s YouTube page, many of which are thoughtful talks by Torley on music composition, creativity, and his life experiences. In Composer Quest episode 38, Torley talks with me about Asperger’s syndrome, his hearing disorder called hyperacusis, his job in the online world Second Life, and of course, his advice on making otherworldly sounds.

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Right click to download Ep. 38, or open in iTunes.

For more awesome stuff from Torley, visit his website and YouTube page.

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Special Features!

As with all my podcast guests, I challenged Torley to create an intro track. Well, he challenged me back! He asked me to record samples for him, so I sampled my junky Casio keyboard, my Tanzanian kalimba, my rinky-tink piano, etc. Torley took these samples and came back to me with a 4-minute track, “Tiki Riot Style“:

Here’s the dream that inspired Torley’s track:

I dubbed this “Tiki Riot Style” because during the last two weeks, I’ve had recurring dreams of an outbreak within a cargo cult somewhere in an alterna-Polynesian-esque island community. A place that has both sand and snow, and many enigmatic giant head sculptures from presumably earlier civilizations. Thus, a story through sound, it combines a tribal spirit with techy sophistication.

Since Torley suffers from the hearing disorder hyperacusis, he has to do special EQing when producing, to hear his music in the same way his listeners will. In fact, he creates two mixes of each track, a “Torley-friendly” version and one for his listeners. He was kind enough to send me a sample of both versions of “Tiki Riot Style.”

Torley-friendly version:

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Listener-friendly version:

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Here are some screenshots of Torley’s equalization-matching software, Repli-Q:

RME
“You can see the high-end is somewhat rolled off, that’s because my hyperacusis makes me sensitive to treble frequencies. So I have it set to partially “match” what is a popular and pleasing EQ curve. jBridge is neat software that makes older 32-bit plugins work in 64-bit Ableton Live (and other DAWs) — bless my friend João for making it, otherwise I couldn’t use Repli-Q!” -Torley
Repli-Q
“This is my audio interface’s mixer output, which feeds to my headphones. You can see how much I’ve boosted the bass, and again, rolled off the high-end. If you’re wondering why I don’t do it all in Ableton, it’s because this applies globally to all sound coming out of my computer, and how I like to listen in general.” -Torley

Episode Soundtrack

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2 comments

  1. Owen says:

    I’ve loved Torley since finding him on Youtube, I really enjoyed listening to this.

    Thanks for featuring him on your show and I will be checking out more of the episodes!

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