Several months ago I rediscovered the benefits of falling asleep to soothing music. It had been a while since I’d done that, but a period of restless nights had prompted me to explore avenues that might offer help. Naturally everyone’s tastes and needs are different, but I found that what worked best for me was music that didn’t have much in the way of melody, and in fact maintained a prominent drone throughout. I’d experimented with different artists in the broad new age and ambient genres, and many in the field of binaural beats and isochronic tones, and enjoyed not only much of the music but also reading about the philosophies and sciences behind the creation of the pieces. (more…)
I write in order to hear; never do I hear and then write what I hear. Inspiration is not a special occasion.
~ John Cage (from Silence)
I’ve been playing with my computer lately, specifically that thing called MIDI, and I was having fun writing out little parts for piano and then assigning them to other instruments – a bagpipe, for instance – just to see what it would sound like. Well, this got me thinking it might be fun to try to piece together a song by writing and recording the parts on one instrument and then assigning the part to another, and then try to piece something somewhat coherent out of it all.
That’s what we have this month. What sounds like a piano was actually a part written for drums and then assigned to a ukelele software instrument. Drum parts were created originally as piano or bass parts, etc. Weird sounds may have begun life as saxophones or accordions or even banjos.
It’s just an experiment, but it was fun.
Hey, come be a friend at the Facebook Page and a get an exclusive and FREE EP!!
So my friend Steven Wilson of the mighty Plasticsoul informed me about this thing called February Album Writing Month (FAWM) which issues the challenge of writing and recording 14 songs in the 28 days of February. I love this kind of stuff, I assume, because I’m addicted to starting things I never finish.
Well this time I did finish (just barely), despite birthdays and weddings and travels to the other side of the country, and I’m happy to let you have the proceedings as one nice bundled up album of demolicious noise as a completely free download (you don’t even have to give me your email address)!
Download Demolicious Man  (link takes you to my Bandcamp page)
Now, this is by no means an official album, but we can pretend it is if you like. While many of the songs were little more than sketches, a few turned out quite well considering the time constraints. I hope you’ll enjoy it….
If you’re interested, here’s the Marble Tea FAWM page.
As always, I encourage you to come be a friend at the Facebook Page and a get an exclusive and FREE 5-song EP!
Here’s an old recording I found lying around on my hard drive. I was hesitant to put it up here because, even though I like the song very much, the vocals really bother me and my intentions to re-do them never fully materialized (and probably never will). But then I realized that’s kind of like the time Jonathan Richman said he didn’t like one of his recordings because it sounded like he had a cold when he sang it (he always sounds like he has a cold!)…questionable vocals have never stopped me from posting a song before, so why start now right? (more…)
…the [musical] score, the requiring that many parts be played in a particular togetherness, is not an accurate representation of how things are. These [composers] now compose parts but not scores, and the parts may be combined in any unthought ways. This means that each performance of such a piece of music is unique….The parallel in art is the sculpture with moving parts, the mobile. ~ John Cage
There’s an experiment I’ve been wanting to try for some time, but have only just now found a means for presenting. It may not be the most original idea in the book, but it was fun creating and then playing with.
The basic idea is to have several small pieces of audio, of varying lengths and sounds, play randomly and loop indefinitely to see what types of atmospheres evolve as the pieces interact with each other over time, producing not only something unintended and spontaneous, but hopefully something interesting and engaging as well. The listener becomes active in the musical arrangement by their choice of sounds to include (hopefully all of them), and when they choose to start them…and if they choose to turn some of them off (though here again, the interesting things happen as all the sounds evolve and writhe together over time). (more…)