This is “Somewhere, Stuck”! I think it turned out pretty well, hope you enjoy.
I tried to mimic the fleeting nature of our consciousness as when we enter and leave periods of deep sleep by having the sections at the beginning and the end surrounding the long, rhythmic spooky middle section. This is vaguely inspired by Boards of Canada.
The instrument I created was made up of audio clips of me whistling and saying “check” into the microphone with an arpeggiator, then live electronic performance.
I sadly only visited the first Electro-Acoustic Barn Dance performance but I enjoyed it. Judging by Austin and Jackson’s reactions, I didn’t love it as much as they did, but I still appreciated the abstract and unique tones that I heard performed there. Funnily enough, my piece was first, meaning that “Kill the Pulse” was the very first song of the 2014 EABD.
As for as my performance went, I was fairly neutral about it. I liked the piece fine when I finished it for Project 2, but I really do wish I had tinkered with it and maybe added to it before the big show. However, time constraints just meant that I couldn’t seem to find time to do it and then Mary Paige told me I needed to get my draft to her on Monday before the concert. I really think I could’ve bettered my piece, but I still think it received decent appraisal; one or two composers whose names escape me even congratulated me on it.
As far as the other songs go, I loved some and hated others. “Shatter” and “Frayed Cities” are examples of two pieces that I really did not enjoy. While I appreciated the musical skill on the clarinet by the composer of the former, I felt very uncomfortable by the demonic voice repeating the words “Shatter, haphazard…” The other song might have been okay but the fixed media ruined it for me. The video was one of the strangest and creepiest things I’ve seen in a while. While I realize for some of these works you have to remove yourself from your own aesthetic boundaries and try to listen with an ‘open mind’, I just couldn’t force myself to for these two pieces in particular.
The other songs on the setlist I enjoyed a lot more. “Cat+Girl” was really sweet and gave me an Oriental vibe. The artist’s mastery of the flute and the story projected on the canvas screen augmented this and made the entire piece very enjoyable and free-spirited.
My favorite by far was the last piece of that concert, performed by Adam Vidikis. While the name eludes me (apologies, I don’t have the program notes) I was simply astounded by his percussive display. The tones he got from hitting the gong, bottles and wine glasses was mind-blowing and I cannot fathom the amount of work he must of put in to consistently achieve such a powerful sound from his percussion. It was also quite evident that he is a very talented drummer, accentuated by his perfect rhythm and quick hands. I thought it was a perfect piece to close off the first night.
I wish that I could have visited more than one concert and seen Mark’s and everyone’s pieces. However, I’m happy with the one I visited and I think I got the full experience. Definitely a very unique and cool concert!
Here’s my second project, second draft. I’ve smoothed it out and added a part to the end. It still sounds very ravey, I don’t know if Mark would approve though. I’ll show him and if he doesn’t like it come up with something new.
Here’s my second project, draft 1. It’s very rough around the edges and I don’t even know if I’ll keep what I’ve made so far… I need to smooth out the rhythm and transitions a lot. However, I kind of like the synth lead idea– I did use musical typing so it just isn’t perfectly synced. That’s something I can work on though. Anyways, I hope you like what I have so far.
I’m going with Logic Pro X as the choice of software for my second project. While I’m already familiar with GarageBand, Logic is clearly the superior program and has a lot more options to augment and manipulate sounds (the array of amps and synthesizers is also far superior). I’m not fundamentally opposed to Ableton, in fact I’ve actually heard good things about it, but I won’t bother learning the basics of a completely new program when my familiarity with Logic Pro X is already improving. I hope to use a good variety of synth pads and use automation to achieve a cool sound. I will also use the drum machine to make this project dynamic!
Below is my final version of Project 1. I’ve decided to call it “Beatles Number 9 Type Shit”. I hoped to refine the second draft a little and smooth out the edges, which I think I’ve accomplished. However, I ran into some trouble with altering several tracks that I did not want to. I stuck with the change and I think it sounds cool. The techniques I’ve utilized in this piece are cutting & splicing, looping, wet tape delay with high feedback, fading (both in and out), reversing and pitch shifting. I also added compression and a flanger to a few tracks try and further augment my project.
I like the feel of the piece; it has a sort of ominous and cerebral tone to it. I feel like I could have done more had I had a better initial knowledge of Logic Pro, but I’m excited to use my acquired knowledge to create something really cool for our second project!