Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Moving notice

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Podcast1024: Kraig Grady - Crickets

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Today's podcast is a very short but delightful piece by Kraig Grady. He calls it an experiment, but I think it's so great, I'm going to play it twice today. He writes:

I had meant to go into Logic Vocoder and see whatIi could do with noise to illustrate to Bill [Sethares] what it might do. But it didn't work at all. While I was there I somehow ended up doing this.
Kraig Grady
North American Embassy of Anaphoria Island <>
The Wandering Medicine Show
KXLU <> 88.9 FM Wed 8-9 pm Los Angeles
It's called Crickets, and here it is. Twice since it's so short.

Podcast1024: Tidal Falls by Jonathan Szanto

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Today's podcast is a piece by Jonathan Szanto, written for a dance performance. He writes:

Tidal Falls - I got called very late (4 weeks before performance) to create a score for a dance piece that already existed. The piece was metered, and has both metric and tempo changes in sections; therefore, the bulk of the piece already had an existing tempo/meter format. Flowing/falling water is the theme of the piece, including an actual working 'fountain' on stage that dancers go into. Water sounds were one of the requests.

I looked at this piece as a good place to try getting better at some of my toolset, especially in seeing what happened when I started working with a lot of multiple instances of soft instruments - how far could I task my poor little DAW? The main compositional/recording/mixing application is Sonar 4.
It's about ten minutes long. Listen and enjoy the wet goodness!

Podcast1024: Bill Sethares - Maple Manytet

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Today's episode is a work in progress by Bill Sethares. From his description:

I've been working on mapping procedures to take the partials (overtones) from a sound (the source) and move them somewhere else (the destination).
The application is to create sounds (currently planning on using Kontakt [from Native Instruments]) that have spectra specially designed for particular tunings.

As I've been playing with the algorithms, I have been "trying them out" on complete mixes and have some interesting sounding results... for these two
pieces, the destination was set as all integer multiples of 65 Hz. So all of the "notes" are squished down to one big harmonic sound.
The source in this piece is Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag. See if you can hear it through the rush of harmonic partials. Neat stuff.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Podcast1024: Music by Joe Pehrson, Aaron Krister Johnson, Christopher Bailey

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Today's podcast will be a bit longer than usual, since I'm going to play the works of several composers - music by Joe Pehrson, Aaron Krister Johnson, and Christopher Bailey.

But first, some words of advice from Eve Beglarian, who was profiled on a podcast put together by the talented composer Corey Dargel. His podcast, called Composers and the People Who Love Them, is a terrific collection of viewpoints on one composer by a variety of personalities. And they are quite the personalities. I'm going to play a clip of Eve being interviewed by Professor Heebie McJeebie:

Play clip.

I agree with Eve.

On to the musical numbers. First up is Joe Pehrson. He writes about Inner Voices:

Inner Voices is my first electronic piece which uses software, rather than hardware, synthesizers. I'm using the z3ta+ softsynth which reads "Scala" tuning files. Therefore, virtually any intonation can be realized. In this piece, I use the “Blackjack” scale, a 21 note scale which very closely emulates just intonation (non-beating intervals) within a margin of 2 or 3 cents. The z3ta+ is a very flexible softsynth and I use no presets: all the sounds are especially created. Sonar is my sequencer host and a second software synth, the TTS-1 creates percussion effects. I use quite a few of these, since they are handled so nicely by this second synth. I’m currently completing a version for electronic playback and 2 live percussionists.
Listen to Inner Voices by Joe Pehrson.

Next piece is by Aaron Krister Johnson, and is a suite of Four Pieces for Harpsichord:
  • Praeludium distretto
  • Contrapunctus null
  • Eat My Two-Against-Three
  • ADD Crisis Center
Here's how he described them:
3rd of August, 2005- four new works for 2/5-comma meantone tuned harpsichord.

A note about the improvisations: I often do them in real-time at about half tempo, then, for a Nancarrow-like effect, they are sped up in tempo. But,
yes; they are improvised real-time. And occasionally I'll fix a sloppy flam
or something like a note not being held long enough which sounded choppy,
Listen now to Four Pieces for Harpsichord by Aaron Krister Johnson.

The final piece of the podcast is a fun romp by Christopher Bailey called "Post-industrial Nuclear Thrash Mutated Smurfette JumpFest" by Christopher Bailey. He describes it as follows:
I did it in ProTools, with a few basic plug-ins, samples, and an XV-3080 Synth. It's not systematically microtonal, just lots of random pitch-bends added to juice up the
pitches. Plus a lot of the samples are kind of weirdly colored sonorities. Beyond that, I suppose the title speaks for itself.
Listen now to music by Christopher Bailey, "Post-industrial Nuclear Thrash Mutated Smurfette JumpFest". Great stuff.

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