That’s it for now. The whole idea in one place, 3 movements within the context of a larger composition.
I hope to add length to each, maybe make a few new ones, and scrub and polish everything in the coming months. Learning how best to perform this kind of stuff live so it’s interesting to watch will be a fun challenge. Projected images maybe?
What I’ve accomplished during the course has been purely digital, although I hope to have it evolve into a larger real space/digital thing. The music was all made using Ableton Live and Reason, and my Akai MPK49 midi controller/keyboard. As usual, I used a combination of trial and error along with studying artists in the field for inspiration. I’ve been able to learn quite a bit about how synths work; I can now somewhat achieve the sounds I’m after every now and again — before the course I was blindly turning knobs and flipping switches. I’m still struggling with learning how to use the hardware and software to perform the songs live. I hope to gain a mentor soon that can teach me a few things about how to pull off a live electronic set.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the “creative team” approach although I can see where it would make sense. Not everyone in the room has the same ideas about what they consider “good” art, especially considering that we didn’t come together on voluntary grounds — we’re more or less a semi-random assortment of people. Unlike in a real (non-college) situation where people would either voluntarily come together under a common vision, or be selected out of the community by someone (basically the business approach of hiring the best help for the job.)
I personally didn’t feel comfortable critiquing someone else’s work when I felt like I didn’t have the credentials to do so, which was most, if not all of the time. The fact that some people were so ready and willing to proffer their ‘advice’ as if they had some sort of authority on the subject kind of put me off. I can understand however that getting feedback can be an invaluable part of a lot of people’s processes. Knowledge-based advice a lot of times is very helpful, and additional ideas thrown around sometimes stick and start to grow. I just don’t see the point when we start giving value judgements about what we ‘like’ or what we think looks or sounds ‘good’.
To be honest I think I came up short on my proposed project. I never got around to learning Flash or whatever it is I would have had to use to animate over my music video. And as far as the composition, well, its just not done. Its done enough to present, sure, but it doesn’t hold up to my standards of being finished. But that’s what the next few weeks/months are for I suppose.
Alrighty, I’ve been busy lately hustlin’ my passions (inspiration via Ezra Marcos!) but here’s a little update for the class:
Theres the link to the pre-composition song I put together. Download it and enjoy.
I want to have maybe 3 movements total, each being like 10 or so minutes long. So thats just a taste of what one of the movements would be.
On the video front, I’ve yet to surmount the obstacle of figuring out what application(s) to use to get the animation done on my music video. If anyone has any thoughts, please hit me up!
I’ve mucked with Flash for a bit but couldn’t figure out how to bring the movie into the application such that I can go frame-by-frame and draw on top. I’m sure its possible, theres just a pretty steep learning curve.
HEIGHT IS AWESOME. CRAZEY!
To make better use of the 3 weeks at the beginning of the course, I decided that I would make a short music video using footage we got while on tour. This is primarily what I’ve been focusing on the past week, learning Final Cut Express, and piecing together clips. In no way is the video done, it still needs work on the transitions and polishing, but the major pieces are there. I hope to show this work for my midterm evaluation. I plan to add some animation to the footage, possibly at the same time I’m developing my composition. It’ll depend on how steep the learning curve is with the software involved. Not to mention that the composition I want to write has a steep learning curve itself, being on a new instrument I’m not too familiar with. So much to do and so little time.
Production Timeline for my composition piece:
- 2/7 – Midterm Eval.
- 2/8-2/11 – Finish sound crafting – tweak and adjust parameters to achieve sounds that work together well.
- Continue developing chord structures, bass lines, melodies and percussive ideas as they come.
- 2/12-2/13 – Develop structure – get something recorded as a foundation.
- 2/14-2/18 – Major work on song structure, melodies, harmonies, basslines, etc.
- 2/19-2/20 – Finish up arranging song parts.
- 2/21-2/25 – Mixdown and begin asking “Would I be able to perform this on my own, live??”
- 2/26-2/27 – Finalize. (don’t cram)
- 2/28 – Final Presentation – recorded song
EDIT: So I’ve decided to do the musical composition for the challenge and because there are opportunities to perform which prof Arellano has clued me into. The website is something I’d pursue next term for a web design course I want to take.
Okay! Having just got back to the valley last night, my first goal was to type up this proposal. My apologies for being so late on this, but with the tour and all I’ve had no reasonable time to sit by myself and do schoolwork. That being said, touring has definitely influenced my thinking about what I wanted to do this project on, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t put any thought into it over the past month of travel. Ideas have been fermenting and I know that the extra time I’ve had to ponder has definitely helped to solidify my train of thought and re-informed my tastes on the type of project I’d like to do. Foremost in my mind I want to avoid doing a “one-off” type of project that simply serves the purpose of getting through this term with a decent grade… oh no, I subscribe to the idea that short term items on my agenda should contribute to moving me towards a longer-term goal.
I did a little brainstorming session recently and actually came up with more than one idea for my term project. Both would be pretty big challenges for me, but I’m willing to put in the work and learn by the act of doing. PLZ LET ME KNOW WHICH PROJECT YOU THINK IS MORE AWESOME!!
Project Potentiality #1: The Web-based Art Collective / EffortToBringGreatBandsToHouseVenuesAlongI-5AndElsewhere Initiative.
This option centers around a website I will build (technologies to be used TBD). The main goal of the site will be two-fold:
1. To locate, give voice to, and co-create with artists (visual, musical, whatever) I dig. I’m influenced here by online art collectives such as the WAFA Collective, who source their artists internationally. While digital collaboration is a prime way to throw physical distance out of the equation, ideally my focus would be on creating DIY installations, shows, street art, that sort of thing. Meeting in the real world would be the ultimate goal here. This art-collective aspect of the website, if successful, would be easy to break off into a separate site. Artist interviews and spotlights would be a cool addition.
2. To locate, organize, and improve the house show scene in Ashland, expanding to the Rogue valley, Oregon, NorCal and eventually the I-5 corridor and any worthy offshoots. I met some great people in Caldwell, Idaho who inspired this idea. While they were somewhat of an unexpected oasis in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, I have to believe that great hosts who love great music exist all over the place, if only there was a way to bring them together and give them a little more legitimacy. That way, not only would first time touring acts have a great resource for booking a tour, but larger acts who haven’t forgotten their house show roots have a way to connect with their adoring fans in an intimate, authentic setting. Some of the best shows we played were house shows, where people felt privileged to see us play. The feeling of sharing the experience with the band is difficult to recreate at a traditional venue. The website would have a database of houses who’s hosts agree to be included on the site. They would get a profile, write-up, pictures, contact info, calendar, et cetera. Like with the art collective aspect, there would be a certain level of commitment and excellence the hosts would have to uphold in order to continue to stay on the site. A system of judging what kind of job a venue is doing could be implemented using commenting and/or rating functionality.
Project Potentiality #2: Composing a musical performance with an accompanying projected visual element.
I’m in the process of accumulating the gear I would need to do this. Being influenced by Dan Deacon’s Ultimate Reality, this option would essentially be a rip-off of a live musical performance to a projected movie of my creation. Challenging in that I’ve never composed a musical piece nor made a movie-picture, I see this project as being one that would push me to pursue some of my more lofty goals, whereas the website would tie into my CS major. To accomplish this project I would have to collaborate with some of my movie making friends for the visuals and focus on the music. Performing this live would be just as much a part of the project as the composition and visuals. I would likely use Ableton Live software to loop percussion I would perform live, layering synths, guitars, and vocals over top, and manipulating the sounds however I choose. If I did this I would have to turn in the recorded music for a grade and leave the collaboration for visuals and live performance for the summer, simply because it is too much to get done in the time period given for the project. Eventually though I would like to perform this either at the school or somewhere else in Ashland. Audience participation would be a part of it too, having audience members play samples, percussion and yell and sing. I don’t exactly know yet how this would work as it would surely be riddled with variables. Part of that is the allure however, having a different performance for each group of people experiencing it.