March 8, 2009 8:40 PM

A minimal microtonal piece in 5/4.

I am interested in "alternate reality" versions of what minimalist music could be. This is one attempt at one of those meanings.

posted by idiopath (5 comments total)

Can you talk about why you chose the cymbal sound? I'm interested in what you're doing, but likely not exactly for the reasons you are. To me, what's sort of cool about this (and "Misused") is that I can imagine these being patterns created by organic beings. Almost as though these are sounds that trace some kind of animal behavior I can't fully understand, but I can be mesmerized by them. Like watching fish in an aquarium and wondering how they decide to swim this way and not that way, etc. Or they could be human processes for that matter. But the cymbal anchors it into the world of known musical instruments. For me, using this way of thinking about your music, it would be more powerful if the sounds were not recognizable as musical instruments. I'm sure that is not a concern for you, but these thoughts make me curious about your reasons for choosing these particular kinds of sounds. I guess maybe this is a long way of saying that this track makes me very aware of patterns, or perhaps hungry to find them.
posted by edlundart at 11:39 PM on March 9, 2009

Lately I am interested in what can become invisible in a piece of music. I am working on a track that is nothing but clicks for some of the reasons you mentioned. My idea was that a cymbal crash is a simple and iconic way to emphasize a sonic moment - it doesn't hold the beat, but it accents something. I wanted to create a yawning space where the "groove" would be. The cymbal garnishes something absent. Similarly the highest and lowest notes played by the synth are less than a half step apart, because I wanted to create a conspicuous empty space where the melody, or "hook" would be.

I do try to make sequences in timbre, rhythm, or melody that could have been made by an animal. The sound of an animal, to me, is a good example of naivety of human cultural concepts of music while still being expression in the form of sound. I imagine trying to capture the singing of a feral child or an imaginary music from a distant place that is not understood.
posted by idiopath at 9:07 PM on March 11, 2009

By the way, edlundart, this is exactly the sort of commentary I dream of getting from an listener, and so very rarely receive. Thank you.
posted by idiopath at 9:10 PM on March 11, 2009

This is interesting stuff, idiopath. I'm curious, was the tonal sound made electronically? Or maybe the whole piece was? Or none of it?

Have you heard any German dub? They are masters of minimalism. You might check out artists like Pole if you haven't already. It's the same kind of subtle music that seeps into your consciousness slowly, and is good for extended playing in the background, what Eno might call "sonic wallpaper."
posted by wastelands at 2:02 AM on March 12, 2009

wastelands: 100% computerized, I don't own a drum set or a synth. The synth had to be exactly the one I used because with any overtones the ear can imagine a melody, so I needed a tone with no complexity and no overtones whatsoever.
posted by idiopath at 5:36 AM on March 12, 2009

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