Tuesday 18 September 2007

The Spiral Architect...

Its been disgracefully long since I put anything here. Disgracefully long since I started this blog to have so little to show for it. At least this time though, I haven't been really slack.

Lessons have been going well with some good progress on the Ben Kweller and the Jazz side of things. At home, I've been working on a few ideas and had a jam with Emmet the other day trying to get some guitar on board. I am not sure it all grabbed him that much, but we'll see what comes of it all...

Tune Up.

So I've been working on a Miles Davis song called Tune Up - fast bop, I am told. Anyway, its fraught with odd timings and weird notes that were really messing with me. It should have been a really good challenge to my sight reading, but I couldn't even get to that stage - it was just going nowhere.

I relented and sequenced the track, putting note names down where I needed them...which, funnily enough, was everywhere. I was a little embarrassed taking them to the lesson, but I think its worked out well in the long run. On that note, jamming with Emmet was interesting - he wasn't actually able to tell me what notes he was playing when I wanted to play along - self taught and all in his ear. For those of us without such fine aural skills though, I think there's something to be said for decent practise and reading.

So here's a run through of tuneup at about 155BPM, breaking down into a jam after 16 bars. Paul showed me how it progresses across a few scales - I need to find out if its actually changing keys or what.

And then here I am trying it at about 200 or 220BPM. Its a bit harder to hold it at such a tempo, but it introduces some fairly interesting ideas that don't really come at the lower tempos.

In both cases, changing instruments was the death of my. Probably should have cut that crap off? Listening to the originals is a real ear opener though - they must be up at about 300bpm...or maybe 150 at double time. Still, it sounds completely different to what I've come up with. I did try it at such high tempos, but it was a ridiculous mess.


This track is operating under the working title of Top12 (actually I think its top12_piano version III at this stage, but that's academic at this point). It was inspired not by, but while watching Australian Idol. In fact, I worked on the last iteration during the footy on Friday - volume down of course. Maybe I should rename it to TV.

It was born out of the electric koto sound you can now hear a little less, and has developed from there. I was really conscious of my tendency to rush through the ideas very quickly so I've worked hard on drawing out the intro - Jing thinks to much so, but Emmett thinks I should stay on it further. Either way the rest of the song needs to be drawn out to some extent. My only concern is perhaps that the song contains too many disparate ideas. How will I bring these hooks together? Time will tell I suppose...

Skipping points include:
  • 1:20 Intro develops
  • 2:00 Piano is introduced
  • 2:20 New melody ( should be piano only - I think that synh is too waily)
  • 3:20 Introduction of new, angular line...new drum beat...piano ostinato...

Anthony and Alf

So I have named this song
after a friend's paternal issues. I'll admit it started more in a search for a name for names sake, but I am now working to have the feel follow my perception of events. Maybe I should just change the name. I only started working on this track on Saturday, but its actually a rehash of an idea that's been floating around for a while. I think I initially came up with it playing piano during lunch when I worked at UC.

I've gone for a bit more of an ambient feel now, but the piano is still quite dominant. The MIDI fucks out for a couple bars at some point...2 minutesish I think, and its live recording at about the time of the positive change, so timing is a bit off - made evident by the delay.

So I haven't been slack in playing. Just blogging. I wish I had more time for both, though.