Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Blog Week 7

Joey, Clement, Jack

The way you looped and used speech to form rhythmic motifs in your performance instantly made me
think of Steve Reich’s “Come Out.”   I think what you guys have is really cool and I’m excited to see
how it evolves during the semester.

Danielle, Kristin, Nick, Fisher

Kristin’s dance and the way she was exploring/interacting with the scattered “car parts” reminded me
of a book by David Macaulay from the 70's called “Motel of Mysteries.”  It takes place thousands of
years into the future and follows archaeological excavations of objects from our time, sort of poking
fun at how wrong/dangerously we can misinterpret objects from the past...
Since, it isn't a video or an image...here is the address to a pdf of a condensed version:

Justine, Ryan, Corey, Elijah

The chaotic texture you guys had going gave me flashbacks to all of the experimental electronic
music we went over in PAT 101.  The effects Elijah was doing and your concept of messing with
time made me think of John Cage’s “Williams Mix,” and that spliced-sounding texture that allows
for basically anything to happen makes the audience unable to predict what comes next.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Blog Week 7

Ayal, Emily, Heather, and Jordan

To preface, I really don't know much about music (or technology, for that matter.) However, I linked this video to your work-in-progress through the idea that an outside soundtrack is acting on the flutist, whereas the flutist also acts upon the soundtrack. To me, it often seemed like Jordan was doing this as well. It might be interesting to see what you guys could do with the idea of acting/reacting within all instruments, tracks, and technology.

Clement, Jack, and Joey

During your work-in-progress, I was immediately reminded of this song I danced to years ago. While your project certainly isn't a dance track, the simple idea of sampling from a famous speech brought up this memory. I'm very interested to see what you guys do with the samples and how you manipulate them to fit your project.
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Corey, Elijah, Justine, Ryan

This one is a bit of a stretch, but your work-in-progress kind of brought me back to this old video where a group used a Jeep to make a whole electronic song. The one sample you guys played with the honking and car noises mixed with Elijah's idea of taking apart a record player and modifying it is sort of in the same vein of this video. Sort of. Also, it's just a fun video to watch.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Blog Week 7

For each of the other 3 groups: Post an aesthetic reference point (audio, video, website) to what the group has presented. It can relate to their work-in-progress from any direction or dimension: a literary relationship, a textural/sonic "vibe", a related form, similar uses of technology, or something more obscure. For each reference, be sure to identify what group's work it is relevant to, and why. Consider: "Your work-in-progress made me think of ________ because _______."

Monday, October 8, 2018

Blog Week 4

Heather posted this one already:

I think what I like most about Cornelius's live approach (and to a lesser extent his recorded music) is how much he emphasizes the interplay between performers/instruments. Nothing is out of place, and everyone has a distinctive voice. Our group has a lot of performers in it, and it would be cool if we could get this specific kind of togetherness.

I recently discovered this piece for voice and tape by composer and performer Alex Temple. Her music, while heavy with culturally associative tropes, also consistently defamiliarizes them, which seems like something potentially useful for this project.

This album is really interesting. It does a lot of what the Alex Temple piece does – by defamiliarizing the fragments of sound used through collage, it takes very familiar timbres (like the folky vocals and banjo lines) and puts them in a sort of acousmatic free-fall.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Blog Week 4

Our group has been discussing the idea of blending various musical styles in the piece that we create. Accordingly, I found these three pieces by contemporary artists which combine disparate influences into cohesive wholes.

This first piece covers a lot of ground, starting with a contemporary classical and almost minimalist aesthetic (choice of instrumentation contributing heavily to this as well). The introduction of a saxophone 'soloing' over the chord changes around 1:30 starts to shift the mood into a more jazz-like feel. At 2:10, the last thing one would expect to hear is a rapper - and yet here one is! The closing section of the piece is much more relaxed, featuring a lyrical vocal soloist - again another shift in terms of style/mood.

This is a rather interesting piece from electronic artist Bo-En, that alternates back and forth between a waltz-like theatre/cabaret aesthetic and a driving EDM groove. Instrumentation again plays a big difference in outlining the style changes, as it moves from 'orchestral' to electronic and back again. 

This last piece by the Australian band Hiatus Kaiyote combines progressive jazz fusion with chiptune or 8-bit music. The chiptune sounds are gradually introduced over the course of the piece until the last 45 seconds, where an entirely 8-bit rendition of the piece's main theme occurs. 

Blog Week 4

This piece composed by Iannis Xenakis and performed by Ayano Kataoka I think is a great source of inspiration to draw from.  It really demonstrated how percussion can create many sonic textures as well as create a distinctive mood.  By being able to listen to and identify what Danielle is creating in her improvisations, the rest of the group will be able to contribute to unifying the piece.

This video shows a dancer, Kaiji Moriyama, who was part of an installation in which his movements controlled a piano.  The project combines the art of dance with technology in a way where the final product is both generative and artistic.

My inspiration for our piece has been influenced a lot by several performances I saw executed by Eivor.  The instrumentation and overall presentation of the piece my group ends up creating will be much different, but general aesthetic of her performances I think are a great source of inspiration to draw from.  Her voice is incredibly lyrical and pure, combined with traditional percussion, and they do a great job of introducing electronic elements into the piece.  This makes it so the audience is originally presented with something familiar and their expectations are challenged throughout.

Oct. 9 Guest Artist: Eliot Gray Fisher

Next week, we'll be joined by Eliot Gray Fisher, co-director of the Austin-based transmedia performance group ARCOS.

"ARCOS' mission is to experiment rigorously to discover adventurous new forms of contemporary performance—especially by integrating overlapping layers of newer and older technologies in ways that question dominant understandings of the world, explore moments when cultures collide, and examine the turbulent processes of traditions in flux."

In other words, right up our alley.

Everyone should take a few minutes before next week to check out some of their work here: http://www.arcosdance.com/videos/.

Guidelines for Critique

Here is an attempt to summarize and distill our Week 2 conversation about Critique.

1. Ask the presenter(s) questions:
  • “What do YOU want to know / hear about?”
  • “What are you hoping the audience will take away?”
  • “What was the inspiration?”
  • “What was your process?”
  • “What were you happy/unhappy with?”
  • “If you changed [x], what would happen?”
  • “Where is it headed next?”
2. Revisit our discussion guidelines, especially:
  • Be aware of disciplinary knowledge and conventions.
  • Be constructive. 
  • Qualify your statements as opinions or ideas.
3. Rather than dwelling on shortcomings or incomplete elements, make productive suggestions of new/different avenues to explore, or next steps. Try statements like:
  • "I could see [x] happening next."
  • "You could think about exploring [x]."
4. Make connections:
  • "This makes me think of [x], which could serve as an inspiration." 
5. Bear in mind that technique might not be easily fixed or changed. "You need to practice harder" or "play better" isn't particularly useful. 

6. Avoid "coded" critiques. Say what you mean.

7. Consider diverse parameters of the work:
  • Texture
  • Compositional development
  • Harmony
  • Melody
  • Presentation of the performance
  • Logistical aspects
  • Media environment
  • Sounds /timbre (instrumental and electronic)
  • Mix / Frequency range
  • Balance of ‘dry’ / ‘wet’ 
  • Artistic concept  -- musical ideas
  • Technical approach
  • Relationship between the technical and artistic motivations 

Week 4

My first video is Dan Deacon, a creative and cool electronic, techno-ish artist. I knew about him before but being in this class made me want to revisit, and hopefully emulate his work. I love how he has his entire setup condensed into one portable little desk.

On the first day we met, our group decided to share as much music as possible. This song was showed to me and it is completely nuts. Its heavy and industrial but involves lots of found sounds. The music video is also insane and very inspiring to create a more visual aspect to a possible electronic piece.

In addition to the last song, this classical piece was showed to me. I hope to combine all these elements within the group.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Blog Week 4

While brainstorming ideas for pieces, a recurring theme we came up with was centered around using a body of text and language. Especially with access to the Vocaloid software, we were thinking of using that as a means to manifest and incorporate text into the piece. Paul Lansky's "Smalltalk," a piece made up of pitches that are detected from an English conversation, has contributed to the inspiration behind this idea. The words themselves are inaudible to make out but instead allows the inflections and fluctuations to act as a melodic conversation.

Continuing on with the theme of using text, this piece by Kate Soper illustrates another interesting approach that places speaking in a completely different context. This also demonstrates a unique way to utilize Jordan’s flute abilities.

There’s also using text in the form of more “standard” lyrics.  The first piece in this tiny desk concert by Cornelius also makes use of a vocoder-type effect on his voice, and we have been thinking about whether or not to play with clearly synthetic-sounding vocals or trying to create something more “natural”-sounding/realistic.

Week 4 Three Videos

We looked into this Cornelius song for inspiration in terms of vocals and how we might be able to use the Vocaloid as a generator of vocal samples

The video below was found as inspiration to extend Jordan's techniques in flute. We experimented with accomplishing this sort of sound and tone from his piccolo.

I'm including this next video because of the lyrics and musical style. The lyrics relate to the exhibit in a really interesting way. If the exhibit is looked at through Bjork's perspective in this song it makes a bit more sense in my mind. We also talked a bit about making a piece that sounds a bit more poppy.