Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Aesthetic References


I really enjoyed your arrangement, and the way in which you used looping/layering to create a very musically pleasing space.  When thinking of a reference to how you utilized looping, I immediately thought of Julia Easterlin.  I was able to to participate in a masterclass with her last summer on songwriting and looping; her live performances are incredible.  Even though your musical goals may be different and more instrumental than vocal, I feel you could draw a lot of inspiration from how she is able to create such a rich atmosphere in such a minimal style.


I really like the direction you guys are headed in, and I feel you could use more creative inspiration for the "forest" theme you seem to be going for.  This music video and song by Maggie Rogers definitely evokes a lot of emotion using the forest as a reference point.  I also really appreciate how organic the production and her use of original samples are in the track, which is something you guys could definitely experiment with. 

Aesthetic References

Textural References:

There are quite a few easy choices for you, because the category of textural music is so large. I think most of your influences seem to be from the shoegaze/dream pop realm, so an artist outside of that world who I think may help, especially where the use of looping is concerned is Philip Glass. Most of his works involve looping in some form or another, and there is an art to preserving the sounds of the piece while maintaining audience interest.

Jam References:

I really enjoyed your chemistry, and definitely look forward to seeing the development of your group! One group that you remind me of, as far as unusual instrumentation and jazzy jam music goes, is the band Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. They're a bit more structured than I think you intend to be, but I do think the interplay between the instrumentalists, who are all world class in their own right, is worth watching.

Ayal/Kate/Nick Aesthetic References

I really liked the chemistry between the three of you. I thought you all improvised well together and fed off of what each one of you were giving to the group.

The timbre of your groups overall sound reminded me of the group Saajtak. I think maybe it was the combination of acoustic drums and analog sounding synthesizer, but a lot of their compositions stem from improvisations, and because they have a tech savvy PAT alumnus in the ensemble, there's a lot of interesting things going on both sonically and visually.

I think as far as your movie goes, I really like the effects you all are incorporating. It seems a little more dystopian to me, but I think that the music you provide with it could really impact it. Something that it reminds me of, but isn't exactly the same as, is a trend that I've seen on Youtube. I've seen this done a few different ways, but musicians  will have someone play a video game, and in real time, they'll accompany the game with sound effects and theme music.

Oren/Tim/Ben Aesthetic References

I think the idea of using these contact mics is really interesting and could be used in a lot of ways! I'm not sure if you all actually wanna make like, pop music, or if people were just joking around, but if you do, you should totally take a wacky, found sound sort of approach to it.

I like your idea of a forest but I think it might be hard to do a performance like that live with the sounds in this room.

I dunno, I feel like the three of you could do some cool things that are sort of up the alley of Bon Iver's 22, A Million. There are a lot of interesting sounds on there that sort of allude to the groups folkier past, and it kind of reminds me of the woods, but not natural, if that makes sense.

There's also a lot you can do with Ableton and all of those mics. It would be really cool if you had a lot of them working at once, and maybe took advantage of all the speakers around the room to really enforce a surrounding forrest 'vibe'.

There's a video of an instillation that I need to find that has a bunch of random objects with random speakers and microphones in them scattered around a room that I need to find and show you, but I'll add that in when I find it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Week 7 Blog Prompt

For each of the other 2 groups:

Now that you've seen evidence of what the group is up to, create a post with 2 aesthetic reference points (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 _______."

You should create at least 2 posts, one for each group. Each post should have at least 2 references.

Due before our next meeting, March 6, at 6:00pm.

Week 5 Blog Post

We have a pretty solid idea of live scoring some video. The variation lies in how we will go about this. We have an idea of the theme being ~utopia~.

The first direction we could go is creating a video of our own footage combined with archival footage. The video would be the same every time, with no sound interaction or the like.

Pros: We could get really comfortable with the video we make, which would make our musical transitions from section to section seamless.

Cons: It would be less interesting to watch and see how the music affects the video. We would also miss an opportunity to explore interactive visuals.

We could also have a series of videos that are triggered in response to what we are playing. We plan on having different "movements" of our piece, so videos could play according to that.

Pros: It would be a unique performance every time, since much of the music involves improvisation. It would be really engaging and a good opportunity for us to explore something that we are unfamiliar with.

Cons: A lot of time would be dedicated to learning how to do this, which may not necessarily be a bad thing, but it also gives us less time to focus on the creative aspects.

Another thing we could do is find a random video and improvise without looking at the screen.

Pros: It could create some really interesting results musically and visually.

Cons: It wouldn't involve much learning and exploration.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Week 5 Blog Post, Balas/Everett/Levin

1.  Our first direction is to stay more acoustic and use contact mics to manipulate the noises of unlikely objects and create a performance with that acoustic material.
This is a more intimate performance, and the acoustic sounds give a more organic feel. It would also be easier to fit this to a concept, where we can choose sounds in line with an idea.
This is less visual than the others, and isn't a super original idea. The sound also won't be as "pretty" as a more processed approach, because contact mics tend to be very mid-y and harsh.

2. The second direction is to use waveforms found in percussive sounds to create sampled instruments that work with more acoustic rhythmic sounds to create a song.
The sounds will be interestingly varied, and has an interesting rhythmic/melodic dichotomy. It's also easier to manipulate the sound digitally, so the noises will be more pleasing. There are also interesting things we can do with the visual, showing how we are using the waveform.
This may be less intimate than the purely acoustic sounds. It is also less performance based directly, and may be hard to distinguish from a normal synth performance.

3. The last idea was to use the voltage generated by the contact mics to control the lighting in the room. We can do this directly with LED's, or use a more arduino based approach to control larger light networks.
This is visually very interesting, and we can do a lot of cool things with the digital lighting.
This is technologically complex, and the amount of time required to set this up well may not be worth the amount of interest it adds to the performance.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Group Blog Prompt

As a group (on your group's individual page) describe three possible variations on the direction your group could be headed. Use media, which could include media that you've generated and/or media from other sources, to illustrate these variations/directions. Weigh the pros and cons of each direction. What could be rewarding or disappointing about each? What are the challenges or opportunities for each? What are the risks?

Due Tuesday Feb 20 before class.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Three Videos - Jacob Rogers

Ryan and I have been looking into slow-developing, textural music (a definite shared interest of ours), so to research a bit I tried to find live performances of a number of artists I love who create music through similar means. Small numbers of musicians but large sound worlds. Accomplishing this either through performing on multiple instruments, looping, smart orchestration, or whatever other means.

The first artist I went to is Kishi Bashi. He is a singer/songwriter/violinist I have loved for a long while. I've seen him live twice, and both times he played with a band, but I remembered one of my friends from home mentioning to check out his solo stuff. He performs with just his violin, a pedal board, and his voice, and wow. Very intelligent use of the sounds available to him, fantastic orchestration.

A second group I looked to, which Ryan and I spent some time listening to last week is Beach House. They're already a massive inspiration of mine, but I've (once again) never consumed any of their live material. This video does a job of displaying just how many layers of texture each member of the live band is responsible for. If we were trying to do something along these lines, but without a third person, it would require the use of significant drum looping, but I think that would be very doable given our access to hardware and software.

For our video component, I spent some time researching locations we could access public domain footage to use for one component of the display. I found a number of sources, both on youtube and in websites, and began browsing through them. Here is one notably fantastic piece of public domain footage I found: The Private Life of a Cat.

Three Videos- Nick Froelich

Ayal, Kate and I decided last week that we wanted to do a live score of some sort of silent film/obscure footage.  We want to take inspiration from many different old styles of film, and manipulate the video to create some sort of narrative.  Another possibility for the video portion would be to record and edit our own video, which could make the performance more original.

I found this silent film that was scored more recently.  I really like how the composer emphasized the narrative with the score.  I also really like the color scheme and "vintage" visuals.

I was looking through music videos that had visual elements that inspired me, and really liked the video done by Manchester Orchestra for their song "The Gold".  The video seems to combine an array of old images and video that are bound together in a very artistic fashion.  The other aspect of the video I really like is how well the images and videos are synced with the music.

I'm sure a lot of you guys have seen this video already, but it was one of the first videos that came to mind when I thought of "obscure footage".  It's a very mysterious video in which the figure that is shown distributes morse code in what seems to be an abandoned building.  Besides all the crazy theories a lot of people have come up with about this video, I think it is a great example of mysterious, weird footage that we could use.