Thursday, August 10, 2006

The EMU Train II

Adrian Reid's piece was done for a subject called creative computing. Using super collider as a compositional tool the work is titled Composition Formally Known as Horses, and is built with a layering approach. The actual sounds of the composition (of which there were only four) were quite interesting but I feel the piece went for too long. Its an interesting result though. Because I'm not familiar with super collider I feel hesitant to comment much further.

Dragos Nastasie showed us a quasi dance song made with Reason 2. It was kind of interesting for a little bit but then it got repetitive and started to grate. It's funny that we can sit through loads of abstract sound, which for many people is probably much much more boring, but then when I hear something that resembles some sort of musical form I get bored. The beginning had a few seconds of a what i thought was one of Reasons pre set drum patches (arch something maybe?), but Dragos said that it was sine wave manipulation. I have to admit that I like reason because it sounds generically contemporary, if you know what I mean. Its a good music production tool and I think I can agree with Dragos there.

David Dowling had recorded a band called Tuscadero. They have an interesting sound which David describes as alternative-country rock which upon hearing I would agree with (Dowling 2006). The recording was quite good and the drums sounded excellent. The only problem was the vocals, which seemed to resonate or phase strangely at a certain low frequency which produced a weird volume spike at that freq. It seems unfair to criticise this because everything is recorded so well, however, the vox are always going to stick out the most and i think Tuscadero would agree. In the pop genre everything is always recorded and produced exquisitely, according to pop standards, therefore, if you're doing a pop recording all areas are open for criticism.

Finally, Vinny Bhagat did a live performance on piano of a Raag Yaman, which traditionally has an association with the evening (Bhagat 2006). It was an improvisation piece done to a tanpura track. It was nice. I like lack the critical skills to talk about this properly but my overall I suspect he lost his way a few times and hit some wrong notes. Possibly because he was using C# as a drone note on the tanpura, which wouldn't lead to a nice translation to keyboard. I always prefer using either all white or all black notes! I know this restricts some options but it's safer in an improvisation.


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