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Thread: (Bi)Modal Total Serialist Piece

  1. #1
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    (Bi)Modal Total Serialist Piece

    Chahapatadawa http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12101318

    Working Procedure
    For this Non-12-Tone Serial piece I placed consonants of a person’s name around a circle with 12 positions for the 12 pitches of a one octave chromatic scale and possibly 12 events in a 12/8 rhythmic matrix. I also placed around the circle in a logical order all of the following ideas that would fit;

    Intervals from shortest to widest,

    ratios like 3:2 etc..,

    note durations from shortest to longest,

    articulations,

    dynamics from quiet to loud,

    time signatures,

    starting positions,

    chord voicings,

    chord qualities,

    embellishments,

    chord inversions,

    tempos from slowest to fastest,

    melodic silhouettes,

    accent placements,

    instruments,

    number of chords in a progression,

    linear progressions and their starting chords,

    functional progressions,

    motive schemes like aaab,

    second schemes like cbbc

    Two chord repeating progressions,

    Large scale variation techniques like melodic retrograde or unequal augmentation/diminution,

    Small scale variation techniques like subtract from the middle of a phrase,
    Rhythmic motives,

    Esoteric modes,

    Non 3rd voicings,

    I didn’t end up using all of these ideas however.

    Ideas Incorporated
    I used the letters in the person’s name to determine a series of intervals that had been placed in order in the chart. The series I ended up with was P5, M2, P4, M2, P4, m6. I also got the pitches DGD#GD#Bb. I used both of these to create the melodies.

    The ratios for the intervals ended up being 3:2, 8:7, 4:3, 8:7, 4:3, 5:8. So, for example the second section initially has measures alternating between 8/8 and 7/8 and later 7/8 and 8/8. At the end of each section I created a polyrhythm of the two.

    Note durations resulted in a dotted eighth note, a half note, a quarter note, a half, a quarter, and a half tied to a dotted eighth. I used this rhythm to construct some melodic phrases out of the pitches and intervals.

    I also had some rhythmic motifs no longer than a beat which combined to make a rhythmic phrase useful for combining with the pitches or intervals. These two different rhythms helped to create variety between phrases.

    The different starting positions for phrases further helped to create variety between sections. I took liberties with a section’s second phrase to make it start in a different place in the bar than the first phrase to avoid boredom.

    The first section got triads in second inversion. The third section got triads with added 6ths. And the fourth section got chords with 11 pitches 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 in the Mark II keyboard and 1 3 5 7 in the electric guitar.

    The number of chords in a progression was also set at 3, 8, 4, 8, 11 for each section respectively. Instruments which get the melody in each section occur in this order; Mark II Keyboard, Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Rhythm Guitar and Synth.

    The chords of the first section are first based on D Dorian #4, then on D Melodic minor b5. The second section gets G Aeolian #4 and G Melodic minor #4#5. The third section gets D Lydian Dominant #5 and D Melodic minor #5. The last section got Bb Harmonic Minor b5.

    Another thing I used was to not only alter the phrases I had created using melodic retrograde and unequal augmentation/diminution (for the first section), inversion and rhythmic interversion {moving the front to the back and the back to the front} (for the second section), melodic retrograde inversion and rhythmic displacement (for the third section), plus isomelody and an even rhythm (for the fourth section) to create variation in the order of pitches and rhythms in the melody for each section but also used these same techniques to create bass parts.

    The letters in the name also decided the tempos for each section 65 bpm, 95bpm, 73 bpm, 95 bpm, 73 bpm, & 116 bpm.

    Last up, the type of accompaniment was decided; block chords, ostinato, block chords, ostinato, block chords, chords in a repeating rhythm.

    Concepts Not Explored
    I didn’t use the motive schemes like aaab etc.. .because the two existing rhythmic rows seemed to be enough when I was composing. In retrospect the first section could have used a little more variety because of its length. I also didn’t use the suggested tetrachords or embellishments since things were working out fine without them and I hadn’t create a way to decide where to put the embellishments.

    I didn’t use the articulations or dynamics on each note because those are the first things that get lost in performance and raise the difficulty to the limit of human ability.

    I also didn’t try to include substitutions for the ii V I, vibratos or bends.

    Artistic License
    Decisions that were not left up to this serial procedure were the rhythm of the high hat and ride which I composed to avoid the attacks where both the melody and bass guitar were already attacking.

    The bass drum is two bars of the high hat’s rhythm played backwards.

    The snare is placed as close to beats 2 & 4 if the bar were in 4/4 which it frequently wasn’t and only on the nearest resultant position created by either the bass or high hat.

    The rhythm of the keyboard in the last section follows the high hat. The extremely dissonant clusters are the ostinato created by turning the drum notation vertically and playing it on the Mark II keyboard. I could just as easily have made the clusters diatonic to the key.

    Concluding Remarks
    Any relationship the melody has to the chords is entirely accidental but areas of tension, although not resolved formally, at least become resolved acceptably to my surprise. Actually there isn’t that much dissonance considering.

    All of this is a fairly extreme example of lateral thinking/abstraction. Another example might be the FREQUENCY of letters in the alphabet could be correlated to the frequency that pitches, intervals and rhythmic patterns have in music. I’ve tried that one before too but the results were not as good as this.

    Observatons
    I don’t like the second inversion triads in the beginning so much. When the bass was given the melody, something I never would normally have done, the Mark II player’s left hand adequately took over the role of bassist.

    When giving the melody to the rhythm guitar, something I rarely do, I gave the rhythm guitar’s job to the distorted electric guitar which created a nice enough effect that I think I’ll use it again sometime.
    One parameter I hadn’t thought of was if sections abruptly change tempo and keys or if they gradually could make those changes.

    The area where the bass has the melody, I’m supposed to use inversion or rhythmic interversion and there’s a spot where I’ve given the inversion to the left hand of the Mark II functioning as bassist which turned out to have an interesting effect.

    Reasons
    I’m married but the name I used is of a beautiful young lady I have an eye out for. Show me a man who can’t paint a woman and I’ll show you a man who isn’t an artist.

    Incidentally Paul Klee has several serial works which could be considered visual representations of what I’ve done here.
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt ... wCw&itbs=1

    Serialism was partly the result of Post World War II distrust of what people were calling the decadent German chromatics of Romanticism because the nationalism, racism towards the Jewish people and the imperialist expansionism that came from Romantic ideas during World War II deeply affected people. Nationalism is a very dangerous romantic notion. Many people don’t know but Shenkerian analysis had been developed to identify music appropriate for the Third Reich.

    Also, the frustration which late romantic composers had with an increasing atonality and chromaticism lead inevitably to 12-Tone music. But Total Serialism was the promise of a new utopia. However, the new found freedom also had its own severe limitations initially, so the ideas were further developed to get away from a strict order to rows of pitches, intervals rhythms etc… Other musically meaningful ideas were incorporated. The need to religiously stick to a series was reduced in importance but not abandoned.

    Later Developments
    Ideas such as set theory, group theory, operators and parameterization were taken up by composers such as Witold Lutoslavski (my Korean composition professor was an expert on him), Elliot Carter, and Iannis Xenakis and this really did give composers new freedoms they’d never had before.

    It was initially thought that serialist ideas were incompatible with jazz but Lutoslavski had an idea about chord strands where an ordering of voices in a chord might be permuted in various musically meaningful ways for subsequent voicings of other chords as had originally been applied to tone rows which could also be utilized by the improvising jazz musician particularly keyboardists. Private experimenters have explored the possibilities of Lutoslavski’s chord strands but remained out of many musician’s and composer’s awareness until a recent publication brought it to light again.

    The Future
    My next project will be something based on set theory, etc… before finally moving on to Post-minimalism etc...

    If you'd like to know more about serialism have a look at the book that inspired me
    www.books.google.co.id/books?id=yd6rvMNbHGUC&pg=PA13&source=gbs_toc_r&cad =4#v=onepage&q&f=false
    Last edited by Tatsu; Jan-11-2013 at 05:46.

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Please know that I'm listening through two little speaker towers,
    not the powered Altec Lansing speakers with bass box I have at home.

    I can't begin to comment on all the comments,
    and there isn't enough time for me to learn everything you're typing about,
    but I'd like to get into it here. I liked it.
    Now, I'm old enough to remember when the sound of a Fender Rhodes was new,
    used by Miles Davis, played by Herbie Hancock, for the innovative "Bitches Brew",
    back in the sixties when "Are You Experienced" came out.
    And one of your guitar segments had a fuzzy tone like John McClaughlin used,
    and he was a guitarist Miles Davis had back then too,
    another reference for my allusion to Bitches Brew.

    Your music doesn't have the virtuosity of these jazzers working on a real instrument,
    but you have the head space and a similar quality change-up that got me into it.
    Considering that it's a balanced recording, nothing standing out more than the others,
    I think you've got a nice career as a mixer or producer, if not a player.
    Tatsu! This is me to you! Time to start singing a new song over a traditional free jazz genre.

  3. #3
    Commodore con Forza EddieRUKiddingVare's Avatar
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    Me too just listening thru laptop speakers, but was very interesting, especially being a Serial piece nice.

    Did you really use all those themes in the one piece?

  4. #4
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    Hi John, that's also my estimation. Thanks for the vote of confidence as mixer or producer. Hi Eddie, yes I used them all.

  5. #5
    Commodore con Forza EddieRUKiddingVare's Avatar
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    ^ wow..................

  6. #6
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Some people hit it, others nail it.
    I think we did it all.
    This is Magle.dk rockin'on all cylinders,
    even if it takes some pre-programmed free jazz to fire us up.

    Tatsu! Please, don't forget to add local musical content,
    like some traditional instruments, even if just for looks.
    If you're not using local and traditional references,
    you'll only look like everything North American that's come before,
    unless you can afford the wild special effects,
    and then you'll be looking like everything Hollywood that came before.
    You type "father of electronic" from your local perspective,
    and look who's getting back to you globally online, me,
    John Watt, a descendant of Dr. James Watt, a father of electronics.
    Even then, I wonder what Jimi Hendrix would do.
    Last edited by John Watt; May-16-2013 at 02:46.

  7. #7
    Commodore con Forza EddieRUKiddingVare's Avatar
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    John, interesting to hear your a descendant of dedescendant of Dr. James Watts - very impressive.

    My- "father of electronic" with the music bit is shorten off (too many characters lol), and is attributed to Edgard Varese- my alter ego.....

    I wonder what jimi would have do too.

  8. #8
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Jimi's shade would ask if you listened to Satie's "Les Gymnopiedes",
    and tried playing it with some reverb, echo and a deep, slow phase shifting,
    because if you did he could phase shift into our reality for a while,
    and feel the digital effects he never had.

    I just heard a voice saying "If you plug it in a Marshall stack, I will be there with you".
    Last edited by John Watt; May-21-2013 at 22:08.

  9. #9
    Commodore con Forza EddieRUKiddingVare's Avatar
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    Cool - will give it a go, sounds easy- childs play....... I could use a new reality

    Does jimi talk to you often?

  10. #10
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    His voice travels across my brain quite often.
    There is so much longing for his presence and sound his spirit has a tough time leaving earth's astral plane.
    I just think he phase shifted too often while he was alive.
    It was a lot rougher for Elvis' ghost, a wild world of grief and not wanting to believe he died,
    even controversies about his name being spelled correctly on his grave.
    At least he manifests himself in southern burger joints, enjoying himself.

  11. #11
    Commodore con Forza EddieRUKiddingVare's Avatar
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    Very true. SJV came close to providing some jimi sounds.

    Yea they just wont let the E go. He's even manifested down under Outback Man in big hotpants

  12. #12
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    I was being told about SRV's version of "Little Wing" so I went to hear it.
    A little disappointed, a chunky rhythm version.
    Stevie had nice tone, but he was just a get quiet for rhythm crank it up for lead kinda player.

    Same thing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, not seeing them as deep musical artists,
    even if Flea, the bassist, copies a lot of Hendrix riffs.
    Yeah, my new band is going to do "Little Wing", for a nice slow dance song.

  13. #13
    Commodore con Forza EddieRUKiddingVare's Avatar
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    Did you know that Flea is an Aussie! cool hey from Melbourne I believe.

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