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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
Directions/Loose Score for an Electronic Band?
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ryansupak



Joined: Sep 13, 2005
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Location: Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:11 pm    Post subject: Directions/Loose Score for an Electronic Band? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

I woke up this morning, and suddenly I've got some high-profile gigs with a band who I've never actually practiced with but I sometimes sit in with. They're looking to me for some ideas.

We usually end up in the "improvised electronic/rock/noise" vein -- reminiscent of a lot of the DFA Records and Thrill Jockey records material.

I reckon it's not a bad idea to start looking at some basic frameworks for us to use, just very basic instructions for different places a song should go -- or maybe nothing more than a set of established cues. (I think that sound jams that don't go anywhere, and are totally free-form, run the risk of getting boring pretty easily.)

I think that "sparse, melodic, space sounds for 5 minutes" is probably too vague and ultimately wouldn't work for us, and a fully-written score would be so strict we'd never stick to it. Maybe the solution is some kind of "Jazz Chart"...

Anybody have any experience with this sort of thing?

Thanks
rs
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aquanaut



Joined: Apr 25, 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One thing that is hard to achieve with a band is to change tempo on cue. I would make a list of different things to try.

-time signature change

-mode change

-remove/add some note of a given groups of notes

-superimpose two closely related key

-remove the down beat
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What is possible to do at all will of cource heavily depend on what instruments are played. I think that one of the interesting things about electronic instruments is that they can be played by more then one musician at the same time since generally the interface of electronic instruments isn´t directly involved in generating the sounds. This opens options.

For example, if the score would consist of constraints such as tunings, maximum permissible event density, the minimum and maximum difference in pitch between pitched events and so on then those instructions could be forwarded to the instruments themselves instead of going through the musician. OSC, MIDI or even voltage controll from a central source could be used for this. for different passages these constraints could be more or less limiting and at some moments they might be as constricting as a traditional score.

It would of cource be fairly time consuming to program all instruments for that and it might be challenging to figure out the proper interaction between that and a interface for musicians that´s experienced as expressive but that challenge might be interesting and rewarding in itself.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A band I'm in, Xeroid Entity, used to plan out all of our music. Pieces were typically in three movements. We would plan what patches and processors we were going to use, what keys, tempos, who took solos, etc etc etc. We were very serious about it and practiced a lot.

As we got more experience, we found we needed less and less and the music got better and better. Now we just sit down and start playing. We can do muli-hour performances now sweat.

One of the top space music bands, Spacecraft also operates in this mode.

The secret is listening. If all of you listen well you'll make beautiful music together. Wink

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illuminated



Joined: Jun 19, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Edited
Last edited by illuminated on Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

As great as it is; Live isn´t going to save you if you can´t play or listen. Live has some amazing features that can help you out, I often play a single instrument together with the computer, have the computer do one element of it and controll some other aspect manually, but that won´t halp if you can´t adapt to others.
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Different people have different levels of musicianship, different ways of communicating, different experiences of the music they are playing.
So, if you want everyone to contribute consistently and have no-one feeling under valued, I'd recommend the way my last band worked.
For each track, one of us had the final say on everything. Very simple. Every song had it's own special kind of sound, and yet they were all important to all of us.
Also, IMHO, the main feel/sound/direction of a track should fit into about 2-3mins playing time. Don't get lost at practice jamming a track for half an hour when you could play the bones of it in 3mins and then let each other know what you did and didn't like for 7mins (talk about it). You'll get alot more done, and you'll sound alot more connected. Of course once you're playing for others, read the crowd, stretch it out if it's going down well. If not, then everyone knows the short and sweet version. Wink

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egw
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:

For each track, one of us had the final say on everything. Very simple. Every song had it's own special kind of sound, and yet they were all important to all of us.
Also, IMHO, the main feel/sound/direction of a track should fit into about 2-3mins playing time. Don't get lost at practice jamming a track for half an hour when you could play the bones of it in 3mins and then let each other know what you did and didn't like for 7mins (talk about it). You'll get alot more done, and you'll sound alot more connected. Of course once you're playing for others, read the crowd, stretch it out if it's going down well. If not, then everyone knows the short and sweet version.


Great advice!
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ryansupak



Joined: Sep 13, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi gang, thanks for the advice.

In the last few weeks I've tried a little of everything suggested here.

The core of the solution that works best for me has been communication. And, it helps to have the honor of playing with top-notch, seasoned musicians.

rs
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