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Watch that video. Now watch it again. It’s like “Flight of the Bumblebee” being read as it falls through a paper shredder. Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation of that piece:
Andrea: Maria was an excellent student and she worked so hard during the course. She asked tons of great questions on our calls and was a pleasure to work with. Probably one of the best sessions for me so far!
So let’s do it. Let’s make a tuning system out of the harmonics of the C string. First, we should find the C, G, and E whose frequencies are as close to each other as possible. We’ve already got C at 1 Hz. We can bring our G at 3 Hz down an octave by dividing its frequency in half. This gives us a G at 3/2 Hz. We can also bring our E at 5 Hz down two octaves by dividing its frequency in half twice. This gives us an E at 5/4 Hz. When you play 1 Hz, 5/4 Hz and 3/2 Hz at the same time, you get a lovely sound called a C major triad. Cool!
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We briefly mentioned “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen earlier. Aside from the religious references, it was also originally a poem Cohen wrote and published before the song was ever recorded. Try writing a poem purely on pen and paper, without worrying about melody or rhythm at all. Once you’ve got a solid draft, try setting it to music. Ultimately, you might need to be inventive or make some changes to make everything flow nicely, but this can produce good results.
If you sit down with pen and paper in hand and find that no new ideas are coming your way, consider a fresh perspective in your writing process. If you are used to writing your songs by starting with just an acoustic guitar and vocals, try opening your mind by starting on the piano instead. If you usually start with a melody in mind but just can’t seem to find the right tune today, start by looping a beat or groove instead. With the great variety of affordable recording and composing software on the market today, you can have a wide palette of sounds at your fingertips and no longer be limited to just the instruments that you own or have the ability to record at one time. If the idea of recording software makes you anxious, you can get started with something as simple as Apple’s Garageband if you are a Mac user or FL Studio on PC.
The type of sample or synth you use will also determine how you shape the line. When you compose, focus more on getting the right feeling than on being harmonically “correct.” Instead of aiming for complex note choices, experiment with your sound choices and maybe try some distortion so things sound grittier.
Modes are a great resource for both improvising and composing. They give us a great variety of harmonic choices, but it’s often difficult to remember the difference between one and the other. In this article, we will look at a way to remember which notes make up a certain mode. In order to do so, we will have to build upon a previous knowledge of major and minor scales.
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According to the Ed Sullivan website, the popular host struck a handshake deal with Beatles manager Brian Epstein for, rather than a one-time appearance, a three-time opener/closer appearance. This offered exposure to over 23 million American homes on that very first performance, and thus, the ensuing Beatlemania took the United States by storm.
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Finally, we come to the latest album in the list, although Ambiant Otaku is, like many of the others, the debut solo album of a legendary minimalist artist. Tetsu Inoue has been active since the early ’90s and has collaborated with other electronic artists such as Bill Laswell, Pete Namlock, Taylor Deupree, and others. Enjoy this last spacey, spectral, synthesized voyage!
Song Facts is an excellent blog to get inspiration from — its focus is around interviews of writers that many of us pros look up to, talking about songs they’ve written, and often through a historical lens.
Where to start! Mica Levi has been dancing to the beat of her own drum since she started making music. Just 32 years old and already an international star composer and producer, Levi is also the lead singer of the experimental pop group Micachu and the Shapes. After four years studying at the Guildhall College Of Music and Drama, Levi launched into the world of film scoring creating an incredibly original score for Jonathan Glazer’s debut film Under the Skin. Both her score for Under the Skin and her later work on Pablo Larraín’s Jackie won her BAFTA nominations and an Oscar nomination. Fast becoming one of the most original and sought-after film composers out there, if you don’t yet know her music I highly recommend you make its acquaintance!