Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

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Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Ben Asaro »

With Jamuary in the rear-view mirror and a scheduled week off to ruminate on all of the sounds and such from the month, I've been trying to come up with a single 'mission statement' for this composition, similar to my other big pieces. I've done a piece based on bell changes, with subtle changes and ever-shifting relationships between the notes ... I've done one with a chord progression that takes a full hour to resolve ... and I've challenged myself by recording a live performance using two of the most notoriously unwieldy synths (the Subharmonicon and Lyra-8) at the same time. I enjoy the fact that my big compositions tend to merge technological, philosophical, and music-theoretical related areas into a single piece.

Jamuary really got me interested in looping phrases ... and loops within loops. And combined with my late-2022 experiments with the 'timbral garden' and modulating modulators, and granular synthesis, and really looking at ways to sequence sound so that it's NOT just imitating a band from the '70s; particularly viewed through the lens of Minimalism.

So the mission statement I came up with is:
Microcompositions using waveforms that can be pushed into shapes and materials and then sequenced.

As for how it would look, I imagine it like being interconnected gears. In the center is the largest gear, representing my key center; this also serves as the function generator for the entire piece. This is made up of microcompositions composed of individual loops. Each loop can be an exploration of a motive, timbre, or rhythm/meter.

Image

My plan is to start SMALL and get a proof of concept going first.
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Folderol »

Where do we send the food parcels? :lol:
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by OneWorld »

Ben Asaro wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 3:37 pm With Jamuary in the rear-view mirror and a scheduled week off to ruminate on all of the sounds and such from the month, I've been trying to come up with a single 'mission statement' for this composition, similar to my other big pieces. I've done a piece based on bell changes, with subtle changes and ever-shifting relationships between the notes ... I've done one with a chord progression that takes a full hour to resolve ... and I've challenged myself by recording a live performance using two of the most notoriously unwieldy synths (the Subharmonicon and Lyra-8) at the same time. I enjoy the fact that my big compositions tend to merge technological, philosophical, and music-theoretical related areas into a single piece.

Jamuary really got me interested in looping phrases ... and loops within loops. And combined with my late-2022 experiments with the 'timbral garden' and modulating modulators, and granular synthesis, and really looking at ways to sequence sound so that it's NOT just imitating a band from the '70s; particularly viewed through the lens of Minimalism.

So the mission statement I came up with is:
Microcompositions using waveforms that can be pushed into shapes and materials and then sequenced.

As for how it would look, I imagine it like being interconnected gears. In the center is the largest gear, representing my key center; this also serves as the function generator for the entire piece. This is made up of microcompositions composed of individual loops. Each loop can be an exploration of a motive, timbre, or rhythm/meter.

Image

My plan is to start SMALL and get a proof of concept going first.

Give Steve Reich a call, he’s been down this road
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Martin Walker »

You're a brave and inspiring man Ben! :clap:
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by resistorman »

Martin Walker wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 10:13 pm You're a brave and inspiring man Ben! :clap:

Amen!
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by BJG145 »

Sounds intriguing - look forward to seeing how this develops. :thumbup:
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Arpangel »

Ben, are the individual loops, elements synchronised, or free running, or do you have the option to do both?
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Ben Asaro »

Arpangel wrote: Fri Feb 03, 2023 10:09 am Ben, are the individual loops, elements synchronised, or free running, or do you have the option to do both?

If by syncronised you mean fed from a single clock source, then the answer is probably not.
If by syncronised you mean played in time, I am sure there will be elements that will be played that way because syncopation is fun.
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Arpangel »

Ben Asaro wrote: Fri Feb 03, 2023 1:32 pm
Arpangel wrote: Fri Feb 03, 2023 10:09 am Ben, are the individual loops, elements synchronised, or free running, or do you have the option to do both?

If by syncronised you mean fed from a single clock source, then the answer is probably not.
If by syncronised you mean played in time, I am sure there will be elements that will be played that way because syncopation is fun.

Sounds interesting, look forward to hearing it.
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Ben Asaro »

Thanks! I just hope it doesn't end in a train wreck! :D
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Martin Walker »

Ben Asaro wrote: Fri Feb 03, 2023 1:49 pm Thanks! I just hope it doesn't end in a train wreck! :D

Even if it does, I suspect it will still be an enjoyable listen ;)
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by adamburgess »

What a great way to start a piece. Really interesting mindset!

Looking forward to see what transpires :clap:
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023?

Post by RichardT »

It’s a very interesting idea - my only comment is that almost all the key centres are very closely related to the main key centre. Is there a way some of them could be a bit more distant? It might create some intriguing effects.
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023?

Post by Ben Asaro »

RichardT wrote: Fri Feb 03, 2023 6:35 pm It’s a very interesting idea - my only comment is that almost all the key centres are very closely related to the main key centre. Is there a way some of them could be a bit more distant? It might create some intriguing effects.

Good observeration -- This is just an example of the overarching concept, not the actual score. I also find it helpful to start with very simple lines when first trying out something this big.
The main key center is also the function generator for the overall composition and there's no rule that says that it can't change. For now, though, I'm avoiding modal interchange until I know the core concept works!
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Ben Asaro »

As a side point: everyone is free to take this idea and run with it. None of these ideas are proprietary by any stretch!
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by tea for two »

Just before like literally a day before Ben returned to the forum Dec15
I had a subconscious wish that Ben was back on the forum :beamup:

Universe made it real.
Ben was going to return anyways.
Just occured next day after I subconsciously wished it :crazy:

::

We can all do this with our wish.

Our wish has to be
1.Subconscious. We cant force think it force wish it.

2. Local and small. Then it maintains balance of the universe. Anything larger or global doesn't occur as it upsets the balance of the universe

3. Selfless and decent. Then this is most likely to occur. Although subconsciously wishing for ourself also works if it doesn't do anything adversely to anybody and won't harm us down the line.
There's that saying be careful what you wish for well it's subconsciously wishing for ourself things that unknown to us would harm us down the line.
So to be safe not sorry our subconscious wish should be selfless decent.

Right as you were.
Ta. :lol:
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Ben Asaro »

:D
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Ben Asaro wrote: Fri Feb 03, 2023 7:22 pm As a side point: everyone is free to take this idea and run with it.

We may be free to do it but it doesn't mean we're all capable of doing so! :D
But thank you anyway. :)
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Ben Asaro »

Hot on the heels of Jamuary, I was working out of town all last week. I am back home today and looking forward to starting work on the proof of concept for the new composition!

I have a kind of floaty idea in mind that I wanted to try in Jamuary but never got round to it. Let’s see if I have better luck this time! :D
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Re: Looking at the 'big composition' for 2023

Post by Ben Asaro »

Another looper arrived in the post yesterday, a BOSS RC-1. This gives me a mono looper for guitar and a stereo looper for everything else at the ready.

Part of the proof of concept is for me to come up with the instruments I would like to play -- because in an ideal world I will be collaborating with others on this -- and for the modular I'm going to try to use Euclidean Circles to generate complex melodies. Here's v1 in block diagram form:

Image

The idea is that the VCOs are generating set pitches with the NerdSeq acting as a shift register, and keeping the note choice very simple: I am going to start with 4 pitches.

Euclidean Circles will be used to create interlocking melodies by opening each VCA based on their patterns. I guess the biggest question is WHY am I doing it this way? The short answer is: to avoid falling into the trap of repeating myself. By stepping away from the idea of 'step sequencing' and preconceived melodic ideas. By forcing myself to slow down and really commit to a note choice.

Will it work? Dunno! :D
I'll be testing it over the weekend, tho!
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