Track 3 on “Painting Music”
This track has nothing to do with the 1717 Water Music Suites by George Frideric Handel, though when I chose the name I might have dredged up a memory of it, since it is one of my favourite classical music compositions. I could not resist having some fun with the track’s cover design though, as you can see at the end of this post. It’s called Water Music since it started with me using the “Underwater” canvas of the “Paint with Music” differentiable digital signal processing (DDSP) platform. It really is a fun thing to do, by the way, you should try it.
Lyrical Video – “Water Music”
There is no way that I could have created the songs on the Painting Music album, from the particular audio clips generated on the platform, had I not been as competent as I am with using a DAW like Logic Pro. (Let’s say, two years ago it wouldn’t have worked.) To get the sound right I had to use Logic tools that I don’t normally need – a lot of quantizing, a lot of plugins.)
Water Music is a case in point: It came together quickly and effortlessly since the machine-generated sounds led naturally to a specific melody. I only had to go back to the platform once to create another set of notes to build out the transitions in the Verse sections. However, that’s where it stopped being straight-forward. The devil was in the detail!
In the gallery below, you can see the GUI controls used on the platform, as well as the instruments, and information on the scale. The sound output from the platform is basically a series of notes, repeated as a cycle. It includes a note like a whale song, as well as a bubbly, susurration background effect, all part of the “underwater” canvas on which you draw. This led me to choosing instruments to harmonize with the audio clips that have similar lamenting, susurrations (or wind) sounds, namely the Celtic Harp and the Highlands Bagpipes. I backed up and reinforced the melody of the watery-sounding audio clips by a score for a piano and a carillon.
As with the other songs in this collection, I wrote a new chorus and bridge, as well as, overall, new variations of the verse. I also wrote new MIDI loops for the harmonies. This composition did not get a bass track, because the bagpipes are sonorous and deep enough already.
How the raw file sounds
To give you a taste of what is involved, this is the recording of one cycle of notes from the “Paint with Music” platform – it’s the raw file, unformatted, and unstructured. What you are hearing is what I drew. A section of this file became a component of Water Music. Warning: It’s loud, weird and screeching.