Busted Piano is the result of playing around on the Plink platform, and in the video you can see the visualization used on the platform - a moving line, waveform of little blobs. I chose a particularly whiny, mechanical sounding synth for an instrument on Plink. To my ears, it sounded like a badly maintained … Continue reading Track 6 on “Painting Music” – “Busted Piano”
How to visualize your music I am not in the league of Taylor Swift (eh, obviously), with a team of professional choreographers, dancers, musicians, cinematographers, designers, etc. etc., who can - as she puts it - "tell the stories" of her songs through video. Her music videos, like those of other best-selling musicians, are works … Continue reading Now for the videos
Track 5 on album "Painting Music" Appleblossom Blink is a somber melody with some sweet chords. It's an original instrumental created from sounds generated on the web audio generation platforms Google Arts & Culture Paint with Music and Plink by DinahMoe. The composition is in the Japanese Hirajōshi scale, and features the melancholy shakuhachi flute … Continue reading Track 5 on “Painting Music”: “Appleblossom Blink” – A Bit of East & West to a Trip-hop Beat
Track 5 on "Painting Music" - How it was made The melody for Appleblossom Blink started as experiments on “Plink” and “Paint with Music – Paper”, both web audio sound generation platforms. While the "Paper" version of the sounds on "Paint with Musics" are pleasant, the range is quite limited. I therefore created another few … Continue reading Techno with a Twist – The Making of “Appleblossom Blink”
In his conversations with fans, The Red Hand Files, Nick Cave recently responded to someone who is angry because he found out that a public figure who he despises is a fan of a particular musician, same as he is. His questions are about who owns music - to whom does it belong? I found … Continue reading To whom does music belong?
The melody of Swagger & Swing started as notes on the fourth option on the “Paint with Music” platform, the “Street” canvas, which looks like a granite wall or pavement (shown below). This canvas has a more atonal sound than the others, and includes effects like scratching and hissing, which give a more grunge-like effect. I … Continue reading “Swagger & Swing” – Track 4 on “Painting Music
Track 3 on "Painting Music" Water 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 … Continue reading “Water Music” – waves, whale sounds and melancholy wind
And a-one, two-, three... Here we go! Ooooh... Lah Laaaaaah LAAAAAAAA!!! A.I. Opera: It Started as just fun and ended up as real - and really nice Dealing with very short audio clips like these ones, forced me to keep things focused and tight, and did not leave much room for getting fancy. The parameters … Continue reading Track 2 on “Painting Music”- “A.I. Opera”
The tracks on my latest album, Painting Music, are the results of me experimenting on online platforms that produce both sounds and visuals from a user’s input. One of these is “Blob Opera”. All the platforms are experimental, meaning that as users use the platform and upload their creations, the database is expanded and the … Continue reading Singing Opera with Blobs
Cōdae · Hirajoshi and Sky All the songs in this collection contain small clips or samples of machine-generated musical notes. I used online platforms that produce both sounds and visuals from a user’s input, the main one being “Paint with Music” (which is why the album has this name) which uses Google Magenta’s DDSP (Differentiable … Continue reading Track 1 on “Painting Music”: “Hirajōshi and Sky”
I make music in ways that interest me, and in ways that I can get my head around - bad grammar, but what it means in practice is that with every song I produce I make a bunch of mistakes, and learn something about myself or about music, or about the creative process. And then … Continue reading My New album “Painting Music” has Dropped
Everyone has to start somewhere, when you create things. Something cannot come from nothing. I have learned this rather late in my life. You have to DO something: take a step, make a move, decide something, in order to create that thing you have in your mind. Or that thing that's been bothering you and … Continue reading From hesitant beginnings to happiness
Sometimes, you can work at a composition until you have tried every trick and technique you know of, and it still doesn't sound right. Something went wrong with the programming. Recently, Lex Fridman (computer scientist, artificial intelligence researcher, and research scientist at MIT) interviewed world famous, pioneering programmer and developer. John Carmack. Carmack said something … Continue reading When the only way forward is to can it – A New “Sunrise”
The documentary about Nick Cave and his albums Ghosteen and CARNAGE, This Much I Know To Be True (2022), is now available on MUBI, I just had to watch it. It was beautiful, memorable and thought-provoking. I don't often get so enthusiastic about something that I jump straight to the conclusion and just say - … Continue reading Superb: “This Much I know To be True”
About the Outro on Armin2016 Thinking up a name for a new song is as tricky as trying to name a band or an album. Just like with a book you've written, you have to find something that explains its essence, also contains words that fits it into the genre or category, and at the … Continue reading For lack of a better title, just call it “Outro”
When Morning Comes, on the album Armin2016, is a short, rhythmic track with a real hook of a chorus in which the key changes from minor to major. That’s followed by a throbbing drop and and outro of pulsating synths. It’s simple but full of energy – a song with which to greet the day, … Continue reading How long is a piece of…song?
It has been said about upright pianos that they turn into “1200-pound heirloom paperweights”, unless they are kept in tune and are played regularly. Otherwise they are simply large, heavy, awkwardly shaped pieces of furniture, not good as bookcases, nor any good as seating, often a home for mice, and sounding worse than an out-of-tune … Continue reading A story about pianos, diamonds and goats
People tell me that you can get inspiration from anywhere - in your imagination, from what you know, from what's around you, or people. David Byrne (he of Talking Heads) writes in the opening lines of his book How Music Works, that, actually, the music we create does not necessarily come from some internal source … Continue reading Contending with the challenge of creating music in context
Limbo (2020) is an award-winning film that recently played on Mubi. It's one of those gems that I discovered on Mubi, which has its fair share of unwatchable weird stuff. But it has also had a couple of masterpieces that I would never have discovered had it not been on the channel. I would not … Continue reading The sad sound of an oud – Limbo, a film by Ben Sharrock
PSY (real name Park Jae-sang, Korean: 박재상) released his album PSY 9th on April 29, 2022, and I hurried up and got the album a.s.a.p., because I like PSY. I like everything about PSY, his voice, dance moves, compositions, and especially his sly and subversive lyrics. At first listen, his songs are slick and high-quality … Continue reading Fusing genres and languages into hits – PSY 9th album
22 Rainy Days is the result of, well...rain, falling rain, lots of it, for 22 days non-stop to be precise, as it was this past winter. (When it rains where I live in Canada, it really rains. It’s not for nothing that they call this region a “temperate rainforest”.) I also have to say that … Continue reading A driving beat- like rain dripping down
Track 3 on the album Armin2016, is now out, called - appropriately - Armin and Me. Cōdae · Armin And Me The song cover for Armin and Me (above) was made with psychedelic AI-generated graphics and shows the sea, sail boats and tulips. Clichéd perhaps, but the art is a nod to Armin van Buuren’s … Continue reading It’s all about Armin
Carlos Santana makes a very important point in his masterclass course: “Look at any poem by anyone that you love and, then, try... putting notes to it.” "When writing a melody for guitar, Carlos uses a technique he calls playing a poem, wherein he reads a piece of poetry (it can be any kind) and … Continue reading “Run to Me” – Playing the poem, like Carlos Santana says
Songs are not always on a 4/4 beat. That's what I've found out. I had religiously stuck to the 4/4 time signature setting in Logic Pro, until one day I decided to write a waltz and - tarnation! - it didn't work. Waltzes are actually quite tricky to write, especially if you want to write … Continue reading Don’t forget 3/4 time!
Everyone has to start somewhere, with something, when they start making music. Me too. When I began fiddling around with this, I had no idea what would happen down the line. I just had a ...feeling...that I could make something. So, one day, I played around on GarageBand, which is possibly the most user-friendly bit … Continue reading The first recording – “Look at the Sky” with a bit of Bach
Are you stumped for inspiration? That's just human, but because you are human, you have a ready-made box full of inspiration in your head. How to access it and what to do with it is the question. I recently completed a collection of compositions that share the theme of heat. It's called Thermós, and, until … Continue reading Inspiration can come from weird and wonderful places
The Daily Mail reported recently that a Cambridge academic thinks that learning Latin will be more interesting and relevant if learners used Latin translations of Taylor Swift's songs, in stead of the classic texts, like the ones about the Trojan War. The commentator, Tom Utley, did not think that any of Taylor Swift's lyrics were … Continue reading Why and how would you translate Taylor Swift’s Lyrics into Latin?
PopUp! One test of Trance music is whether it will get you dancing. So, I wrote something short, sharp and popping to do just that. Does it make me want to get up and dance? Yep. Sure does. It's called PopUp! because that's the vocalizing sounds like. The vocalizing is "chanter en yaourt" - or singing … Continue reading Things go ‘pop’!
Update - March 29, 2023 A year later, to the day, that I wrote the post below, I published my Tropical Trance track, Yellow Bird. It took that long to get away from the original stimulus for the song. I lost count of how many hours I spent writing it - but I deleted the … Continue reading Have you dealt with The Hobgoblin of Fidelity?
Well now, wanna get up and dance? I took the online Masterclass of Trance Guru, Armin van Buuren, called Armin van Buuren Teaches Dance Music. I admit, until then, Dance, Trance and the mindless head-bopping, weaving and shaking that happens with clubbing had just totally passed me by. UNTIL...! Yes, until he explained, very logically, … Continue reading And then there was Trance