Monday, 21 June 2010

Genre Bending....again

Inspired by Mouse's orchestral take on a Tinyfish song I re-visited an earlier idea to see if I could pull off a string-quartet re-imagining of some of Milliontown, the track.

The biggest hurdle was finding a string sound that wasn't obviously meant to sound like multiple players but in doing so didn't sound like a cheap kazoo!

The Korg Triton contains a patch called "Few Bows Here" which was the closest fit but it was quite light on realistic articulations and rather heavy on vibrato but it was the best I had.

So I set about trying to devise an arrangement that carried the main themes but didn't sound too dull and samey. I did all this by ear and from memory/imagination, I didn't play along with the track because, as it transpired, I'd got it a semi-tone or two lower than the original! I'd worked out the opening section on the keyboard without bothering to start it on the right note!

So after much fumbling around trying to trim bits to flow together the structure settled down and I began to balance the four parts so that it was "believable" in terms of what real players might be able to play (and not trying to keep up with Jem's fingers!).

I was quite surprised to find the Black Light Machine "Big banana" section slotted in to the piece where it did...just felt right.

Anyway, it can be played or downloaded from

Enjoy! :o)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Is collaborating really a team game?

So, the notion of a Frost*ie collaboration (that went cold 3 years ago) has de-frost*ed again.
When Milliontown shook me from my musical slumbers in 2006 and as part of the euphoric period in which many remixes of The Other Me were made, I figured it might be cool to pick-up on the little piano outro at the amend of the album and see if it a further song could be made using it.
A few of the Frost*ies declared an interest in having a go at playing some parts so I figured I try to pull it together.
I made a little demo of it and apart from some cheesy arrangement (and shonky playing) it seemed to work. The mighty Sawtooth was the only other person to hear it back then and we figured the next step was for me to make a framework for people to use to record their own parts....and now, three years on, that's still the next step!
An independent question to Jem about that same outro made me realise the ball was still in my court so I posted a link to the original demo and there's a new, small, wave of interest again.
It's an idea fraught with logistical problems but I hope we can get it to go somewhere this time...unless I get distrac-...ooh, is that a cup of tea?
Getting the framework right is the hard part, it's not easy to compose an interesting, coherent piece without hearing it all.
Already, some of the feedback suggests that it could easily turn into something like one of the 300 collaborative limericks we have on the forum; i.e. You think you know where it might go and in single step it's something different.
The other problem is getting people to hear ideas and not think it's a finished thought - hard enough when everyone is in the same room.
Could be interesting. Could be troublesome.