Thursday, November 02, 2006

Making Music

The weekend before last, my friend Nick came by and helped me set up some of his music software on my computer.

I'm not sure if I forgive him. Because I spent all of last Saturday playing and experimenting with the programs. I possess neither musical instruments nor musical abilities, so I just grabbed a bunch of random sound files that I found over on usenet, and after several hours, this was the best that I could come up with. I started in the mid- to late afternoon, and when I finished, I looked at the clock and it was almost 4 a.m. (at least it was Fall-Back Day, the national holiday for getting an extra hours sleep).

I listened to the piece over again the next Sunday morning (okay, afternoon, but it felt like morning after the late night before) and decided that I had to be able to do better than that. Surfing the net for inspiration, I found this web site where Brian Eno and David Byrne have put up all the tracks used for two of the songs from their groundbreaking "My Life In the Bush of Ghosts" (1981). They're encouraging the world to "edit, remix, sample and mutilate these tracks" any way one wants, so I took them up on their offer and generosity (I can't think of any other artists who've put their actual raw tracks on line like this), and went to work.

By the way, with every passing year, Brian Eno and I are starting to look more and more alike.

Anyway, armed with all of their cool multi-instrument percussion and other musical tracks, I fired up the software again, and came up with this. A small improvment, but too derivative of the original in my opinion (the more I tried to "improve" the track, the closer it got to sounding like "Help Me Somebody" from MLITBOG).

Anyway, I've started. I can see now that any free time that I might have thought I had left will now be taken up with looping, mixing, fading and syncing music tracks, and for that I can't really blame Nick (after all, I saw it coming).

For the record, the two tracks from last weekend are titled "The Cosmic Flame" and "Earth People." Yes, I know they're wierd.

1 comment:

NickSab said...

It has begun!!! I'm more than happy to take some blame, but you did see it coming! It sounds like making music has a hypnotic effect on you, as it does for me. I've always considered it a form of therapy or escape. And like you, I enjoy both the process of creating music, and then replaying what was created and experiencing it as a finished piece. Any thoughts about why it's so absorbing?
Enjoy my friend!