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Bonfires & Illuminations #4

This is a work in progress. I found a way to switch to half speed in the melody without having to rewrite it. It’s complex, but a natural result of the macro language that my preprocessor uses. Macros are shortcuts for longer strings. They can be combined in interesting ways.

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Bonfires & Illuminations #3

This is a work in progress. I added a melody. I find it amazing that almost all my tunes melodies like Frank Zappa tunes when I first start trying out ideas. I’ll have to mix up the rhythms more. This is just a start.

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Bells #3

This is a completed version of my ambient piece in the Second of July collection based on John Adams remarks on July 2, 1776. It’s scored for 128 Baritone Guitars and bass finger piano. I make liberal use of the following envelope to mask the initial guitar transients.

f272 0 1025 6 0 64 .5 64 1 256 1 512 1 64 .5 64 0 ; e26 slow rise, sustain, slow drop

Which looks like this:
Csound function table for envelope
The notes have a wide variety of slides available to them, but they always slide to another of the six notes in the six note scales, or to one of the notes in the next scale in the series. Sort of E minor, A minor, D minor, G major, C major, F major, C major and out. This is the progression I have used in the past. It’s a typical rock intro vamp for some forlorn song about love lost and then found.

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Bells #2

This is a work in progress. I’ve boosted the number of baritone guitar strings that play simultaneously. It’s up to as many as 128 at a time now, creating a wall of sound. I varied the tempo a bit, which lengthened some sections.

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Bells #1

This is a work in progress. Today’s entry is guitar chords and bass finger piano and baritone guitar samples. It’s a common progression:

  • E_min+F_maj
  • A_min+B-neu
  • D_min+E_min
  • G_maj+A+sub
  • C_maj+D_neu
  • F_maj+G_neu
  • C_maj+D_neu

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Guns #8

This is a completed version of Guns, another in a series based on John Adams statement of the Declaration of Independence made on July 2, 1776. The piece is scored for flutes, vibraphones, baritone guitars, marimbas, and finger pianos. The tuning is based on the following six note scales in the Adams-12 subset from 72-EDO.

Scales
Scales used in Guns

The piece switches between the pink and the white scales, then after a while moves to the next pair of pink and white scales, eventually ending where it began. There is a melody that is repeated with many variations, including slides, tremolo, trills, and harmonizations. With only six notes at a time, this tends towards triadic harmony in the melody. The guitars and finger pianos on the other hand have their pitches chosen using the Markov Chain Drunkard’s Walk randomizing algorithm. They chose the next note in a chord by moving either one up or one down the following list of choices:

  • .one-A1 &pre-&n1..
  • .one-A4 &pre-&n4..
  • .one-A2 &pre-&n2..
  • .one-A5 &pre-&n5..
  • .one-A3 &pre-&n3..
  • .one-A6 &pre-&n6..

When I need an eight note chord, I pick eight of those, and what I get is probably related by how close the notes are to each other. For example, the randomizer might pick the 2nd element of the list, &pre-&n4.., which is the fourth note in the scale. It must pick next either the 1st or 3rd element, either &pre-&n1.. or &pre-&n2.., which are either the first or second in the scale. The next one picked is dependent on the prior choice, but it could go up or down the list of choices. There is a predominance of fourth chords using this scale layout. In my last piece, Sports, I built the list of choices based on a preponderance of thirds. Fourth chords using these odd scales have a clangy effect.

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Or download here: Guns.

Guns #6

This is a work in progress. Today I worked on variations on the the melody. It still slowed down to half speed to make sure the trills and slide alternatives are accurate. I added the alternate key to the choices, now only either D_min and F_maj. The melody is played six times, first two straight versions, then two with variations and harmonizations, and the third with more changes still. I think it will make more sense when it’s faster. We’ll see.

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Or download here: Guns.

Guns #5

This is a work in progress. Today I worked on a melody. I slowed the piece down to half speed to make sure the trills and slide alternatives are accurate. So far so good. I haven’t included the other keys in this version. More to come.

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Or download here: Guns.