I caught a bit of a show about Jazz that talked about how jazz musicians follow a structure and improvise over that structure, at times trading 4 measures at a time. Giving the drummer some. The piano some. I was reminded of a conversation I had with Dorie, a friend from the past, while in an altered state we listened to Jazz at CB Gallery 303. I made this amusing observation at the time that jazz was a wonderful imitation of life. We all move along the groove -- the rhythm and melody -- and now and then we get to come out of the groove and do our thing. We improvise and trade measures. You should hear some of the other interesting observations I've made while in such a state. I once came up with a formula to describe backgammon.
In Whisper the Songs of Silence, Wired looks at "Lowercase sound". (article includes links to MP3s)
"Lowercase sound" is the name given to a loose movement in electronic music that emphasizes very quiet sounds and the long, empty silences between them.
Created largely by scientists, techies and experimental musicians, lowercase recordings are frequently based on the magnification of minute sounds through a computer, typically a Macintosh.
Apparently you take samples and run them through ProTools, amplify and loop them -- that kind of thing. Not sure where this gets confused as music. These are like atmospheric soundtracks -- soundscapes. More performance art than music to me, but very interesting. They say they're reminiscent of John Cage. I can hear that. Playing one of these in the background of a quiet setting could be very affecting.
Damn. Dave turned me on to mashups. DJ's have been doing this kinda shtuff for years using analog and digital methods. Mashups are sort of like cadavre exquis for music. Take a couple tracks. Blend and overlay them with a tool like Sonic Foundry Acid (PC only) and rip an MP3. I made a few sample-based tracks with Acid and can really get into doing this.
There's a bunch to listen to at merseymashups and base58 to get you started. NYTimes did an article on the topic a while ago after the Nirvana/Destiny's Child or Missy Elliot tracks Smells Like Teen Booty and Smells Like Missy Elliot got popular. Check it.
Tuning The World is a beautiful site combining photography and music in a very unique way. Check it out and compose your photographic mosaic and symphony.
Sunday was father's day. During yoga class today I thought of a song by Vance Gilbert that made me think of how I feel about Robin and Lorenzo. Songs and poems so often express with complete efficiency that which we feel in our hearts. It's a very simple line from "High Rise": Loving you forever is easier than breathing. I couldn't have said it better.
Thanks to Dave for recently pointing me to St. Germain. The NY Times recently talked about the Jazz coming out of Europe, stuff like St. Germain, Nils Petter Molvaer, Malik Mezzadri, and Bugge Wessel. Sad how European labels will promote music like this and they get to be in the NY Times Arts and Leisure section, but innovative NYC stuff like Groove Collective and the other Giant Step bands don't get to enjoy mainstream commercial success years before the groove infects the euros. Nevertheless, it's all good, no matter where it comes from.