[LAU] [Music] The Silver Walks

Dave Phillips dlphillips at woh.rr.com
Tue Aug 2 11:49:59 UTC 2016


On 07/30/2016 05:12 AM, Tim Goetze wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 6:12 AM, Dave Phillips <dlphillips at woh.rr.com> 
> wrote:
>>> The lead was composed note by note, as is my usual way. Imagine a
>>> keyboardist with no hands, that's the level of playing ability I have on
>>> the musical keyboard. :)  I do envy the real players here like Steve D and
>>> Luigi.
> The phrasing of the lead synths sounds very nice and organic, well done
> Dave.

Thanks, Tim !

>> Buy yourself an Ableton Push 2. You can use it today with Bitwig, and next
>> month with Ardour 5. Use it in "in-key" mode and every note you hit will be
>> in key. It is like magic! :)
> An intriguing idea that -- seeing his composing skills -- will
> probably be more useful to Dave has been mentioned on lau/lad a few
> years ago:
> Take a section of already composed notes and, while playback of the
> rest of the arrangement runs, use only the timing and velocity data
> from live keyboard input to "stamp" the notes in question.
> An example made using this technique: http://youtu.be/e1f50tN95Qw

While I appreciate and value this advice - and you're right, it's been 
given to me before now - I want to clarify why I write and record as I do.

Having got a late start as a composer I'm driven to "get it all out" 
before I shuffle off Ye Olde Mortal Coil. Had I been connected to a 
university or other "officially sanctioned" center I would have been 
more directly involved with actual players. As it is, I have no such 
connections and am compelled - thanks to this "first instrument of the 
mind" - to write and record for what ensembles are available to me, i.e. 
a blues band and a computer, my two primary musical involvements.

My blues music stands on its own, it's performable by anyone anywhere. 
My computer music is often written with no consideration for human 
playability, though some of my recent piano music could be pressed into 
service. This condition comes about through the factors mentioned above, 
and it isn't likely to change, barring some unseen entry into the halls 
of academe. Fortunately, I have no complaint. My "mind models" include 
Conlon Nancarrow, Bach's Kunst der Fuge, and certain productions from 
the Ars Nova period in which little consideration was made for actual 
players. (Or as in Nancarrow's music, not made at all for actual players).

I could put in the time to make more "realistic" renderings, but at this 
point in life I'm dedicated to 1) rendering my musical ideas into 
recorded forms, and 2) notating what I do think is playable in 
productions involving conventional instrumentation. Long-term projects, 
quite boring and time-consuming. I scarcely play the guitar much anymore 
outside of teaching, I'm not likely to make the effort to punch a 
piano-style keyboard. OTOH, I will make MIDI files of my works available 
for anyone who wants to take their own swing at putting a little more 
life into them.

Yet one more thing about my music. When I started working with computers 
in the mid 1980s I was advised that my efforts would be best rewarded if 
I really learned one program completely instead of flitting from this 
new thing to the next. Hence my continued reliance on an antique MIDI 
sequencer running under an MS-DOS emulator. It has depth, and I *know* 
that program thoroughly, I can work with it extremely quickly and 
efficiently. At this time only Bitwig rivals it for my purposes, and 
trust me, even BW falls severely short of that ancient sequencer's 
musical capabilities. In other words, I mastered the thing, and I tend 
to stick with those instruments I've mastered.

My more purely computer music is a whole other story. I'm still in awe 
of the capabilities at hand - especially in Ardour and Csound - and 
obviously I'm still working on their mastery.

Many thanks and vasty appreciation to everyone who listened and 
responded to the music ! :)



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