[LAU] [Music] The Silver Walks

Glen MacArthur info at bandshed.net
Tue Aug 2 14:21:28 UTC 2016

Dave Phillips wrote:
> Greetings,
> 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 ! :)
> Best,
> dp
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Hi! Well said Dave!

I totally subscribe to the 'first instrument of the mind' idea, the mind
is the creative agent, the body whether it is trained to master the cello
at a high falutin' conservatory or to master Digital Orchestrator on a
computer keyboard that aspect is a completely secondary subject with it's
own merits and pitfalls.

As you've said the idea is to get the minds ideas onto a canvas (or into
an earbud) and the methodology is mostly a matter of opinion and far too
often degenerates into comparatives and gymnastics. The proof of the
pudding is in the eating so they say, and with (all of) your works the
eating is very good :)

Oh and please don't begin to say your blues compositions can be done by
anyone anywhere, I don't know ANYONE who can sing like that, yes, many
also sing well and many sing differently but ain't nobody singin' like
Dave Phillips! your approach and facility with the tiniest nuances of that
beautiful artform are no different than your complete immersion and
ability to manipulate the minute details of that old Voyetra sequencer.

Anyway an interesting approach, best to you and keep documenting!


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