RPM update

I haven't posted an update lately on my RPM challenge album. Needless to say, it hasn't been going all that well, you can read some musings/whinings on my rpm blog.

I'm hoping that getting restarted with a new more deliberate overall sketch of the album structure and energy, and a return to more experimental timbral-based tracks similar to my recent music for Dorian Grey, which is in a lot of ways the most inspired piece of done in a while. Can it save RPM? We'll have to wait and see…

RPM 2007: Twista Dilemma

Latest from my RPM 2007 blog:

I have been playing around with some of the loop-based sound sets that come with Emulator X2, including the “TwistaMania” bank – mostly just looking for some inspiration for the techno and beat-based sections of the album, but I found I really liked what I was playing. Plus, it's got that really addictive funky disco thing going. You can hear a brief sample here. This could be the kernel of a track for the album, possibly even the first full track after the intro – but it leads to what I am calling my “twista dilema.” Anyone else with Emulator X2 could easily do something similar, and more abstractly a 4/4 techno-dancy thing might sound trite in the context of my work.

UPDATE: since the original post on RPM, I heard an interesting, and quite timely, program on radio open source. Between the discussion in praise of creative appropriation, and my own sense of energy and enthusiasm for the funk disco sound, I think this track will be a part of the album – and it will be titled “Twistadilemma”, probably the second full track.

RPM 2007: First steps

Report from the first day on the RPM challenge:

The idea that I can spend a month, or even a fraction thereof, doing nothing but working on this album is laughable at best. There will be many distractions in the coming days, just as there have been today. Nonetheless, I made a point to take some first steps this evening..

Based on the “arc” and narrative form I am defining for the album, I went in search of samples to use for the introduction and some beats to use for the first full section. The intro should be an old clip from a big band or jazz recording from the 1940s/1950s – I discovered a really good collection of public-domain big-band radio recordings on The Internet Archive, and quickly settled on my intro.

Next up is selecting some initial beats for the beat-based / techo part of the album. I selected several drum-beat samples, and imported them into Emulator X. Using the beat-analysis (aka “Twistaloop” features), I created several seven-beat loops.

The initial rhythmic section will employ a 7-beat meter and combine drum loops and Proteus patterns inside Emulator X, as well as 7-beat/14-beat Indian thekas for tabla. This will probably also be the first opportunity to use the DSI evolver in a compositional setting (as oppose to live improvisation).

That will probably be all I get done tonite, as I take some time to relax while writing this blog entry and getting some “kitty love” from Luna (she's snuggling in on my chest as I write this).

RPM 2007: Getting ready to begin…

Here's the first entry from my blog documenting my participation in the RPM Challenge to conceive and record an album within the 28 days of February:

Well, it's the eve of RPM 2007. I have taken the organizers' advice and will not begin either composition or recording until tomorrow. But that doesn't mean I won't start planning in advance. I have an overall idea for the structure of the album, with the pieces fitting together as a single unit, and moving in an arc from more beat-based music to more free-form and experimental, though I haven't decided how it should end up. I am also preparing things technically for the project. Most of the work will be done on the computer using software synthesizers and sequencers – I will likely use some hardware instruments and acoustic samples as well.

The goal is to do the creative work (and hopefully much of the recording) in 2 1/2 weeks to mirror the appromixately 2 1/2 years it took to complete my last album Aquatic…

For those interested in following this effort, you can check in here and at my RPM page all throughout February.

The 2007 RPM Challenge

This week I signed up for the 2007 RPM Challenge to record an album in 28 days during the month of February. Here is a quote from my mission statement as a participating artist:

It took 2 1/2 years to complete my first album, Aquatic. It was well worth the time and in the end I had a beautiful product of which I am proud. But I would like to see what I can do with just 28 days. I will record some new experimental electronic tracks, maybe with some beats thrown in for good measure. Of course, I have to use at least one cat sound or two.

I will posting articles on my artist page at the RPM challenge documenting my progress (or lack thereof), and various other thoughts related to process of recording this new album. Of course, all articles will be cross posted here at CatSynth.