Tag Archives: music & such

The Listening Room

It’s been a while since I’ve done a music post here, so it seemed about time. For the last few months, I’ve been working on a commission for the choreographer Daniel Charon called The Listening Room, and I thought I’d post a few excerpts from the score as it develops.

This score has, for whatever reason, proved to be a difficult one to get a bead on–it’s gone through multiple iterations, each one evolving significantly from the last. The piece is in roughly four contiguous segments, with two themes evolving gradually throughout the piece’s 15 minutes. I’ve been attempting to strike a balance between harder rhythmic elements and more free-floating melodic sections, with varying degrees of success. On a purely technical level, I’ve been separating out rhythmic elements for more clarity, stratifying snares, bass drums, and cymbals in separate layers rather than mixing them together all at once, as I would normally tend to do.

Anyway, here are some excerpts. Hope you enjoy them!

Excerpt the first:

Excerpt the second:

BBC Radiophonic Workshop

While trying (mostly successfully) to avoid work over a delicious Thanksgiving weekend, I discovered this excellent BBC documentary from 2003 about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The Radiophonic Workshop, with its stable of composers including Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson, and the amazing John Baker, was a lab for the production of electronic music, mostly for BBC radio and television programs (the most famous example being the Workshop’s “realization” of Ron Grainer‘s theme music for Dr. Who). Growing up in the U.S. of A., I grew up mostly ignorant of the pioneering electronic work created by these folks, but boy howdy, these composers were doing work that was easily the equal of their more heralded counterparts at IRCAM or in the Groupe de Recherches Musicales. That all of this unbelievable work was done with such limited resources makes it even that much more astounding. If you have an hour or so at your disposal, I highly recommend checking this documentary out. Amazing.

Music cognition

Music Cognition Group at the ILLC / University...Image via WikipediaI’ve of late become a regular reader of “Music Matters“, an excellent blog on music cognition written by Henkjan Honing, an Associate Professor in Music Cognition at the University of Amsterdam (that’s him on the right in the picture). The blog is utterly fascinating, as it focuses on the search for answers that most musicians (myself included) have only begun to ask about why do we, as humans, process music the way we do. You should go there yourself and check it out, but there’s also an excellent introduction to the study of music cognition and Honing’s approach to it in the form of a 10-minute episode of the University of Amsterdam’s series The Fascination (De Fascinatie). Really, really interesting stuff. Enjoy!

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