Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Project Study, an Introduction Into Music Coding and Experimental Composition Practices

Hi all,

As of next week, I will be starting a project study as part of my forth and final year of university titled 'Music Coding and Experimental Composition Practices'. As part of this study I will log and document my progress, which will be done on this blog and my youtube channel. A brief description of what the study will entail lies below.

I intend to greatly expand upon my interests in music coding and experimental composition practices. Since I started making music a decade ago, I have always strived to find new and interesting ways to create sound and write songs, which has now led me into writing my own effects and sound processors using the coding language Pure Data, and pushing technology (especially analogue equipment) to its limits and using it in ways not initially intended. 

I intend to separate my study for this course into three distinct elements: coding and digital experimentation, hardware and analogue experimentation, and songwriting and arranging.

I will link the full proposal once its been accepted and refined, so I wont bloat this post with every detail of the study. Instead, I wanted to briefly go over some preparation I have been undertaking with this study in mind.

First and foremost, finding musical influences. I feel a project or study like this would be incredible difficult to do without any form of influences, therefore I've been going through my music library and scouring the internet for music that would fit this sort of project. Many of my core beliefs for this project revolve around Krautrock, contextualizing experimental sound in accessible rock music. Bands like Can, Neu!, Broadcast, Stereolab provide a more classic Krautrock lens to look through, but also delving into early Microphones (tests & early tapes) alongside albums like SF Sorrow by the Pretty Things and the Piper at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd for some complimentary experimental weirdness. This music (alongside being fun to listen to) helps spark ideas and methods which I wish to explore over the course of this study, and specifically in regards to analogue and tape exploration and experimentation. I've especially been enjoying listening to the Microphones (shocker, I know) as many of these earlier albums deal with shorter form songwriting, with many songs revolving around one theme or idea; with my study I'm planning on doing something similar, short collections of songs and ideas which then get collaged into a larger, more cohesive project.

Another artists that has done something similar is the Books. Their album Music for a French Elevator and other Oddities showcases many samples and one dimensional song ideas which you can then hear in other albums arranged into structured songs. The Books also create an incredible digital sample based sound world, and as my project revolves around combining both digital and analogue, they serve a great reference alongside the aforementioned analogue experamentalists. Piling on top of the Books lie artists like Slausan Malone, Standing on the Corner, and burial for some of the most incredible uses of sampling and sound collaging I've ever heard, plus Fennesz and Tim Hecker for some wonderfully strange sound design.

Alongside this, I have been writing words, as I would normally be doing, but with intention of the study in mind. These words form poems and lyrics, even lists, which may or may not get used within the music created. However Ive found getting into the mindset of a project before its started, through whatever means available, is an incredible way to start sparking thought and process. So with these words I've been focusing on abstract words and patterns, repetitions, and cyclical phrasing, with intent on using them in a similar collage oriented way as my musical influences.

Overall I hope this gives a bit of an interest and idea of this project which will be documented here over the next few months, I will update with more information soon.

Peace n love

Lou

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