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Posts Tagged ‘cool’

Idea / Invention: Music recordings that sound different on each play

June 11th, 2010
4,099 views 7 comments

I had a neat idea as I was driving to a gig. I get really fed up with the recordings (stack of cd’s) in my car as I’ve listened to them so many times, and every time I listen to them, they are the same!

I thought, why not make a recording that sounds different every time you play it?

Sound crazy? Well, it’s really quite possible to do, and wouldn’t be very hard.

Usually when a band records a song, they might do multiple takes, say 4 or 5 takes. For certain sections of the song, such as an instrumental solo, it would be cool if it would sound different every time. The artist or recording engineer could “program” the song to play a different, random take for a certain section of the song, each time the recording is played, or combine together parts of any of the takes in a new or somewhat random way. A single solo section could be further broken down into segments, such as a certain number of bars, and each segment could be swapped in with a different take, as the music is played.

There are a bunch of extensions to this idea:
– if this is on a website, allow the user to save their particular performance that they heard, and share it with others (and rate them, etc)

– instead of a purely random choice of the takes, the user could give input into the choices such as “I’d like a really upbeat and lively version of this song”, or “I’d really like a version of this song with a longer sax solo and less Britney”.

-if the “intensity” of the performance was hooked up to a foot pedal (e.g. the recording would become more excited as the pedal is depressed lower, and more relaxed as the pedal is released) an actual live musician could play along with such a recording, while controlling the intensity of the background recording, and have the background music follow his/her performance.

Please – let me know what you think!! And please take this idea, expand on it, and develop something new, as I mostly have time to think these days and not implement something, even so cool as this!

Geoff

Update, Sept. 11, 2010: I’ve created a player which implements this concept, and made it open source. Check it out at MultipathAudio.com. Includes an example song.

4,099 views

Jam session recording: Geoff Peters and Gustavo Lacerda

April 3rd, 2010
2,069 views No comments

I had a music jam today with my friend Gustavo. He is multi-talented and plays many instruments. Today he brought along his violin.

You can grab the Mp3’s we made here, or use the players below!


Minor Swing
(folk music style swing tune with violin and piano)

Upbeat Evil Castle
(violin, synth (i)pad, synth bass, Latin drum samples)

Please note that Upbeat Evil Castle has been agreed on by the composers Gustavo and Geoff to allow Geoff to use the song in his videos on Geoffmobile.com and Youtube.com/geoffmobile.

Tetris Theme played on Violin with piano, and some Gypsy songs improvized.


2,069 views

Live gig recording: Julian N. and Geoff Peters (alto sax and piano jazz duet)

November 4th, 2009
8,476 views No comments

I played piano at a wedding with my friend Julian N., a saxophonist and composer. Julian is a student at Humber College in Toronto. You can view his myspace page by clicking here.

Here is a track listing with links to the individual videos:

If you’d like to download MP3’s of the concert (free) you can get them from here.

With Julian’s permission I used my minidisc unit to record the audio from our performance. There is quite a bit of background noise from the wedding guests’ conversation, but in the recordings you can hear both of us quite clearly.

I also set up my Sony Camcorder in the corner and video-taped our performance too. There was very low light, so you can barely make us out in the video, but it gives more context to the audio to be able to see us perform too.

At this wedding, we performed a selection of mainstream jazz standards in a duo style. Probably my biggest inspiration for the saxophone-piano duo format is the legendary combination of Stan Getz (saxophone) and Kenny Barron (piano). Another inspiration for rhythmic ideas has been the mighty pianist Chick Corea and his duets with the one and only voice artist Bobby Mcferrin (such as their killer performance of Autumn Leaves).

So without further ado, here’s our complete performance (except for the last song we played, Confirmation by Charlie Parker, where we got interrupted by some DJ music).

Hope you enjoy! I hope that these performances will give you some ideas or inspiration for your own journeys in jazz and music in general.

Further listening: I performed one of Julian’s original compositions with the college band at the Phil Dwyer Academy of Music and Culinary Arts (PDAMCA) last August.

8,476 views

Owl City’s Playlist: Music To Eat Pizza To

October 22nd, 2009
30,165 views No comments
Pizza

Pizza

I saw a post on the imeem home page about an electronic pop band called Owl City (which, incidentally, is really popular: their Myspace page has over 12 million views).

Adam Young from Owl City has put together a music playlist on imeem entitled “Music To Eat Pizza To”, and I think this is a fantastic idea!

Click here to visit imeem to listen to full playlist (with full length songs, free account required), or you can preview the songs using the player below.

Look out for my next original composition having to do with pizza, or maybe even sushi (coming soon, Geoff Peters: “Song to Eat Sushi To”).

30,165 views

Amazing short film: The Big Snit (Richard Condie)

September 4th, 2009
2,681 views 2 comments

If you’ve got 10 minutes, check out this amazing animated film called The Big Snit (by Canadian animator and film maker Richard Condie).

Wikipedia says:

Condie’s best known animated work is 1985’s The Big Snit, an offbeat parable about marriage, Scrabble, sawing, and nuclear war. The Big Snit was nominated for an Oscar and won the Genie Award for Best Animated Short, along with over a dozen international awards. The Big Snit was also voted as #25 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by animation professionals.

[via sawing14s]

2,681 views

Song of the Week: Stars by Kate McGarry

September 2nd, 2009
6,660 views No comments
Kate Mcgarry. Photo credit: Matteo Trisolini

Kate Mcgarry. Photo credit: Matteo Trisolini

I just discovered the music of jazz vocalist Kate McGarry (view her page on All About Jazz, her website, or her myspace).

She has a really contemporary and modern sound, a bit similar to Bjork but with the passion and intensity of some of the classic “old school” vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.

For the Jazz Piano Cafe “Song of the Week”, I’ve picked Kate McGarry’s track Stars off her 2005 album, Mercy Streets. Stars was composed by pianist Fred Hersch who also performs on this track. The track also features Steve Cardenas (electric and acoustic guitars), Keith Ganz (myspace, acoustic guitar), Sean Smith (bass), and Kenny Wollesen (drums).

You can listen to Stars at Imeem (streaming only, provided you register for a free account). It’s also on iTunes (full song for 99 cents), and available directly from the record label, Palmetto Records, or by using the player below.

Stars – Kate McGarry

Stars is a wistful and beautiful song. The impressionistic glittering of Fred Hersch’s gentle yet insistent piano explorations makes me imagine looking at a sky full of stars. Wollesen’s drums and Smith’s bass eventually reveal the hints of a sophisticated and pulsing bossa nova, that underlies McGarry’s clear, sensitive, and nuanced vocal lines. The track progresses at a meandering walking pace through many harmonic directions into a thoughtful and motion-filled piano solo, and returns again to the original groove. My favorite part of the track is the line ending in “skies are friendless” at 2:15.

Here is an excerpt from the lyrics:

It’s so much harder
I find
without the light
of endless stars.
Clear the wondrous winter sky
that casts its spell.
Warm your hand in mine.
Do you recall
who can tell
I wish I knew what I could do
to forget your face. What to do when nights are endless
and skies are friendless.
Not a star, bring back the stars, the endless stars.

I hope you enjoy this track! Stay tuned for more great songs of the week.

Geoff Peters at Jazz Piano Cafe.com

6,660 views

CATcerto – a cat plays the piano with an orchestra

July 26th, 2009
1,645 views No comments

This is simply amazing. Lithuanian conductor and composer Mindaugas Piečaitis found videos on Youtube of a very talented, musical cat, Nora the Piano Cat and decided to write a concerto for her.

The concerto, called CATcerto (web site) was first performed by Nora and the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra in Lithuania on June 5th 2009. The world premiere is available on Youtube (or by using the player below).

It is quite a musical feat to conduct an orchestra along with a cat! Piečaitis writes:

The problems of the performance of this atypical piece became clear during its first rehearsals. It is not very easy to guess what the cat is playing, so that the video material must be studied very closely and be oriented in the accompaniment not only by what the soloist is playing, but also by the movements she makes beforehand. This became a particular challenge for the orchestra.

Nor was it simple to rehearse the nearly minute-long prelude to the piece, in which the main themes of the piece are presented, with the soloist calmly sitting at the piano and »waiting« for her entrance cue. If I started the piece just 3–4 seconds too early or too late, it would be impossible to avoid a collapse. This risk truly raises your blood pressure.

Video material does not »breathe«, so that you cannot exchange a glance with the soloist and must unconditionally adapt to her.

Nora the Piano Cat writes in her artist’s statement:

I would like to thank Mr Piečaitis for giving me the opportunity to show the entire world that a cat concert pianist can indeed play beautiful music with an orchestra. It is the mission of every great artist like me to inspire others to create. If I have inspired even one person to write music, or learn an instrument, than I will have lived a meaningful life.

I love this video – it is musically interesting, beautiful, and very creative and inspiring.

1,645 views

Chick Corea and Hiromi play Windows

May 1st, 2009
1,432 views No comments

Found a nice recording of Chick Corea and Hiromi Uehara playing Chick Corea’s wonderful tune, Windows. Click here to listen on Imeem or feel free to use the player below.

Windows – Chick Corea & Hiromi

1,432 views

Flash Animation – John Coltrane’s Giant Steps

March 6th, 2005
1,354 views No comments

Geof just emailed me a link to an amazing Flash animation that goes along with Coltrane’s famous Giant Steps solo (click here).

When I was playing saxophone I attempted to transcribe that entire famous solo and play it note-for-note, but I only managed to transcribe the first 30 seconds of it (that took several weeks) before I moved on to other things (and piano). It’s kind of like a “holy grail” for saxophone players, and many professionals learn and memorize that complete solo, and use it to keep their fingers in shape. It’s even more amazing to think that Coltrane was improvising it. And the chord structure for Giant Steps is one of the most difficult ones to master.

I tried to learn that song on piano, and do my own improvising on it, and you can listen to my version on my musical sketchbook (click here).

1,354 views