jay dee the isaac hayes of our time

it was sister45 who played this to me some time ago; A 40-piece orchestra interpreting jay-dilla’s music. project’s called suite for ma dukes. arranged by composer miguel atwood ferguson last year, it’s been a real treat to see the footage, watching orchestral members vibing, the conductor in his staccato shaking way keep it together. rip j-dilla.

Music tech geekery

Thanks to Create Digital Music for the heads up. I’d love to deliver a music project which had young people using the MIDI grids! I like the energy of the performance, if you push the buttons does it effect the velocity?

dromama from Altitude Sickness on Vimeo.

The Guitarmaton (by Ian Hattwick) looks like good fun, but goodness it would take someone like me ages to make!

Last one is Jordan’s Rudess’ iPad music application released a few days ago called MorphWiz, what a melancholy sound! I’m sure, no certain there are other synth sounds available, but again think the possibilities of using an application with live instruments would be wicked!

MorphWiz first experiment – Tiridum from Geert Bevin on Vimeo.

As Far As Hair Goes

I’ve been asked to write some music/collaborate for Uchenna Dance Company for April, so I started sketching ideas. Themes are beauty, the self, esteem.

I sampled youtube, it’s a great way for me to feed my obsession with learning how to groom my natural tresses. Some of the ladies, in their discourse on beauty, had beautiful ways of saying words, interesting intonation, so I chopped up their phrases and used them on my beat/sketch. It’s meant to sound quite sparse, abstract…
I was playing with a glockenspiel during a school break when working at an academy in Brixton, I vowed to use it in my next composition. Lots of mixing to do still, the beat needs more work too!

Let me know what you think.

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The Youtube Symphony Orchestra

There has been a lot of hype about the Youtube Symphony Orchestra project. Initially I was really excited by how it allowed for amateur and professional musicians from all over the world to perform in a virtual/real orchestra with music composed by Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The deadline for submissions is today!

I looked at the sheet music; not terribly difficult but not easy either…

I liked how people who wanted to enter the competition would upload practice videos and were given practice advice from their youtube friends. It then dawned on me that people (young mainly) are uploading music exam pieces for discussion and guidance from the classical music youtube community. Super Kewl!!

I wish I had the same virtual opportunity when doing my grade 8 music exams! It just seems so much more motivating!! Rather than seeking approbation from a stuffy, coffee supping suit (mainly tweed wearing for me) in a quaker house to decide whether to pass, fail, merit or give you a distinction for playing 3 pieces you have studied all year long – you can now have people from all over the globe give you feedback – inspiring!

However, although this project pledges to be the world’s first collaborative online orchestra, I am somewhat disappointed by a few of the perimeters in place, just a few….

Firstly you need to be able to read music, and musicians that don’t play instruments of a traditional orchestra nature are immediately excluded. I think that it would be more exciting if the youtube orchestra did something where it promoted classical music whilst still keeping the doors firmly open for musicians who don’t read sheet music, or play conventional instruments. Or maybe that’s their next gig! A youtube cinematic orchestra with guitars, sitars and vocoders allowed! 😉