Today’s work involved fixing up the Japanese sounding improv I worked on previously and starting a related tune in a different style. I had the idea to use improvised pieces to generate composed pieces, and to order them on the CD with the improv followed by the piece it generated. Bach wrote lots of “chorale preludes,” which are improvisatory meditations based on chorale themes (read: hymn tunes). So, you get the chorale prelude followed by the chorale which generated it. My idea is kind of similar, and I love combining the Baroque concept with the contemporary style.
The Japanese-ish improv needed a drum sound in it, and I ended up putting a kind of heartbeat in the bass drum. The heartbeat fit perfectly with what I had recorded previously. Now I have two issues to solve: the drone part should probably fade in and fade back out at the end. This is not hard but I need to figure out how to do it. And, because the drone is a loop (I can’t play a note for 2 solid minutes), there’s a little fold in the sound at the point that the loop re-initiates. There must be a way to iron this out. I will find the way!
Listening back to this tune gave me an idea for an accompanying figure to use in the new tune I’m writing. I recorded the figure, starting with the bass line. So far, the best way I’ve found to record bass lines is to record one track up an octave, and have the computer drop it down where it belongs (in the analog era, that would slow it down by half, but digital magic avoids that problem), then record it again playing it in the right octave. The two parts together give me punch at the beginning of the notes and lots of tone. Like an electric bass, right? Then, because the horn is a single-note-at-a-time instrument, I have to record the harmony parts into separate tracks which I can play back together as a unit. I also made a drum part using my customized “drum set” of found sounds. Then, I improvised over all of that, trying to achieve a kind of sexy Brazilian sound, which was suggested by the accompaniment I had written. It pretty much worked (a miracle, since I’ve never pulled off a sexy Brazilian-tinged solo before), so we’ll see where it goes from here.
It would be nice to have an improvisation lead to a tune, which contains an improvisation which leads to the next tune, and so on. That would give real unity to the entire album.
Don’t touch that dial.