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Showing posts from 2022

Mudra Band for Apple Watch

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  The Mudra band adds gesture control to the Apple Watch which could then conceivably be programmed to control Ableton through MIDI control app Watch band.

Controlling ableton using Apple Watch

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  Ableton controlled using MIDI sent from an Apple Watch. The app he is using is called Watch Band. The app is MIDI programmable. The presenter shows you how to connect to your Mac and Ableton.

Wave ring by Genki Music

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  Wave ring is used to control various parameters inside of Ableton. 

Leap Motion gesture control

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   Leap motion hand gesture control of MIDI parameters.

Kinect gesture control

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  This is another song that uses Kinect devices to control instruments.

Imogen Heaps Mi.Mu gloves

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  Imogen Heap has developed gloves for controlling music synthesis and demonstrates them for us. The gloves have been developed by her over time and can control notes, parameters through mapping through hand gestures and movements.

Kinect device controlling music synthesis through dancers gestures

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  In this video the dancer is triggering music using Kinect sensors programmed through a Max/MSP device. The dancer is Felicity Ramsay and the developer is Bobby Cahill.

EQing the room

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  The final in this series from KRK speakers deals with EQing the room after speaker placement and acoustic treatment have been completed. Then the user can trust the sound they are hearing and mix in the confidence that what they are hearing is an accurate representation of how the finished piece will sound to the rest of the world.

Acoustic treatment

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  Room treatment is expensive so it is good to get it right. In this video we are taken through various options to deal with reflections and bass traps.

Speaker placement

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  Speaker placement is important in setting up a home studio. This video from KRK speakers takes you through various placement options and there pros and cons.

Acoustics - Sound Absorption

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  This video discuss sound absorption in a room and the aim of acoustic treatment.

Crossroads Blues

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  Mo Michael does a cover of the Robert Johnson Blues classic. It is mic'd using advanced audio mics. Sounds like honey.

How to Mic a Guitar Amp

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   London engineer Wes Maebe and guitarist Elliot Randall take us through various ways to mic a guitar amp and cabinet. Yes, he actually mics the top of the cabinet! Also, discusses phasing problems and if it is necessarily a problem at all. Great video.

MAIN - This is all mine

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   This is simply stunning. I found this video on the website of Advanced Audio Microphones. It was meant as a showcase for their CM414 microphone. The sound is simply gorgeous. Sweet with a mildly accentuated midrange and a super smooth sound otherwise. 

Eigenharp Alpha

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  Another new MIDI instrument, the Eigen Harp Alpha, is a cross between a fretboard and a wind instrument. It looks complex to play but potentially worth the effort. I could find a price but I imagine it is very expensive. Whao, there you go €3950 RRP. You'd want to be committed to learning how to play it but it does look like it would be worth the effort.

Erae Touch.

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  The Erae Touch is a completely new MIDI instrument. Rather than trying to mimic a traditional instrument this has been designed with the application of new touch technology allowing fluid control of the software synth. It is configurable in many different formats with hints of deference to previously existing instruments as well as a truly fluid and free touch style. Great instrument. I want one. It costs 850 Euros/USD.

Akai APC 40 Mk II

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  Information video on this control surface. They are really useful especially when used alongside an Ableton Push 2. 

New super thin loudspeaker

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  This is a really great invention and I can't wait until they are available. I'd find so many uses for these in installations.

El Choop discusses gated noise

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  This is another One Thing video from Ableton, in which El Choop discusses how he adds interest to his music using gated noise. He takes you through the process but I haven't had a chance too try it out though. Sounds great.

Sirintip discusses starting with data.

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  In this video from Ableton's One Thing series, Sirintip discusses how she uses data as a starting point for her compositions. She uses a web app called TwoTone by Sonify which has unfortunately disappeared from the web. Only the remnants of its data trail remain. Great idea. It is available on GitHub but the programming is a bit beyond me.

Writing for the cello

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  Rick Beato introduces a professional cellist who takes us through a variety of techniques common to the cello. It is quite comprehensive and he demonstrates each technique discussing when it may be used. He also discusses how a cellist may interpret a piece based on these techniques.

Writing and orchestration for the Cello

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  This video goes through the basic techniques used by a cellist when playing. The narrator goes through the writing conventions such as the different clefs that Cello is written in. He also covers considerations as to the limitations of the instrument in playing certain types of techniques in different registers.

The Five Stages of Electronic Music Production.

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  This video goes through what the narrator calls the five stages of an Electronic Music Producer. The first stage is experimentation and learning. He advises that you have to be prepared to accept failure in the start and realise that this is a part of learning to produce music. The important thing is to enjoy the process. Stage two is one of exponential learning where courses and research start to fill up the producer's head. The important thing is to focus on the fundamentals. Here he is mainly focussed on EDM and advises against over complicating things. Try to finish one song a week. The main point here is to finish the songs, not abandon them. Even though abandonment, too, is part of the process.  The second stage requires diversification, trying different styles and genres, and have fun in doing so, just like you did in the first stage. It is important that you are open to constructive criticism. You have to seek this out by forming relationships with people who are willing

More warping

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  In this tutorial, Lina goes into more depth about warping and specifically warp modes in Ableton Live. I really like the way she explains things without too much digression away from the topic. She explains things really clearly while giving simple examples to show what the various warp modes do.

Eurorack setups for Moon Dog

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         First Patch            Second Patch          Third Patch These are the three Eurorack setups that I used in Moon Dog. They are refinements on each other as I got my head around the Silent Way plug ins. I tried out a variety on configurations in Ableton Live  settling in the end on the Follower and Trigger plugins. There are a number of ways to implement getting the CV out of the Live interface and into the modules. I basically used the instruments in Moon Dog (working title - coming soon) to drive the CV outputs, which in turn was used to drive the Oscillator. The Oscillator was synced to the Trigger plug in which was set up to provide a trigger on each chord change. The output of the oscillator was sent to nRings modulator before being fed to the texture synthesiser Beads driven by the Random sampler which was also synced to the chord changes. The generated signal was then fed to a compressor before return to Ableton's input tracks for recoding.

Compression

  Interesting tutorial on compression. John uses a visual analysis of what compression looks like from a number of angles. He looks at attack and release times and how these affect different parts of a kick drum waveform. I think it usefully helps to explain compression and how it works even if you should "mix with your ears and not your eyes" as John says.

CV software calibration

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In this video the narrator explains how to calibrate the CV to modules using Silentway Voice controller software. I found his explanation confusing but it is a good starting point. Send an output from the voice controller and receive in back in. Simple. That's what I'll be doing. The manual is much clearer. Bloody YouTube!

Room acoustics

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CV amplifier circuit.

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 This is a schematic from Mutable Instruments for a CV amplifier. More examples are available via the link.

Sound Installation

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Excellent series of articles on various facets of sound art and sound installations. Click on the image to go to the site. Wikipedia  has more information on this area.  

Warp mode

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  Good video tutorial on warp mode in Ableton Live. LNA does audio has other useful tutorials. She promises to go into more depth about the warp modes in Ableton. I must find that video.

Morning Spring by Suzanne Ciani

  Suzanne Ciani · Morning Spring In this piece, which I found on Soundcloud, Suzanne Ciani plays with watery sounds mixed up with harmonic pads. There is a fluidity to the work as the sounds of flowing and dripping water intersperse with the post-industrial machinations of the synthesisers in the background. Bass gently prodding it the background can occasionally be heard punctuating the symphonic groans of the Buchla system that she is famous for using. Ciani is also an accomplished pianist playing with jazz ensembles as well as being a successful sound designer and recording artist.

Suzanne Ciani

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  Renown composer and experimenter Suzanne Ciani playing with an Animmoog Z in conjunction with her modular Buchla system. The Animoog Z has been supplied to her by Moog Music for her to try out. It is certainly impressive looking software but what she does with it is masterful and eminently musical.

Music Box by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe

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  Music Box by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe from the award winning film 'Candyman' uses a mixture of synthesis and the sound of a virtual(?) piano. Its foreboding feel was developed in dialogue with the films construction process which is the way Lowe prefers to works. The piano part is a simple melody backgrounded by the complex harmonics of the synthesised sounds. These sounds are eerie and hint at a post-industrial context working nicely as a backdrop to the streets of Chicago where the film is based. As part of the collection of sounds for this work he drew from late night visits to laundromats recording the sound of the machines as the worked to clean the clothes of the patrons. Inspiring stuff. Makes me want to go into poverty to buy more euro rack modules. Dangerous, too, I suspect. Anyway, hats off to Lowe for creating these works and making access to his work public.

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe @ Superbooth16

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  In this video sound designer and installation artist Robert Wiki Aubrey Lowe introduces the audience to his use of modular synthesis in his creation of new works. He like the way there are no rules for modular synthesis and that this feeds into his improvisations which are central to his creative process. There is an organic sound to his work which has an element of sequenced rhythms and rich deep sounds full of harmonic content. He is concerned with vocal elements and these can be heard quite clearly in the piece he composes for the audience from scratch. There is also an industrial element which almost sounds like machines groaning under the strain of creating the music.

How To Orchestrate Like a Pro

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Writing for the cello

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Electronic and Experimental Music: Technology, Music and Culture

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Electronic and Experimental Music: Technology, Music and Culture(4th edition) by Them Holmes is an in depth textbook covering the history of electronic music in Europe, America and Asia from 1874 to 2011, the year before publication. It is a thorough grounding in the history of music synthesis.  It has extensive chapters on analog and digital synthesis as well as on the types of music in which synthesis is used. It looks like a great reference book for any one interested in electronic music production.   

Patch & Tweak: Exploring Modular Synthesis

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 Patch & Tweak: Exploring Modular Synthesis by Kim Bjørn and Chris Meyer is a book about exactly that; it looks at a select history of modular synthesis as well as delving into a series of analyses of a variety of mainly Eurorack modules. It is a handy text book. It does cover other formats as well: Buchla, Serge and Moog. It explains the building blocks of synthesis - VCOs, VCFs, VCAs, LFOs, etc., as well as having profiles on a number performing artists who expound on their philosophy and practice when it comes to composing with modular synthesis. It covers everything from the fundamentals up to the uses of a selection of commonly used Eurorack modules and their uses. Great reference book.

Creative Manifesto

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  This is my creative manifesto developed in reflection on technology, artistic and ethical practices.

Kraftwerk

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  Kraftwerk – The Model Electro-Pop   A 8 Bar intro Bass, Drums, Synth 1   A 16 Bar verse   B 8 Bar Synth 1 Instrumental   A 16 Bar Verse   B 8 Bar Synth 1 Instrumental   A 16 Bar Synth 2 Instrumental   B 8 Bar Synth 1 Instrumental   A 16 Bar Verse   A 8 Bar Synth 2 Instrumental   A  8 Bar Outro Bass, Drums, Synth 2 ending on an Am   Key: Em A section: iv /// i/// iv/// i /// X4 B Section: VI /// i /// III /// i /// VI /// i /// iv /// V7 /// 4/4, 120 bpm Kraftwerk’s song The Model (Das Model) holds a strong 4/4 rhythm throughout and is an alternating A B patterns as set out above. Synth 1 & 2 share lead parts and counter melodies while playing in different registers to distinguish them as different instruments. It is played at a snappy Andante beat of 120 bpm and the music supports the dreamy lyrical melody.

Bob Marley and the Wailers

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  Bob Marley and the Wailers – No woman no cry.   Reggae Anthem   4 bar intro   8 bar chorus   16 bar verse   8 bar chorus   16 bar verse   16 bar bridge   8 bar chorus   8 bar chorus   16 bar Instrumental   8 bar outro/chorus   Key C, 4/4,  100 bpm   Chorus:            I /// iii /// vi /// V /// I /// V /// I /// V ///   Verse and Bridge:                   I /// vi /// I /// vi /// X4   The organ and bass and percussion intro the track before male vocals and harmonies.  Then rhythm guitar joins in as organ holds harmony. Tambourine continues. Gentle drum syncopated cross rhythm. Male vocal sung in Jamaican dialect with male harmonies. Lead guitar solos in instrumental section. It is a gentle song sung in a heartfelt way. 

Colbie Caillat

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  Colbie Caillat – Bubbly   Pop Ballad 4/4 130 bpm   Guitar intro, then female voice before bass and drums join in with organ/synth. Organ drops out in verse. Gentle rhythm played in a cut beat pattern making it feel slower than it is. Maybe really 2/4. Outro with voice and guitar forming a mirror image. Just a solo female voice, with sparse accompaniment of bass, drums and a quiet organ/synth.   8 bar Intro    16 bar verse   16 bar chorus   16 bar verse   16 bar chorus   6 bar bridge   16 bar chorus   16 bar instrumental   16 bar verse   16 bar chorus   16 bar chorus/outro   Pattern I /// V /// IV /// I /// X 2   Bridge  iii /// IV /// V /// ii /// iii /// IV ///   Key A

Joe Pass

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  Joe Pass – Autumn Leaves   Am 32 Bar A A B A Jazz Standard 4/4 135 bpm   A ii /// V7 /// I /// IV /// vii7b5 /// III7 /// iv /// iv ///   B vii7b5 /// III7b9 /// iii /// ii /// V7 /// I /// I ///                                     iii / bIII7 / v / bV7 / IV /// III7b9 /// iii /// iii ///   Joe Pass plays with a Rubato feel coming and going from a set paced rhythm. He starts off with a straight rendition of the standard before moving into more and more complex improvisations. Just the guitar makes it feel very intimate. Just the listener and the soulful guitarist. He plays the bass line and harmonies while twisting the melody in and out.  

Sonny Rollins

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       Sonny Rollins – I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star   Bb 32 bar AABA Jazz Standard 195 bpm   A I /// ii / V7 / iii / VI7 / ii / V7 / I /// ii / V7 / I /// ii / V7 /   B V / iii /  vi / II7 / V/ iii /  vi / II7 / vi /// II7 /// ii /// V7 ///   Sonny Rollins and his band go straight to the top of the standard with the sax right up front. Bass and drums are holding the rhythm along with the guitar. The rhythm section supports the tenor sax out front. Occasionally a piano comps in the background adding to the rhythm section. It is played at a steadily cracking pace with strong swing throughout. The bass is steady during the song including while improvising the break, the piano is more prominent during its improvisation tightly following the harmonic content throughout while paying homage to the melody. The guitar improvisation is restrained before the sax rejoins the group to take us once more through the melody before taking us out on a trip through the circle of fifths.  

Sketch 4

Jonesie · Sketch 4 Moon Dog This is really getting into he post-industrial ambient realm. I really like the bass that I developed from my Hydrasynth in an Instrument rack called Space Drone. That is the name of the preset on the synth. It also uses found sounds and a Drum Rack that I created from found sounds and samples from inside Ableton. It also has earned a title so that it is developing as a stand alone work.

Sketch 5

Jonesie · Sketch 5 Imperative Ver1 Sketch 5 is also titled and I think that it forms the basis of a larger piece. The textures could be expanded and the melody worked on. It is drawn out from a trumpet solo piece at the moment. Again this could also do with some cross pollination with logic as far as the trumpet sound is concerned though I quite like the texture of it at the moment after processing.

Sketch 3

Jonesie · Sketch 3 Ver14 Vibes Sketch 3 has a name which for me means that it has started to evolve within itself as a star alone piece. It has a post-industrial ambient vibe and is probably played at too fast a tempo here . Could slow down 10-20 bpm. It is based around a progression in Ab with a bridge in the key of G. It works with b5 changes as it progresses through a series of key changes. I think that the textures could be built up along with some synth overlays and some electric guitar pieces as well as appropriate percussion. 

Hildegard Westerkamp

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  Hildegard Westerkamp's piece Kits Beach Soundwalk is a mixture of sounds and monologue taken from a beach near Vancouver. Even though the recording is close up to the ocean gently washing over barnacles, the city is omnipresent in the background. The speaker lets us know that we could easily be rid of this through filtering and we hear the filtered sound. The city is no longer there, but is still there in its absence. Westerkamp talks of the sounds in her dreams and in her present interchangeably, yet the city always remains the "monster to be conquered". This is a romantic notion common to her era where peasants' lives are idealised against the backdrop of an ever burgeoning modernity. It is this modernity which has given her a voice, however, and she doesn't seem to be able to reconcile this reality into her poetic musings. I can't help thinking that this background 'noise' of the modern world needs to be embraced. Why should we always live in deni

Sketch 1

  Jonesie · Sketch 1 Ver10 This was written as a requiem for my late wife. It is based on descending guitar voicing in Am. It has a B section in Dm. The drums could be done without and a recurring violin pattern of ascending fourths followed by a tonal descent. I think this sketch turned out pretty well and has a dreamy feel to it. I would like to work on it more in Logic though. I find it difficult to do this sort of stuff in Ableton as the quality of gather strings and brass etc is limited.

Sketch 2

  Jonesie · Sketch 2 Vers19 Sketch 2 is based on a simple I VI II V progression in the A section with a contrasting I i IV VIIb7 progression returning to the home key in the second four bars. I think this is a cool little melody with a lilting feel to it. It has a bit of swing but this could be worked on more. I find the MIDI swing setting very fake and sound not much like a swing feel at all. Anyway, I think this piece has some promise as an idea for a larger musical foray in the future.

Drum racks in Ableton Live

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Drum racks in Ableton Live  Building a drum rack in Ableton is fairly straight forward. Just drag a drum rack onto a MIDI track and load it with a Simpler/Sampler on the first drum spot. Assign the most common controls to a Macro. I did Frequency, Resolution, Attack, Sustain and Volume for instance. Then command D the simpler in the chain section of the drum rack for as many drums as you want, say 32 spots. Now load the sample you want for each spot onto that spots simpler/sampler window. Voila. A drum rack. Use found sounds as your samples and manipulate them to your heart's content.

Acoustics and Psychoacoustics

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 Acoustics and Psychoacoustics This book by David M Howard and Jamie Angus is a treasure trove on the fundamentals of acoustic theory. It covers many aspects of sound and its perception and is a great textbook. I just read the graphs and diagrams and found it really interesting. The section on psychoacoustics is fairly short but includes phantom notes and scales. It also includes a CD with examples of the described phenomena.

Music by the Numbers

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Music by the Numbers  by Eli Maor is an easy to read survey of the history of western music theory in the fields of mathematics and physics. I found the content really easy to read and accessible. I got the book on loan from the Fairfield library. The book starts with Pythagoras' investigations into music before moving to the revisiting of the topic during the renaissance by Galileo Galilei. Interestingly, his father, Vincenzo, was an accomplished Lute player and theorist on music. Galileo inherited this interest and went on to lay the foundations of later enquiries into the nature and structure of music. I haven't finished the book yet but I am enjoying the read.

Additive Synthesis

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Additive Synthesis This is a really cool fully functioned additive synthesizer. It is one of several included with Ableton Live 11. By detuning the oscillators slightly you can get an analog synth feel. It has two oscillators configurable in a number of ways, as well as a sub oscillator which can be injected from the screen. There is a filter and amp section both of which include a dedicated ADSR envelope. Finally, there is an LFO and an output section where there is vibrato, unison and glide settings.   By clicking on the button for the appropriate section to the synth the screen will change to display settings for that section. Also pictured is an EQ8

Animal Spirits by Vulfpeck

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 Animal Spirits by Vulfpeck We were played Animal Spirits in class. This song by Vulfpeck has a steady walking pace tempo with a regular 4/4 beat. It has a happy upbeat feel, with a simple yet elevated vocal melody. It has a simple drum line consisting of a syncopated kick drum, a snare and a high hat . The piano is played by two people giving it a rich harmonic structure. This style of playing is called piano forte. There is also an organ playing along with a funky electric bass guitar, a synth and a xylophone. The main progression is a I III IV V with a bridge of I V I V giving it a AABB structure with a four bar break in the middle. There is another section towards the end of eight bars with a repeated VI II7 VI V progression. So that the over all structure is ABACA'. There are male lead and backing vocals and the song overall has an open, fun texture. 

Pictures of You (from Little Fires Everywhere)

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 Pictures of You (from Little Fires Everywhere) Pictures of You by Lauren Ruth Ward is a song from the sound track of the TV series Little Fires Everywhere. It is a simple song in 4/4 time at around 65 bpm or Adagio. It consist harmonically of only two chords in the key of G being the Ist and the Vth. Syncopated piano carries the lilting vocals of the song with a minimal amount of strings in the background. The song is divided into sections only by the use of instruments and the loudness of the m middle section. In this way has an AABA structure but is really only an AAA'A structure. The piece contains piano, drone strings, vocals and backing vocals, a banjo, kick and snare drums, and cymbals. It is a sparse arrangement. Even in the middle section where it thickens considerably with the addition of the bulk of the instruments, it still remains a simple arrangement. This fits in well with the narrative of the series which is based on the stories two women who both have a female frie

Charlemagne Palestine

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  Charlemagne Palestine I Chaim Moshe Tzadik Palestine goes by the stage name of Charlemagne Palestine. He is considered one of the founders of New York minimalism, but prefers that his music is known as maximalist. He also works in the visual arts.  In this performance in Germany, he is surrounded by stuffed soft toys. This is somewhat of a signature of his, as too is the piece he is a, Concert I which also goes by the name of Strumming. The piece consists of intervals played repetitively over and over, broken into movements, key changes, and finally returning to end with the signature motif from which the piece begins. In this sense it has a neo-classical structure though I imagine Charlemagne's work would horrify many classical musicians. The piece has an AA'BCA'' structure. It opens quite slowly before building into a somewhat frenetic 4/4 beat of sixteenth notes played with increasing volume and tension at about 120 bpm or between a Moderato and Allegro pace. There