Exploits of the Frictionless Man as it wanders around the world like some kind of slippery hydra. Music, words and pictures a speciality.

Monday, August 22, 2005

1. Make a list 2. Make second list 3. Make third list 4. List lists.

I've been pondering the various things that I have done to date to create pieces of music. Not sure why, but these past few weeks have, in a strictly compositional sense, been a little boring. We've performed twice recently and it's been a real thrill, apracticinging has been really good, but in terms of my own involvement in it I think I miss having something to constantly do, so I spend more time listening whilst the rest of the band plays on and getting bothered by deviant details as opposed to just enjoying the beauty of it all. And this is what led me to wondering what I could do to make the whole process a bit more magical for all involved, but me specifically because I am a brat.

So what did I do? I went home and broke out the pots and pans and hit them with sticks and lo; a track was born. Onwards rolled the thought processes and I realised that there was a really interesting way of working nagging just behind my eyes. I can play bass, guitar even drums a bit, so conceivably I could just write parts I wanted to hear and let the others change them a bit, which I'll confess has been what I've been doing. But that would hardly be releasing the potential of the others, it would be leading them nasally more than I would want someone to do to me, so why should I do it to others?

So now I've set myself the task of writing tracks with rudimentary chord progressions of the crudest sort, and the music itself is going to be generated either with objects that are not musical instruments or with musical instruments that I don't know how to use. Then I can present these to the band and they can choose to represent what they hear on their own instruments in what ever form they feel is most appropriate. Hopefully they will hear things differently and in turn I will be able to hear the tune differently.

Of course they might prefer it the way it was.....

"I call this one "Beefhearts and Mulch". It's in D minor."

"Now just because you say it is, does not make it so."


satori zap drone (pingpong class) said...

Bloody hell, sounds like Pink Floyd. Sounds also like a very messy way to compose, what with all those things out of cupboards and lying around. You might start to trip over your songs and do yourself a mischief.

Much like Morriston Burns I DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!!! DOH DOH DON'T BELIEVE THE, well you get the picture. Anyhoo I just bought Want Two by Rufus Wainwright; incredible album, bloody classic and, dare I use this much overused word, genius. I also got I Am a Bird Now by Antony and the Johnsons and that is also a wonderful album (but not quite in the league of Rufus Wainwright). There seems to be a lot of very exciting music coming out of America at the moment, it's a shame that British popular music is so terribly lame at the moment. Present company excepted, of course.

satori indolence pod (lacklustre class) said...

I may have overused the phrase "at the moment" in the last comment. Have you ever overused stuff? I'd love to know.

Mr Frictionless said...

I kept it quite tidy, but still had to be careful, I had coiled wires around the place at ankle level to add extra danger to the writing process. I also had my feet in a tank of electric eels and jelly fish.

I am guilty of overusing the word "ultimately" and also "groovey" although I am trying to cut down on both of them.

I am also guilty of overrusing, which is quite different.

P Mack Dee said...

I personally think it's a great idea to knock things around randomly, because it's good fun, and I hate it when musicians get all technical. Mainly 'cos I don't understand it, but as a mere punter it's a lot more interesting and fun.

For the record, my catchphrase of the moment has been 'I personally...', which I have dutifully included in the first sentence of this post.

I thank you!

Mr Frictionless said...

I confess to really enjoying technical discussions about music, but can I find anyone to indulge me? Shitty-cocked-sailors can I!

Oh well. Pots and pans and whack whack whack it is. Glumity glum glum.

morriston burns said...

You've never even tried to have a technical discussion about music with me. Why don't you try it, you might be surprised; I might actually know something, strange as it may seem....

Mr Frictionless said...

Now I just feel guilty.