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Well, I have to admit my experiment with the Rotating Processes ran into a hurdle, or at least an interesting insight: the notation method is much more difficult than the other three methods (outlined below).
This piece is a sketch of something I've been working on for the past few weeks since my last entry into the rotating processes (Here: Walking in place [rotating-processes-modular] by Justin Buckley).
Why is writing with musical notation more difficult (for me)?
- It's damn hard to write a good melody with a musical standard which so many musicians share.
- Using software to play back music written in notation means the music loses a lot of dynamics, the tempo doesn't vary, and notes are played exactly on the grid. The software encourages a style of writing which sounds quite mechanical.
In any case, I'd like to write an end section to this piece, but I'll let it rest for now.
--- Rotating processes ---
With so many different interesting ways to create electronic music, it sometimes becomes difficult to choose a working method, to the point where thinking about the different ways of creating music consumes more time than actually writing music.
To solve this, I've created a simple rule for myself. I picked 4 different methods for writing music, and each time I finish a track, I have to rotate to the next process for my next track.
Here are the 4 processes.
Modular improvisation (tagged as [rotating-processes-modular]):
I have a Eurorack modular synthesizer, which exists as a standalone instrument (I don't need a computer except for recording). This process involves patching the modular, improvising a track based on that patch, and recording it. I may edit or add slight effects afterward, but generally I will avoid doing so. This process will often involve creating self-generating patches.
Notation (tagged as [rotating-processes-notation]):
I haven't formally learned how to read and write sheet music, but I find sheet music very interesting, so I started teaching myself how to do so last year. This tracks are composed using the Sibelius First software, to trigger either the Absynth 5 VST softsynth, or the modular synth via MIDI, or both.
Field recordings (tagged as [rotating-processes-field-recordings]):
I often use my Sony PCM-M10 to take field recordings, this process involves creating compositions using some of these field recordings as the main compositional element. The trick here will be for me to constantly take interesting recordings, and less about computer based editing.
Live looper (tagged as [rotating-processes-looper):
I will use Ableton Live's Looper devices to sample the modular synth. Most likely I will use a keyboard to record myself, as well as taking samples of self-generating modular patches to use as layers.
Once per week, a track from one of these processes will be uploaded.