Tag: check this art out

I’ve been working on and off for a while now on a project to create an unending song, compiled on the fly from a selection of 30 second loops of individual instrument tracks: electric guitar, bass, electronic drums, electronic piano/keyboard.

http://songthatneverends.nestsounds.com:8000/ices.m3u

The concept is fairly simple

  • compile a directory of 30 second song parts, separated by instrument
  • combine this algorithmically to create a full song section (so, guitar, bass, drums, maybe piano, maybe two guitars)
  • vary some–but not all–parts, to create a sense of continuity and flow

While most of the really tough technical aspects have been ironed out, it still isn’t super effective, probably because it (1) needs a lot more parts, and (2) the algorithm still needs some fine-tuning in terms of the rules it uses to assemble each successive section.

That being said, you should be able to let this play ad infinitum. You just might want leap out a window after about 20 minutes.

Poke back in for updates.

Paintings, Drawings, Cut Paper Installation by Amy Sacksteder

This was sort of the song that started it all. At the time, it was a bit of a departure. The first time I played it for Amy she practically swooned, suggesting that it sounded like a ghost town, which henceforth became its name. It happened to fit really well with the feel of an installation she was doing for a show, so she ended up including the original version of the song in it

It was that initial burst of excitement on her part that helped kick me into gear in terms of thinking about the songs I was working on in a more serious way.

Song notwithstanding, the installation was awesome.

Ghost Town (original mix)

Art Installation by Melissa Dettloff

First things first, you’re gonna need to check out the Severed Unicorn Head Superstore (for all your severed unicorn head needs!).

Melissa is one half of the proprietors of the aforementioned Superstore (Mark Maynard being the other half). In Summer 2008 she had an art opening/birthday bash celebrating our good friend the Severed Unicorn Head (SUH), showcasing a variety of fibers-based SUH artifacts. My job was to write the birthday music.

It probably seems overly obvious, but I thought to go with a classic, the much celebrated Happy Birthday. Until sitting down to play it, I never really noticed how FUCKING WEIRD it is. How did this song become the sound of our nativity? It’s a strange rhythm and rather discordant. So, since a Severed Unicorn Head birthday party should feel a little like a bad acid trip, it only made sense that it should sound an extended intro to a Butthole Surfers CD (i.e. a bad acid trip).

I can only take part of the responsibility for this, as Joe Sacksteder lent his considerable piano talents and Melissa herself laid down some of the drum tracks.

Happy Birthday, Unicorn!

It’s worth noting, that the above ditty was accompanied by several spraypainted boomboxes playing 30 second looped answering machine tapes of various moving renditions of Happy Birthday, as well as by a hacked Teddy Ruxpin, in full Unicorn garb, singing a “cheery” rendition of Happy Birthday. (video forthcoming, we can all hope)

This isn’t always about writing pretty songs.

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