By 1979, synthesizers were affordable. Within 6 months of graduating from college, I bought a Korg MS-10. Shortly after that, my wife gave me an Ibanez AD-202 analog delay as a gift. Over the years I have purchased and gotten rid of an embarrassing amount of gear, but always kept these two pieces of equipment. It has been nearly 30 years since I recorded with them, so this is a new piece recorded with my old equipment. The MS-10 and the AD-202 are the only components in this minimal piece, and there are artifacts and analog distortion in this untreated recording. It is appropriate that I am posting this on May 14. Happy Birthday ferrie = differentieel!
I always love reading up on how people approach these challenges, and this week is a case in point- so many fantastic takes on a simple idea!
Incidentally, May 14th is Dylan Thomas day, the date Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Center, New York in 1953. Wish I had realised that sooner, I would have made something of it!
This is beautiful! Lovely feel to it, like watching the last of the colour drain from the sky on a summer evening.
I can’t participate this week, but wanted to throw in birthday wishes!
Funny thing is, I very nearly did something with Beethoven’s 7th myself, but the book of folk tunes was closer to hand! This is a really intriguing reworking - fascinating little bits of the original poking through.
Happy Birthday, ferrie!
I hear we had some classical music adaptions already, so nothing much new here. Also, I did not complete all of the work within our intentionally restricted time to accomplish a task. Nevertheless I thought this is the perfect opportunity to tell you the story of the piece of music that I uploaded as a contribution to this week’s junto. In several regards, it fulfils the assignment of “use a new musical thing to recreate some old musical thing”.
So here it goes:
One day, I found an old box of old sheet notes on the flea market and so I bought a folder with a full set of orchestra sheet notes from a piece called “Smetana’s Legacy” (tranlsated). I wondered what it would sound like back when this piece was performed. So I decided to use more or less modern equipment to make it play again.
At first I wrote the notes by hand into the piano roll of the DAW. That was crazy and soon I became bored with it. It’s like several million single notes, as it felt like. Therefore I scanned all the notes into image files and used a program to translate the scanned sheet notes into midi notes. This did not work perfectly but good enough to more or less quickly have most of the notes translated. Then I needed to check all the notes by hand for errors and determine the dynamics for all notes, which of cours were not translated. I had to learn how to do different time signatures and tempo automation in the DAW. The next step was to choose instruments that play each voice. That was the hardest part, because there are so many notes playing at the same time, it’s not possible to fit synth patches that were designed to sound full and rich on their own, in layers on top of each other. Therefore I used the simplest 3xOSC synth with single cycle waveforms for each instrument. That would fit and I realized that an orchestra is an additive synthesizer and the composers had to write the layered notes for each instrument so that in the end one, let’s say, ‘body of timbre that changes over time’, is created. huge respect!
This project was quite some work but also fun, and I did not do it within these 3 days of the junto, but because it is kind of useless to listen to, only to hear the result if you know the story of it, I thought this is the perfect occassion to publish this song.
The track still contains some errors I think, but I don’t want to go to the notes again and check them. That way, it is kind of not all automatic midi instrumentation.
For this junto contribution, I still revisited the song and modified the instruments by placing them at different position on a virtual stage by using impulse responses from different positions on a stage at a concert hall.
I don’t really like the beginning of the song, but I do love the moldau
and if you are interested, this is what the notes looked like before
and in the DAW.
I love this - great idea, well executed, and what a fantastic find in the first place!
Love the bass line underneath the ‘folksy’ melody, really good interpretation.
By the way, is the ‘hiding in the bushes’ lyric from the original song a pointed political statement about Sean Spicer’s recent shenanigans or just a fortuitous coincidence?
thank you for your best wishes - - appreciate it - - - what is so nice in your story is that you describe a way of working i am doing now almost ten years - - never mind - - you have done a tremendous job - - thank you for telling this story,
thank you Craig for your wishes
Original lyrics, and just a happy coincidence!
To celebrate the birthday of Junto member ferrie = differentieel of the Netherlands, I decided to use a centuries-old tune with Dutch roots: the hymn I know as “We Gather Together.” I used a MIDI file containing a four-part arrangement of the song, and used it to drive various custom patches of various plug-ins. I recorded 15 versions, then “gathered together” my favorites, the nine you hear here.