Sunday, February 27, 2011

RPM Challenge 2011

I am in the closing phases of submitting a new set of Unknown Quantity recordings for this year's RPM Challenge. The challenges demands that either 10 songs worth or 35 minutes worth of original music be written, recorded and released in the month of February.

To date, I have 5 songs (27-ish minutes) in the bag, and about 2 days left.
I spent way too much time on a song I am calling "The Cloud" this week, but it was worth it.
It has some neo-classical flute and bass clarinet moments with some Debussy-ish material, and a rhythmic "synth harp" track originated by the BubbleHarp app on my iPad. Also in the mix, is some Yamaha WX-7 (EWI)-driven Roland synth action. I may have to crack a music theory book to see what mode I am playing in.

You can hear one sample at the link above, of a song called "North of Yellowknife", which was written by Ian Smit, who also plays acoustic guitar on the track.
My daughter Bryce plays oboe on it and I layered a bunch of bass clarinet and tenor sax tracks. It is the most "organic-sounding" track of the set.

Another collaboration is on "Moog River", with my friend Daniel Singer, who shot me a bunch of Moog samples that he created on his iPod Touch app - I complement those with sounds generated by the BeBot app on my iPad; so it is a fully Apple Product-generated joint.

"At the Water's Edge" is a lovely drone, started by Mr. Smit's "electronic regalia", and then accompanied by some alto flute and fife tracks, which evoke some Peter Gabriel-ish synclavier vibes, but they are pretty much organic. Also, in the mix is a poem which I wrote, and then read through a vocoder. The last that I know, it was still Steve Meltzer's favorite song recorded in some while.

The title track, "mmHmm", which was the first recorded is a groovy tune in 11/4. I hope to expand on this riff at some point in the future, and develop it some more; so it might be said that this is "mmHmm v1.0", but like Mel Brooks' "History of the World", there may only be one...maybe.

I think there will be 7 tracks in all, at least one more collaboration with Mr. Smit...tomorrow afternoon I'll get back to work. More soon.