Sample-based Music – One


Sample-based music – One

Simplifying life is a goal for many. They spend hours wonder how to make things easier for them by removing that which needlessly complicates their lives. Similarly, removing overcomplication in music can reveal new ideas. For this reason, I wanted to make sample-based music using only one note. To a traditional composer, such a limited palette would soon become an exercise in tedium; however using samples and effects, the contemporary classical composer can derive a wealth of possibilities. For this piece, the one note provides ostinati, drones, melodies, and a wealth of short sounds, from a breath to a bend.

The samples for One were recorded by Robin Jessome, a jazz trombonist. To continue in this tradition, there are a number of “collective” solos over a relatively stable rhythm and drone, which can be seen as the every-present splash from the ride cymbal. These solos, from delays, “scratching,” and reverbs, provide and overlapping melodic tension which is highlighted by the bends and other sounds created through spectral synthesis and other effects. Finally, the piece breaks sharply to a microformat view of the piece.

Taking some of the already common sounds and adding new ones, the piece states a beat and a short blast solo before ending abruptly, a farcical inversion of its beginning. This inversion is at the heart of the piece, taking a stoic minimalism and replacing it with one that is more active, while continuing to be simply sample-based music.

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