Careless Transformations

Posted by: Mark Hayes

Careless Transformations - 08/19/21 01:25 PM

===> https://soundcloud.com/mark_hayes/careless-transformations-20 <===

Howdy! I’ve been doing a little experimenting that has turned out more pleasinger than I’d anticipated, so I thought I’d share!

A while ago, I shared a thing I did called “Careless Logic” (https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=663354#Post663354)

This is that song, rendered minimally with recorder and guitar, subjected to a series of basic musical transformations executed using Logic Pro’s “MIDI transform” function.

The first part is the normal song, the second is a transformation with melody and chords inverted, the third is that inversion combined with reversal, the fourth is reversal only, and the fifth is a repeat of the normal song.

A chime tree announces the changes, these are the timings of the variations:

0:00 – prime
0:54 – inversion
1:42 – retrograde inversion
2:30 – retrograde
3:18 – prime

Like I say, I decided to do this just as an experiment, but I find the results really interesting and listenable all the way through. I will definitely be playing with these venerable old compositional techniques more.

Mark

(For the record, the guitar part started life as a BIAB MIDI track, the “notation” part corresponding to a RealTrack. I think it was originally human piano, but at this point there’s not much connection left. I applied rhythmic quantization because the retrograde parts sounded awful without it.)
Posted by: Will Josef

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/19/21 05:22 PM

Hi Mark,

Beautiful melody/theme! I think the track could be even better if you had introduced a few more instruments along the way.

Thanks for sharing!
Will
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/19/21 08:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Will Josef
Beautiful melody/theme! I think the track could be even better if you had introduced a few more instruments along the way.


Thanks, Will. Maybe I'll find a way to combine the sparse medieval version with the fat country band version.

For now, I think I'd like to just clean up the prime melody (section 1) to adjust a few notes that sound really sour in the transformations, then regenerate the whole piece just from that. I would like to keep the 3 transformations strict, i.e. no editing them individually to make them sound better, the whole piece is settled in the first section.

Oh, and it would be good to fix that guitar so it doesn't sound like it's being played with hammers.

(NOTE: Just made both of these changes in version 2, now linked in the main description.)
Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/20/21 06:17 PM

Mark,

Nice melody going on here! I like the transition to a minor chord about a minute in, it really add an interesting dimension to the song! Thanks, Torrey
Posted by: rayc

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/20/21 08:05 PM

Interesting stuff.
I think you could pull the announcement back quite a bit.
The melody really calls for a lyric and voice in at least one section.
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/21/21 10:12 AM

Torrey: That moment, the minor transition, is where the piece is first turned upside down.

Ray: If by "could pull the announcement back" you mean the splash jingle thing is bombastic and overdone, yeah, I agree, it was just hard to give up the sentimental attachment.

As always, thanks.

Mark
Posted by: David Snyder

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/21/21 11:47 AM


Pretty interesting experiment!!

smile
Posted by: Skoon66

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/21/21 12:21 PM

Felt very relaxing, nice. I like it with just the guitar and recorder.
Posted by: MarioD

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/21/21 01:47 PM

Mark this is excellent. Your experiment was a success!

FWIW - I would go back to just the guitar and recorder, i.e. no percussion. Then I would add a touch of reverb on the guitar and if there are layers on the guitar lower the velocity. I would also put some reverb and delay on the recorder. Please understand this is not criticism, I really like the song, I'm just explaining how I would produce a song like this one. YMMV

{edit} - I forgot to mention that I am currently doing a song that starts with a nylon guitar and a flute.
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/21/21 04:02 PM

Originally Posted By: MarioD
Mark this is excellent. Your experiment was a success! FWIW - I would go back to just the guitar and recorder, i.e. no percussion. Then I would add a touch of reverb on the guitar and if there are layers on the guitar lower the velocity. I would also put some reverb and delay on the recorder. Please understand this is not criticism, I really like the song, I'm just explaining how I would produce a song like this one. YMMV


Thank you so much! And criticism is good! At least, I take yours for goodness, and can hopefully reply goodly and produce goodness in return. I am very appreciative that you take the time to comment thoughtfully on this project of mine.

The percussion was just a marker, for my own convenience as much as anything, so I could tell where the transforms start and end. I should just leave it out. There's another marker, anyway – the pitches rotate around C, and the theme begins and ends with C, so I use long held Cs to bridge one part to the next.

I agree, the guitar could be much better. At least now it sounds like a real guitar being played badly by a human. But again, to keep with the idea of the piece, I wouldn't want to make changes to anything except the "prime" transform, so any changes would have to work for ALL 4 VARIATIONS. Or I could make a change to part 2, or part 3, or part 4, but then I'd have to propagate it to part 1 and the others.

As it is, the piece evolves from normal to weird (inverted) to very weird (retrograde inverted) to weirdly familar (reversed) then back to normal. I'd like to have those weird sections be good music, not just what happened to result.

Man, if I could get this to the point where I was totally happy with all 4 sections, without breaking the no-independent-changes rule, that would be a nifty musical accomplishment. And then I get to master it!

(Good luck with your own flute/guitar thing...)
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/21/21 04:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Skoon66
Felt very relaxing, nice. I like it with just the guitar and recorder.


Thanks. I think I am going to keep it to that simple duo, as I work on it more.
Posted by: BabuMusic

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/22/21 07:14 AM

Man, that is really cool and creative, Mark. Those transitions seem seamless, and you're right about it being listenable all the way through. I'd like to hear it without the tree chimes. My favorite section was the feel in the inversion part.
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/22/21 07:44 AM

Originally Posted By: BabuMusic
I'd like to hear it without the tree chimes.


Here you go, and thanks for asking! Killed the percussion and upped the reverb a little.

https://soundcloud.com/mark_hayes/careless-nokit
Posted by: BabuMusic

Re: Careless Transformations - 08/22/21 08:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark Hayes
Originally Posted By: BabuMusic
I'd like to hear it without the tree chimes.


Here you go, and thanks for asking! Killed the percussion and upped the reverb a little.

https://soundcloud.com/mark_hayes/careless-nokit


Wow, Mark. Quite accommodating. YES!! I really like it without. Can still here the variations without the tree, and the transitions seems even more seamless. It also shows the creative way you made those transitions. Really enjoyed this. Thanks so much.