Look What I Found In The Chicken

Posted by: Mark Hayes

Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/08/21 07:56 PM

https://soundcloud.com/mark_hayes/look-what-i-found-in-the-chicken

I started out with a bunch of recordings of chickens in a chickenhouse. I may have achieved some degree of musical drama.

This is another in a series of experiments turning natural sound into music, by any means available; it will take 01:18 minutes out of your future. Don’t say I didn’t warn you (but it really isn't that bad.)

In Logic, I lied to MIDI Guitar and said the chickens were guitars, and it transcribed the whole racket to MIDI, which then forked off in two directions:

(1) BIAB chord-analyzed for a guitar RealTrack, and
(2) stripped down, quantized and played on a violin

MIDI Guitar analyzed the audio from this guitar RealTrack to create a new MIDI track, which forked into parts for piano and bass. Seasoned with Logic Drummer.

RealTrack: ~522:Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking Ev 120
Posted by: PeterF

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/08/21 11:48 PM

Interesting musical chickens!

Also perhaps a touch odd.... grin

Peter
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/09/21 06:44 AM

Originally Posted By: PeterF
Interesting musical chickens!


Band in a Barn.

Thanks for listening!
Posted by: ROG

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/09/21 08:18 AM

Hi Mark,

Surprisingly musical, considering the source.

I've certainly heard worse!

Full marks (pun?) for originality.

ROG.
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/09/21 09:57 AM

Originally Posted By: ROG
Hi Mark,
Surprisingly musical, considering the source.
I've certainly heard worse!
Full marks (pun?) for originality.
ROG.


ROG, thanks!

This sounds very cinematic to me. Transitional music; midway through, it becomes downright menacing. I cannot really account for all the drama in terms of the original chicken audio, nor did I consciously pick violent chord changes like these, so apparently BIAB hears organic noise and represents it as conflict between good and evil.

I imagine a teenage girl being bullied at her high school then going home, and this music is playing while she’s riding on the bus and flipping through her notebook of doodles and revenge fantasies.
Posted by: MarioD

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/09/21 11:55 AM

Mark, chicken picking at its best!

A very interesting piece of music!
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/09/21 11:58 AM

Originally Posted By: MarioD
Mark, chicken picking at its best! A very interesting piece of music!


Ha, I had to Google "chicken picking". =8^)

Thanks, Mario.
Posted by: rayc

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/09/21 04:00 PM

I think I'd have liked it more if the accompaniment was more in keeping with the lead and less a Rhodes lead jazz combo.
Posted by: CaptainMoto

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/09/21 04:57 PM

I like the concept.
I must admit being a bit disappointed there where no "natural sounds: in it.

moto
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/09/21 05:15 PM

Originally Posted By: CaptainMoto
I like the concept.
I must admit being a bit disappointed there where no "natural sounds: in it.
moto


Oh, I can fix that! I have an earlier, non-BIAB work with the same cast, unmasked:

https://soundcloud.com/mark_hayes/roosterama
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/09/21 05:19 PM

Originally Posted By: rayc
I think I'd have liked it more if the accompaniment was more in keeping with the lead and less a Rhodes lead jazz combo.


I did try it with all acoustic instruments, but I just love the way that electric piano thumps along. Criticism noted, though.
Posted by: jannesan

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/10/21 08:34 AM

Had to listen to this even just for the funny title smile Creative idea and surprisingly well working end result. I hadn't even thought about using BIAB like this. Keep on experimenting! And that Roosterama is hilarious!! Classic stuff, really modern art music.

Janne
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/10/21 11:41 AM

Originally Posted By: jannesan
Had to listen to this even just for the funny title smile Creative idea and surprisingly well working end result. I hadn't even thought about using BIAB like this. Keep on experimenting! And that Roosterama is hilarious!! Classic stuff, really modern art music.


Halloo Janne, I appreciate the comments, and especially the feedback re: how to make up catchy names! =8^)
Posted by: Ember - PG Music

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/10/21 12:54 PM

I watched a really interested video clip from the Explained series that goes over Music that actually, in the opening, explains that at a certain point that repetition -- even in nature -- starts to sound like music to us after a while. I think that grabbing audio samples or getting inspired by what we heard in the world around us is a very worthwhile experiment. Thanks for sharing!
Posted by: Birchwood

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/11/21 03:00 AM

Hello Mark,

When listening to your -very short- song I imagined the chickens were all desperately looking for their eggs they had laid that morning.
It's an interesting approach for a song. I read Embers'post about the repetition of a theme and it's true. At first you are not used to it and then it sets (or not). That can become a good song then. In your song some things stands in the way to become such a song. At first it is very short, as I said before. But i also think it needs more build up at the beginning to get the picture. And then you can play with that repetition. Well, heving said that, I don't dare doing this (yet), because it's not that easy.
Do you know Erik Sati? He liked making simple songs, only with a piano. But to me a master on that repetition thing. I loved 'Gnossiennes' (but who doesn't?). Take a listen to sculp your projects. I hope it works...

Hans
Posted by: BabuMusic

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/11/21 07:44 AM

Haha. Forked off in 2 different directions. hehe. Man, I like your style and creativity, Mark, but you were wrong about the 1:15 of my life. I went on to Roosterramma then came back to this one again a couple times. Time well spent. I remember seeing Frank Zappa on TV in the 50s playing the bicycle with drum sticks.
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/11/21 12:26 PM

Originally Posted By: BabuMusic
I remember seeing Frank Zappa on TV in the 50s playing the bicycle with drum sticks.


I am more honored than I can express right now by your kind remarks about my music. I have some philosophical thoughts about this whole "chicken" project of mine that I will try to articulate in a bit. (Ember and Birchwood, too.)

But right now I need to share this amazing video of the TV broadcast of which you speak. It features an extended Zappa composition performed by Frank and Steve Allen on bicycles, along with studio orchestra and prerecorded tape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF0PYQ8IOL4
Frank Zappa teaches Steve Allen to play The Bicycle (1963)
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/11/21 12:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Birchwood
When listening to your -very short- song I imagined the chickens were all desperately looking for their eggs they had laid that morning.


Interesting! Hans, I forwarded your comment to the keeper of these particular birds, who replied, "This bunch of chickens is very aggressive about defending the nest, unlike any bunch before. Nearly all of the chickens try to destroy my hand, and I have taken to wearing heavy polypropylene gloves when harvesting the eggs. This bunch knows where the eggs are going."

More on the rest of your comments to follow.
Posted by: Birchwood

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/12/21 06:29 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark Hayes
Originally Posted By: Birchwood
When listening to your -very short- song I imagined the chickens were all desperately looking for their eggs they had laid that morning.


Interesting! Hans, I forwarded your comment to the keeper of these particular birds, who replied, "This bunch of chickens is very aggressive about defending the nest, unlike any bunch before. Nearly all of the chickens try to destroy my hand, and I have taken to wearing heavy polypropylene gloves when harvesting the eggs. This bunch knows where the eggs are going."

More on the rest of your comments to follow.


At least I was right the hens were in a kind of stress about those eggs...
Posted by: Bawb

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/12/21 03:38 PM

Meanwhile the foxes hanging around your chicken coop are saying to each other, "nah bro...nothing but guitars in there!"
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/13/21 08:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Ember - PG Music
I watched a really interested video clip from the Explained series that goes over Music that actually, in the opening, explains that at a certain point that repetition -- even in nature -- starts to sound like music to us after a while. I think that grabbing audio samples or getting inspired by what we heard in the world around us is a very worthwhile experiment. Thanks for sharing!


Got link?

I keep thinking of Bernie Krause, the old Weavers / Moog-in-the-60s guy who became devoted to recording and integrating natural sound into music. He can explain how an entire ecosystem of audible creatures will negotiate for bandwidth, so that one species won't drown out another speaking in the same band, and then perform like an orchestra. It's like a native combination of composition theory and compression algorithms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Krause
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/13/21 08:44 AM

Hans, I appreciate your criticism about the piece being too short. I think that's actually for two reasons.

#1 is that this is pretty "dense" stuff, and a little goes a long way; I could keep doing what I do to come up with more minutes of material, but I don't know how much more of this even I would want to listen to! Sometimes I make things like this that are even shorter, "miniatures", because what happens within the first few seconds is about all there is to them – a particular concept implemented with some interesting results. Which isn't to say that a skilled composer couldn't take off and produce a more extended work, spinning off from this material. But I don't really possess those skills, myself.

#2 is that I don't want to impose on my potential listeners! I figure if you can see up front that a piece is only 1:18, you might be more inclined to give it a shot and maybe even stick with it to the end.

Regarding Satie, yes yes yes, I get the connection. I wish I could do that.

Listening to "Gnossiennes" right now, and my train of thought is drifting.

Do you know that Brian Eno composed the Windows 95 startup music?
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/13/21 11:53 AM

Originally Posted By: BabuMusic
Haha. Forked off in 2 different directions. hehe. Man, I like your style and creativity, Mark, but you were wrong about the 1:15 of my life. I went on to Roosterramma then came back to this one again a couple times. Time well spent. I remember seeing Frank Zappa on TV in the 50s playing the bicycle with drum sticks.


Babu, thanks again for commenting, for allowing my music to inspire any association with the music of Frank Zappa, and for mentioning that wonderful TV video. I am very very honored by this particular connection. If I think of myself in terms of any single musician, I think of myself as a very, very, very inferior Frank Zappa.

I do this thing with chicken sounds (and natural sounds in general) as kind of an experiment, and I offer the output as the results of an experiment, and perhaps an engaging novelty. That way, if it's awful I can say, “Well, it was just an experiment!” and if it's at all listenable I can say, “How about that, some of this actually sounds like music!”

But underneath, I’m pretty serious. I get all conceptual and philosophical.

Whenever I come up with something like this that sounds at all interesting or maybe even good (!!) I find myself wondering if I am, with this simple approach of computerized pitch-recognition, unearthing actual latent musical qualities in the source material. Like: I’m expertly using Logic Pro as a tool to bring humanly inaudible chicken music to the surface. I’m tweaking things, for sure, but is there something there to start out with? Or am I “discovering” the chicken song in the way that a sculptor “discovers” the statue within the block of marble, which is to say, not really at all?

When I listen to the very audible mood changes in “Look What” I really do wonder where this stuff is coming from. I didn’t do it, the chickens certainly didn’t do it like THAT, and the human musicians playing didn’t do it. I guess the musicality there is most likely an emanation from the mind of the BIAB programmers behind the algorithms. But I really would like to give as much credit as possible to the chickens.

Again, the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Owen Farm chickenhouse thank you for your attention.
Posted by: Janice & Bud

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/17/21 01:51 PM

Stranger things have happened.

Well, maybe not smile

Far out bebop jazz in a barnyard!

Experimentally cool....

J&B
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/17/21 02:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud
bebop jazz in a barnyard!


I was going to say "BJIAB", then I thought, oh, maybe don't say that. =8^)
Posted by: Ezekiel's Storm

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/19/21 05:51 AM

Oh yeah! That was cool, and I loved it. Unusual, yes, but still pleasing. Very clever.
Posted by: Guitarhacker

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/19/21 07:27 AM

Roosters.... you want roosters? I have 3 adults and a number of adolescent males.... The adults start out at 4:30ish in the morning.... announcing that shortly, the sun will be coming up.

That second one.... the real roosters.... that was the perfect soundtrack to the scene in a movie where the mentally disturbed individual is having a conversation with himself.
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/22/21 07:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Ezekiel's Storm
Oh yeah! That was cool, and I loved it. Unusual, yes, but still pleasing. Very clever.


Thanks! I have a link to a website with elephants, and vague plans to do them next.

Right now I'm just thinking "Look What I Found In The Elephant" and seeing a guy standing in back of an elephant, in a pile of elephant poop, holding up a gold watch.

He looks like... Jackie Gleason.
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/22/21 07:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
That second one.... the real roosters.... that was the perfect soundtrack to the scene in a movie where the mentally disturbed individual is having a conversation with himself.


Interesting. I heard more menace in the instrumental. Maybe the chicken vocals just sound like normal speech to me, which I should perhaps be concerned by. At least I'm not clucking to myself yet.
Posted by: Ezekiel's Storm

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/23/21 04:26 PM

laugh
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Look What I Found In The Chicken - 09/28/21 04:35 PM

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