Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Second of Many Installments Of Me

All Of Them Are Mine by Stanley Jason Zappa

Of the many, many lingering regrets from my time at Bennington College, one of the big ones is not taking advantage of the computer music offerings.   

Joel Chadabe headed up the department.  I remember for some reason, in some class, he came and gave a lecture.  Maybe he just gave a lecture...I can't remember.   I do remember within moments of him opening his mouth having one of those d'oh! moments of bad, wherein I realised I should have been studying with him (as well) all along.

This one was made with a $1.00 (one dollar) MIDI keyboard, plugged into the computer via a high-latency cable, which may have come with the keyboard.  At the time of this track's creation, my computer had a Yahama XG midi card.

The way this one was most likely made was by turning the recording tempo up as high as it could go.  999bpm maybe?  Then, I pressed all the keys and all the buttons as fast and as frantically as I could.  From there, it was slowed down to 20bpm.  Thanks to the magic of MIDI, all the pitches stay the same.  Love that!  I made it, but I didn't make itLove that even more!

While I don't really seek it out all that aggressively, I've had my joys with electronica and computer music.  Conlan Nancarrow has to be thought of as a predecessor and antecedent to the world of MIDI, no?  Gotta love Jazz From Hell and Civilization Phase III.  There's nothing wrong with Kraftwerk, nor is there anything wrong with Matt Weston, nor is there anything wrong with Stalaktos.

I wish they'd hook some of these super computers up to a MIDI keyboard.  Can you imagine the sound(s) one of those things could make turned up to eleven?