“Since I have always preferred making plans to executing them, I have gravitated towards situations and systems that, once set into operation, could create music with little or no intervention on my part.
That is to say, I tend towards the roles of planner and programmer, and then become an audience to the results”
-Brian Eno (Alpern, 1995).
I released a sequencer for monomer norns and grid recently. It’s a flexible path plucking synth sequencer which offers difference play orders, scales, tempo and allows modulation of synth parameters and transposing pitch thru MIDI CC.
Several updates are planned. And I hope it will be included in v2.0 norns update.
It’s been an interesting several years. Jumping from musical box to box, trying out many instruments. Exploring. Contemplating. But, never replacing the saxophone I retired in 1996.
And that’s the solution I found. I realized that I can’t replace something I spent so much time with, an instrument I lived with for 25 years. An impossible task!
Instead, I’ve discovered that I can satisfy my interests in creating music and exploring new musical ideas by using my coding skills.
There are several coding environments available, i.e.: PD, Max and Supercollider. There are also several hardware environments which allow one to run musical code on. Organelle is popular. The Raspberry Pi computer and soundboard is an interesting environment for those who want to also tinker with circuitboards.
And then there’s monome, maker of superior quality musical devices and encourager of open source musical coding. I had experience with monome devices during the couple years experiment in Eurorack. Fun gear and a community full of enthusiastic users and thinkers.
I added a norns and a grid to my setup. And will be adding an arc when it becomes available again. Most importantly, I’m delving into the writing musical scripts for the norns. This gets me involved in writing in Lua and Supercollider — both extremely versatile coding environments.
I’m still in the early stages, but I’ve already been working on a versatile strumming sequencer and have a couple other ideas worming around awaiting a bit more knowledge.
I’ve sold off all of my hardware synths and string instruments. Will instead be focusing my musical interests in an area where I can experiment and explore and create. I’m not a performer anymore. My time will be spent creating and enjoying.
Advancing to new.
I’m attempting to get into a daily practice routine. Started yesterday. Basically, I’ll try to get in 3 to 4 hours a day of practice. The practice sessions will be broken up throughout the day.
During each day, I’ll practice some bass side chord progressions and bass lines. Also, I’ll work on melody side scales and chord progressions. Chord progressions for both will be centered initially around blues and jazz progressions.
I’ll also choose one song a week to learn. I’ll start by choosing a song from one of the song books, as they are already arranged for the Stick. As weeks go on, I’ll work on arranging some additional songs out of a list I’ve been gathering.
This practice routine should help progress on the Stick. Of course, I’ll leave some time for noodling.
Funny how much I remember from the time I had with the previous Chapman Stick. I’ve been reacquainting myself with its requirements, i.e.: body and hand positioning, tuning, etc. Much is coming right back to me.
I have made some improvements to the tonal setup from what I did several years ago… by actually setting some boost to the mid range. Really enjoying the plain ol’ Stickup pickup on the Alto. Very pure.
Much work to do to make up for time spent in other pursuits.
Received a new instrument today. A Chapman Stick Alto. Beautiful Rosewood. So, a new journey begins.
Actually, the journey continues…
I had a couple Chapman Sticks several years ago. My impatience caused me to sell them. I was not mastering the playing of the instrument fast enough.
I’ve settled quite a bit since retiring. Sold off all of the unnecessary musical distractions. Have been through serious experimental phase and am now interested in simpler approaches.
Not that the Chapman Stick is simple…