Sunday, June 5, 2016

ATAW - 2016 - Week 22 - Composer Quest MIDI Remix

Hello and welcome to this week's A Thing A Week!

This week's music is a collaboration of sorts coordinated by Charlie McCarron of Composer Quest. A quick reminder that he currently has a Kickstarter Campaign in progress for the final season of Composer Quest, so if you haven't yet, please go over and help out the cause because there is only 3 days left and $771 still to be pledged. Very cool project! Great rewards!

Now for the music!

The idea for this collaboration was actually brought into existence during my interview on Composer Quest. Episode 148.

A lot of music these days is created using MIDI (Music Instrument Digital Interface). Inside a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Pro Tools, you can create what is the digital equivalent of an old time music box roller, or player piano roll, or even digital sheet music, and then tell the computer to use piano sounds, or harp sounds, or string sounds, or synthesizer sounds, or any combination of anything you can possibly imagine to then play those MIDI notes. Being a composer in today's world is a lot of fun :)

...So, it is very easy to create raw MIDI data and then later assign the tones (or instruments) used to play those raw notes. It is also very easy to share MIDI files over the internet. Bingo!

11 composers participated in this experiment. We all created a short piece of music using MIDI and assigned our own instrumental tones to the data but kept our version secret. We then threw into the proverbial internet bucket a file that contained our raw MIDI data (just the raw notes). We all then got some other composer's MIDI file from the bucket and without any extra info, remixed that MIDI file using our own interpretation and own ideas of what instruments should play the music.

The results are amazing! It is so cool to hear your own music arranged through another composer's perspective because it sounds like nothing you would have ever created just by yourself. It is equally as fun and interesting to be able to work with another composer's notes and simply focus on 'auditioning' sounds and instruments to play music notes that already exist.

For you to hear here, I have my original piano piece which was then remixed by Mike Manor, as well as an original work by Paul Sampson (I later found out was originally for wind quintet and electronic percussion), which I had the please to remix for synthesizers and middle-eastern instruments (turns out this is a really bizarre combo of sounds). The rest of the original music as well as the remixes are hosted here at Composer Quest episode 150. The tracks will also be up at the Composer Quest Band Camp profile for free download shortly. So check back later in the week :)





Until next week!

Bryan

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