ChucK External Instrument for Ableton Live

Using ChucK as an External Instrument in Ableton Live.

  1. Setup a MIDI IAC Driver Bus to receive MIDI messages from Ableton Live in ChucK 
  2. Download and setup the free Soundflower Driver to receive audio from ChucK in Ableton Live 
  3. Setup Audio Output to Soundflower 2ch in miniAudicle Preferences 
  4. Set Soundflower monitoring to none in Soundlowerbed 
  5. Setup External Instrument in Ableton Live, midi to IAC, audio from Soundflower 2ch
  6. Spork synth1.ck and THEN Ableton_External_instrument.ck, like in the video above.

Enjoy. :-)

Update 23/12/2013
For Winzoz users:
- use loopMIDI in place of IAC
- use VB Audio Cable in place of Soundflower
Not tested, please drop a comment if it works. Thank you.

Linux users have jack built in.


Doctor Who Lost Tapes

Derbyshire studied maths and music
at Cambridge before joining the BBC

"A hidden hoard of recordings made by the electronic music pioneer behind the Doctor Who theme has been revealed - including a dance track 20 years ahead of its time."


A Singular Christmas

"A Singular Christmas" was composed and rendered in 2004 by Brian Whitman. It is the automatic statistical distillation of hundreds of Christmas songs; the 16-song answer to the question asked of a bank of computers: "What is Christmas Music, really?"

"So then what is special about Christmas music? Let’s take the nativist view– that there is something in the composition, construction, timbre or production in every popular Christmas song that makes it fit into the genre. Some predefined, baked in, Chomsky grammar style language of melodies and instruments. So play a Christmas song to someone who’s never experienced a Christmas before. What do they feel? Do they rush out and buy spray-on snow? I never got around to doing the study. What I could do is try to distill holiday music down to its barest essentials. My hypothesis was that if we could figure out the dominant components of Christmas music, and train a system looking only at the audio to make more of it from those components, and if that new music passes the Turing test of the general public considering it Christmas music, then yes, we’ve cracked the code — we can have Holiday Forever, a Singular Christmas."

A Singular Christmas (2004)
The Echo Nest
Music Information Retrieval by Downie
Music Retrieval: A Tutorial and Review by Nicola Orio
Music Information Retrieval (Wikipedia)


Tangible Media

Amazing. Interact with objects without being in it’s presence, featuring Kinect, projectors and a complex 900 small motors system. I think this one is the next big thing in computer technology, more than 3D printing.

"inFORM is a Dynamic Shape Display that can render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way. inFORM can also interact with the physical world around it, for example moving objects on the table's surface. Remote participants in a video conference can be displayed physically, allowing for a strong sense of presence and the ability to interact physically at a distance. inFORM is a step toward our vision of Radical Atoms: tangible.media.mit.edu/vision/

- Tangible Media Group
- Memolition article


Something clever almost every day

Francis Prève blog is a gold mine for beautiful Ableton Live Instruments built from biggest synths' samples.
He also made available Korg MS-20 samples for the excellent LiCk ChucK Library.



The best digital compressor out there (no analog emulation). It's FREE but nominated in the Plug-in: Processing section of Sound on Sound Awards 2014 alongside some very expensive plugins. Most modern compressors analyze the input signal to control gain reduction, using a “feed-forward” topology. TDR Feedback Compressor II, however, analyzes the output. This approach delivers an unobtrusive and highly musical compression characteristic. Some features are really cool: delta mode allows you to preview the difference between the compressed and original signals and you have independent release controls for Peak and RMS compression.  

Resound feature on best free plugins


A synth by Leonardo Da Vinci?

Viola Organista – an instrument credited as originally designed by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago - is actually a reconstruction of the instrument described as a ‘Geigenwerk/GeigenInstrument, oder GeigenClavicymbel’, in the second volume of Michael Praetorius’s Syntagma Musicum
Praetorius credits the instrument’s invention to Hans Haiden of Nuremberg.

"Stringed keyboard instruments have as their principal defects an inability, first, to sustain a tone indefinitely and, secondly, to alter the tone’s loudness once a key has been depressed. Various attempts have been made to build stringed instruments sounded by other means than plucking or striking—including vibrating the strings by blowing a current of air past them, as in the piano éolien of 1837. The most successful of these other instruments adopted the principle of the hurdy-gurdy—i.e., vibrating the strings by friction. 
An instrument of this kind appears in several diagrams in the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519). Some apparently highly successful ones (none of which, unfortunately, has survived) were made by the Nürnberg builder Hans Haiden, who described them at length in pamphlets published in 1605 and 1610. These instruments had a series of rosined wheels that rubbed the strings when they were drawn against them by the action of the keys. According to Haiden, the instrument, which he called a Geigenwerck, was capable of recreating the sound of an ensemble of viols and produced sounds of different loudness, depending on the force with which the keys were depressed."

Regardless of who invented it, this beautiful instrument combines elements of the harpsichord, organ and viola da gamba. The performer pumps a pedal that turns a crankshart. When keys are depressed, turning wheels press against strings, creating the sound of a string ensemble. 
Oh yeah, a nice idea to implement the MIDI Note Off behavior in your next synth...

- Sinthtopia
- Slipped Disc
- 'Keyboard Instrument' from Encyclopedia Britannica


Granulator II

One of the best synth out there, patched in MaxForLive by the famous electronic music geek Robert Henke aka Monolake. It's based on the principle of quasi-synchronous granular synthesis, originally developed by Barry Truax: a stream of grains with a varying period produces a non-periodic envelop; the sidebands are spread out in frequency and the spectral content is much more rich, resembling the output of a resonant filter. Very useful for quickly creating wonderful ambient-evolving pads from any audio source, file or live input.


Sir John Tavener 1944 - 2013

While Tavener's earliest music was influenced by Igor Stravinsky and Olivier Messiaen – often invoking the sound world of Stravinsky, in particular "Canticum Sacrum", and the ecstatic quality found in various works by Messiaen – his later music became more sparse, using wide registral space and was usually diatonically tonal. Tavener recognised Arvo Pärt as "a kindred spirit", and shared with him a common religious tradition and a fondness for textural transparency. Tavener's later music moved away from the transparent simplicity of the 1980s towards a much more harmonically saturated style, in parallel with his pan-religious interests. Such works as Atma Mass (2003) and Requiem (2008) show this particularly well.

theguardian - Sir John Tavener has died, aged 69


ChucK: A Computer Music Programming Language

ChucK is a computer music programming language by Ge Wang intended to provide a different approach, expressiveness, and thinking with respect to time and parallelism in audio programming - as well as a platform for precise and rapid experimentation.

ChucK free download
Ge Wang Ph.D. Dissertation on ChucK (wonderful free book)
The ChucK Book (work in progress)

See also: Codice per suonare


Another Seikilos' Song Performance

It seems that this old song (the oldest complete piece of music in history) is attracting a lot of attention lately. Compare this polyphonic lyre performance by Michael Levy with the one I posted some day ago
And if you want to try to play it, here is the score...

More sources:
- Neatorama
- The History Blog


Montanelli Monteverdi

"Nel 1643 le condizioni di salute di Monteverdi peggiorarono e nel novembre morì fra le braccia della Chiesa. I funerali furono celebrati, in forma solenne, a spese dello Stato. In un commosso panegirico, Paolo Piazza lo definì 'il maggior musico d'Europa'. Con lui il melodramma perse il suo primo grande maestro, e la Serenissima lo scettro di capitale dell'opera. Ma la nostra egemonia in questo campo era ormai irreversibile. Perché l'Italia non 'faceva' il melodramma. Lo era. E' difficile stabilire se il melodramma nacque in Italia perché gli italiani sono melodrammatici, o se gl'italiani sono melodrammatici grazie al melodramma. Comunque mai identificazione, fra una forma di teatro e un costume di vita, fu più perfetta. Tra quei fondali di cartapesta il nostro popolo riviveva gli unici eroismi di cui fosse ancora capace. Sull'esempio dei loro protagonisti imparò o ribadì la sua vocazione a urlare le proprie sventure, a piangersi addosso, a farla da 'mattatore' in mezzo alla scena. Ciò non toglie nulla alla grandezza di certi suoi capolavori. Ma nel suo insieme il melodramma è stato la dannazione degl'italiani, una corruzione del loro gusto, un adescamento a quanto c'è in noi di più retorico, falso, teatrale e grandiloquente. Esso diventò una seconda natura dell'italiano. E tuttora fa parte di un certo nostro bagaglio di gesti, di atteggiamenti e di mentalità."

Da "Storia d'Italia - L'Italia del Seicento", Indro Montanelli - Roberto Gervaso


Black MIDI

"A group of musicians use MIDI files to create compositions that feature staggering numbers of notes. They're calling this kind of music "black MIDI", which basically means that when you look at the music in the form of standard notation, it looks like almost solid black:

Blackers take these MIDI files and run them through software such as Synesthesia, which is kind of an educational version of Guitar Hero for the piano, and bills itself as "piano for everyone".
That version of Bad Apple, using 4.6 million midi notes, is by a notable blacker who goes by the name TheSuperMarioBros2; as you might infer from the name and the choice of song, video game music plays a big role in the black MIDI scene."

- The Impossible Music of Black MIDI by Michael Connor (rhizome.org)
- Impossible Music Wiki

Also check out:
- Tutti esecutori!


Bach BWV 1011 - 995

"Bach made his arrangement of the fifth cello suite (BWV 1011/995) with apparent haste.. There is a suggestion that the dedicatee, M. Schouster, identified recently as a book-dealer in Leipzig, may have encouraged Bach to create a saleable version of a piece which he had written about ten years earlier. The first page is neat and properly spaced, with carefully formed note-heads and stems. Looking at the end of the tres viste section of the Prelude and the Bourée, the writing is more typical of a rough copy. He wrote note-names to clarify messy bass notes. Compared to the finished copy of Anna Magdalena’s BWV 1011, BWV 995 seems like a sketch. If he were serious about writing with the lute in mind and preparing it for subsequent adjustment or intabulation, we would expect his handwriting to reflect it. Just because he has written “pour la Luth” at the top of the page, we need not conclude that he has done it with any conviction. If Bach set out to write real lute music, and not keyboard music with annotation, he might have done better than BWV 995. This version may have been the beginning of that process. As it stands, BWV 995 is a stab at arranging an earlier work for the lute, but it is not lute music."

Source: classicalguitarcanada


How did ancient Greek music sound?

"The epitaph of Seikilos" performed by Newcastle University's David Creese

"It is often forgotten that the writings at the root of Western literature - the epics of Homer, the love-poems of Sappho, the tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides - were all, originally, music. Dating from around 750 to 400 BC, they were composed to be sung in whole or part to the accompaniment of the lyre, reed-pipes, and percussion instruments.
New revelations about ancient Greek music have emerged from a few dozen ancient documents inscribed with a vocal notation devised around 450 BC, consisting of alphabetic letters and signs placed above the vowels of the Greek words. The notation gives an accurate indication of relative pitch: letter A at the top of the scale, for instance, represents a musical note a fifth higher than N halfway down the alphabet. Absolute pitch can be worked out from the vocal ranges required to sing the surviving tunes. While the documents, found on stone in Greece and papyrus in Egypt, have long been known to classicists - some were published as early as 1581 - in recent decades they have been augmented by new finds. Dating from around 300 BC to 300 AD, these fragments offer us a clearer view than ever before of the music of ancient Greece.
Instrumental practices that derive from ancient Greek traditions still survive in areas of Sardinia and Turkey, and give us an insight into the sounds and techniques that created the experience of music in ancient times.
The earliest musical document that survives preserves a few bars of sung music from a play, Orestes by the fifth-century BC tragedian Euripides. It may even be music Euripides himself wrote. Music of this period used subtle intervals such as quarter-tones. We also find that the melody doesn't conform to the word pitches at all. Euripides was a notoriously avant-garde composer, and this indicates one of the ways in which his music was heard to be wildly modern: it violated the long-held norms of Greek folk singing by neglecting word-pitch. However, we can recognise that Euripides adopted another principle. The words "I lament" and "I beseech" are set to a falling, mournful-sounding cadence; and when the singer says "my heart leaps wildly", the melody leaps as well. This was ancient Greek soundtrack music."

P. Yale CtYBR inv. 4510.
Hear a rendition of the 2 songs by Christopher Brunelle,
Asst. Professor of Classics at Vanderbilt University.
Song A and Song B. (Quicktime needed)

- Armand D'Angour
- io9
- William A. Johnson 1
- William A. Johnson 2
- William A. Johnson 3
- Ancient Greek Music, a new technical history by Stefan Hagel


Informational Ocean & Cultural Filters

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
"The 20th century was about audiovisual material, our memory of the 20th century is heavily audiovisual, but our sense of the 21st century is going to be a different kind of audiovisual… archiving is not going to be so much about what we can bring in, but about what to exclude."

Source: openculture


Doctor Who 1963 - 2013

Per il 50esimo anniversario della serie più incredibile di sempre, un episodio celebrativo dal titolo Day of the Doctor sarà trasmesso il 23 novembre 2013 in 75 paesi, in Italia su Rai4.

Il making of della sigla anni '80, spiegato da un vintage sound designer della BBC:

La stessa mitica sigla nei vari arrangiamenti dalle origini ai giorni nostri:

La mia incarnazione preferita del dottore è quella di Christopher Eccleston (Nono Dottore), la prima stagione della nuova serie (2005). Memorabile l'episodio 2, La Fine del Mondo, in cui il Dottore porta Rose cinque miliardi di anni avanti nel futuro su una stazione spaziale (Piattaforma 5) orbitante intorno alla Terra, dove si attende la distruzione del pianeta per via dell'espansione del Sole. Per celebrare l'antico pianeta, l'ultimo essere umano puro (Lady Cassandra, sottoposta a così tante operazioni chirurgiche da aver completamente mutato la sua immagine) propone agli ospiti convenuti da tutto l'universo l'ascolto di 2 'ballate classiche della terra': Tempted Love dei Soft Cell e Toxic di Britney Spears. Capolavoro.


L'homme qui ment

Directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Music & Sound Design by Michel Fano

"Michel Fano est un musicien, compositeur de musique sérielle, écrivain, cinéaste, il développe l'idée de continuum sonore inspirée par celle de partition sonore du compositeur Edgard Varèse. 
Né le 9 décembre 1929 à Paris, Michel Fano poursuit des études musicales classiques au Conservatoire où il est l’élève d’Olivier Messiaen et l’ami de Pierre Boulez. 
À la fin des années 50, Fano se lie avec le romancier Alain Robbe-Grillet et coproduit Hiroshima mon amour (1959), L'Année dernière à Marienbad (1961), tous deux réalisés par Alain Resnais. 
Sa collaboration avec Alain Robbe-Grillet, lui permet de mettre au point et d'appliquer sa conception du sonore au cinéma, donc de tout ce qui est audible dans un film. Cet ensemble, ce "total sonore (1963)", s'organise au sein d'une partition sonore. Rejoignant par là son idée de développer de nouvelles formes d'écoute, l'union des sons instrumentaux, de la voix, et du son naturaliste ne formant plus qu’un seul ensemble sonore indissociable, Michel Fano amène le spectateur à s'interroger sur l'action du sonore sur l'ensemble du phénomène filmique, images et récit. 
En s'appuyant sur son savoir-faire de musicien, Michel Fano mène une carrière d’ingénieur et de monteur son au cinéma."


Paul Galbraith plays Nocturnal by Britten

One of the seminal works of the 20th century performed by Paul Galbraith on a 8-string guitar played like a cello. "Nocturnal after John Dowland Op. 70" composed in 1963 by English composer Benjamin Britten was written for guitarist Julian Bream. It is a strange set of variations in reverse, that is, the theme only appears at the very end.


1955 RCA Electronic Music Synthesizer

"This huge and unwieldy system was controlled by a punched paper roll, similar to a player piano roll. A keyboard was used to punch the roll (Olson has his finger on it). Each note had to be individually described by a number of parameters (frequency, volume, envelope, etc.) The output was fed to disk recording machines, which stored the results on lacquer-coated disks. One of these can be seen at the left in the above photo."

RCA Synth feature, with mp3 audio samples from four 45 RPM extended-play disks


The Musicolateur

"The Musicolateur is a formidable musical creation learning tool. It promotes the development of imagination, openness and interaction. The Musicolateur is very intuitive and transparent. It requires no prior traditional musical training."


Light Is Calling (2004)

A scene from The Bells (1926) is optically reprinted and edited to Michael Gordon¹s 7 minute composition. A meditation on the fleeting nature of life and love, as seen through the roiling emulsion of an film. (IMDb)

Director: Bill Morrison
Music: Michael Gordon 


Bernie Krause: The voice of the natural world

"Bernie Krause and his niche theory are the real thing. His originality, research and above all basic knowledge of the sound environments in nature are impressive." -- E. O. WILSON



Daft Punk Random Access Memories

"Del resto questo è ciò che la coscienza constata senza fatica tutte le volte che, per analizzare la memoria, segue il movimento stesso della memoria che lavora. Si tratta di ritrovare un ricordo, di evocare un periodo della nostra storia? Noi abbiamo coscienza di un atto sui generis attraverso il quale ci stacchiamo dal presente per ricollocarci dapprima nel passato in generale, e poi in una certa regione di esso: a poco a poco esso appare come una nebulosità che potrebbe condensarsi; da virtuale passa allo stato attuale; e man mano che i suoi contorni si delineano e la sua superficie si colora, esso tende a imitare la percezione. Ma con le sue profonde radici rimane attaccato al passato, e se, una volta realizzato, non risentisse della sua virtualità originaria, se non fosse contemporaneamente uno stato presente e qualcosa che spezza il presente, noi non lo riconosceremmo mai come ricordo."
(Henri Bergson, Materia e memoria)

  DaftPunk on iTunes


All about Digital Audio

Two brilliant videos, subtitled in many languages. Everything you always wanted to know about digital audio (and digital media in general) but were afraid to ask, by Red Hat's super geek Monty MontgomeryXiph.Org.
The first video "A Digital Media Primer for Geeks" presents the technical foundations of modern digital media via a half-hour firehose of information.
"The program offers a brief history of digital media, a quick summary of the sampling theorem, and myriad details of low level audio and video characterization and formatting. It's intended for budding geeks looking to get into video coding, as well as the technically curious who want to know more about the media they wrangle for work or play."

The second video explores multiple facets of digital audio signals and how they really behave in the real world.
"Demonstrations of sampling, quantization, bit-depth, and dither explore digital audio behavior on real audio equipment using both modern digital analysis and vintage analog bench equipment... just in case we can't trust those newfangled digital gizmos. You can also download the source code for each demo and try it all for yourself!"

A wonderful project and a great resource: some deep technical informations free for all, moreover explained very clearly.


Top 5 Sound Hacks Ever

UPDATED 30/10/2014

My favorite electronic sound hacks make use of acoustic illusions, the limits of our perception or the brilliant exploitation of technical equipment. It all happened before the 80s of the twentieth century.

1. Shepard Tone - 1964

A sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower. Also known as the sonic barber's pole, the sonic Penrose stairs, the continuous Risset scale or Shepard–Risset glissando.

How does it sound?

How can you use it in your own compositions?
Csound/Csoundforlive: CircularPitch instrument in Rossing's Psychoacoustics Catalog.
Maxforlive: fp.Glissando device by eltnet. This great effect device uses Shepard-Risset audio paradox with signal in real time. See also M4L Pluggo for Live/Max Instrument/Shephard Tones.
SuperColliderRisset rhythm - eternal accelerando. The rhythmic version of the paradox by Risset.
Mac app and plugin: Endless Series - Oli Larkin.

Selected bibliography
Roger N. Shepard (1964). "Circularity in Judgements of Relative Pitch".
Diana Deutsch (1986). "A musical paradox".
Dodge, Jerse (1997). "Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition, and Performance".

2. Xenakis AM Grains - 1977

When Xenakis composed the music for the Diatope, La légende d'Eer (from Plato's Republic), he realized that in 1977 using granular synthesis with computers was actually more difficult than having invented it. So the composer took amplitude modulation (AM) to obtain some popular granular textures. One of the advantages of AM is that using just two signals or oscillators, or a simple tremolo with hacked modulator frequencies, we can create some partially rich signals, thanks to the sidebands generated when the modulator frequency moves to the audible range. For this reason, the resulting "grains" in this work are less noisy than the most famous grandchildren, and with a more complex spectrum.

How does it sound?

How can you use it in your own compositions?
Csound/Csoundforlive: a tremolo csd with the original Xenakis sample.
Green Oak Crystal: AM Plato Organ from my Crystal preset bank. Read carefully on how to install it on your computer.
Everything: experiment with an LFO applied to the VCA of your favorite synth, or with any tremolo effect. Some random frequency for the modulator will be appreciated.

Selected bibliography
James Harley (2002). "The Electroacoustic Music of Iannis Xenakis".
Giuliano Cantini (2006). "Tecniche di microcomposizione nella musica elettroacustica di Iannis Xenakis". This one was my thesis. An excerpt discussing this technique is available here.

3. Stockhausen Marimba Sound - 1955

Taking advantage of some intrinsic characteristics of filtering, you can edit envelopes and durations starting from a tiny impulse sound: a band-pass filter extends the signal transients (attack and decay), the smaller is the bandwidth with respect to the center frequency (filter Q). Varying the bandwidth and the center frequency you can play with noise and intonation. Stockhausen created and used this kind of sounds in the first electronic music masterpiece in history, Gesang der Jünglinge.

How does it sound?

How can you use it in your own compositions?
Csound/Csoundforlive: start with this basic patch.
Ableton Sampler: download for free my Karlheinz device (Ableton Pack). For more info check out this video.
Everything: start filtering a tiny impulse (you can get the smallest here). Filter type: Band Pass - Controls: Center Frequency and Q (or Reso). Done.

Selected bibliography
Riccardo Bianchini - Alessandro Cipriani (2008). "Virtual Sound".
Michael Manion. "From tape loops to midi: Karlheinz Stockhausen’s forty years of electronic music".

4. Schaeffer Cloche Coupée - 1948

One of the most famous accidental experiment in the history, that gave impetus to the musique concrète. After cutting (with a razor blade) the attack transient from a tape recording of a bell sound, Schaeffer noticed that most people could not identify the instrument that was playing. This experiment not only demonstrated the importance of the fast and noisy attack transient in our perception of sound, but also produced some nice instrument hybrids, obtained by joining attacks and stable parts of various sounds.

How does it sound?

How can you use it in your own compositions?
Any editor/sampler: split and slice audiofiles until you find a combination you like. Then map the sampler. Audacity and Edison can help you to batch edits over many samples at once.

Selected bibliography
Pierre Schaeffer (1966). "Traité des objets musicaux". This is the most beautiful and important book written on the art of sounds ever.
Pierre Couprie (2000). "Pierre Schaeffer".
Daniel Levitin (2011). "This is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession".

5. Risset's Arpeggio - 1969

Jean-Claude Risset's harmonic arpeggio is a beautiful drone-like sound, over which occurs a downward cascading arpeggio of a specified subset of the harmonic series. The instrument's timbre is similar to the sound produced by an overtone singer. Created by beating patterns that result from closely-spaced sinusoids, Risset describes the arpeggio gestures as "spectral scans".

How does it sound?

How can you use it in your own compositions?
Csound/Csoundforlive: see the terrific article by Bain in bibliography. I rarely read a technical article so clear and comprehensive.
UPDATE Chuck: read here and there.

Selected bibliography
Reginald Bain (2012). "Risset's Arpeggio. Composing Sound using Spectral Scans".
Jean-Claude Risset. "Computer Music: Why?".
Dodge, Jerse (1997). "Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition, and Performance".


Forbidden Planets - Music From the Pioneers of Electronic Sound - Various Artists
Schaeffer: L'Œuvre musicale - Pierre Schaeffer
Iannis Xenakis: Electronic Works 1 - Iannis Xenakis
Jean-Claude Risset - Jean-Claude Risset
Archives GRM: Le son en nombres - Various Artists
An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music, Vol. 4 - Various Artists
New Electroacoustic Music from Paris - CCMIX


Soundation "Sound Minute"

Esercizio proposto da Steve Everett, professore dell'ottimo corso Introduction to Digital Sound Design. Una buona occasione per ripassare le basi.


Nonostante i numerosi vincoli, non solo di durata (1 minuto massimo) ma anche di sostanza (usare un determinato software con determinati campioni e sintetizzatori ecc...), alla fine credo di aver mantenuto la mia 'cifra stilistica' compositiva quando si tratta di abstract ambient. Forma ad arco, lavoro sui cori in reverse e sui reverberi, morphing spettrale, canoni generativi o pseudo-generativi ritmici e melodici.
In effetti è quasi una versione compatta di Same and the similar.


Eelst e il metalinguaggio

Sanremo 2013: Elio e le storie tese con 'La canzone mononota' (video)

I filosofi intendono per metalinguaggio un linguaggio, in forma naturale o formalizzata, adottato per analizzare e studiare un altro linguaggio. Talvolta i grandi artisti riescono a usare il 'linguaggio' della propria arte come argomento del prodotto artistico. Arte alla seconda. Cinema di cinema, come La Nuit américaine di Truffaut, fiction di fiction, come Boris. Per questo genere di operazione bisogna possedere palle d'acciaio, la porcata è dietro l'angolo.
Ieri sera il festival di Sanremo, che peraltro ha sfrantumato i marroni da diversi decenni, ha offerto un esemplare nobile di musica di musica: La canzone mononota di Elio e le storie tese. Una performance ai livelli dei migliori live del gruppo (ho avuto la fortuna di vederli dal vivo qualche volta), una canzone tecnicamente e musicalmente spettacolare, che analizza con il tipico sarcasmo la canzone stessa, ed è destinata a diventare un tormentone.
Il festival di Sanremo è finito alla seconda serata. Hanno vinto gli Eelst.

Condurre un’esistenza di sforzi
Tallonando la chimera di una melodia composita
Gremita di arzigogoli rarissimi
Che poi alla fine scopri
Che ti mancava quella nota sola
Che sciocco non aver pensato prima
Alla canzone mononota
Una canzone poco nota
Che si fa con una nota
E quella nota è questa
E’ la canzone mononota
Pupi cambiare il ritmo
Puoi cambiare la velocità
Puoi cambiare l’atmosfera
Puoi cambiare gli accordi
La puoi fare maggiore, minore, eccedente, diminuita
Puoi cambiare il cantante
Puoi cambiare l’argomento
Puoi cantarla da solo
Puoi cantarla tutti insieme con il coro
Puoi farla fare all’orchestra
Mentre ti prendi una pausetta
Puoi cambiare la lingua
For example you can sing it in english
Auf Deutsch, en francais, en espanol,
In cinese: “Unci, dunci, trinci…”
Quante cose che puoi fare
Senza cambiare la nota!
Puoi cambiare l’ottava
Pupi cantare all’ottava bassa
Puoi far finta che sia finita
Ma se non sei in grado neanche
Di cantare la canzone mononota
Ti consigliamo di abbandonare il tuo sogno di cantante
Se sei un cantante virtuoso
Stai attento
Che qui basta che fai: “Aaah”
E sei fuori
La canzone mononota
Che non scende a compromessi
E se lo fa il compromesso è piccolo
Tipo questo
La canzone mononota
Ha avuto i suoi antesignani
Uno su tutti: Rossini, Bob Dylan, Tintarella di Luna
E’ anche facile da fischiettare
Democratica, osteggiata dalle dittature
Fateci caso: l’inno cubano è pieno di note
C’è poi il samba di una nota sola
Ma, se ascolti attentamente, dopo un po’ cambia:
Jobim non ha avuto le palle di perseguire un obiettivo
Non ci ha creduto fino in fondo
Invece Noi


Sul nome Bach

Un film di Francesco Leprino sul Vecchio Bach, ingiustamente passato sotto silenzio e che vale la pena vedere. Il film si chiude con il video sopra, in cui Bollani prende un tema dell'Arte della Fuga e poi inizia a essere posseduto dagli spiriti di Debussy, Hindemith, De Falla, Keith Jarret e diversi altri.

Queste le parti del film disponibili sul Tubo Che Tutto Contiene:

Cecità: Bach, ormai cieco, ripercorre, come in un sogno e in un breve lasso di tempo, tutti i momenti cruciali della sua vita e la sua musica affiora come un ricordo... 

CAPITOLO 1 - Eisenach
Eisenach, la città natale di Bach, e il primo Contrappunto dell'Arte della fuga, eseguito da un rarissimo strumento, l'armonica a bicchieri o glasharmonika. 

CAPITOLO 10 - I primi anni a Lipsia
Lipsia, città dove Bach trascorse la maggior parte della sua vita e scrisse i più grandi capolavori. Il decimo Contrappunto è eseguito da un sestetto vocale madrigalistico nell'elaborazione strumentale di Ruggero Laganà. 

CAPITOLO 12 - Anna Magdalena & figli
Anna Magdalena, seconda moglie di Johann Sebastian Bach, cantante, copista delle sue musiche e madre di innumerevoli figli. Il Contrappunto 12 (inversus) è elaborato per 2 voci e fisarmonica. 

CAPITOLO 14 - Conflitti!
Bach viene perseguitato dai superiori di Lipsia, che vorrebbero imporgli limiti di ogni tipo. Tre burattini simboleggiano idealmente i superiori di Bach (il vescovo, il borgomastro, il direttore della scuola...), il volto di Bach è quello di Sandro Boccardi, la voce quella del grande attore di lingua tedesca Bruno Ganz. L'elaborazione del Canone all'ottava è per flauto, clarinetto, violino, violoncello. 

CAPITOLO 16 - Un grande Clan...!
La casa di Bach era un laboratorio in cui vivevano anche gli allievi, condividendo la vita e gli insegnamenti del maestro. L'elaborazione del canone alla decima per marimba e vibrafono è di Alessandro Solbiati. 

CAPITOLO 20 - Harmonia Mundi!
L'ultimo e più complesso contrappunto dell'Arte della fuga e le ultime fasi della vita di Bach. La fuga a tre soggetti, lasciata incompleta, in cui ricorre il nome di Bach (b.a.c.h. = sib, la, do, si) è elaborata per quartetto d'archi da Alessandro Solbiati ed eseguita dal Quartetto Prometeo. 

CAPITOLO 21 - Nella mia fine è il mio inizio 
Stefano Bollani improvvisa sul primo soggetto dell'Arte della Fuga, mentre scorrono i titoli di coda del film. Un ritorno all'inizio e una chiusura del cerchio: il primo "tema" dell'arte della fuga e l'improvvisazione, con cui Bach aveva iniziato la sua carriera musicale. 

Altro sul Vecchio Bach @Random Bitz


Steve Reich turned his back on Serialism back in the late 60s. He’d heard John Coltrane’s free jazz and following a trip to Ghana in the early 70s he decided rhythm was more important than melody. So Minimalism was born in uptown New York. Reich is in Australia talking to loads of fans and listening to his seminal works Drumming, Clapping Music, Different Trains and Vermont Counterpoint which are being performed in Sydney and Melbourne.

See also Reich & Deleuze


Julian Bream

La vita in musica di un gigante della chitarra che ha anche riportato in auge il liuto rinascimentale.