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This is not just a “theory”. Sevish produced 3 liquid drum and bass tracks to honor the secret microtonal bass society – the MK-SUPERDUPER conspiracy will be exposed on April 1st.
You can download the first track now if you pre-order MK-SUPERDUPER on my bandcamp page.
I was recently interviewed by UnTwelve’s Aaron Krister Johnson and our conversation was published on their website today. We talked about the making microtonal music accessible to general audiences, the split-notes label, gear, composition and tuning.
The album features myself (Sevish), Banaphshu with Kraig Grady, Brendan Byrnes (ft. Louis Lopez), Carlos Devizia, Tony Dubshot, Jacky Ligon, Miekko, John Moriarty, Mosstone, Steve Mueske, Mythshifter, Robin Perry, Joseph Post, Carlo Serafini, Tall Kite, Elaine Walker, and Ozan Yarman (Ph.D.)
This free album is a snapshot of the online microtonal music community at the start of 2016 and shows a variety of approaches to groove-based microtonal/xenharmonic music. Check out the included liner notes to find out more about each artist and their approach to microtonality. If this is your first experience with microtonal music, then listen well and welcome to the madness!!
An example of a microtonal chord progression in 22-edo (22-tone equal temperament). These harmonies would be impossible to reproduce accurately using standard Western tuning. The tempo and velocity is controlled by a drunk walk using the drunk object in Max/MSP (Max 4 Live). Sound designs using Xen-Arts IVOR and FMTS2.
Here’s an improvisation from a few years back, warts and all. It’s a microtonal piano piece.
I will be live-streaming another music making session this weekend! Tune in here:
Sunday 2:30am UTC (Saturday 10:30pm EST)
This time I will be attempting to start a new track, so you’ll get to see my creative process from the beginning. We’ll kick off with scale creation and I’ll be creating a new musical tuning specifically for this piece. Make sure you sign up for a free Twitch.tv account so that you can get involved in the live chat.
It will be my second time doing a live stream. First time had a few technical problems, but next time things will be smoother. Bits of the first session have been archived on the above link in case you want to catch up.
There are some really far out sounds on this album, so check it out! Can This Even Be Called Music promotes unique underground bands and genres by reviewing their music, art, and lyrics. Dave Tremblay, who founded the blog, is even a microtonal musician in his own right!
Last weekend I put on a live stream about making microtonal music in Ableton Live. While there were a few technical issues, I did manage to get my head into a spacey improvisation in the Bohlen-Pierce scale. The improvisation was played with my AXiS-49 by C-Thru Music (a company which unfortunately went out of business recently).
The Bohlen-Pierce scale provides an exciting alternative to the Western 12-tone equal temperament. Instead of using major (4:5:6) and minor (10:12:15) triads as the basis of its harmony, it uses 3:5:7 and 5:7:9 “triads”. The ratios refer to the frequencies of the notes which form its harmony. To my ear, BP is spaced out, sparse and atmospheric. It sounds alien but it makes sense in its own weird way.
Actually the chords that are in the background of my improvisation don’t use the 3:5:7 or 5:7:9 chords, but to my ear they still capture that unmistakable BP sound. Definitely a great xenharmonic scale to go back to now and again.
And just for good measure, here’s another Bohlen-Pierce track that I wrote way back in 2010.
Just for fun I’ll will be live streaming my next music making session. Tune in here:
Sunday 2:30am UTC
There will be live chat so we can discuss approaches to microtonal composition, sound design, audio engineering etc. Just follow the link to start watching. You’ll need to sign up for a free Twitch.tv account to get on the chat, and I hope you’ll do that so I can have some company while making noises.
I’ll be working on some new stuff, and maybe also creating some synth sound designs to be used later. I’m happy to load up the songs from Rhythm and Xen if you want to see how they were made. Never tried anything like this before so let’s do something new!
I’ve been gradually releasing all the tracks from ‘Rhythm and Xen’ on Soundcloud and YouTube since May. Now you can finally stream the whole album for free on either service! So pick one and listen to the whole thing uninterrupted as much as you like. :)
If you wish to support my work, please consider buying Rhythm and Xen from Bandcamp. I’ve been blown away by all the support so far, and happy that folks are enjoying these sounds. I can’t wait to get back to writing some new stuff again.