These don't have much in common. There are links to MP3's in most
cases. Mostly, latest first.
- With the death of Mark E. Smith, I thought I'd do a "cover" of
one of their more raucous numbers: Two Librans. I admired his word-play, delivery, and general attitude.
- I love certain bass players and drummers. Drummers: Tony
Williams, Elvin Jones, Jack de Johnette, and hundreds of
others; bass players: Bootsy Collins, Michael Henderson,
Meshell Ndegeocello, Dave Holland, and hundreds of others.
I also love the sound of nylon stringed guitars. Here's something recent:
- I quite like drum'n'bass (the musical genre). Here's
something that started with a bembe rythm: SturmUndDang
- Not long ago I got a nice nylon-string flamenco guitar. I love
the sound, but it's a bugger to record. This seemed to turn out
OK-ish. It's just 16 bars, based on a half-whole-dimished scale: DeeDieDumb
- Something yet sweeter, based on parts of Jack Bruce's Folk Song
- Something a little sweeter, based on Joe Zawinul's Directions
- The ground of a pibroch (or piobaireachd), something like The Earl of Seaforth's salute. If
you want to hear what such a thing should really sound like, try this.
- An improvisation drawing on "Bitches Brew" by Miles
Davis. I tried to capture the bass clarinet part, a particular line
by Miles, the riff (g,c;f#,b;g#,e,b), and the choppy guitar chords:
- An improvised tune on a bass figure based on listening to
"If that's your boyfriend, he wasn't last night" by MeShell
Ndegeocello. Here is a version Girlfriend
- 05:08:2016. First I played a bass guitar, then replaced that
with midi, then later added a real bass. In the 90's, MS Ngegeocello combined rap with funk.
I'm very interested in speech-patterns, and in trying to play them on an instrument.
- Here's 48 bars (well, 2 iterations of 24 bars) of something vaguely based on the Pink-Panther
theme by Henry Mancini: PP.
I used a marimba pattern instead of drums.
I was conscious of 12 bar blues structure. There's something I quite
like about it. Update: I tried to "mix" it a little bit, and stuck on an intro and outro:
PPmix. Mixing seems to be a difficult art.
- "Resolution" by John Coltrane, off "A Love Supreme".
This has an unusual pattern,
that starts as "BBAAABBAAA...", where the A's are 8 bar units that
differ only in their last line of four bars. Here is a short recent
version with some acoustic guitar:
resolution - 11:08:2016.
Here's another version with the same backing, but guitar chords
playing the basic harmonies. I rather like it: resolution2 - 17:08:2016
Each "A" unit moves first from a
minor key to chords featuring the b5 from the root, then uses diminished intervals
that resolve back to a minor key pentatonic lick.
The first two B's consist of quartal double-stops on the bass.
The second two B's seem to be
an improvised interlude, breaking away from the harmonically rigid
A's. Coltrane and Tyner are really stunning here. Me, not so much.
- "Transition" by John Coltrane. This is in 16 bar units,
"AAAB". It uses a "blue" pentatonic scale (R,b3,4,5,b7), embedded
in the Phrygian mode (with additional (b2,b6)).
Here is a version in which there are two choruses of 16 bars:Transition - 07:08:2016 13.28.mp3
A bluesy piece based on the riff of "I Gotta Move" by the Kinks.
Their recording is one of their finest: for its relentless pace,
slightly psycho (David Byrne?) lyrics such as "And if my baby isn't there, gonna brush my
boots and comb my hair", and a cracking truck-driver's gear-change
moving everything up a tone. I have heard that on the
recording Jimmy Page played the riff using a 12-string guitar.
IGottaMove-Blue. This recording is more or less 3 iterations of an
18-bar loop, sans gear change. Just a try-out.
- Finally, a few bars based on "Cold Sweat" by James Brown. I
played (live) bass, wrote the drums in midi, and then guitar.
The lead guitar's not great, but the whole thing took less than an hour.
I try sometimes to compose short pieces of music. One approach
is to start with a chord sequence that makes some kind of sense,
and then to look for melodies it contains.
For example, one can use very sugary major chords, but shift them around
in minor-third intervals. This completely mechanical idea needs
to accomodate some kind of "home" to make a satisfying melodic
A dual idea is to use
very gnarly diminished chords shifting about in sugary major-third
intervals. (Something like this happens in part of
by John McLaughlin, recorded twice by him, the second time in this
Tony Williams and Larry Young ("Lifetime"). This made a huge
impression on me about 20 years old.)
Last modified: Sun Apr 8 19:22:25 BST 2018