Wagneric - Flow [Strings, Minimal, Ambient]

Flow is my test drive of the new orchestral strings pack. The style is somewhere between minimalist “classical” and experimental ambient chill.

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Quite the soundscape you’ve got going on here! If there was one person who I knew would put the strings through their paces it’s you :slight_smile:

I’m at the five minute mark and you’ve got this post rock / wall of sound thing going on that I am digging beyond words.

Thank you for sharing this, enjoyed from start to finish!

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I had to laugh at that bit… knowing wagneric’s works as I do. :wink:

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Excellent!

There’s always a filmic element to your work, but imo, it was particularly present here.
I’m reminded of the off-kilter, unexpected key changes and right turns of Drew Neumann (composer for the fantastically odd, original Aeon Flux animation and, interestingly, one of the contributing sound designers for the original Animoog app).

This piece was more accessible than usual, even for my eclectic and experimental tastes. I think that might be largely down to having the right sonic palette to play with for your style of composition – namely strings.

I hear a voice starting to come through.

Great work.

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Thanks for listening! Your comment explains why I’ve inexplicably had Radiohead in my head a lot lately. :slight_smile:

Thank you for this feedback! I’ve always used music as an internal language for processing emotion, and I feel like I’m on home turf with strings. Moreso with piano, but that relationship is way more complicated, and there are more technical barriers to composition, between Auxy/MIDI and my skill at playing. I’ve been working hard to reduce self-doubt/criticism and to remove sources of negativity from my life. Most of my Auxy stuff, and piano/fx stuff before that, journals this ongoing process – one reason I put dates on everything. I was finally able to relax and let go a bit with Flow, and layer to my heart’s content without going as dark/intense.

I’d be curious as to whether you think this is more- or less-accessible than usual, but no worries if you’re not up for mostly-single-velocity piano. With fixed dynamics I found more freedom – and time/energy – to explore unexplored harmonies/modalities.

Thanks again. I’ll check out Drew Neumann.

I assume you’re referring to my previous statements on how I feel Auxy doesn’t support humanised piano pieces… and, for the most part, I stand by that. I do struggle to not find them soul-crushing failures.

However, the weakness for those compositions actually becomes a strength in your compositions.
Your compositions are experimental. The normal rules don’t apply.

Single-velocity playing in your work is more self-conscious, more open, more honest.
It’s not a compromise.

‘It’s a feature. Not a bug’ :wink:

 
(I’m listening to the piece as I type this.)

It reminds me of formalist experimental music at the start of the electronic and early machine-learning era, where traditional instruments were fused in performance with technology.

e.g. a computer-generated composition performed strictly by human musicians.
Or conversely, compositions created by humans intended to be performed on mechanical organs and piano rolls.

The mechanical-ness of the single-velocity, strictly quantised ‘performance’ works effectively because the composition is quite complex, dark and discordant. The mechanical performance adds to the ‘otherness’ of the piece.

[~5:30 a momentary hint of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint III. Nice touch.]

I think this piece would be considered as a little less accessible, partly because the composition (successfully, imo) attempts to combine more ideas. The tangents might otherwise create a feeling of a patchwork composition, but I enjoyed them.

(Speaking personally, it still fits well within the bounds of what I find engaging and enjoyable. My tastes and tolerances go way beyond the scope of this type of music.)

As always, I find your work interesting and very enjoyable.

If you’re scouting for composers to check out…
Stockhausen and Penderecki should be on your list.

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Btw, you might enjoy this video that touches upon dissonance…

I stumbled on it some months ago while looking into Black Midi (a musical concept which is kinda related to what I’ve mentioned previously and might also interest you).

I’ve been a jazz fan for decades, Coltrane especially, and Giant Steps is my number two favourite album of all time.

This blew my mind – and kicked my already lofty appreciation of Coltrane to a whole new level.

 
P.S. You should check out Adam Neely’s YT channel. I think you’ll get a lot out of it, given your line of musical investigation.

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Giant Steps is incredible, and the fractal stuff in that video is nuts; I’ll definitely be geeking out with more of Mr. Neely. My formative years were almost entirely steeped in classical and jazz (I was a big Stan Kenton fan). I’ve absorbed a lot of Pendercki, but have a ways to go with Stockhausen; I appreciate the recommendation.

Auxy (or more likely the hardware I’m running it on) is not very black-MIDI compatible, I’ve found. When I was experimenting with noise I was doing just that, and managed to grind Auxy to a halt, where it was muting playback and I’d have to do a render just to hear what the audio sounded like. Tons of fun to play with, though.

Thanks for your input and perspective on my latest piano experimentation. There was some semi-formal serialism involved – using contiguous sets of 12+ chromatic notes with no repetition over 2 bars, like an expanded tone row – where I gave myself the freedom to stray but my ear would usually conform to the pattern when I stopped continuously checking, which surprised me a bit. But back to the Coltrane thing, our ears/brains are doing crazy levels of parsing and pattern matching beyond our conscious awareness.

And now I have to ask, what is your number one favorite album?

Love these relaxing chords! I can see myself listening to this again.

I know this is minimal, but one suggestion I have is to make the melodic percussion that comes in at around 3:39 a little louder, but still keeping the lowpass low and reverb high for that nice and floaty feel.

Overall, great song!

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Re: Serialism

You might enjoy the current BBC documentary series about (musical) Minimalism.
It touches on serialism incl. La Monte Young, one of the godfathers of minimalism, but also an early practitioner of serialism.

You’ll probably need to VPN in to be able to watch BBC iPlayer, but it’s worth watching

 
Oh, and my #1 album is Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life (1976)

It was an album I grew up listening to, as it one of the many albums my parents would often play around the house. (Though my interest in jazz and classical was my own evolution.)

I was fortunate enough to be able to see him perform it live a couple of years back, in one of the Hyde Park Summer concerts. It was absolutely fantastic.

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I’m not familiar with Songs in the Key of Life as an album, though I really like Stevie Wonder’s music from that era (like Living for the City). He’s such an amazing writer; I can hear how some of his sound found its way into your productions.

Boy, are you in for a treat. :slight_smile:
…though you’ll doubtless recognise many of the the tracks, either as the originals, or because many tracks have been heavily covered and sampled.

It’s broadly considered to be at least on par with Innervisions, though many consider it a stronger and more important piece of work.

As the saying goes: All killer, no filler

If you’re checking it out, be sure to check out the full version (linked in previous post). The original was a double album with a bonus 4-track EP.
All tracks are included in the version on Spotify.
(The last four tracks on Spotify are the those from the bonus EP.)

 

I can hear how some of his sound found its way into your productions.

I love the man’s music (from that era) so much and love to think of it as an influence. But, I’m always doubtful whether any of it comes across.
So, it’s good to hear you say that.

electric counterpoint is :ok_hand: love that piece so much