• Blumen | Alalia | Piano/Drum Playthrough

    605 views 1 year ago
    Follow along with the sheet music (for the piano part at least!) here: http://bit.ly/Blumen-Alalia...

    Streaming/Free99 downloads: https://blumenmusic.bandcam...
    With a Smile (James Knoerl) and I released the Banana Split EP a couple months ago now, this will be the last playthrough for a while! All piano and drum audio is live from these video takes, mixed in with a little piano-less/drum-less backing track of the album version.

    My first go at mixing live drums rather than sd2.0 samples, so bear with me! Also forgot to disable f.lux when I was color correcting, so it's a little off in spots.

    Check out the rest of the ep stream on the Jimpanzee's youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/wat...

    Heck, let's go crazy, It's up on Spotify and all that as well, along with my previous ep: https://open.spotify.com/al...

    Instagram+Twitter: @JamesPlaysDrums

    Youtube: http://bit.ly/blumenyoutube
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bl...
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/blume...
    ask.fm: http://ask.fm/blumenmusic

    Normally, I write music very slowly. However, when James approached me about this opportunity to come up to Boston to not only track piano/Rhodes for the new Aviations record (coming2016gethypestayuptodate@ http://facebook.com/aviatio... ), but also to record a split EP in a nice studio space, I had to cram and write a song in a month. Not my strength, but hey, any opportunity where I don't have to be the one to mix the album is too good to pass up. Alalia is the result.

    0:03 - This opening section feels strange due to the irregular groupings of the triplets, so for the few times this occurs I wanted to emphasize that irregularity, which James helped give the 'stalling' feel to.
    1:03, 3:48 - These 4/4 bars were originally placeholders, but I ended up morphing them to match my favorite chord progression from the next song on the EP, Beyond (check around 2:40). I like having continuity between tracks on the same album, gives it a reason for them to be bundled together, there's a couple other scattered moments like that throughout.
    1:15 - This time through, James gives a little more of the beat (even more so on the album version), so it can be felt that actually the whole section lines up with an even pulse.
    1:56 - Strangely, the technique to play all those repeated notes was inspired by a Schubert sonata (a minor, D. 845) that has a similar rhythmic drive, rather than using alternating fingers I adopted a more percussive rebound of the wrists that I've always wanted to write something around, but didn't stumble on a progression I liked until I was frantically writing for this song and realized it sounds pretty cool when outlining an augmented feel.
    2:15 - Foreshadowing of the next section
    2:36 - Of course, after the most cacophonic section I wanted something pretty, so the tinkly interlude that almost sounds electronic resulted from that intention. Was fun to try and find a small bit of melody to fit in with the pattern.

    1:11, 1:52 - (Metric modulations) One of the hardest sensations to get used to is the metric modulation that occurs a few times. I knew I wanted the opening groove and the 7/8 sections to have a certain feel that wasn't too frantic, but I also wanted the repeated note section to have a more insistent frenzy to it, so in order to unify the 2 ideas I settled on tempos of 112 and 140, speeding up 25%. The way to do this is to think of a 16th note quintuplet grouping at mm. 112, and then change the beat to every FOUR of those quintuplet notes (rather than five), so in essence each 16th note quintuplet at the previous tempo becomes the new 'normal' 16th note at the new tempo.

    3:57 - Same principle applies to the outro, I wanted to end with a bang so we pick the speed back up and have a weird latin groove that lines up with 9/4. Was an opportunity for James to do some funky things too, with the piano part more of an ostinato giving him a chance to play out over top.

    As always, thanks for checking it out, and subscribe if you're a writer living below sea level!

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