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Street Life

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Choosing a category is always difficult for me, perhaps because I rarely think about genre when developing a melody. I jammed this into experimental because I was experimenting with a "drone" sound on the synthesizer during the opening section. By holding a key down - and then playing a sequence of notes with the other hand - depending on timing, you can get a doubled-sound to some of the notes. The second section has the synth lead playing the notes straight without this doubling.
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Uploaded: May 21, 2007 - 03:01:38 PM
Last Updated: May 21, 2007 - 03:01:38 PM Last Played: Jan 30, 2019 - 07:08:52 PM
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michael2 said 4408 days ago (May 21st, 2007)
cool. i like how you used drums that are real sounding instead of electro sounding in this. the second section especially is really cool. it's almost like prog-pop.
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Warren Smith said 4407 days ago (May 22nd, 2007)
drum evolution
Prog-Pop? Was that a category I missed when scrolling through the genre list? It sounds like a good slot to put this composition : >

My use of percussion is ... evolving, mostly because of feedback and suggestion received here at Macjams. My general approach is to search for drum loops that fit with character of the instruments I'm using ... and then modify, suppliment and/or enhance those loops with additive (or, in some cases, subtractive) sounds. It involves a lot of trial and error. I'm amazed at how a beat change can alter the entire presentation of a melody (which I find significant, because most of my musical productions start with a melody). However, when I try to invent drum sequences from scratch, I never seem to be happy with the results ... but maybe that is something that will eventually evolve.

Thanks for listening and commenting.
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said 4408 days ago (May 21st, 2007)
This is the down right get boogie on the streets feel it in your feet groovey!!! The transitions are outstanding progressive yet keeping time.. My nly suggestion is to make it longer... great song!
Warren Smith said 4406 days ago (May 23rd, 2007)
How long is short enough?
I seem to have moved into a new phase in the music-making process. I used to be "album-orientated," where I tried to create a collection of songs. This approach dictated a deadline of sorts - an imposition to get things "finished" so they could be released as a new tape or CD, ranging anywhere from eight to 24 songs, but usually about a dozen newly-completed pieces.

I have been wanting to update my macjams profile to outline my current approach, but the profile-editing-button has been out of order for months. So I'm using this response to your comment as a temporary fill-in.

After nearly 40 years of taking an "album-approach" to writing (I put together my first collection when I was 18-years-old), I'm now working in a more desultory fashion. Many songs I'm developing still get categorized - specifically pieces like this "Street Song," because it grew out of a melody that came to me while walking on a New York City street - but the deadline has been removed. It may seem like a small thing, but it has allowed me to be much more open-ended about composition. Specifically, about two things - length (how long should it run?) and density (how simple should it remain compared to how complex can you make it?). Simply put, I've been giving myself more time to make these decisions.

Currently, I've got 70-some street songs as garageband files in various states of development. Some of them are "done," that is, I don't expect they will ever develop any further in length or density. Some are experiments that went nowhere interesting. And a bunch are latent - waiting for further inspiration. Or waiting for me to find the time to get back to them : >

Getting back to your suggestion that this one could be longer - perhaps it could be, but, after repeatedly listening to it for months, I came to the conclusion I had said everything there was to say in its two sections ... and that more would just be more of the same.

I appreciate you comment - and I will be sure to check out your postings.
Check out my latest song called Signal and Noise
dajama said 4408 days ago (May 22nd, 2007)
This is nicely
done. Great sound. I agree with michael2 about the use of drums - good drum sound, and good use of panning and phrasing. Your work is always interesting. Peace.
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Warren Smith said 4403 days ago (May 26th, 2007)
One of those "interesting" things in this piece, for me, was the reversal presentation of the melody. Usually I put the straight melody first, then go off on variations. But here the variation comes first, and then the second part plays the basic melody ... albeit surrounded by cascades of ambient sounds. Thanks for listening and commenting.
Check out my latest song called Signal and Noise
gregd said 4406 days ago (May 23rd, 2007)
I think . . .
the synth is a bit hot in the mix. The melody does some interesting things though. It's a bit like video game music that got bored simply playing the background, and then took a solo.

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Warren Smith said 4403 days ago (May 26th, 2007)
I think you are on to something. Perhaps a better title for this piece would've been "My Synth is Hot 4 U." Thanks for the comment.
Check out my latest song called Signal and Noise
perceptualvortex said 4405 days ago (May 24th, 2007)
Concise. I like those synth sounds, and again you've gone with very bold melodies, which is cool (and I'm thinking it's a hallmark of your style). I like the fact that you present an idea, explore it, and then end the song; I think with a lot of artists there's a tendency to keep repeating sections of a song for no obvious reason (sometimes there are good reasons, of course). I feel like you are telling the whole story and then wrapping it up.
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Warren Smith said 4402 days ago (May 27th, 2007)
Yes, I agree completely - you've peceptively tapped into my vortex when it comes to song writing. I take a classical approach (as opposed to a romatic approach). As you say, "present an idea, explore it, and then end (it)." About the last thing you are ever going to hear from me is an open-ended "blues jam" : >

Within this approach, then, the exploration is usually exciting part ... but so is the overall presentation of the idea ... as well as its conclusion. When all of those comparative and disparate parts of composition come together in an acceptable harmony, this, I suspect, is the main goal for me.

I'd rather write something too short than too long : >
Check out my latest song called Signal and Noise
thetiler said 4403 days ago (May 26th, 2007)
hearing the music
almost made me feel like there was snow around the street person. That would be tough for sure. It would be hard enough to deal with being on the street in summer's day.

Thanks for sharing, nice tuneage!
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Warren Smith said 4402 days ago (May 28th, 2007)
Here today, gone tomorrow
Thanks for listening, Tiler. New York has thousands of people living on the streets. My interaction with the homeless varies day-to-day from ignoring them to donating to their alms cup. I took a picture of this guy simply because he showed up one day on my neighborhood street. The next day he was gone, never to be seen again.
Check out my latest song called Signal and Noise
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Name: Warren Smith
Location: Brooklyn NY USA
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Born in a Minnesota blizzard, I'm now residing in a coastal heat of Brooklyn, New York City. I recorded my first original composition as a teenager using a reel-to-reel tape recorder back in 1967, and I'm still finding it a creative challenge... [see more]

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Genre Info
Experimental music is any music that challenges the commonly accepted notions of what music is. There is an overlap with avant-garde music. John Cage was a pioneer in experimental music and defined and gave credibility to the form. As with other edge

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