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labores solis (awigze collab)



 Genre: Ambient

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Dedicated to our dear amazingly talented, gracious, helpful Magnatone.

Andy's Notes:
Ever since working on Eduard's Ember project I wanted to work more closely with him on a collaboration and we began to talk about it during the summer. During the Christmas break, Eduard told me that he was starting up on a project and that it could end up being an IC42 song. I thought, ya, what's the difference. Well, I found out as a number of pdf's began to hit my inbox of parts written specifically for my part in Bb Tenor Sax notation. It was simple and elegant and told me a lot about how he approached the project.

The song has a steady flow and yet asks for wandering. This is expressed in some of the cello counter melodies and an occasional improv for the sax.

As I worked on my parts I began to think alot about Karen and how she might like this. She has always been very supportive and has offered a great deal of encouragement and enthusiastic support. I think she does this for everyone.

Eduard's Notes:
This piece of music started with an unusual thought... what if I played a chord (a triad), and then played a new chord by changing only one of the 3 notes, leaving the other two the same. Then I repeat this (change just one other note) to make the next chord, etc. Could I come up with a pleasing chord sequence this way? And could I wind up at the end, where one more note-movement would put me back at the beginning, so I can repeat?

After a number of attempts that made pretty patterns on paper but horrible sounds in my ear, I decided to start over. I chose a root key (F), and tried to get from D minor to A minor, and that helped a lot. I eventually wound up with the following interesting chord sequence. For some reason, the sequence sounded a little better with the Am chord held/repeated in bars 3-4, so you see no change there.


The real motivation I had behind this experiment was this: If two of the notes stayed the same into the next bar, why not tie them together, creating a sliding/interlocking overlap in the music. I was thinking (and hoping) that this overlapping continuity would “blur the lines” between bars, and possibly create an interesting “ambient music” effect.

Looking at the next figure, I have repeated the sequence once, and have tied the notes together, so you can now see the overlapping step-motion more clearly, and can see how it folds back at bar 7 for the repeat.


As I was experimenting with this somber piece and wondering what could possibly be added to give a main melody, Andy Wigzell sent me a note asking if we could work together on a piece specifically written to feature his sax playing. I've always loved his soulful playing, and happily agreed! I reworked this experiment into a better musical format, using the sequence idea as the main theme, and added a major-mode "B" section for contrast, wrote out a languid melody line for Andy to play, and sent him some sheet music. As we worked on this (over several weeks), it got more orchestral (trombones, cellos, violins, and the required celesta), and eventually turned into what you hear now... perhaps "Dark Orchestral Ambient"? Thank you Andy for making this shine!

Please feel free to also visit the Behind-theScenes tour where I describe how we got here with the collaboration.
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Uploaded: Feb 06, 2010 - 09:18:33 PM
Last Updated: Feb 07, 2010 - 06:45:29 PM Last Played: Apr 28, 2019 - 10:12:08 AM
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Eduard: Mac Pro.
Andy: Tenor Sax

Harmony Assistant, GarageBand 4.
Cameron said 3396 days ago (February 6th, 2010)
VERY interesting!
This is one of the most unique combinations of sounds I have heard here on MJ in a LONG time -- I like your scoring for brass, which complements the solo sax well. The string sounds are tastefully in the background and offer a nice spice, not too much.

When the bells came in towards the beginning, I knew that the "Eduard Touch" was in operation! ;-)

A couple of suggestions: vary the texture of the brass a bit; remove some of the notes of the chords here and there to add interest, give the ears a little break.

The sax sounded great but I would have liked to hear it more in the distance, more ethereal, a bit less present. Andy, your sax playing is excellent.

This is a very imaginative track and a very enjoyable listen!
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billykirsch said 3396 days ago (February 6th, 2010)
I love your detailed description Edward. This is a really cool experiment. One of the results: I didn't feel the repetition in the chord progression! I guess it's because of it's 6 bars (not a multiple of 4) and specially because there's no cut in the progression. It just flows and flows. I love when that happens. It's like floating.
Andy's sax is just awesome as always, and it's great to hear him through the whole song. I'm haunted by his playing. I would love to know what scales he uses and try to apply them to guitar and see how it sounds.
Just to give an idea of how it sounds to me, it reminded me some Vangelis and some Pink Floyd, I guess because of the brass sound bed (vangelis) and the sax (floyd). But, in the composition, it doesn't sound like anything else I know (well, not that I know a lot anyway :-).
Love it and I may borrow the idea and explore the possibilities by myself.

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particledots said 3396 days ago (February 6th, 2010)
this is really good icy
the experimental mode of creation coupled with the organic sax playing works extremely well

really like this
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magnatone said 3396 days ago (February 6th, 2010)
labores solis
oh man, i'm speechless. i have no idea why any thoughts of me would come up in the making of this sumptious song, but i'm very honored that it did. now THIS is so COOL! when i realized you two were collabing (and this was eduard as ic42 NOT as drakonis), i only could wonder what the result would be. MAN - this only shows how i lack imagination that you two have in spades. i LOVE the orchestration to this, and even though frankly eduard, i about half understood your geekoholic description, but it fascinated me nevertheless. the sax in here sounds AWESOME and to my know-nothing ears, is tastefully mixed in. really you guys, i hope this is the beginning of a long collab association because THIS is FABULOUS! and thank you again for the sweet hug!
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magnatone said 3396 days ago (February 7th, 2010)
i SAID geek, but i MEANT nerd. and of course, i mean it with love only :)
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awigze said 3395 days ago (February 8th, 2010)
My part was easy. All I did was follow the notes. Eduard is an inspired musician and a joy to collaborate with. AND... everyone needs a hug every now and then. You deserve it for all of your kindness and support you ahve ginven to me and many others... Eduard and I are just letting you know that we noticed.
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Moviz said 3396 days ago (February 7th, 2010)
This works
really well and moves along seemlessly.... sounds very grand in parts, while the sax gives it that lost and wandering feel to it... lovely sounds from both, regards M
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richard13 said 3396 days ago (February 7th, 2010)
As if you didn't already have enough to think about, Eduard
and, amazingly (to me) I actually understood what you were describing before I saw the first graphic (which is excellent, BTW).
The piece itself works as music: I'm not sure if your concept was applied to Andy's contribution (which is, as usual, superb) but, to me, it doesn't sound like experimental music, especially one having such strictures placed on its creation. It flows nicely and is pleasant to listen to (I'm on my fourth, I think) even though somewhat mournful.
All in all, a very interesting, and successful, experiment. Congratulations.
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Mcboy said 3396 days ago (February 7th, 2010)
interesting project
messing around with voice leading is not for the faint of heart...reminds me of some of the french orchestral work for sax of the early to mid 20th century...nice project!
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awigze said 3395 days ago (February 8th, 2010)
cool comment... ya - I think it was the French that'proved to the symphonic world' that sax had no place in the orchestra. It has been relegated to sparse usage since. But as we enter a new wave of world music, that idea is dying out. Adolph would be pleased.
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Henke said 3396 days ago (February 7th, 2010)
I like the approach
and the result, but not sure how the theory could translate to something as nice as this ;-) A very sweet mix of sounds. Would have liked a little bit different ending, but that's me... Thanks for sharing - music and ideas. Take care.

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davisamerica said 3395 days ago (February 7th, 2010)
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
Komrade K said 3395 days ago (February 7th, 2010)
Quite possibly the longest song description I've ever seen here!
Given this a few listens now - I think it's a wonderful absorbing piece and I'm trying to work out what in particularly I like about it. There's a great feeling of pathos in the sax line yet taken as a whole it feels spiritually uplifting - maybe it's that tug that made me listen over and over...


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Roxylee said 3395 days ago (February 7th, 2010)
Very cool experiment
Synth/orchestral with Andy's sax=unique! Your attention to detail and perfection makes this pleasingly structured, and the sax gives it a more "human" feel. I'd love to hear Andy let loose on a version, too, just go wild with it and see where it takes him. you guys are inventing new genres in here.:-)
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Char said 3395 days ago (February 7th, 2010)
Andy , up front or in the rear, your sax is magnificent.
Eduard, the man behind the curtain, or in the closet or dreaming music to soothe the beastie in all of us, I am grateful for you, cousin. Love it. Sang with it. Could be longer. Longer is better. :) Arigato deaux musicians extraordinaire. Does this sound like fawning? Well, tough shit!
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awigze said 3395 days ago (February 7th, 2010)
very cool
A great collaboration all the way around Eduard. Ever since Ember I felt like there was something more to your talents. And making this even more special with the dedication for our great friend and musical colleague. What an awesome place, time... life. To life!
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segiperkasa said 3392 days ago (February 10th, 2010)
cool experimental music....
the use of different tone/instrument makes this piece really intersting.. great vision ...
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peacepiano said 3392 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
Melody and Harmony
Nice result. Amazing how a well chosen, simple idea can come alive when someone like you gets to work on it. Very much enjoyed this and the behind the scenes versions too.
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VicDiesel said 3391 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
I like this. A very gentle piece, both in backing and in soloing.

With your "change one note" strategy, you've almost rediscovered the "mediant" or "third" relationships that the composers of the first half of the 19th century were big on. (Boy I hope Clark Ross is not reading this :-) They would keep one note of a chord, and then incorporate that in a chord a third away. For instance, F-Db-A-C-Eb. Your approach is probably a bit more restful, though I wouldn't have minded an occasional jump. For instance, you could have changed from Am to A major or so, rather than Am to F.

Anyway, enjoyed.
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bud said 3390 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Loved the informational piece
Now this is just so good. Really unique and beautifully engaging. There is some incredible talent here at MJ and some very cool collabs taking shape.
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guygrooves said 3389 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
and VERY cool
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T_Being_esq said 3389 days ago (February 14th, 2010)
I like this and the tour
was very informative. It has an almost middle eastern flavour, very subtle but there in the sax. If you ever felt like developing the tune maybe this could be a direction, especially with some percussion, could become a suite.
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TobinMueller said 3378 days ago (February 25th, 2010)
Transcending the intellectual
The entire informational sharing you did is marvelous. thanks for taking the time to add this end result all your background thinking and drafts. Very cool.

I think an experiment like this can end in a squared off clunky progression, and altho there is some of that here, it is more fluid than not. That is a testimony to your pursuit of something better, as you chronicled so well. I'm surprised the sense of sustained chords isn't more distinct. The melody is very chromatic, perhaps too so (in my ears), and too bound to the quarter note feel. My ears wanted the sax to be freer, to explore the space, as opposed to be bound by it. But I appreciated the effects used and the lush timbre.

I recall hearing the circle of 5ths piece in the 5th movement of "A Boy is Born" by Benjamin Britten. Brilliant. (Op 3, variation 4: The Three Kings.) I think he wrote it when he was 18 or something, and it has always left me humbled. You might like checking it out.

Thanks again for letting us glimpsed into your process. Very cool.
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awigze said 3344 days ago (March 30th, 2010)
great comment. Eduard is certainly all that. I was like a horse heading back to the stall. There are a few minor flubs on the downbeat of one occasionally where I wanted to gallop home and Eduard and I talked about this. With that said, this was good for me. I spend so much time improvising that it is good to return to the discipline of the written page. Really appreciate you taking the time to express your input. Very cool!
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shavingronaldscar said 3374 days ago (March 1st, 2010)
Wonderful work, guys, this is really relaxing. Nice processing job!
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kevmikwa said 3344 days ago (March 30th, 2010)
I once was lost
I had the chance to be walked through this one by a certain dragon that ic42 is very familiar with. I was confounded for a while as to how to get back here, but now I'm found, as it were.

Eduard has always been one to delve deep into the math and science behind anything artistic, usually finding the beauty in the numbers and their movements. This piece is probably the best summation of that concept, so it is completely Eduardian. The instrumentation here is also signature.

I've always been a fan of Andy's work, and he is more cake than icing on this one. The synthy sounds are the perfect bed for his organic, earthy sax. I'm glad you two had the chance to collab.

It was also cool to be able to listen to the Behind The Scenes clip first. I know folks don't read down this far before listening, but I feel like imploring Eduard to have people listen to that first. It's cool to see how the concept went through some trials before arriving at its end point.

Thanks for this, you guys!
awigze said 3344 days ago (March 30th, 2010)
thanks Michael. Really am glad that you got to hear this... And really appreciate the time spent listening and the time commenting. You are a great friend. I only wish I had the behind the scenes too before I started to record my part... : )

Great comment and thanks!
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kassia said 3326 days ago (April 18th, 2010)
this is very cool and beautiful. andy's playing sounds great over your synth bed Eduard. really love the celesta(?) tone you have coming in at the beginning and end of the piece. it bookends things very nicely. great piece!
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Demeter7 said 3326 days ago (April 18th, 2010)
The sax
definitely made this less experimental but gave the whole piece the dignity of an emotional outpouring, as you would feel at the end of some traumatic event: regret that it happened but acceptance and finally peace. :)
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Catalina22 said 3249 days ago (July 4th, 2010)
Really Like the Experiment
I like the way the experiment turned out, very much! I'm really glad you described it too, in text. I love the saxophone sound too--gives the song a really plaintive feel.
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sschedra said 3167 days ago (September 23rd, 2010)
The balance
of the real instrumentation over the synth bed is a winning combination. It does have a somber effect. I am wondering if an arpeggiated element might bring even more contrast to the subtle movement between chords? The unique way this piece was developed makes me smile and appreciate the composer even more.
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Artist Info
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Name: Eduard
Location: ZIF socket ic42 motherboard N/A
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it was not. it will not be. it simply is. it is an experiment in computer-generated music. it is altered afterward to sound more pleasing. a hope is to make beautiful music with computer software assistance. is it a success? ---------------------... [see more]

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Genre Info
Ambient music is a loosely defined musical genre that incorporates elements of a number of different styles - including jazz, electronic music, new age, rock and roll, modern classical music, reggae, traditional, world and even noise.

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