Sunday, March 31, 2013

Who Cares If You Listen

Milton Babbitt probably did care if you listened. He didn't choose the title of his famous article called "Who Cares If You Listen".  (Read it here if you care.)

I actually don't care if you listen to my music.  Go ahead listen.   Or not.  It's your choice entirely.  The music is there if you want to play it.

Caring whether you listen or not tends to make me feel bad.  I know this from experience.

It should not be surprising that feeling bad is something I try to avoid.  I write music because it makes me feel good. Why should I do anything to turn a feel-good experience into a feel-bad one?  That would be really dumb.  Spending my time writing music is dumb enough.

Click here to hear Who Cares If You Listen - © 2013 by David Ocker - 165 seconds

Who Cares If You Listen is one of those perpetual motion pieces that sound good on a computer but are really hard to perform.  There's lots of percussion.  If you DO listen you could listen for the "Who Cares If You Listen" theme.
It happens several times in the middle section.  Try singing along.

There's also a moment in Who Cares If You Listen when two mystery instruments enter very briefly.  Extra credit for the first person to identify those sounds.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Yesterday seemed to be a day for doses of musical academia - first when I unscrambled anagrams  using clues gleaned by skimming this post by Daniel Wolf.  Later John Steinmetz sent me an article, Terminal Prestige by Susan McClary.  I even started reading that.  I'm sure it's a fascinating article.

But then I thought it would be a better use of my time to compose some of my own music rather than try to parse other people's ivory tower prose.  So I set to work.

A couple hours later I had a new 30 Second Spot which I entitled Cuffus.  It's apparently some sort of tailoring term, unfamiliar to me, but prominently displayed in the window of a local dry cleaner on a street I walk.

Cuffus is also the name of an online dating website.  I assume, based only on their logo (handcuffs in the shape of hearts), that it is not my cup of turn-on.

Cuffus, my 30 Second Spot, is a jazzish little trio for piano, bass and drums.  Nothing deep about it.  Nothing restrictive like handcuffs.  Nothing academic.  Just a bit of enjoyable music creating for me.  I hope you like it too - not that it matters.

I'd like to thank Peter Schmid, the pianist, and his compatriots Cornel Reasoner and Luis Jolla, for rushing right over to Aphrodite Japonica Studio to record it.  Thanks guys.

Click here to hear Cuffus by David Ocker © March 26 2013 - 37 seconds

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Winter 2012 from The Seasons

I have completed and posted my fifth Season, entitled Winter 2012.  This is the second Winter in the series.  The entire series, unsurprisingly, is called The Seasons.

Winter 2012 uses a twelve-tone row as melodic source material.  The row was generated in Autumn 2012, which uses a different pitch center for each of twelve weeks.  Winter 2012 has no Garbage Day Periodicity, the way some of the other Seasons have.

Click here to hear Winter 2012 by David Ocker, © David Ocker 

4121 seconds

You can read all the previous posts about each previous season.  These are moderately interesting.  They contain lengthy explanations on the twists and turns of equinoxes and solstices which are the days on which I begin composing each new seasonal piece. There are also some rants about how long time lasts.

Here's a quick explanation for the perplexed: I write one short musical bit everyday and separate them with unmusically long silences - 30 seconds or more.  The idea is to combine two or more or even all of these pieces simultaneously.

Or you could play them concurrently with other music ... any other music.  Possible results include happy happenstance, crazy coincidence and cuckoo cacophony - sometimes all at the same time.

Go ahead, try it yourself!

Click hereherehere, here and finally here (allowing time for the files to load) to get all five seasons going at once.  They will cycle nearly for ever.  Well, for a very long time - "very long" in the geological sense.  It will last much longer than the Internet.

Technical note: I've changed the players on all the Seasons playback pages to Html5.  This allows them to loop indefinitely.  If your browser can't play Html5, there's an alternate player - but it doesn't loop - so you'll have to sit at your computer clicking and clicking and clicking for the rest of eternity.

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