Hi all

This is a short, quiet and rather introspective solo bass improv played over digital delay and a static drone, mixed with a title-appropriate field recording. Hope you enjoy.






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  • Not an easy task: a solo bass that expresses an introvert mood. Well done, and the field recording complements very well with the bass line.

    • Thanks Dirk!  Thanks for listening - and for your kind words.  Cheers!

  • Very nice and relaxing. I liked it.

    Now don't listen to me, because I'm crazy, but the fugologist in me is asking, is it possible to write a fugue based on the themes in the piece while retaining the same atmosphere and mood? 😉 (And keep the background rain too.)

    • Hey H.S. - thanks for listening, as always.  That's such an interesting suggestion - repurposing some of the material into a fugue, and especially while trying to retain a quiet, introspective vibe.  Have you heard such a treatment for a fugue before? I imagine not so likely to be found in Bach's ouevre, at least I can't think of any.  There's Prelude VIII in Book I, that's pretty dark and sombre; but of course it's not a fugue.  But your idea is really tweaking my imagination a bit. I mean, I know you're big into exploring ways to "modernize" and extend the options for fugue form, I like that idea.  Maybe a fugue composed from subject and answer material that is not so speedy with the 8th and 16th notes like J.S., maybe even using an organic sounding electronic instrument of some kind - and, yeah, like you suggest - if combined with field recordings, that might well be a first.   Hmmm, we must think on this idea my friend!  Maybe Eno meets Bach?  :-)

      • There are a few Bach fugues that are on the slower side, e.g. the F#m in WTC1, or the Bbm (IIRC) also in WTC1. They tend to be less "busy" than the usual runs of 16th notes that Bach tends to write.

        I myself also wrote a somewhat slower fugue (E minor) but couldn't get away from those 16th notes, sad to say.

        What I had in mind here, though, is a very "chill" fugue: the subject would have the shortest notes (the little melodic scrap you plucked on your bass), while the counterpoint would have long notes, or maybe even mostly just silence. I.e. very thin counterpoint. And plenty of space to "breathe" between entries so that it never sounds "busy".  Possibly with some subject entries in the foreground, the others hiding in the background so that you hardly notice it.  Kinda like what you already have with motifs echoing in the background.  And of course, all accompanied by the rain track to make it extra-chill.

        • Hmmm, that sounds really interesting to me!  I don't know if it's a 100% relevant but I'll mention it anyway: for some time I've been thinking about whether the "echo" effect you can get from slow digital delays (so slow they actually comprise short loops) can almost be deployed in a kind of subject-and-answer fashion. The only trick would be to get the delay tap (answer) to transpose a 5th or 4th (to the subject). I haven't yet figured out a way to do that without speeding up the loop, which then kind of messes up the rhythmic aspect. I suppose recording in clips rather than in one live take might offer a way to do that.

          I sort of went for that idea, a little bit anyway, in this totally oddball experiment: 

          soundcloud dot com/user-945554328/frippertronics-etude-2-the-well-tempered-loop-in-c-minor

          Anyways, thinking more about your suggestion, and I'll see if I can turn the idea into a reality at some point.  Thanks again for your helpful suggestions!

          • I think to get a transposition by a 4th or 5th, you'll need a vocoder of some sort. Simple compression / decompression will also change the tempo, as you noticed.  I'm ignorant when it comes to devices you can use with an electric guitar, but at least in software such a thing exists. Which convinces me that there must be a gadget / add-on somewhere out there that does this too.

            • Hmmm, I'm not aware of compression changing tempo; that's a new one for me and I'll have to look into that.

              • Sorry, I'm using the wrong terminology. What I meant was changing the pitch up/down, which also changes the tempo. But a vocoder will be able to bend the pitch without altering the tempo, which is what we want here.

          • Listened to your frippertronics loop... very interesting!  Now I wonder what you'd get if you had like counterpoint going with it.  Maybe even just a 2-part counterpoint would do, maybe done as two separate tracks merged together afterwards, to have the motifs echo each other. That'd be something interesting IMO.

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