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Archive for December, 2011


A dozen spLinters for your aural pleasure (und pain): spLinters

Posted on December 27, 2011 at 11:59 am by rachmiel · Permalink

Groove Fascism

“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” A great quote from a great man … but one that electronica composers seem to have taken all too narrowly. For the Duke, swing was not simply drums or the rhythm section. It was the way that beat, meter, tempo, melody, harmony, phrasing, and […]

Posted on December 27, 2011 at 11:40 am by rachmiel · Permalink

The Horror of Kumquat Pond

Just in time for the holidays, a trio of short pieces in loving tribute to the glory of grade-Z 50s sci-fi/horror soundtracks: The Horror of Kumquat Pond Knock knock … Monsters from the Id!

Posted on December 24, 2011 at 10:37 am by rachmiel · Permalink

Foreground: Endangered Species?

When taking in a sensory experience (listening to music, watching a movie, etc.), we tend to assign levels of importance to the various strands of sensory input. We relegate, consciously or not, some strands to the background, some (often one) to the foreground, and the rest to the middle. Contemporary electronic composers are adept with […]

Posted on December 24, 2011 at 10:20 am by rachmiel · Permalink

Compose Your Self

In these days of automation-belt music production — click The Big Red Button to generate a perfectly “correct” (and soul-less) dance track, ambient track, drum and bass track, etc. — it is more important than ever that you master the art of composing yourself. Do you have a deep love of 50s sci-fi soundtracks? Reach […]

Posted on December 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm by rachmiel · Permalink

Cliché Free

All composers have a bag of tricks we dip into when creating music: our favorite tried-and-true forms, sounds, grooves, chord changes, turns of phrase, etc. Thus we rely to a large extent on the old when composing the new. There is nothing wrong with this: we are, after all, the totality of our experiences, and […]

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 4:13 pm by rachmiel · Permalink


Wintry drones for your wintry pleasure: Bedroh(n)ung

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm by rachmiel · Permalink

Daß es Funktioniert

Some time back, my composition class in Freiburg was visited by an East German composer of some renown. A wild-eyed student asked the composer what the most important thing was for him in his music. The composer thought and said, “Daß es funktioniert” = “that it works.” This has always stayed with me: the notion […]

Posted on December 15, 2011 at 11:04 am by rachmiel · Permalink


A sacred time* version of a Lithuanian lullaby: Liulia. * Past/present/future all coexisting at the same “time,” as discussed here.

Posted on December 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm by rachmiel · Permalink

Form und Function

While studying composition in Germany, I fell in love with musical forms. Theme and variation, sonata, canon, fugue, spiral, recursive, Fibonacci, fractal … I took them all in, like divine templates. Unfortunately, my love of form ended up trumping my love of sound, and my pieces grew ever more brilliant on paper and dull in […]

Posted on December 10, 2011 at 9:15 am by rachmiel · Permalink