In the late 1970’s, video was an exciting experimental medium. Nam June Paik created the famous “TV Bra for Living Sculpture,” a piece where two tiny video screens covered cellist Charlotte Moorman’s breasts and her cello partly covered the rest. Other early video artists include Bruce Nauman, William Wegman and Peter Campus.
Anyone interested in a career in commercial music would do well to read the forum at the website VI-Control on a regular basis. The VI stands for Virtual Instrument, which is usually a sample of something, like a violin or a timpani. A piano. Each day, these sampled sounds are heard in movies, commercials and popular music. VI-Control is where these instruments are discussed and evaluated.
This month we’re taking a look at Strobe 2, a virtual instrument inspired by the early 1980’s monophonic synthesizers such as the Roland SH-101 or Juno-6. Due to the popularity of vintage synthesizers in pop and dance music, the company FXPansion has created a number of fairly basic sound modules for use in digital audio workstations that emulate the early synthesizers and drum machines quite nicely.
Time for another competition! This time it’s sponsored by Sonokinetics, a Dutch sound sample library that has carved a niche with their orchestral phrase libraries. I’ve always been a big fan of repeated riffs and was on the Sonokinetic bandwagon when they released their first phrase library in 2012. I composed the score for The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari using their Vivace during a three week timespan.
I purchased a vibraphone last year and am very pleased with the way that it has helped my music evolve. I spend time working out cadences and progressions, experimenting with varying chordal arrangements. Because of the sustain of each note, I’m able to determine how different overtones will sound as they overlap in the structure. In addition, the instrument has a beautiful sound which people do not find offensive.