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Tag: live

Intro Tracks in EDM

Lately I’ve noticed more and more intro tracks on EDM albums. It’s an interesting trend, and it makes sense when you think about the evolution of EDM and the live performance of EDM. Except between artists, there is typically no breaks in the music during a live EDM performance. The DJ plays one track after the other without a break. Sometimes they are mixed together. Other times, there is a sharp break that immediately transitions into the next track.

The point is that 90% of the time, live EDM tracks do not begin with silence. Live EDM evolves continuously from one track to the next. Often, the lines between tracks are blurry or non-existent. It’s not like a rock show, where the band might talk to the audience between tracks, tell a joke, or relay an anecdote about a song. At a rock show, there is a distinct break between tracks, but this doesn’t happen in live EDM.

So it makes sense that EDM artists don’t want their music to start from silence. The intro track, or prelude, is a way of setting up the first track on the album.

I compiled a playlist of some of my favorite intro tracks. These mostly fall under the broad umbrella of “EDM” but there are a couple hiphop artists in there, and some of the tracks don’t us much electronics, they are simply by an electronic musician.

The playlist shows how intro tracks have a distinct identity. There is frequently talking in intro tracks. This often seems to relay the concept or feeling that underlies the album. Musically, these tracks are often unrelated to the rest of the album. Sometimes, as in the case of Steve Aoki, they are similar to the rest of the album, but other times they are quite different.

Among Fireflies by Elainie Lillios

Among Fireflies (2010) for alto flute and live, interactive electroacoustics takes its inspiration from a haiku by poet Wally Swist, who generously granted permission to use it for the piece.

Dense with fireflies

The field flickers

Through the fog

Swist’s imagery inspired me to consider texture and perspective, which became two focal aspects of the piece. The piece’s opening gestures place the performer in a field surrounded by a multitude of fireflies – perhaps the performer is a person, or perhaps the performer is a firefly him/herself. The piece’s progression slowly separates the performer (and listeners) from the masses of fireflies, the increasing distance changing our perspective on their activity and brilliance. By the piece’s end, we view the fireflies through the fog from a great distance, where only the smallest, blurred flickers persist, but the memory of their presence remains. Among Fireflies was commissioned by the Lipa Festival of Contemporary Music at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.



Fieldwork by Christopher Burns

Fieldwork is a software environment for improvised performance with electronic sound and animation. Two musicians’ sounding performances are fed into the system, and analyzed for pitch, rhythm, and timbral change. When the software recognizes a sharp contrast in one performer’s textures or gestures, it reflects this change by transforming the sound of the other musician’s performance. As a result of this process, the musicians are not only responding to one another as in conventional improvisation, but they are also able to directly modify their duo partner’s sound by interacting with the software. Fieldwork emphasizes rapid, glitchy, and polyrhythmic distortions of the musician’s performances, and establishes unpredictable feedback processes that encourage unexpected improvisational relationships between the performers and computer.

Performed by Amanda Schoofs (voice) and Christopher Burns (guitar) on October 27, 2011, as part of the Unruly Music festival, a co-production of UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts and the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. [1]



Flags of a Dead Ship by Matt Collings

Flags of a Dead Ship explores the nature of the electric guitar and it’s use alongside digital technology. It also attempts to wrestle the electric guitar away from the aesthetics of rock music and as a sound source for various sonic processes.

The piece separates the acoustic sound of the instrument from the amplified sound of the guitar. It uses it creatively to explore the nature of the performance space through the use of room microphones, by sampling and re-playing strums of the guitars out from the P.A and into a feedback system which allow the resonant frequencies of the room to become evident. It also makes use of the whole signal chain of the electric guitar – from strings to the ear, by using the amplifier as an active part of the composition. One guitar amplifier is stripped apart and ‘prepared’ with various objects and performed by directly manipulating the speaker cone itself to produce textural and rhythmic material. 3 Guitarists play a series of chords, as conducted by the laptop operator which are processed in real-time through custom-made software in Max/MSP. They play continuously throughout the piece to create a constantly, hypnotic rhythm.



Sound-Art Drum Solo by Simon Berz

This is a terrific use and extension of a standard drum kit. I think that this performance by Berz is interesting on a number of levels, and it really communicates both to art snobs like you and I, and to lay listeners.



Both this video and the Maja Ratkje video were shown to me yesterday by sound artist Zach Watkins.

Beat Me by Oliver Szymczak

BeatMe is a solo performance with video projection, sound and double bass.
The video/sound/Text is handled with Max/MSP, triggered by a midi-foot switch, giving the control of what is happening while playing the music.

Thinking about the relation of music and moving images gave me the idea of bending the codes of composition for visuals and music a little, changing the rules of narratives to repetition and variation, bringing them closer, making the images dance and give the music a different sense. It is all about perception, thinking and emotions. We have ideas and a feeling about ourselves in the world and all that relations inbetween. All that processes that determine who we think we are and how we feel about that. We live in an optical and sound situation.

Seeing and hearing through the things.
What you see is not what is there. Don’t misunderstand. What you see is what your neuro-circuits are allowing you to see. Waves and particles of molecularities hitting on your sensory system recalling/actualizing knowledge bases built up in the past and you are using them to look into the future, forgetting about the moment. Can this be correct?
The things you see are always representations of yourself. And you are ab/using them to reflect yourself, to tell to yourself what you dis/like about yourself. The world as you see it is nothing more than a mirror, reflecting back your desires and your fears.



Max Mathews and Richard Boulanger Live from 1992

Max Mathews is the father of computer music who worked at bell labs in the early 50s. The radio drum is a realtime performance instrument developed by him in the last 20 years. Composer, performer, educator Richard Boulanger is the author of the definitive book on Csound. they both are playing the radio drum in concert in bryan recital hall at bowling green state university on march 16, 1992. This video is a complete concert, also featuring Burton Beerman-clarinet, Maureen Chowning-soprano voice, Celesta haraszti-dance. [1]