The challenge of writing a loop-based piece is knowing when to add a new element, how many elements to use, and how and when to stop — in a nutshell: pacing. One thing I don’t like about a lot of the minimalist pieces I’ve heard is that they go on for a certain amount of time and then they just sort of… end. I guess it’s all about being in the moment rather than looking for a big-picture progression, but that goes against how we’re trained in Western European Classical Music Land. So it continues to vex me. McDoc likes to tease me about my inability to “let go, and let God;” my reply is that I’ve just spent too much time in grad school to ever be that relaxed. 😛
You can judge for yourself how well I handled the challenge mentioned above; I decided to tweak the nose of the loop machine a bit by having as my last element something that doesn’t really belong to the same category as the others. One could still argue that it just ends (at least it fades out rather tastefully! 🙂 ), but in this case I have the excuse of a daily deadline!
It’s a really fun way to work, though.
p.s. If you’ve been following along at home, you might notice that I used the metronome-like feel from Day 6’s piece as the first element in this piece. Actually I combined the sound of 2 metronome speeds going simultaneously: quarter-note = 144 and quarter-note = 84. Cute, huh?
Click play to listen:[audio:http://missmusicnerd.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/audio/OutoftheLoops.mp3|titles=Out of the Loops]
Thanks for listening!