Music Technology

The Beatless – Part 2 Minimalisation & Non-quantization


 For Part 2 of the Beatless series lets look at a Beatles rework by one Joe Connor. 

Here the motivic and harmonic elements of the piece are extracted and examined through repetition with gentle timbral variation – techniques borrowed from minimalist and process music.

This, together with non-quantisation rhythmic elements creates a compelling atmosphere. Electronic music has been refreshed of late with such artists as Mount Kimbie rejecting the dominance that strict grid-based (‘quantized’) time has had on the genre. ‘Loose’ (but not sloppy) timing has a huge effect on musical expression, and this latest trend in IDM is heartening.



The Beatless – Part 1 Remodalisation


I thought I’d use this platform to share with you some of the great work my students are doing together with some commentary addressing compositional technique. Here’s the first of many to come.

As part of one of my coursework portfolios, I offered my talented and creative students at Surrey the option to rework a Beatles track. Beyond a cover or remix, the brief was to reinterpret and/or electronically deconstruct/reconstruct musical materials from any Beatles track. There was some great work such as Em Bollon’s modal reinterpretation of ‘Here Comes The Sun’ Remodalisation (invented term) is the technique of translating melodic and/or harmonic material into a parallel mode (set of notes or scale). The original track’s major tonality (with some modal interchange and secondary dominants) is really effectively (and intuitively) reinterpreted into mixolydian and dorian ideas, blended with electronic japery. Quite lovely.

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