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The Road Less Traveled - by Mark Styles


This is a long piece.. It does have a theme motif, but is more of a musical journey than a song. My first intention was to work with key transpositions. Cause I never really cared for them when I was younger, I regarded them as a cheesy device, when you ran out of ideas.. There have been examples where transpositions are very powerful and moving, and others where it’s just too predictable..  I had sone fun, transposing, and even got it to match the confusion at one point, I wanted the song to convey


I use a pallete of traditional sounds but also made more use of artificial sounds, with 3rd party plug-ins, (Audio Units in Logic Pro) cause I wanted to evoke a certain feeling of nostaligia, but also of uncertainty, and alienation.. I applied the computer equivalent to tape manipulation, spicing, backwards tape, etc for other more unworldly sounds. 


I’ve been taking a course at coursera.org.. ‘Biology as Music”.. It studies how are our bodies were designed to process music, how certain aspects of the relationships of partials, and resonance will evoke specific emotions out of humans.. How our first language was actually mimicking animal sounds. How we even use pitch in our speech to add an extra layer of meaning to our communication..


So it got me thinking that the use of untraditional sounds, will cause the brain to react differently, cause the sound can’t be defined as being something particular. so the brain, will ‘keep an eye on it’.. 


I started with some chord tracks, but replaced all tracks, mostly with one line parts.. 


The piece is 6/8 - but I attempted not to make that real obvious. I did that by having certain instruments play notes, that might be counted out in 4/4 time.. So I wouldn't always hit, the 1 beat, I'd hit the 2 beat (trying to trick your brain into thinking it's 4/4 time).. I thinned things a lot too - so as to not have a timed feel (at least that was what I was aiming for) Not entirely successful, but it does take away from the strict feel of 6/8 time. 


Yes, I was a 'Flower Child of the 60's'.. so this is music for those of us who remain from the 'Flower Power Generation'.. just easy listening now, no FUZZ guitars. I'll use one in another piece later, once I figure out how to use the iPad to change the EQ on my hearing aid (just kidding - no hearing aid yet).. 


(Mark Styles©2016 Pliant Tunes BMI)

Edited by markstyles
song gets chopped off too short
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Thanks for your explanation, it's quite interesting.

What counts at last, for me, is:  I like it.

Your purposed is achieved: the piece sounds dreamy, "easy". Mixing conventional and electronic instruments works fine. The polyrhythm (difficult spelling for a Spaniard like me!) contributes to that feeling.

The progressive development reminds (yes!) to some styles in the 60's and 70's. I love the 70's...

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For the first time, I'm seeing the instruments used as vehicle for emotion and color (sound) ..  Not always about the notes (they are of course important)..   I had layed down a track, which was just kinda blah..  I changed to a different instrument much more abstract (like a moving pad - Serum, or Circle) which had a busy animation to it.. Suddenly my single line of notes became a gentle breeze of harmonics that wisped by, and definitely took the piece somewhere else..  Thanx..  It feels great when people get a different interpretation out of it.. 

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