Computers and Music
Sunday, April 30, 2006
My friend Alvenh forwarded me a very interesting article by David Owen (in the New Yorker) on the company called "Muzak" (click here to read the article). Many people associate the word Muzak with elevator music, but today the company is one of the largest suppliers of background music to retail outlets and offices.
Owen interviews Alvin Collis, former Muzak senior vice-president of strategy and brand, who says:
"[...] Suddenly, I understood that the emotional content of a movie is driven largely by your ears. Your eyes can tell you what’s going on in a scene, but it’s hard to feel things through your eyes. Even if a movie has a really good director and a really good script and really good actors, if you watch just the raw footage, with no music, you think, Oh, no, it’s going to tank."What's interesting is that the music sets which Muzak creates for stores like the Gap have just as much an effect on the employees as they do on the customers:
At some retailers, one of the biggest changes occurs at closing time, when the music becomes louder, more intense, and presumably more likely to include lyrics that could be mistaken for profanity. That’s an after-hours program, designed by Muzak’s audio architects for employees who restock the shelves.Background music is no joke, even though some people aren't aware of how it affects them. Writes Owen:
Audio architecture is a compelling concept because the human response to musical accompaniment is powerful and involuntary. “Our biggest competitor,” a member of Muzak’s marketing department told me, “is silence.”A visit to Muzak's corporate web site (click here) is an interesting diversion, as they have a very large number of music samples available for listening online, in numerous categories.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I submitted one of our jazz trio's original tracks to a Vancouver music competition called "Fashion Rocks Vancouver".
How it works is, people go to the link below and vote on the songs.
The 10 bands with the most votes will get to play a show at the Media Club, on August 17th or 18th, and the top band gets to play at the Centre for Performing Arts at a Fashion Show and Gala Music Event on September, 30th 2006.
See this link:
What's interesting is that most of the other bands are rock/electronic music. The contest rules just require that the music be original. So I thought it would be a fun idea to mix things up a bit, and submit our acoustic jazz music to the contest!
If you're in the Vancouver area, please visit the link above and vote for us!
Monday, April 24, 2006
Doug Fischer from the Ottawa Citizen writes an interesting article about legendary (living!) jazz pianist Chick Corea and two of his main influences, jazz innovator Miles Davis and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard (click here to read the article). Fischer writes:
But Corea, who played with Davis in the late '60s-early '70s and exchanged letters with Hubbard for 15 years until his death in 1986, says both men taught him the importance of breaking down barriers and going his own way.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Yesterday I had a lot of fun playing around with some orchestral sounds on my computer. The result is Sweetpea's Theme. This is one of my first few attempts at doing some orchestration, and I am definitely going to keep working on it (especially the percussion, which I found very challenging.) [click here to listen].
Friday, April 07, 2006
On my keyboard I recorded a simple version of the ballad, "The More I See You" by Warren & Gordon. [Click here to listen.] Comments are always appreciated!
Thursday, April 06, 2006
I wrote a song called "Fat Jazz Variations" which expresses my sadness to be leaving the band Fat Jazz after 6 great years of playing with the group. It's a 4 minute solo piano piece that's kind of pop/classical. On the last chord I added a 6th to the major chord which I think is kind of like a wink or a nod (after all, it is a song about a jazz band....) [Click here to listen].
Thoughts of an aspiring jazz musician and computer programmer.
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