If anyone hasn’t done so already, check out the review of the ‘ debut album In The Arms of the Sun by Vox Vocis. That album completely blew me away and made me jealous because if I could somehow go back in time, that would be the album I made. When I caught wind of the news that the band was recording their second album, I was extremely excited. I am happy to say that the band did not disappoint. This will be a breakdown of the entire album track by track . Continue reading Vox Vocis – Star Meissa Album Review
Perception in music is such a strange thing just because of how many angles they are. You could be a person who listens to music all the time, or just a causal listener. Maybe a fan, or a musician. Each person is lead to perceive music differently, and that’s great. This discussion of sorts is based on my recent ventures into Ableton Live 9, a popular Digital Audio Workstation which I am learning in order to create drum beats for my music since I do not have the space for drums due to location and literal space, and because I wanted to learn the software. As I used the software more and more, I started thinking about how I perceive guitar, bass, drums and the like in a musical sense. My mind wondered to artists who create their own music using an instrument, and those that use a computer.
Take for example three very different, yet accomplished musicians. David Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, and Deadmau5. David Grohl played drums for Nirvana and would later on found the Foo Fighters. Throughout all of that, he never used a computer to make his music or play his parts. He find that music should be played by humans because it both feels and sounds more natural and well… Human. Trent on the other hand makes industrial rock music and welcomes the use of computers in both the creative and producing processes. He is a very capable and accomplished multi-instrumentalist outside of the computer, but he uses the computer to further his music making capabilities. The last example is Electronic Dance Music musician Deadmau5. He exclusively uses computers to make his music. There is nothing wrong with the way that the music is made, but it makes me wonder as to how we as people perceive music.
I take lessons at a music school and spoke to my instructor about drums. Everything from where to place a fill, and how one should go about making one, to pushing the best or keeping it laid back. I also analyzed the drum beats he played and tried to tab out how it would sound in Ableton in my head. It was during this that my initial curiosity in perception started to ferment.
I was looking at drums as a means to an end if you will. Songs need drums, at least 99% of them do, and I don’t have a way to learn drums, record them, or pay someone else to do them. In my early analysis of drums, a instrument I paid little attention to, I sought out the basic patterns and the core fundamentals of it all. Of course I didn’t have to worry about stick control or proper toe to heel positioning on the bass drum pedal, but I was still interested in the subtle placement of a kick drum in a Brad Wilk beat, or the placement of a fill that Bonham used.
Because of all of this, I viewed drums differently than my other drummer friends did, mainly because I wasn’t a drummer. I showed my drummer friend my basic rock beat and asked her help for a fill. She gave me a fill that would work, and it sounded familiar, but odd. I’ve heard used it other songs before, but when I wrote it out, it sounded odd. But to the drummer, it correct, good even. That’s so strange to me. David Grohl discussed his approach to writing guitar lines for his band and he stated that a lot of his guitar parts sort of act as drum part. He synchronizes some of the guitar parts to the kick drum, and others to the snare. Of course, he is not the first musician to do this, there have been countless others, but it was interesting for him to actually explain it and state it all. But even then I find it odd. It didn’t make much sense to me until I really looked at how it was made. Another example would be the way that progressive rock bands such as Protest The Hero make music. I recently heard the drummer from Protest The Hero record his playing on their song “Drumhead Trial”. The beat at its core was very basic, fast, but basic. The guitars that were layered on top of it though were doing completely different things that worked with the song, but didn’t sound like it should have. On paper, it may not have sounded good, but in practice it did.
It was through this entire analysis of music and perception that I came to the realization that…well… that’s what makes music so cool to me. That David Grohl could write a guitar riff based on one idea, but if he explained the idea to say, Josh Homme or Tom Morello, it could be perceived completely differently and then played differently. Perception is such an odd thing in music.