Time and Tide (FREE DOWNLOAD)
I imagined a new kind of creative challenge, one in which I would have essential,
I imagined a new kind of creative challenge, one in which I would have essential, minimal input into the composition, but otherwise no direct responsibility for it, leaving me to focus on the instrumentation and arrangement, perhaps adding parts of my own.
Later that year, I composed seeds for his process. (Following his own vision, those same seeds grew into the very-different but very-cool Kid Arrow album New Fire.) I received the results in October 2023, in the form of a small set of long and complex MIDI files. It was my role to turn that data into sound.
To get started, I needed a concept, and so I decided to sketch the history of synthesis, including drum machines, from roughly 1940 (!) to present. The piece would start with what artists used (and still use) in that role — electric pianos, reed and tonewheel organs, and early Hammond synths (surprisingly, in the final version I used no Mellotron) — and then journey through Moog, Buchla, Roland, Yamaha, Korg, and others; subtractive, FM, wavetable and granular synthesis and sampling; hardware synths (or emulations thereof) and software (-only) synths, together ordered to yield a rough representation of the chronology. The musical structure I was given could be chopped up in many ways, and I settled on nine sections, roughly five minutes each, each corresponding to a different era, each having a character of its own. To emphasize this, I initially had the sections alternate between bright and dark timbres, although over time the contrasts became more nuanced, and the boundaries between sections less rigid.
Time and Tide is a musical journey from the past to the present, ebbing and flowing in mood. The sounds change over time, but the song remains the same, continuing the secondary theme of Amor Fati, eternal recurrence. Time and Tide is something novel, I think, and I hope you enjoy it nearly as much as I do.
Time and Tide 45:320:00/45:32