Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Noteable Day of Gigs - June 14 2008

It's just after midnight as I post this little nugget - I'm usually not one to boast too much, but tomorrow (I mean today) will be a whopper of gigs!

9:00 am - Corvallis Farmers' Market: XTET featuring Tryggve Andersson on Accordion! We'll play many Swedish folk tunes, some Americana selections, Jazz and show tunes...(Tryggve is my father-in-law - it's always a great joy and honor to make music with him!)

11:00 am - Cloud 9, Corvallis Riverfront: Sideways Portal will already be in the zone...I'll shift into my spontaneous combustible suit and join in...

3:00 pm - Private Wedding: Sideways Portal to add the post nuptial good cheer music.

8:00 pm - Viking and the Svens will open and then we'll re-ignite the XTET and play a mix of originals, some perverted standards, and prominantly feature Tryggve Andersson once again on the accordion.

10:00 pm - Skol!!!

It should be a fun day of music and a good test of endurance!

As a sidebar, checkout what total strangers are doing with some horn lines I posted on - every day or so I get email alerts notifying me that so-and-so (in this case "ohlala") used a clip or two of mine in their track? Now if only one of those tracks would sell 20 or thirty million copies!!! (I know, that might take all the fun out of it!)

Played 0 times
Made with the Splice online sequencer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Early Bird Jazz Band - Remix 2008

Here is the much talked about but little understood Early Bird Jazz Band remix...(well, at least the files to create the re-mix....)

Every year I record a number of audio snippets of the LPMS Early Bird Jazz Band students - these are in the form of free associations, random and/or pre-conceived quotes, riffs, solos, excerpts from some of our charts, ensemble hits, name it! Then, over several days, I cut, chop and hack away at the raw audio until everything is parsed down to a fairly fine grain. Recognizable tunes or melodies become fragmented; yet in this state they are the perfect artifacts for creating audio re-mixes and/or mash-ups or whatever you want to call them. This particular collection of audio clips is amazing. I hope you (the Early Bird students) get a chance to explore the audio files and get creative with your own remix.

How To Create Your Very Own Early Bird Jazz Band Re-Mix
  1. Download the file - be patient, it's 80 MB. The wait will be worth it though and the download shouldn't take that long. When you unzip the files, you'll find over 350 short WAV (audio) files with all sorts of musical and extra-musical offerings! These files (or typically a small sub-set) can serve as the building blocks for your own re-mix composition.
  2. Next you'll need some software to arrange and create your masterpiece. I personally use Cakewalk's SONAR...but there are other free (and not so free) audio loop editing and song creation tools out there:
    • Windows users: Sony's free ACID XPress - download it here!
    • Mac users: GarageBand - maybe you already have this software; you're set!
    • - you can actually create your re-mix online, without downloading any additional software!
    • Surely there are other tools out there - google "loop software"
Remixing is essentially re-arranging, orchestration and composition all blended into one. And of course there's the technological aspect, dealing with your computer, a sound card, mixing, setting levels, mastering - some of which you'll simply need to explore on your own. Let your ear be your guide. Know what you want, then find a way to do it. There are folks who make an art of this and I think it's not a bad way to get into composing and arranging.

The standard compositional elements, devices and techniques apply: theme, variation, contour, melody, backgrounds, rhythm, re-capitulation, etc. In other words, crafting a good remix should challenge your creativity and your musicality. You will likely need to apply the "less just might be best" principle. I wouldn't recommend trying to wedge in all 350+ audio clips/loops into your remix tune! Economy is also the hallmark of a well crafted composition.

Need more help or tutorials on creating remixes? Search around - there are lots of articles and discussion online and examples abound. Here's one!

Rob's Remix - coming soon!

Student Remixes - coming soon!

(Note - I'll be updating this post with more stay tuned and let me know if you've created a remix!)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Early Bird Jazz Band - 2008 Spring Concert

What a terrific year it was for the 2007-2008 Linus Pauling Early Bird Jazz Band! Here's the concert audio of our May 2008 Spring Concert - enjoy!!
The Preacher
My Little Suede Shoes
Jump Jive and Wail
A String of Pearls
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Mission Impossible
One Way Blues

A video of the event was captured and I can make that available - just let me know and I'll make you a copy.

Thanks to all the parents, family, friends and, especially, the students for making this such memorable year of music making!

Rob Birdwell

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sideways Portal at Sunnyside Up Monday June 9, 2008

Sideways Portal - live!
Sunnyside Up Cafe - 116 NW 3rd, Corvallis, OR
Monday, June 9, 6pm to 8pm

Don't miss Rob Birdwell (Trumpet/Flugelhorn), Dave Storrs (Percussion), Page Hundemer (Bass), and John Bliss (Guitar) performing their mix of spontaneous compositions (yes, they are "real" compositions in every way - they're simply and completely spontaneous!) - this intimate atmosphere is a great place to listen and connect with our work. After months of practicing, recording and planning, it's a joy to finally be out and about performing our stuff!