Friday, 19 May 2017

jazz noir

private email to a friend:

smokey late night jazz, film noir style

tracklist for an imaginary album

1. the conformity
2. he's one of them
3. gutter club
4. the broad dame sings
5. cemetery trenchcoats
6. city under wraps
7. nicotine break
8. projection room
9. glass tower
10. bullets in the rain

piano and brass. cymbals and snares.
deco and sleaze. speakeasy and freeze!
with roots deep into the shadow of a criminal mind.
sound is to describe a mood.
the title theme describes the scene.
his voice is clear spoken and firm;
her voice is diesel husk,
clawed fingertips honey inside your spine.
the best line in the movie was snuffed like a secret candle. 
in an abandoned warehouse downtown.

The Viscounts Harlem Nocturne (inspired by Duke Ellington)

Duke Ellington's Harlem Nocturne
the megabox set of Jazz Noir
personally this seems too bluesy to be proper noir
(still on disc 1, it might change yet)
the style of the albums art is about right

not entirely sure if we are working on this yet
its more of an idea for an idea, than an actual idea
i thought about your music and atmosphere,
emotion and progress: mostly of focus.
again aspiration seizes me with its storm virus sights 
and you know the real sounds come from experimentation
scheming to set up a cymbal and layer up samples of its raspy chime
deadbeat dreams because real work is too much like reality
something we all need to take a break from sometimes
so the plan as it forms is to take half of the tracks each and write the backbone, then
swap and add flesh to it, building in layers
try to stay away from borrowing more samples than we could clear because ultimately the investment of time into productivity should on some level be commercial, commerciable, commercialable, saleable. If not for us then for the kids.

I'm so lazy. this new place is good though - I need to force myself to set the music gear up o I can work with it. Had a setback when i updated the macs OS and the firewire alesis mixer is not compatible with the new OS. Mac's are bastards i have to factory restore it to go backward with the OS and to do that I would lose all my software. Easier to sell the mixer and go back to using the dj mixer through a usb converter. Its funny right, for all the gloss of modern tools, when it comes down to the reality of knowing what I am doing because i know what actually works, it's the low-fi simple crude basics that outlast high-tech 'keeping up with the trend of development'.
Keep it all loose and easy so the tracks can be modded into movie soundtracks, well the whole thing should sound like a movie soundtrack more than a series of vaguely related but very different tracks. Keep it all simple. That's why I started the list:

piano and brass, cymbals and snares.

thinking about music in ways to conform to the structures of the traditional jazz-noir tracks is quite different from the loop based stuff we are used to. It progresses. Sections after sections after sections where the two instruments talk with each other. That's a common theme here, the lead instrument and the answer instrument. They do that and then they play together at the same time. Then the rhythm changes, often introducing an entirely new instrument before the main ones (piano and brass) return. Each section is quite short. A lot of it is long and drawn out, a lot of it is short stabby bursts of sound creating ... they aren't exactly melodies. They are stressful and discordant sections of peaceless fucking nuisance noise. A lot of it falls up its own ass and disappears into self indulgent nonsense. The whole genre does, that's why it only really works when it is totally underplayed. I much prefer regular melodies which you can relate to. Think its time to use some modern synths in here and see what we can come up with that is both trad jazz noir and yet very much 21C. And nothing at all like Blade Runner.

film noir
fɪlm ˈnwɑː,French film nwaʀ/
noun: film noir
  1. a style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. The term was originally applied (by a group of French critics) to American thriller or detective films made in the period 1944–54 and to the work of directors such as Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder.
    • a film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace.
      plural noun: films noirs

"low angled shots and wide angled lenses"
I was thinking this could mean stereo-panned dubsteppy bass and wide open ampitheatre halls (deep reverb).
trying to find an impressive picture to illustrate this email with. it sure as hell ain't easy.
my shadowed eyes are abstract chessboards squinting through blinds as twitchy as my trigger finger.
Man, we need some cello in here too. It's not going to work without cello. The big ones as deep as fat larry's laughter booming through the subway as he treads into the mists of time.

Next up: Burial (cant recall if it's his 1st or 2nd album). Soulless breakbeat. Urban sounds. It sounds more like concrete. I don't mean "music concrete" because that's 90% shit even if it was an important development in 'what music is' brought about by early-mid 20th century sound technology. Burial is modern noir in its own way. Minimalist and dark. That desperate, fatalistic futility. It's jazz with the jazz taken out, what is left after the storm clears.
What becomes of survivors after the movie is over?

piano and brass, cymbals and snares.
©2017 snakeappletree

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