Black Ripples


Black Ripples – a composition for Disquiet Junto Project 0319 – February 2018

I’ve been tinkering with electronic music off and on since 1983, mostly off in recent years. I’m using this week’s Disquiet Junto project to get my feet wet again and to learn Ableton Live. So, this is my first Junto project and my first project with Ableton Live.

The assignment: make a composition with the same melody repeated but with notes appearing and disappearing. I created my melody as a ripple of adjacent notes on the black keys of the keyboard, swirling up and down the keys like waves. I adjusted the note velocities so higher pitches played at higher velocities. I quantized and legato-ized the durations to give it a mechanical feel.

Next, I replicated the melody numerous times, manually muting one or more notes from each replication. Usually I followed some sort of pattern, such as muting every other note, muting all the notes higher than a certain pitch, muting all the descending runs of notes, etc.

All instruments are from the Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 collection. The melody is layered among several instruments and sometimes riffs between them. Some drones come and go to fill the gaps and pull the piece together.

I had fun digging back into my musical toy box and creating this piece. I hope to compose pieces for future Junto projects!

4 thoughts on “Black Ripples

  1. definitely funky. The different rhythm speeds with the high and low notes makes for a complex audio textures that feed off each other. Well done.

    1. Thanks Dave! The base melody is composed of straight 16th notes with no adjacent notes at the same pitch. I think that was the key (no pun intended) to making those complex rhythms possible.

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