So I wanted to pluck out a bunch of very famous songs from between the ’60s and ’80s where these stalwart rhythm-section warriors were able to eek out a few moments of their own in the limelight — those fleeting moments where any listener can catch the bass filling an iota of space very cleverly, or otherwise blending particularly well with the vocal, lead guitar, or other instrument. We’ll also examine the melodic techniques used in each case.
Now here’s pianist and composer Nils Frahm jamming out on his Roland Chorus Echo 501 so you can see how someone alters the tape loop in real time to create live warbles. It’s fun to watch, and even more fun to play with!
I might have been able to dig this deep into the chaconne from regular listening. I could even imagine learning how to play it on guitar, though only after my kids go to college. But being able to play around with the music in Ableton Live accelerated and deepened the process enormously. We should consider remixing to be a core competency for music educators, not just because it helps them understand all the music of the present (which is reason enough) but because it’s a superb tool for understanding the music of the past, too.
In fitting with the other composers on this list, British composer Anna Clyne has a list of awards and prizes that seem almost unachievable at her age! Some of those include a Grammy Award nomination in 2015 for her work Prince of Clouds, the Hindemith Prize in 2016, the Charles Ives Prize, and awards from ASCAP and SEAMUS, and, well, the list goes on. A student of the incredible Julia Wolfe, Clyne moved from the UK to New York City to continue her studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Wolfe and others. Drawing her influence from a wide range of creative mediums including art, theater, and contemporary dance, Clyne has been described as having an “uncommon gift and unusual methods.” Through her broad experiences and interests, Clyne has carved a truly fascinating and individual place in the world of contemporary classical music.