Musical Idea 25: Anti-staticism

03.22.2014 § 1 Comment

This is basically just an urge to think generally less of being in something for a while, then switching to something else… think of yourself as being at something only at a point and then immediately move on, whether a tuning system or a rhythm or a timbre or any aspect.

But here’s a specific example for rhythm. Suppose we have a three against five polyrhythm going. Then we want to metrically modulate. The pulse that provided the five remains the same but the pulse that was providing the three drops out; in this latter pulse’s place a new one appears that pulses five for every three of the old five. And certainly you could switch right back. Cool, but still kind of boring.

The first thing I’d suggest changing is rather than resting in one and then switching to the other and resting in it for a while, only have them approach these ratios but be other than at points in a state of transitioning from one into the other.

However, in effacing the effect of the metric modulation, what would result is merely a seeming back and forth tempo increase tempo decrease, because they’re both ultimately the same polyrhythm. So the next thing I’d suggest is that rather than having one of the two pulse streams unchanging and the other one changing, as if to take advantage of the fact that one of the pulse rates does not change from one point to the next, make them unnecessarily switch. In other words, the old five would become the new five, and the old three would become the new three (rather than the old five becoming the new three, and the old three becoming the new five, as was previously described).

Furthermore, the amount of time it takes for them to switch can be changing. Perhaps early in the song it takes forever, but by the end it takes only a bar. Or perhaps it’s randomized.


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