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Topic: Improvisation on In the Air Tonight

  1. #1

    Improvisation on In the Air Tonight

    Improvisation on ‘In The Air Tonight’

    I always wanted to do a cover of Phil Collins ‘In The Air Tonight’.. I think it is an extremely powerful sounding song. It has a haunting quality to it, it almost sounds like it might be a ‘holy’ song.

    Part of that is a low drone of A through out the song.. It ‘holds’ the piece.

    As I worked with the song, I realized how important the quality of Phil Collin’s voice and the lyrics were to the piece.. He has a rather plain, slightly nasal quality. But it adds to the emotion. It is an ‘everyday voice, an ‘anybody’s voice’.. He also sings the same melodic phrase quite a bit, which adds to it’s hypnotic quality. Without the lyrics and his voice, the melody wasn’t as attention grabbing. So I took considerable leeway with the melody and let a few instruments take turns sharing and improvising on the melody.

    I also continued to explore the avenue of sound design. Many of the instruments at the bottom of the score are only one staff, because they really don’t have a real designated pitch center.. And I could never fit all those staffs on one page.

    I searched for, created, and modified interesting (to me) sound patches, from Kontakt libraries, UVI Libraries, and a number of virtual instruments. I also layered some of the parts, with 2 or 3 different patches, at softer volumes, to create a richer tapestry on the one track.

    I tried to juxtapose a few traditional instruments, with totally ‘unreal’ instruments, and sound collages which I created. I did a fair amount of audio processing, using various audio mutation plug-ins to change the sounds and instruments into something different.

    I am trying to use created sound/ sound collage as an instrument in itself. It is more the strange harmonics, and processed rhythms to create an emotion.

    The Acoustic Guitar picking part is a function of the ‘Sunbird Guitar’ by UVI. It plays a picking pattern to blocked chords, hence I could not notate it properly.. Like wise there are a couple of patches, which have soft arpeggios build in (some of the UVI libraries) so without the MIDI out, there is not a proper way to notate them.. (maybe in next life, I’ll have perfect pitch)..

    This and the last few pieces I’ve done, are more an exploration in an area I want to explore. Eventually I hope to compose a huge piece with pieces more traditional (for me) and more exploratory.

    Improvisation 'In The Air Tonight' - https://app.box.com/s/71kquucrgp6mbhj57qt53h6yy9bwfxsc

    Improvisation 'In The Air Tonight" score -https://app.box.com/s/qhxwkf6mbb4180vs4w86mh5rip3o12uy

  2. #2

    Re: Improvisation on In the Air Tonight

    Brilliant music. You have a very advanced toolbox which you master impressively. I remember this song, Collins was a drummer in Genesis which later had a solo career, right?. And you give us here a very nice and interesting interpretation.
    With this talent and resources you have I look forward to hear some of your own compositions as well.


  3. #3
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Improvisation on In the Air Tonight

    That was quite a treat for the senses with all those treatments.

    I remember that song. You’ve created a pretty exotic version with your sound sculpting and delicate mixing.


  4. #4

    Re: Improvisation on In the Air Tonight

    Hi Angelo,

    Indeed, quite impressive. It's clear that you have a strong background of studio work and that you're familiar with recording techniques and mixing. I'm not in a position to comment on that. You're improvisation is very rich and varied, but to my taste a bit too long. To keep it thrilling, it would be a challenge to reduce it to half the piece, without losing focus and richness.
    As to sound and mix, you've done an excellent job we can only be jealous of. That's really your cup of tea.

    Please surprise us more!


  5. #5

    Re: Improvisation on In the Air Tonight

    Thank you guys.. One of my long time friends, a brilliant inventor genius, sent me a very hard critique to read.. But I've had as much or more work rejected and belittled as any other musician. Actually all his points had some validity.. But his saving grace, was 'I wouldn't bother if I thought the piece had no merit'.

    So after I finish my current piece. I'm going back to this and try to 'fix' it, and Max, yes I try to cut it down significantly. Sometimes I've gone back to a piece to improve it, and only made it worse.. Well this will be a good exercise..

    It's sometimes hard to critique some one else's work. You need an understanding of where they are; their musical abilities, and emotional build. If you suggest ideas that are just way beyond their musical knowledge, doesn't really help.

    I feel this is a very safe environment. Everyones' comments are productive, and coming from a positive helpful viewpoint..

    I've been to many sites, where some people are downright mean, and belittling.. and others will give high complements to a piece riddled with mistakes, wrong notes, bad chord choices etc.

  6. #6

    Re: Improvisation on In the Air Tonight

    This work is an explosion of sonic invention! Moreover, this marks the first time I have perused a score that contains lines for synthetic sounds. Very interesting! I enjoyed listening to the seemingly countless timbres all at once! You have inspired me to experiment with such arrangements! Well done!

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