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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.


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