Once again, I present a [syzygy] album. Once again, it has an entirely different sound than anything that has come from the project before.
What ties [syzygy]’s albums together is an approach of minimalistic experimentation and a musical atmosphere of unease. In the case of [visitor], the experiment was to see what could be done with just my untuned piano and a fretless bass. In the case of [ouroboros], it was to see what could be done with only a mixing board plugged into itself. With [xendeavor one], the experiment was to delve headfirst into the world of microtonal* electronic music.
The vast majority of Western music uses the 12 equal divisions of the octave tuning system (12edo). These songs use 7 other possible EDOs (10, 11, 15, 19, 31, 37, and 85), an overtone scale, and an undertone scale.
The term “microtonal” tends to conjure expectations of extremely dissonant, noisy, and/or unstructured music for some people because a lot of music labeled “microtonal” fits those descriptions. But it doesn’t have to! There is plenty of melody and harmony available to utilize within these systems. And you get the bonus of unique intervals and chords that are impossible in 12edo.
Since I discovered microtonality a few years ago I have really wanted to make this album. I tried to start a couple of times and was never happy with my results but this time it all clicked. I am very excited to share this with the world.
* If after reading this you have no idea what I’m talking about here, see the “Microtonality” section of my Loiterer – Adrift writeup for some further explanation. Or check out the Wikipedia article.
Are you bummed that TabIt’s Tab Area disappeared, leaving us without our database of beloved songs?
If so, you’re in luck! I figured out a way to back up the entire site (which adds up to nearly 300,000 files) and was doing so regularly specifically because I was concerned about this eventually happening. Hopefully the original comes back online someday… but if not at least we still have all the tabs.
Would love help with adding a working search function if anyone has knowledge of such wizardry.
…On paper, Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze should just be another ambient black metal band, but they are a sweet, sweet baby of some of the decade’s best-blackened offerings. While tragically underrated, Offerings of Flesh and Gold is a lovely fusion of sounds ancient and modern, offering furious black tremolos and riffs, doom percussion, hypnotic repetition, and unhinged vocals, all drenched in cold waves of ambiance and noise. It seems a doozy at three tracks and 47 minutes, but there never feels like a moment of filler, resulting in a surprisingly accessible listen. Mark this one down as one of the year’s most surprising…
…I recently made the offhand comment to a friend that they should listen to this album from start to finish uninterrupted, in a dark room, on good quality headphones. And then I told them that it would change their life. The more I think about it, the less sure I am that it was a joke. A truly immersive listen to Offerings of Flesh and Gold is a powerful experience. Rolling between atmospheric parts and blistering black metal, Offerings grabs on in an incredibly visceral way. Meditative and ritualistic, the album takes me to a different place when I allow myself the time to be immersed by it in that manner. I walk away at the end and feel like I’m entering the world anew from somewhere slightly different…
GRIM CHRISTMAS jsou jen malý úkrok. Nejde o léčbu. Jen zmírnění příznaků. Když už to musí bejt… Stejně jako minulý rok nasazuji sluchátka, když jdu ulovit znojemské okurky do bramborového salátu. Funguje to.
Kolekce deseti blackmetalových rychlovek od coloradského mladého zvukového mága Jona Lervolda mi pomohla přežít minulý rok a skvěle funguje i letos. Multiinstrumentalista tu bere ty nejprofláklejší nástroje černého kovu a kuje s nimi ty nejotravnější koledy pod sluncem. Slyšel jsem již mnohé metalové vánoční covery, ale tady se kloubí mistrovství jak ve věrnosti k předlohám, tak ve znalosti žánru, který je na ně aplikován. Jon tu pracuje s lehkostí a samozřejmostí. Takže, když už to musí bejt…
Tonally Inverted Version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s Title Screen
What is tonal inversion? Basically, every melody, chord progression, or complete song has a “mirror reality” version hidden beneath itself. In order to discover this alternate version, you take the notes of the composition and flip them upside down, so that every interval becomes inverted. For example, if the melody goes up two full steps and then down a half step, you make the melody go down two full steps and then up a half step. When you apply this process to a major chord, it becomes a minor chord. Ionian (major) scales become phrygian scales. Aeolian (minor) scales become mixolydian scales. And so on and so forth.
The part I find most interesting is that if the original composition is musically coherent, the negative version will always be musically coherent as well. It may not be as moving as the original, or it might be a totally bizarre piece of music overall, but it will always at least work musically.
So what does the Nintendo 64 have to do with this? It turns out N64 games are great for applying this concept because you can directly rip the MIDI files and soundfonts from the games. What this means is that you can create tonally inverted versions that are extremely accurate to the original compositions. The timbres, timing, and note velocities are identical; the only difference is that the notes are upside down. The other benefit to applying this process to songs from N64 games is that, at least for millennials, these songs are fairly universally known and beloved. These types of transformations are much more intriguing than when you hear the concept applied to an unfamiliar piece of music.
A few months ago somebody launched a website where you could input any text and an AI algorithm would generate audio files reading that text back in Jordan Peterson’s voice. The site was quickly taken down after Peterson posted a rebuke saying that use of this technology should be very illegal, but not before I had managed to generate the files heard in this video.