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Jazz recording with built in improvisation
  [vote for,

Jazz recordings seem less interesting to me, since jazz is all about improv, and you don’t really know what your going to get. Great musicians freestyle differently in concert showing off there musical expertise, But with CDs the same track is played the same way over and over again. What if we had a cd that has multiple sections of the same track, the player then combines those random pieces to make a whole piece. Making it seem more like an improvised music number.
mjhughes, Jul 16 2003


       Music = instrument + artist. I think you're missing the artist part of this equation and will end up with random music, which is rarely any good. (I'm assuming by "player" you mean the device that plays music)
Worldgineer, Jul 16 2003

       John Cage might say that unique ambient noise during each listen differentiates that experience from all others. Were an artist to deliberately incorporate change (I'm picturing a cadenza which mutates based on some pseudorandom input each time the record is played, like Apple's trippy iTunes visual effects) into the record, tho, I'd be intrigued! Would you still consider it music, [Worldgineer]? Wouldn't the playback circuitry then explicitly become part of the musician's instrumentation?   

       A crescendo roll from me.
n-pearson, Jul 16 2003

       I'd definately consider it music, but it might or might not be good. If the artist can create great music in a psudorandom way, I'd be intrigued as well. However, having the player randomly pick parts of tracks seems to me unlikely to sound good.
Worldgineer, Jul 16 2003

       <<I'd definately consider it music, but it might or might not be good.>>   

       Aye, there's the rub, as always...Duke Ellington said it best.
n-pearson, Jul 16 2003

       Im thinking 30 second to 1minute clips, that are made by, chopping up a song played by a jazz musicians multiple times. Short enough to make it sound differnt each time, long enough to make the music stand out and not the randomness of it.
mjhughes, Jul 16 2003

       Would this not result in a disjointed cutup effect? Not that that is a bad thing per se, just that it could limit to usefulness of the effect. It would be very difficult to make the separate tracks segue correctly, unless they each start and end with on a similar note.   

       Pehaps just have a series of single note tracks on a single CD and hit 'random.' With a separate unadulterated jazz drum track on a different CD, on a different machine. Hell, have several separate single-instrument jazz CDs like this to create your very own unlistenable jazzwank Zaireeka.
my face your, Jul 16 2003

       Jazz *does* sound different each time *if* you're listening to an quality player. Hint: The Hawk Flies High.
thumbwax, Jul 16 2003

       Many good CD re-issues of older jazz albums will include alternate takes from the original recording session, but I see what you are getting at. There's one album I have that has three different takes of one song. I like the intro on the second one, and the sax solo on the third, wouldn't it be neat to mix and match?   

       [mfyf] This can be done without jarring breaks in the music, if the join points are carefully chosen. This would have to be done in the mastering process, not picked randomly. I.e. someone would have to make a conscious decision where the edit points would occur, in such a way that the music would still flow.   

       I have another album with two takes of one song, the first one was originally ruined by a balky tape recorder during the intro. In order to recover it on the album, they edited the intro from the second take onto the remaining part of the first take, to get a whole song that worked. You can't tell where the cut is.   

       This might be easier to bake on DVD, as the format natively supports "seamless branching" from track to track, and I think you could create the desired randomness in the menu software.   

       Interesting idea. +
krelnik, Jul 23 2003

       last thing krel said.. +1   

       in fact its better than that, its - inspired.
po, Jul 23 2003

       You would need a computer algorithm to really do good improvisation - returning to a theme, combining licks of varying relatedness etc. But the program could come on the CD. Neat idea.
bungston, Jul 23 2003

       my reasons to vote for this idea: I would really like this to exist. It'd be like a personal concert all for yourself, new every time.   

       my reasons to vote against this idea: I'm with Wordgineer: it "might" be possibly done, but the human feeling behind the music will be lost and, to me, that's not music.
Pericles, Jul 23 2003

       Those of you that are commenting about "computerized improvisation" and randomness I think might be missing the gist of this idea.   

       The idea is not to replace the artist's improvisation with some computer generated version. Rather to augment it by mixing and matching tidbits the artist already improvised. Note the authors own annotation.
krelnik, Jul 23 2003

       I get that, but unless a song has no sense of continuity then any randomness in section selection will be a step back from interesting music.   

       I would think it's like a computer placing person-painted objects together to make a scene. Sure, the horse was painted by a person and the lake was painted by a person but a combination of the two, though mildly entertaining, would lack the intellegent vision of an artist.
Worldgineer, Jul 23 2003

       Let me try another explanation. Suppose for a moment a very simple song that has 10 segments of a few bars each, which we will label with a symbol.   

       The first performance: ABCDEFGHIJ
The second performance: abcdefghij
The third performance: 0123456789

       Now you break the three performances up into their parts, and you mix them. However, you DO NOT mix randomly, for instance you would not create a performance like Aa09hGEdj. At each break you have exactly three choices, which are the "next" slot in the three peformances. So there are 3 ^ 10 possible performances, such as these:   


       ..etc. You are NOT randomly juxtaposing elements of paintings, you are taking segments of songs that are designed to flow into each other, and putting differently peformed instances of the segments together.   

       I believe it would work, and it would sound good, but you would have to take alot of care in choosing where to break up a given song.
krelnik, Jul 24 2003

       I believe I absolutely understand your concept, and would like to hear it. However it would limit you to segments that have no song-wide meaning, which seems to me to be a very limited art form. You may have different examples in your mind than I have, so I feel this is a good place to agree to disagree.
Worldgineer, Jul 24 2003

       //limit you to segments that have no song-wide meaning//
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Are you talking about lyrics?

       I was assuming this was limited to instrumental numbers only (my music preference is admittedly biased toward instrumentals).
krelnik, Jul 24 2003

       Sorry, not verbose enough. No, not song lyrics. I'm talking about the basic flow of the song. (realizes how tough it is to describe jazz in ascii) Say you have a piano with only 9 keys numbered 1-9. If you have a pattern of 29774 at the beginning of the song and the same pattern is brought back later on in the song it forms a nice continuity. Add together many other patterns occuring with the same and other instruments and you get a song rich with something I was calling "song-wide meaning" - something not available with this method.
Worldgineer, Jul 24 2003

       wow, i just saw this idea..   

       i think it would work! If you have some sort of AI to observe the pattern of the music, you probably could have sensible transitions between a few parallel tracks.   

       The AI should be able to observe the volume, pitch, and beat of the music, better still break the music down by instruments and observe it as seperate wave forms. With some designing, it should be able to identify a nice timing to switch from track A to B.   

       What about about another idea.. change the concept of a recording - make it not one recording of a band, but the parallel playing of many recordings of individual instruments. I am not familiar with such stuff, but i guess its sorta like DJs mixing the music, just that instead, its an AI driven automated process.   

       What do you think?
Rius, Jul 24 2003

       To avoid any form of discontinuity in pitch or timbre the instruments which are being mixed and matched would have to finish exactly on the beat at the "joint points" . This rarely happens in jazz, and I'm sure it would be almost impossible to achieve for existing recordings. However I'm also sure a skilled artist playing a bespoke piece could incorporate the requirement without,as it were, missing a beat. I would absolutely love to own such a recording, if only to marvel at the apparent seamlessness of artist and producer working together to achieve this effect.
egbert, Jul 24 2003

       The application of this concept as envisioned by the author is not to jazz but to house, which already is broken into segments, already largely prerecorded and electronically generated/sampled and is relatively devoid of soul (as compared to jazz). The ABCdefGHI idea could be done in house music without the "joint point" difficulties mentioned by [egbert].
bungston, Jul 24 2003

       Loop editors and algorithms and utilities to define loopable sections in music already exist in a mature form (Acid Pro, for one). Doesn't seem like much of a stretch to use such technology to dynamically create different versions at playback time.
bristolz, Jul 24 2003

       Oh and by the way, welcome to the bakery [mjhughes]. Neat first idea. (WTAGIPBAN).
krelnik, Jul 25 2003

       Most classical music, and I suspect other genres as well, are assembled from the best part of various takes. If the producers were involved in assembling the fragments and blending them, I don't think this is any less a composition than what we are hearing today...
dbsousa, Jul 25 2003

       I have been thinking about this idea. Once the sample/mix program is hooked (can I say slaved? Slaved!) to an AI with algorithms for sampling and mixing, another aspect of the AI should constantly troll for new sampled bits - TV sound, radio, the web. These "found samples" would be integrated into a constant, realtime streaming dance mix. The end result would be a dance mix that incorporates not only rhythm and sampled riffs, but also snips of dialogue, ad jingles, the Crocodile Hunter saying "Crikey!" and other reflections of a societal snapshot.
bungston, Aug 11 2003

       Some of you seem to really understand what I was going for others seem a little shaky. If you have other ideas that spring from this idea that is dandy but I was mostly trying to convey this. I love Dave Matthews Band. He is so much better live then on CD. Every time you hear a new live version of CRASH its always slightly different. For instance some times he will add “I will be your Dixie chicken if you’ll be my Tennessee lamb” some times he doesn’t. All the time during a song he or one of his band members can brake out into a solo or do something very cool. What I would like is a bunch of clips of the same song played differently each time the clips would fit together cause the would start and stop at same places. It might take one clip 30 secs to get to the same place as another that took 6 secs but they would all stop start at the same place. Sometimes DAVE would sing Dixie Chicken line, other times not, but instead he might solo for a while. I don’t want to cut stuff from things he has already done. I want him to sit down and improvise specifically for this CD. Hope this helps, thanks for all your comments guys!
mjhughes, Sep 30 2003

       I might listen to Dave Matthews if there was a chance the Crococdile Hunter might break in with a "Crikey!".
bungston, Sep 30 2003

       How about triggering the "licks" from the dance floor? Sensors placed around the dance floor would control which parts of the solo were played?
stringstretcher, Oct 27 2003

       I thought this was how a lot of jazz was produced already. It always sounds like half a dozen blokes, with beards, cigarettes and pints of real ale all playing a different tune. Well it does to me anyway.   

       Can't really understand why you would want to make it any more random than it already is.   

       One thing I used to do when I did a bit of DJing was to beat mix two different (vinyl) mixes of the same tune together. that was fun and could be done with a decent cd. mixer, if you happen to have the kit.....
briandamage, Oct 28 2003

       "random" is what makes life interesting... It is what makes no two croissants exactly the same, so you can still recognize one as a "croissant," but it is unique to the world, like you and me. cheers!
stringstretcher, Oct 31 2003


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