Notes on the Writing Process

Dice

The process of writing ‘Dice’ was a relatively simple one. I decided to start with this particular method as I felt it would be the easiest to attempt with my limited knowledge of the experimental processes. I found that I could apply the number values that were generated by the dice to notes on the guitar. When drop tuning my guitar to a variant of open A, all of the strings harmonize with each other meaning that most combinations of randomly generated notes will harmonize also. I worked out a riff to apply the notes to and simply played the fret numbers according to the dice.

 

Dominos

With this technique it falls very similarly in the same category as Dice for its likewise number generation method. The difference in this technique is that its not quite as random as the dice. With the dominos, a game is played and then the outcome based on the string of numbers accumulated in order through playing is the data used to write the song. For this I decided take the numbers and put them into sets with which I would create a riff. I could then arrange my set of riffs so that they would compile a recognizable song. Without doing this and just incorporating all of the numbers into one string, the song would not be palatable as a piece of music.

 

Dissonant

This process was the most enjoyable for me personally. The process was simply taking notes that clashed and incorporating them into a progression, riff or idea that could be palatable and harmonic as a melody. I found that writing in this way resulted in some progressions that were surprisingly similar to some of Jeff Buckleys work. I took the lyrics from this song from the book ‘A Young Doctors Notebook’ by Mikhail Bulgakov by randomly choosing pages and lines of dialogue from a number generator. This allowed for some unique lyrics as the book is set in 19th century Siberia so the language and terminologies used were interesting and relatively uncommon in more mainstream music.

 

People

This was a very enjoyable process as it took away my creative freedom as a writer. By allowing others to write the music they feel they want to hear, you are automatically creating music for a demographic of people. I simply allowed several people to dictate to me how I should write sections of the song. They would provide input on whatever they felt the song required at the stage they were given to work on. I then compiled all of the suggestions and inputs to the final song.

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