Monday, December 11, 2006


The raga that I recorded a little while back has been getting some loving attention from artists over at MacJams. Offering up the six-minute track for an open colloboration in the forums got a flurry of nibbles from inspired musicians who are even now contacting me for the raw data file. The first two tracks are both intense.

The first, called "Raggier Muffins" (a second version of a track originally, and cleverly called "Raga Muffins"), is by a MJ member who goes by the screen name Pete_NB and it adds a sea of chiming electric Stratocaster guitars to the mix, layering textures over the original dulcimer track. It's a mind-blowing approach that sticks very close to the tonal spirit of the original.

The second, called "Sunday At Little Beach", goes in a completely different direction and with stunning results. In recording "Raga111806", I played in a free rhythm without metronome or click track, not thinking that I would be doing more than one track. When I posted the colloab, I'm thinking that if it got any bites at all, it would be mainly melodic or textural, but only rhythmic if someone was ready to do quite a bit of work. Well, this particular MJ member, who goes by the screen name of "Bad Smells", managed to slip a tight four on the floor heartbeat rhythm along with keyboard washes and loopy guitar licks into the mix, ebbing and flowing with the dynamics and emotions of the original dulcimer track. It's an astounding bit of compositional insight, matching the spirit of the main instrument and weaving an aural coccoon around it, occasionally painting with such broad, sonic strokes that the contrast nearly eclipses the dulcimer before retreating like a wave back into the sea, leaving the earth tones of strings, plucked and snapped, to reappear as a musical beach.

Now that I think about it - the title really does reflect that.

There are a few others who are currently working on versions or who have just started, so there will be more to come. This is such a joyous thing to be involved with - working with other people around the world on music by way of our computers - there's one thing about the 21st century that is the absolute shiz-nit.

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