"Aruba '85" [3.1 MB .mp3]
We're having sort of a heat wave here: nothing compared to Texas summers, but I'll go along with it. In honor, this piece has kind of a jazzy, tropical, Latinate feel. I wrote the melody fairly quickly a few days ago but felt it still needed something, so I busted my hump writing some harmony parts. I wish I could say I learned something about chord theory but I'm still doing everything mostly by ear. The challenge was to write additional notes and variations on the main theme without losing the original syncopated character of the verses. On the third iteration there's a kind of barrelhouse thing that's not very Latin, but it's interestingly quirky and lilting so I left it in. The "bass" is the characteristic Mutator twang bending some tuned drum notes--it stays constant through the piece, maybe too constant, but it's only 2 minutes. The rest is percussion from various sources.
Update: I guess I should mention that just because I said the piece "has kind of a jazzy, tropical, Latinate feel" doesn't mean it is jazzy, tropical, Latinate song. I think it's an "art piece" in that the repeating electronic bass line is static and trancelike in its textures and the jaunty electronic piano parts seem to be imparting forward momentum the piece doesn't have. Thus those iterative piano parts hang like fruit in jello to be individually considered for their simple but rather classically fabricated harmonic structures. The song is supposed to be problematic but also fun and pleasurable in a way I think a lot of 20th Century music wasn't.
Update 2: I took out the griping in the above update--that's a constant temptation with a blog. Thanks to Pierre for listening and documenting the process of recording this piece on his end--he is turning surfing into a Fluxus event with his series on listening to music.