Aere's Music – Some Examples
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I have been a composer and a performer since my teen-age years. More recently, I have been doing a lot of musical improvisation, though the music I come up with sounds new-age, or classical, rather than jazz. Still more recently, I have been arranging pieces for the new musical instrument I invented.
This sampling of my music includes a few of all of the types of music I have composed, improvised, arranged, and performed.
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All of my musical life, I have been composing music, from the earliest days as a teenager, to present. I have included a sample of those compositions here.
Currently, my primary instrument is a Yamaha S90-es synthesizer, and also the KeyMusician Keyboard (the new instrument described below).
A recent piece of mine (below) was composed & performed on the KeyMusician Keyboard, using the “Tender Cue” voice of the DimensionPro synthesizer (on Windows). It was created as a tribute to my brother's wife, who died in 2016. I performed it at her funeral:
Farewell To Linskie
A common methodology in my composing, is to work out my ideas for an impromptu performance (usually using piano with a hint of strings in the background). When I'm confident I can improvise something good for the desired amount of time, I hit “record” on the sequence-editor, and start playing.
Usually within 4 'takes' I have something I like, and use the best one of them as a basis of the new piece.
As an example of that, I offer my composition “Impromptu 2 – Sunlight on the Water”, first as the piano impromptu piece it started out as, and then as the polished composition, with a small ensemble of instrument parts improvised with it.
Here is the piano impromptu performance the piece is built on:
Impromptu 2 - Sunlight on the Water – piano only
And here is the finished piece, with several other instrument parts improvised with it:
Impromptu 2 - Sunlight on the Water
Decades ago, I purchased a Roland D20 synthesizer, and did a lot of compositions on that. When I got my newer Yamaha synthesizer, I converted those pieces to be played on the new synthesizer. But where the new synthesizer was more capable than the old D20, I also added additional instrument parts.
In the two pieces offered here (originally from that period), there was only the string part on the Roland D20. All the other instruments you hear have been improvised against the original string part.
These pieces are reflections of my life at the time they were composed. The first (Nocturne), is from my dark night of despair, when it seemed there was no way forward. I am especially proud of my orchestration of this piece:
The second piece (“Goodbye-Hello”) is the piece coming from the dawn from that dark time in my life, a tearful “goodbye” to my life that was before, and a hopeful “hello” to my life yet to come:
For this next composition, I'm reaching way back into my past. It's my first composition, composed at age 16. It gives you a glimpse of my early works. It's still difficult to perform:
Etude in B-flat Minor
Over the past several years, my ability to compose music on-the-spot has increased markedly, as I have been working in that direction. Strangely, I am beginning to wonder if it is better to keep improving my improvisational abilities, and just perform impromptu pieces all the time.
The first composition on this web-page (above - the piano-only version) is an example of that. But also, the other instrument parts of the final version of that piece are also improvisation, though the process is more careful, and painstaking.
For my musical improvisations, I am using a different synthesizer, since the Yamaha is big, heavy, and not easy to transport. For the venues where I have performed musical improvisation, I use an 88-key MIDI keyboard, connected to a laptop, on-which runs the sound-generator (synthesizer). An amplifier is connected to the laptop for the audio output.
Also mounted on the main keyboard, is a mini-keyboard (of only two octaves). On this mini keyboard, with my fingers, I improvise a solo instrument part (usually an oboe), while my thumb of the same hand hits accented notes on the main keyboard an inch below.
I find that the solo instrument adds a lot to the variety of the improvisation, and affects in major ways, the direction the piece goes. And also, I really like the sound of the solo instrument as part of the piece.
This setup is very portable, and has a very good sound.
One other thing I do for enhancing the sound, is my use of what I call “composite voices”. This is done by sending the same MIDI performance-data to a main instrument (such as piano or guitar), and also to a secondary instrument (at less than half the volume), such as a metallic pad, or a string ensemble.
So in the pieces you are about to hear, the piano sound isn't just a piano, but has a 'touch of' strings with it – similar to my favorite piano sounds on the Yamaha S90-es. I do the same thing with the steel-string guitar sound.
So, first-off, here are a few examples of my musical improvisations. It uses a bright grand piano for the main voice, with a metallic pad as the background-voice. An oboe is the additional solo instrument voice:
Here is another example of my musical improvisations. This one uses the “Legend Electric Piano” General-MIDI voice for the main instrument, and a metallic pad (as above) for the secondary voice. Again, I use an oboe for the solo-instrument voice. On this piece, I especially like the ebb and flow of the musical currents, and the unexpected directions the music turns:
Another area of improvisation (which jazz musicians are much better at) is where I take a known piece of music, and improvise along with that piece, playing my own version. This is harder for me, as it constrains the musical directions available, but I can still do it. In this example, I use a steel-string guitar for the main voice, again with a metallic pad in the background, along with the oboe solo voice:
This next piece, is the above piece, with a cello part improvised along with it. The cello part was added (and recorded) using the new instrument described in the next section. Here is the piece with a cello part added:
Scarborough Fair, with Cello
The next piece is an improvisation I did with the rock band Marjum Pass, with their “Pink Buffalo” song (Copyright © 2015, Marjum Pass, used by permission). The band is named for a pass in the west desert of Utah.
I improvised a string-orchestra part with it using the KeyMusician Keyboard. You can listen to the song by clicking on the picture below.
Marjum Pass, at Marjum Pass – Pink Buffalo, with Aere
A Musical Instrument Of My Own Invention
In an effort to increase the success-rate of people learning to play a musical instrument, I have invented a new musical instrument, which uses the same sound-generation tools I use for my musical improvisations. Significant features of this instrument are:
Instead of trying to play several simultaneous parts, you play the solo part, and the indicated chords (as with a guitar)
All fingerings (both chords and melody) are the same, regardless which key-signature is being used
The notes you play are shown on the grand staff, in real-time, and you match the notes you play with what's in the sheet-music
The chords instrument can be totally different from the melody instrument, sounding like you are playing a solo instrument along with a string orchestra accompaniment, for example
You play chords not by contorting your fingers into complex positions, but by 'naming' the chord, in a few quick keystrokes
You can finger the next chord while the current chord is playing
It's much easier to learn to play than a traditional music keyboard
Though the instrument is easy to learn to play, it has advanced capabilities, giving you a lot of room to grow
A new musical technique yields a beautiful, unique sound.
Watch the video, taking note of the following details:
1. Chords, played with the left hand, are higher-up, in the middle-range, where they sound better.
2. The bass-line is played with the thumb of the right hand.
3. The melody is played with the other fingers of the right hand, way up high.
4. Layered voices (such as piano/strings), or orchestral sounds allow the use of those ethereal high notes.
5. The sustain-pedal control (which would blur-together melody notes) is not needed, since all the notes are within easy, simultaneous reach.
6. Notice how simple and easy it is to play, even after changing to a key-signature having 4 sharps.
7. Using a gamers' keyboard with anti-ghosting, you can play an independent note simultaneously with each finger - notice the 10-note chord at the end.
You can watch videos of me performing on the new musical instrument (the KeyMusician Keyboard) below.
Click on the pictures below to watch the videos on Vimeo.
Aere's NPR Tiny Desk Concert
String Orchestra Improvisation, at First Unitarian Arts Fair, May 2014
You can listen to several audio files of me playing the new instrument by clicking on the link below:
KeyMusician Keyboard Audio-File Examples
I have performed with the new instrument on numerous occasions. It's easy to transport.
To check out the new instrument (which you can obtain via the Internet), click on the following link:
The KeyMusician Keyboard Intro
The selections above give you a quick sampling of Aere's music. If you like it, and would like to hear all of her music, you can click the link below, which explores all of her music to date – album by album.
Here is the link to all of Aere's music, up through the end of 2016:
Aere's Complete Music Collection
(Back To AeresRealm.com)