1/40 Pop Song 2071 C.E.

I recently released an album entitled “Masked and Dreaming“. Below is a copy of a letter I sent to CBC in hopes of having the song played on the radio. For anyone interested in hearing the song, a short sample is available at the website above, or you can purchase it from a variety of online retailers. Even better: contact the CBC and ask them to play it!

Dear [ CBC ]

I have attached a piece of music here entitled “Pop Song 2071 CE” which I thought you might enjoy. It is an imagining of what a pop song might sound like in an possible future, year 2071. I chose this date as its 100 years after the year of my birth.

About the music:

  • I used Brian Eno’s concept of “games for musicians” in this. That is, each musician was given a cue card with a “role” to play, and none of the musicians are able to read another’s cue card. Each brings their instructions to the session and plays according to those instructions. An example of a role would be something like: “Your parents come from Ulan Batar in Mongolia and Sao Paulo, Brazil. They met in France during a period of great cultural foment. You are a synthesizer player steeped in the traditions of post atonal harmonic structures, and with a passion for ancient musical traditions. You are known for creating sonic landscapes which listeners have likened to fractal cloud structures hanging and constantly shifting in the air”.
  • I am referencing a kind of “Blade Runner” aesthetic a la Vangelis: a future that is smear of cultural traditions, technological references, and blurred distinctions between types of intelligence.
  • the lyrics to the song are written in a kind of polyglot futuristic patois of Japanese, Chinese, French, Russian, Portuguese, Pan-African, and English. Phrases are perceived by the listener like brief moments of clear vision when traveling through a fog or scrolling through radio frequencies
  • the “guitar solo” is generated using a sophisticated computer algorithm that allows a user to simply select from a series of parameters. The algorithm then creates the solo in realtime while “listening” to the supporting musicians, playing something slightly different each iteration.
  • I am joined in this song by several musical friends:
    Yui Minghua Novgorov: voice
    Xiao Ge Wen: guzheng
    Levon Pogossian: bass
    AGNIS: “guitar” (Algorithmic Guitar Noospheric Interactive System)

I hope you enjoy what you hear.

Best wishes,

Tim Gerwing

Pop Song 2071 CE

Pop Song 2071 CE (Masked and Dreaming)

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  1. Pingback: 3/40 On the future of algorithmic music | Tim Gerwing: A Personal Blog

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