Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sleigh Ride in a Fast Machine

Yes, it's been a slow ride here on the blog this Fall, but I do still churn out my share of words on Twitter, having just hit the 3500 "tweets" milestone. You can see all 3500 on one page here (warning: page may load slowly). Every now and then I get off a decent one-liner, like with this tweet.

And, every other now and then, the Twitter world inspires something over here on the blog. So it is that one @AndreiStrizek, having noticed my inability to resist a good mashup, sent out a good-natured challenge for a melding of two John Adams' works (Nixon in China and China Gates) into a Nixon in China Gates. Good idea, combining musical and verbal puns, kind of like with my The Rite of Appalachian Spring. But I don't really know my Adams all that well, and it's not like I've got all day to sit around doing this sort of thing. However, the music appreciation text I use does feature Adams' popular little curtainraiser Short Ride in a Fast Machine, so I've gotten to know it well enough - and once the post title above occurred to me, the following was beyond inevitable:

My poor family. My wife and oldest daughter just sort of sigh now when they hear these kinds of sounds emanating from my "man cave" - but, hey, I've been reporting to work all week while sick and coming home exhausted. If I choose to do this with my evening time instead of watching two hours of TV, who's to judge?

It's not the most sophisticated thing, but it did take some tempo tweaking to make things work out right, and the ending required a bit of manipulation. The rest is pretty much straightforward mashing, but I think it works - going on this Sleigh Ride seems downright boring now. As for the animations...well, I set myself a strict time limit, so nothing sophisticated there. Kind of in the same vein as Swan Loop, if you want to chart connections with my previous work, as future historians will no doubt be doing.


Ab said...

Your family may have sighed, but my 6-month old burst out laughing when she saw this... as did I. Thanks for the laugh! (Abby H)

Andrei S said...

What programs do you use for your audio & video editing/animating?


Thanks, Abby (one of the best sopranos I know - hope you're still singing somewhere out there.) Reminds me not to neglect that 6-month old demographic - they're the blog readers of the future.

Andrei, I mainly just use Adobe Premier Elements ("Elements" being the bargain version of their video-editing software.) I'm sure there are much more sophisticated audio editors out there, but this is very easy to use, at least when it comes to simple multi-tracking, time-stretching and the like - and then I can mix in visuals as I go. said...

My husband, younger son and I loved it! :-)