Notation...

Posted by: Ana B

Notation... - Mon, 14 Mar 2005 18:01:00

Dear Billy,

I am interested in how much your formal musical training influenced the way the songs were composed.

When writing songs with Ultravox did you notate everything down on stave paper? Or did the songs arise out of improvisations with the band.

In the case of Vienna, were some parts (ie.the string arrangements) notated.

Thanks very much for your time!

Ana
Posted by: Billy Currie

Re: Notation... - Mon, 14 Mar 2005 19:43:00

I allways had manuscript books while making albums. Say, for example, "The Ascent" on RIE, It had to be written down first.The chords were changing all the time. Some parts I used to try and keep in my head. I was a doer so Playing it with the band was allways the first option. Sometime I wrote at home first, like the music for what became " DWTIME". Usually the music could be kept just in my head. I did score the middle section of Vienna. I some times have a look at it now. There are drawings all over it!
It was half score half map. For the string part in the middle I just wrote down Strs at the point they should come in. ie Last beat of the bar. C - Dmin . And then just improvise the part. My parts were allways a mixture of Very Definite Note by Note or try things until I got what I wanted. Loose ish so to speak. I still work like that now. Hope this helps,
Posted by: Ana B

Re: Notation... - Wed, 16 Mar 2005 01:56:00

Billy,

Thanks again for your time and reply. Certainly very interesting info!

Ana B
Posted by: DJ K.A.L.I.

Re: Notation... - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 15:21:00

I wondered about that too. How the songs were composed. Were they written down all the time or just done by memory.

I did some charts for myself when I DJ'd. The song title, the speed, what track, and what to do with it. (Interrupts, Build-A-Bridge to get to the next song, Blend, Turn up Volume as you mix the second song in etc.) that was the only way to do it.

Instead of just throwing songs together I thought of a story line. That is hard. I had the idea of telling a story within the songs.

Then you get Orphans, songs you can't find anything to go with them. You'd think that wouldn't happen, but it does.

Those days are over now. No good parties in Pittsburgh. cry
Posted by: Ana B

Re: Notation... - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 21:38:00

And some musicians think DJs are not 'proper' artists... NOT true!!!

I'd love to know what songs are orphans and what stories you've told?

There must be plenty of opportunities in a thriving scene - the Musicians' Union now has its own section in the directory for DJs.
Posted by: Ana B

Re: Notation... - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 21:39:00

Sorry just realised you're in the US and I'm not aware of how the scene is there...duh.
Posted by: Mr. Weirdo

Re: Notation... - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 00:28:00

well ... really good deejays know their stuff by heart & doesn't need a list anymore !!! wink

... & always remember : keep @ least 10 or 12 so called "bullets" in the back of your record case , in order that your originally planned program simply doesn't work as u thought it would !!! wink

however ... many greetinx to all deejays in here from olaf a.k.a. deejay doc jones , who did those deejay thing very regularly between 1993 & 2003 , but has abandoned it since then ( as a club or party deejay ) , because the spirit nowadays jus' isn't the same anymore !!! *sigh*
Posted by: DJ K.A.L.I.

Re: Notation... - Sat, 30 Apr 2005 14:38:00

Quote:
Originally posted by Ana B:
Sorry just realised you're in the US and I'm not aware of how the scene is there...duh.
The local scene here is dead, but as far as Orphans go...a lot of good House songs were made "You Open Me Up" is one of those whorey little housey luv-in songs, but what in the world would go with it if you want to do a whole set like it?

I usually tried to have a Theme set. Rebelgade was all-out war, (pre 9/11 and I wouldn't get away with doing that now!) And then I made Hugs & Glitter which gave you ALL FORMATS you would here like in the old '92 days. All sorts of Techno was played.

I thought of the Thunderbolt Kennywood Amusement Park coaster when I made that tape, and it worked out perfectly, but the ALL HARDCORE people didn't understand why suddenly they would here trance, and complain! I warned them in advance: "This was like the old days dude, new songs, same feel!" But the Pittsburgh scene was tiny compared to say a bigger place like the West Coast who probably looked down on us for even having attempted something decent. (Pittsburgh is not noted for having anything good.)
Posted by: DJ K.A.L.I.

Re: Notation... - Sat, 30 Apr 2005 15:19:00

Quote:
Originally posted by Olaf:
well ... really good deejays know their stuff by heart & doesn't need a list anymore !!! wink

1. It all depends on the vinyl. Did you know Techno records are not the same as regular records? You can always run into the dreaded 1/2 and 1/2.

The 1/2 and 1/2 works like this. It looks like a normal record and may play like one until the second song, and you wonder why the record gets stuck. It won't go to the next track. The second track is supposed to be played from the label on out! See how this can be a problem? Especially when this is the reverse formula! The outer track is reverse, and the second song is played like a normal record.

2. Not all speeds are the same for every piece of vinyl. What looks like a 33 1/3 may actually have to be played at 45. Or, you get the same size vinyl and it plays 33 1/3 but you never know until you get these things. (Then there is the creative stuff, slow the 45 down to 33 1/3 to get a normal sounding vocal, even though it should be 45, but now we are getting very complicated, and I am very tired. frown

3. The Techniques have +8 at the bottom -8 at the top. The Gemsounds have +8 at the top -8 at the bottom. These are speed settings to help you mix songs. They are also confusing when you have Gemsounds at home and Techniques to work with outside the home. To be a good DJ you don't really have to work on Techniques at home. I see the advantages, but not really necessary. Especially when all you can afford is second-rate equipment. I think it makes you better actually. smile

4. Not all mixers are the same. What you do at home may or may not be done with a mixer you have never seen before. Memory won't help you a whole lot here. If I wrote in the margin, "Begin slide on 3rd cling" I knew what it meant. Count the "clings" (well...what the hell else was I gonna call them? They weren't bangs or thumps, or any known sound!) And I used some other silly-write stuff I used to understand what I was going to do up there.

5. I also remember if I am going to use a record again, to put it so I can get it real fast. I messed up one night, I stuck a record in the back of the box, and then I couldn't find it, and the record I had on played thru, but it was good it did that, because it sounded much better, more complete than me doing the interrupt with the other record.

6. Some memory helps, you can time a song to go out and dance with your friends and know what time to come back and get to work again.

7. The only other thing I did to, is when I bought the records from the store, I immediately taped what I was doing on the 4 track. A lot of messing around happens but some really great brilliant things may happen, and you want to know how you did it. I even took notes then!

... & always remember : keep @ least 10 or 12 so called "bullets" in the back of your record case , in order that your originally planned program simply doesn't work as u thought it would !!! wink

I also call it cutting it down. The stuff I had on tapes I sold I knew would not work well played live. They just wouldn't. It wouldn't be in the timeslot I was given to do all that I wanted to do. I just took the necessary stuff, and some "fill" if needed, but most of the time, I played within the given time.

however ... many greetinx to all deejays in here from olaf a.k.a. deejay doc jones , who did those deejay thing very regularly between 1993 & 2003 , but has abandoned it since then ( as a club or party deejay ) , because the spirit nowadays jus' isn't the same anymore !!! *sigh*
I couldn't agree with you more on that. There is no scene in Pittsburgh, and I am not sure of other cities, and really, I don't see the reason to keep on with it. I don't know the people, and I don't want the problems that come with it.

No venue here wants to open it's doors to drugs and everything that goes with it. They had enough of the problems, and wanted to do nothing more with promoters, DJ's the whole lot. It just wasn't feasible or even safe. Now, there is nothing.

I haven't played since 2000 and I really haven't listened to the tapes I kept. I COULD put them to disk with the new Macintosh coming our way HOPEFULLY soon, but really, Rebelgade? Pre 9/11? I don't think that's such a great idea. It was ok at the time, before any of that happened, because no one knew it would happen or even could. Now that it did, it's like, "What's the point of playing this?" So I wouldn't bother.

Hugs & Glitter would be a more historical tape because of the Formats I have on there reflected something like a party from 1992. Exactly the way it was, different music, same idea. But no Radio Station here plays Techno or wants to, and I don't know of any clubs who continue with it. I don't want to pay $10.00 to a club and listen to Britney Spears. I'd rather run in front of a speeding train!

Things to do Today:
1. Buy Milk
2. Do Laundry
3. Run in front of Speeding Train if I have to listen to Britney Spears!

yuk
Posted by: Mr. Weirdo

Re: Notation... - Sat, 30 Apr 2005 20:30:00

hey dj k.a.l.i. ! smile

wow ... i never expected such a detailed reply , as my comments weren't meant THAT serious , albeit they were still what i thought about that matter !!! wink

however ... i know of all the things that u've described so detailed in your points 1. to 7. , dear kathleen !!!

fyi : i've already started as a deejay back in 1985 , playin' electro , ol' school hip hop & early house tunes back then ... & in the early 90s i've changed my style more to techno & its likes !!!
between 1993 & 2003 i did the deejay job professionally for money @ various smaller or bigger events & have been a regular @ many clubs & parties around my northern germany area back then !!!
i've also played a lot of drum 'n' bass & similar breakbeat stuff since the mid-90s until today , but i was definitely THE_ONLY_DEEJAY in my area , who ALWAYS played @ least some real electro tunes in his set over all those years !!! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Cool]" src="cool.gif" />
nowadays it's sadly quite "fashionable" around here to play electro or so-called "electroclash" tunes & almost ev'ry "trendy" ass ... erm ... "deejay" does it ... except me , as i quit doin' that job 2 years ago & only concentrate on my various radio show projects since then , where i still can play exactly what i want to play & don't have to ask anybody , if it's "their stuff" then !!! wink
i'd also taught myself how to scratch , do backspins , create loops , cut 'n' blend & stuff like that over the years , so i think that i really know , what i can do & also how to do it on whatever equipment comes along @ a party or event !!!
the cheaper the equipment , the better for the learnin' process & how to deal with it in the best possible way !!!
ev'ry "trendy" ass could mix on two technics turntables & a pioneer mixer with beatcounter & effects nowadays !!!
u really can't call those wankers "deejays" anymore , sorry !!! evil
almost ev'ryone of them simply lacks a real musical background & has absolutely no history or true experience as a deejay !!!
they're jus' wanna-be's , who do it for one reason : the money !!! *sigh*
sorry , but that's simply not my scene anymore !!!
i'm too ol' now for such kiddy games !!! <img border="0" alt="[Shake head]" title="" src="graemlins/shakehead.gif" />

Quote:
6. Some memory helps, you can time a song to go out and dance with your friends and know what time to come back and get to work again.
*hehehe*
i also did this once ... only to hurry back the very next moment as a stupid jerk has hit the decks & scatched the record that was playin' !!!
never again since then !!!

btw : durin' my time as a professional deejay ( 1993 - 2003 ) i NEVER did a set without a soundcheck of the p.a. & the whole equipment before the party started !!!
if the p.a. & the equipment was simply crap , i jus' refused to use it & haven't played my set that night , because i've learned from bad experiences since the mid-80s how such bad equipment can jus' ruin the best deejay sets !!!
i don't wanted to be payed for a good set on bad equipment nor for a bad set on good equipment , but only for "a good night out" !!!
nothin' more or less that this !!!
if i refused to use crap equipment , i only asked for my expenses & not for the deejay set money , which is jus' fair game then !!!

Quote:
But no Radio Station here plays Techno or wants to,
that's why i've established our own jvr network with some deejay colleagues around my area to play "our sound" also on the radio !!!
we were playin' "outstanding dance music since 1995" ( which is the subtitle of our website btw wink ) in our own radio programme & since about 5 years it's also transmitted worldwide ev'ry sunday between 4 & 7 p.m. cet ( german time ) via i-net livestream ... yeah !!!

Quote:
I don't want to pay $10.00 to a club and listen to Britney Spears. I'd rather run in front of a speeding train!
best joke of the day , kathleen !!!
maybe u should listen to tori chlumsky's version of a britney song called "i WASN'T born to make u happy" instead @ http://www.indiscover.net/item.php?id=110 then !?
what a fantastic rip-off of our favorite wanna-be bitch !!!

anyway ... c u ( maybe back on "the wheels of steel" one fine day !? wink )

- olaf a.k.a. "the d.o.c. in da place 2 b !!!"
Posted by: DJ K.A.L.I.

Re: Notation... - Mon, 09 May 2005 14:26:00

Quote:
Originally posted by Olaf:
anyway ... c u ( maybe back on "the wheels of steel" one fine day !? wink )

- olaf a.k.a. "the d.o.c. in da place 2 b !!!"
I got something even better than the wheels, I just got introduced by a new Macintosh something better! Garage Band 2! I can make my own stuff!

I didn't know anything about it, but got a tutorial today, and will go to a class on Tuesday to get even more info. I can't wait! Woo Hoo! I wanted Reason at one time, but that's $200.00, and I can't buy that right now. Maybe after I am married and shove it into Dave's Dell. Oh, yeah! But for now, let's do GarageBand 2!

GB2ILUVU!
Now, to buy a car and put that license plate on there like that...
lmao
Posted by: DJ K.A.L.I.

Re: Notation... - Mon, 09 May 2005 14:32:00

Quote:
Originally posted by DJ K.A.L.I.:
Quote:
Originally posted by Olaf:
[b]anyway ... c u ( maybe back on "the wheels of steel" one fine day !? wink )

- olaf a.k.a. "the d.o.c. in da place 2 b !!!"
I got something even better than the wheels, I just got introduced by a new Macintosh something better! Garage Band 2! I can make my own stuff!

I didn't know anything about it, but got a tutorial today, and will go to a class on Tuesday to get even more info. I can't wait! Woo Hoo! I wanted Reason at one time, but that's $200.00, and I can't buy that right now. Maybe after I am married and shove it into Dave's Dell. Oh, yeah! But for now, let's do GarageBand 2!

GB2ILUVU!
Now, to buy a car and put that license plate on there like that...
lmao
[/b]