Sure, I work for Automattic now, but when I was in college, I actually wanted to be a music teacher. While pursuing my degree in music education at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, I took an instrumental arranging course and one of my assignments was to arrange a pop song for an entirely instrumental group. I choose Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls, and since then, my arrangement was been played regularly by the university’s MIDI Ensemble (which I have volunteered in as a coach since graduation).
There are so many great arrangements and covers on Soundcloud, that I figured I might as well dig through my old school archives and finally put it somewhere more appropriate than a dusty CD in the corner of closet. So, without further chatter, here’s my 2006 arrangement of Iris for flute and other stuff, mechanically performed by the heartless instruments of GarageBand.
Those of you who followed this blog before I cleared out the three-year-old cobwebs may remember that it was called Shadow of the Unicorn. Well, that name was no random creation. It refers to one of my favorite songs from my father’s band, Polyhedra.
So, what better way to re-boot the blog formerly known as Shadow of the Unicorn than with a post featuring the original Shadow of the Unicorn from Polyhedra’s 1987 Iridescense album?
Yes, those are whale sounds on the guitar, and my father on saxophones.
Polyhedra albums are primarily sold in person at various gigs, but you can track down some copies of Technicolour (their second album) and even an original Iridescence LP at Amazon. Of course, considering my connection, I may be able to facilitate a sale if you so desire.
Update: Polyhedra’s albums are now available at your favorite online music venue!
After another hour of playing around with GarageBand, I have discovered its biggest limitation. I guess you can never have enough loops. There’s always a cadence or a transition that you just wish you could have. I suppose that’s the point at which you hook up your own instrument and record a quick part, but I don’t have time for that as of late. Well, enough of my chatter. Here’s another fun tune composed of a few audio and MIDI loops (with some minor changes made to the MIDI loops). Sorry about the sudden style changes. As I have stated above, I’m still trying to figure out a good way to cope with the lack of transitions out of over a thousand loops (yes, a thousand really isn’t much in this case).
I stayed up late last night just because I wanted to try out GarageBand. Little did I know that I’d be sucked into its endless void of just pure fun. Working with GarageBand is being like a kid again. All you have to do is combine several loops of sound and attempt to create a song. Of course, you can also plug in any instrument to add parts to your creation. After just about an hour of work, I finally came out with something that I’m happy with for my first “creation”. It’s a two minute piece called Folk Fire that is composed of just a few audio loops and basically works off of layering parts.