Chinese Take-out

©2022 Michael Raven

As I mentioned, I am making a concerted effort to “just fart around” with some music to see what evolves from playing around with tools that I generally haven’t touched in my previous musical ventures. The main goal is not to necessarily create anything “good”, but to see if I can reclaim some of my more experimental creative phases from my youth.

Without going into a long rant, I made the mistake of hanging out with a few really anally-retentive musicians in my mid-20s until I quite playing music altogether with others in my mid-30s. There were only certain kinds of sounds deemed acceptable by these folks and anything with “the stink of play” was poo-poohed and put down. I became a “serious” musician to suit the bands I played with and, in the process lost some of the experimental play I enjoyed up until then. I have missed that, so I am trying to unteach my seriousness, worry less about “good” or “right” and just horse around to reclaim what I think was probably technically inferior composition on my part, but tended to be more “interesting” (including the time I purposefully used bass chords and tri-tones, for example, on a gothic song, which left the audience with an eerie tension by several accounts).

To show that I am hardly serious with this offering, I decided to name it Chinese Take-out. Don’t worry, it’s only a 30-second waste of your day.

I spent about 90 minutes playing around with this. Pulled up a series of drum riffs, put together a lead synth “warble”. To that, I added a piano/strings combo patch for a melody in C-minor (with some jazz added, damned if I know what you’d call it — C-minor (9/11)? I forgot most of what these things are since I don’t use the terminology anymore). Decided it needed some left-hand key chords and then felt the bottom was a bit empty, so I sequenced some gate-like bass.

This is a demo mixdown: no real stereo elements and no reverb effects other than what is on the instruments as part of their design. As I said, just relearning how to experiment and have fun.

It ended up nothing at all like I intended when I did the first couple of parts. That’s what made it fun.

9 thoughts on “Chinese Take-out

  1. Great fun – I’ll have a number 43 with a portion of boiled rice please!
    I get the ‘seriousness’ of music, but, at the end of the day let’s not forget it should be fun…and what counts as ‘art’ anyway?
    Looking forward to hearing some more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, a General Tso’s Chicken kind of guy, huh. Spicy!

      Yeah, in retrospect, I wonder why I put up with some of those folks for as long as I did. I mean, I got to troll them by playing “Owner of a Lonely Heart” just as they were about to do the countdown for some trad Irish tune, but that hardly makes up for some of the grief I got for other things.

      Man, they hated when I did that kind of shit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, ha! Great response too. I don’t have much time for people who’s idea of music is restricted to one band (or, indeed, one genre). Just spent a few hours today on a second hand 12 string that I picked up recently playing songs by Cohen, Bowie, REM, Interpol and Syd Barrett. I rest my case.

        Liked by 1 person

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