Meta (a piece in a piece)
I have been interested in micro-macrocosmic structures since I heard John Cage’s Three Dances for Two Prepared Pianos (1944) a couple of years ago. Meta is basically this concept taken to an extreme. By this I mean an already micro-macrocosmic piece is sampled and re-used in a new version of itself.
The macro structure of the initial piece is in 5 sections, is palindromic and is 5 minutes long, with the sections following this structure:
The sustained sections all feature a synth loop of 5, 10, 25 and 50 seconds and the percussive sections all feature a loop of 2.5, 5, 12.5, and 25 seconds. The central section uses a combination of these loop lengths with some silence, so that the samples can be experimented with in that section. I used the session view in Ableton Live to help structure the piece. I used analogue, modular and FM synthesis for the loops, with an example of each in every section.
The second part of the process was sampling and re-contextualising the existing material, on top of what had been previously recorded. I established that there would be no changes to the original material once I began sampling. I decided to follow the method of using samples from the percussive sections in sustained sections and vice versa, so as not to overwhelm an already existing texture. I also wanted to re-use samples in different ways to their original purpose, so manipulated all of them in Audacity, with occasional effects and processors in Ableton. In some cases, I was able to make percussive ideas sustained and vice versa. This allowed the piece to transform into something different, whilst still being based entirely on itself.