Thursday, October 15, 2009



Depending on what sort of track I want to write, I will apply a different approach. The sorts of tracks I am most into making, and which are probably my most original, are my emotive, melodic works. So I will talk a little about how my creative/production process works in these cases, using the end of reason as a reference. This track was released on Traum Schallplatten as part of my Symphonica EP. I will not however, refer to this released version, but instead, to the unreleased ambient rework, which forms the intro of my live mix - Lipse, included here. I think this ambient rework of the original track strips down to what the track is really all about, acting as a better reference for the purpose of this commentary.

First off, if I’m trying to write an emotive track, I need some sort of emotional message to try and communicate. The clearer and stronger the message, the more chance there is that it can be faithfully translated into a piece of music, and evoke a similar response in a listener. There is a lot of noise (by which I mean randomness and imprecision) in this translation of an emotional message from me, to a track, to a listener’s response. This noise in the delivery of a message from person to person via music is an inevitable consequence of the fact that everyone has a differing response to music, based on their own experiences - there are no magical chords which make all people feel exactly the same way for example. Luckily, there is enough of an agreement, at least in the westernized culture which I am primarily writing music for, to allow for some level of fidelity in the message conveyed by particular pieces of music. Therefore it is possible to convey some sort of message, in spite of the noise in the transfer process. The relevance of this issue to my process of writing music is that I need to be as clear as possible about what emotion I am trying to convey when writing the track; the clearer the original emotion, the greater the chance of a successful transfer. This means that if I get a feeling about a track, I drop everything and get straight to the studio, often meaning starting something new at 3am on a Tuesday morning. I find that if I reflect back to the feeling of an idea the next day, it is diluted, at the expense of the resulting track.

In terms of what triggers an idea like this, it can be anything - a film, light reflecting off a window, anything really. It’s hard to say where creative ideas come from, but I would say it’s all about bringing together influences and experiences which are individual to you, in order to generate output original to you - I don’t believe in the magical creation of ideas out of nothing, and I find that if I spend all my time writing music and not enough time outside the studio, my creativity drops.

When it comes down to actually translating an emotion into music, I find it best to use sampled strings to create a basic chord progression capturing the feeling I want. The rich overtones of orchestral strings makes it easier to judge the properties of chords and their progression (as opposed to using synths), aiding the translation from mind to machine. I will usually then convert this basic chord progression into electronic elements, or as in the case of the end of reason, I sometimes use the strings in the track. I will generally then expand on this idea by adding melodies guided by the basic chord progression.

The actual conversion from idea to reality (how I actually write the chord progression) is done on a very intuitive basis. I try things out, and compare how a chord or chord progression makes me feel in comparison to the emotion I am trying to convey. All I have to do then is match the two emotions up. It’s a bit like multi-dimensional beat matching! Multi-dimensional because I would say emotions are defined by several scales, rather than standard, two-dimensional (time and amplitude) beat matching. And it’s not beats being matched, it’s emotions. Haha, if that makes sense! I don’t have any formal music theory training, although I did have my mum’s piano lessons as a regular background noise when growing up, so maybe that had some effect. In some ways I think it could be useful not to be trained in music theory, as it means there are no pre-conceptions about how to construct a chord progression, and it may be easier to focus on matching those internal (in the head) and external (out of the monitors) emotions. That said, a solid grounding in music theory would no doubt speed the process up.

max cooper - process part 167 (live - lipse) by modyfier

01. Max Cooper - The end of reason [Traum] - Ambient Rework
02. Extrawelt - Mit Liese - Max Cooper Remix [Traum]
03. Granlab - Industrial Romance - Max Cooper Remix [Broque]
04. Max Cooper - Wasp [Traum]
05. Dominik Eulberg - Sansula - Max Cooper Remix [Traum]
06. Max Cooper - Mnemonic [Traum]
07. Max Cooper - i - Max Cooper's Apocalypse Remix [Traum]
08. Cirkus - Simplicit [Trapez]
09. Marco Dassi - Narcotraffic - Max Cooper Remix [MCGroove Black]
10. Max Cooper - Stochastisch Serie [Traum]
11. Dan Cat - Winterslow - Max Cooper Remix [Playtime]
12. Cirkus - Hyperventilation [Unsigned]
13. Tim Sheridan - Villian - Max Cooper Remix [Veryverywrongindeed]
14. Max Cooper - Symphonica [Traum]
15. Pollyy - Pins and Needles - Max Cooper's Purple Haze Remix [Shrink Records]
16. Bigger Than Jesus - Check Point Charlie - Max Cooper Remix [54 Music]
17. Max Cooper - Harmonisch Serie [Traum]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i feel at home with this sound. just like as i do with burial. thx for this mix!
greetings from bamberg,

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max Cooper and the evolution of harmonic and melodic tech!! Sometimes i think, i can hear the variation, selection and restabilization in his sound...

12:50 AM  
Blogger boshi said...

power balance
winter boots
ecco shoes
Bakugan Toys
Movado Bold
Baby Carriers

7:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home