The List: Works are listed in reverse chronological order to their start dates. Some compositions are dithered (unlinked) where the respective piece, whether listed as a part of a single composition or as a distinct composition within a series, has been taken out of chronological order for presentation purposes.
As of 7/04/18, this catalog includes one hundred completed musical files.
Musical Works 2019-2015: Some with simpler tastes may judge my music as being overly phlegmatic and containing too many notes. More discriminating ears will call it clumsily unorthodox. My music is not different in the hackneyed avant-garde sense, with metal filing cabinets being dragged across reverberating warehouse floors for acoustical effect, or endless series of poly chords being stacked like cigar boxes on top of one another. Rather, my music is vaguely familiar, but like Asian knock-offs of American apparel where the belt buckle is oddly too large, but not so large as to merit discussion. It creeps up on you, and is “different” in that way, which is both the best and worst kind of different.
These selections include tributes to Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem and base metals, as well as a Wagnerian chronicle of several regional road trips through the Midwest and Arizona.
107) The Temple of Slights 2/14/19
106) Maragine Hammer/ Five of Cups 1/22/19
105) Two Swords 1/07/19
104) The Mooncalf 11/20/18
103) Antecendents 11/01/18
102) Thrift and Industry 10/29/18
101) Noble Gases, Abridged 5/15/18
100) Aspartame in Episodes 4/09/18
99) Compass Jerusalem 3/30/18
98) Palindrome 2/27/18
97) Machine Winter 12/06/17
96) Food Court 11/06/17
95) Impareggiabile 11/05/17
94) Incompleteness (Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, 1) 9/22/17
93) Base Metals 7/25/17
92) Surrexit Dominus (w/ Up Side of Down) 2/16/17
91) Up Side of Down (w/ Surrexit Dominus) 2/16/17
90) Nashville, TN (w/ The Road Trips) 8/19/17
89) Saugatuck, MI; Holbrook, AZ; Baraboo, WI (w/ The Road Trips) 3/28/17
88) Dark Fanfare (w/ The Road Trips) 2/14/17
87) Plateaus of Arbitrary Effort (Part 1) 6/13/15 (w/ Part 2)
86) Plateaus of Arbitrary Effort (Part 2) 8/22/15 (w/ Part 1)
85) Eventual Etude No. 3: Umbrella Men Sans Magritte 10/05/15 (Linked within Series )
Musical Works 2014-2012: Several haunting works are found here, including a meditation on a suicide forest in Japan, a lamentation on batteries in landfills, a tribute to a cargo cult deity, and an elegy written for my deceased parents.
84) Eventual Etude No. 4: Asphaltum, Indiana 4/22/13 (Linked within Series )
83) Scepters of Incidence 8/17/14
82) Elegy/ Empathy’s Advent 11/25/13
81) The Perishing Doorway 11/02/13
80) Worlds Much Longer (Part 2) 5/09/13 (w/ Parts 1 & 3 )
79) Beige: R233, G220, B162 4/22/13
78) Ancient Astronaut: Bep Kororoti (Part 2) 11/4/12 (w/ Part 1)
77) Ancient Astronaut: Bep Kororoti (Part 1) 9/29/12 (w/ Part 2)
76) Parachute 7/02/12
75) Worlds Much Longer (Part 3) 5/18/12 (w/ Parts 1 & 2)
74) Worlds Much Longer (Part 1) 5/02/12 (w/ Parts 2 & 3)
73) Aokigahara, Suicide Forest 4/14/12
72) Meddlers and Sealants 4/09/12
71) Breathable Cotton Wife Swap 2/10/12
70) Lite Brite Ponies 2/03/12
Musical Works 2011: This year saw the beginning of a piano etude project, and the creation of several unclassifiable works like Deltoid Fuchsia and Aerodyne. The former opus presents the plight of a surviving member of a murder house while the latter delves into the etherealness of Ganesha, the Hindu elephant deity and remover of obstacles. I lend my voice here and there to compositions, but do not anticipate this as a trend.
69) Soviet Bunk Bed 10/31/10
68) Aerodyne (Part 1) 1 9/31/11 (w/ Part 2 )
67) Symptom Palace 9/08/11
66) Deltoid Fuchsia 7/25/11
65) Rapprochement 7/07/11
64) The Garden of Capitulation (Part 1) 6/20/11 (w/ Part 2)
63) The Garden of Capitulation (Part 2) 5/19/11 (w/ Part 1)
62) Pastorale 4/21/11
61) Eventual Etude No. 2: Wigwam E Pluribus 3/16/11 (Linked within Series)
60) Dionne Quintuplets: Astral Projection 2/25/11
59) Boyhood Reptile 2/21/11
58) Lung Maiden 2/04/11
57) Hummingbird Colossus 1/25/11
56) Eventual Etude No. 1: The Annotated Toupée 1/04/11 (Begins Series)
Musical Works 2010: Where repetition is a hallmark of pop music, I begin to employ it less in 2010, largely because the novelty of the software instruments had worn off. (Besides, I was running out of percussion loops that interested me.) There are several pop/rock/classical mashups here, like Integral Lap Comb and Memory Arsenal, and also a full-length ballet about a Portuguese interloper who disrupts the hotel accommodations of visiting royalty.
55) Azure L’Amour 12/16/10
54) Dormice Sync 11/14/10
53) Brute Rainbow 10/22/10
52) Found Candy (Valentine Ex nihilo) 10/06/10
51) Non-Popcorn Arm 9/28/10
50) buxis ab vinum inflexibilis/ fragment b 9/24/10
49) Lavender Raygun Sequence 9/21/10
48) Divertimento for Piano 8/12/10
47) Integral Lap Comb 7/23/10
46) Memory Arsenal 5/28/10
45) Benadryl: Enlarger of Prostates, Giver of Sleep and Allergy Relief 5/10/10
44) Ritilan Before Breakfast 5/08/10
43) Sleep-in-Late Japanese Girlfriend 3/30/10
42) Corn in My Poop 3/13/10
41) The Icarus Transfigured Suite: Nadir Mound 3/08/10 (Linked in Series )
40) Aerodyne (Part 2) 2/21/10 (w/ Part 1 )
39) Toner Depletion 1/25/10
38) Waxworks: A Ballet in Eight Scenes 1/18/10
37) March of The Absentminded 1/15/10
36) The Goat-Footed Balloon Man 1/9/10
35) Pretty for Deodorant: Three Short Pieces 12/25/09
Musical Works 2009: The tunes are catchy and mostly short. Through Garageband in 2009, and later in Logic, I experienced a prolific musical renaissance as an erstwhile former music composition major. Synthesizers and altered drum loops abound.
34) Pedicle in The Regency Style 12/14/09
33) Warm Laundry 11/24/09
32) Beautiful Monster 11/07/09
31) Godzilla and The Long Arm of Funk 10/17/09
30) Pillows and Pillars 10/08/09
29) Infant Kal-El (w/ Escape Krypton) 9/28/09
28) Trumpets of Paraffin 9/26/09
27) Escape Krypton (w/ Infant Kal-El) 9/25/09
26) Aerosol Cheeses 9/14/10
25) Drosophila 9/12/09
24) Whirled Peas 9/07/09
23) The Orgone Box 8/31/09
22) Lullaby in Chalk 8/02/09
21) Spirits of Escalators 7/16/09
20) Agnus Dei 7/02/09
19) Vehicular Man Salad 6/29/09
18) Bikini Ribcage 6/22/09
17) Rare Paycheck 6/12/09
16) The Icarus Transfigured Suite: Emma 6/02/09 (Begins Series)
15) Reasonably A Vampire 5/27/09
14) Nacht und Traume: Memphis, 1976 5/18/09
13) Olestra: Box Lunch Adventure 5/10/09
12) The Icarus Transfigured Suite: Stonesthrow 5/07/09 (Linked in Series)
11) Lactose Summer 4/28/09
10) Tupperware Ignes Fatui 4/26/09
9) The Lamp-Shaded Tower 4/23/09
8) spukhafte Fernwirkung (Spooky Action At A Distance) 4/18/09
7) Seldom Organs 4/02/09
6) Polymers of Insincerity 3/27/09
5) Aberrant Star 3/20/09
4) Popeye Rotoscope 3/19/09
3) Merry Christmas, Clowns! 3/14/09
2) Cowboy Philosopher 2/?/09
1) Provocateur 2/?/09
Notes on Music Mixing: Vanity persuades most musicians to pursue composition by limited means of their talent to utilize musical instruments, which is never as comprehensive as they might imagine. I was never more than an average guitarist and a marginally better pianist, yet felt stymied by cliche chord progressions in the former and a lack of virtuoso ability in the latter. Writing through software instruments removed both impediments. As I am a visual artist, I approach musical notation visually, where pattern, movement, and counterpoint of notes between bass and treble staves are envisioned (intuited) like brushstrokes. The evolving melodies takes shape by mysterious means, much like a sculptor shaving or adding lumps of clay where he imagines the underlying form to grow through a functional space.
As I have said, most of my first and second year Garageband musical creations, dating from 2009, were written in as little as seven to ten days, whereas mixing these compositions has been an effort ten years in the making. Of all my artistic undertakings, none have been more frustrating than mixing music. The endeavor can only be likened to a game of “whack a mole,” where a problem resolved in one area creates a problem in another. The latest mix is always, regrettably, a compromise, where you can never get everything you want.
In my case, I like a strong presence of drums and percussive elements, especially where there are no vocals to center the piece. To achieve this presence, the drums must be given plenty of head room, with both high and low frequency elements hitting the limiter’s ceiling most frequently. This requires the volume of other instruments to be lower. In headphones, this lack of competition creates a sense of spaciousness.
There is a sweet spot one finds in commercial recording of music, which begins around 2000kHz to 8000kHz. I call it the crew cut, as a sample waveform of the music will look like the State of Nebraska. It is difficult to articulate this group of frequecies without evoking horrors of scraping metal or shreiking Banshees. This explains the heavy use of electric drum machines and finger snaps in commercial music, as they fill up this terrain gently with aid of a little reverb. The key is effervesce or ambient brightness, where the air carries a presence without noise.
The choice is this: you can either have “presence” or you can have “spaciousness,” but you cannot have both. Classical music is about the blend and not the volume. Two high quality microphones and a recital hall will do the job, with maybe a bit of EQ tweaking on the master mix. Where there is more physical separation between instruments, inconsequential sounds, like soft finger thumps on a fretboard, add realism to the experience.
The use of high quality software instruments does not fix these problems. Rather, peaks and valleys across an entire range frequencies is more probable where the originating instrument was close-miked. Digital and hybrid synthesizers, but also pipe organs and full symphonic strings, can add heft and evenness to the crew cut, but no adventrous composer wants to use these fixes on every composition.
I am convinced that the crew cut achieved in commercial recording is artificially induced. The tape delay feature in Logic gives me a way of artificially padding this region of frequencies, but it does so indiscriminately, creating more harshness than brightness, which hurts my overly sensitive ears. I dare say that it is for similar autistic reasons that I use a black background on my web pages: The LED screens of current computers hurt my eyes. One may conclude that my website is a ‘autistic friendly environment’: made by an autistic and (probably) for the primary consumption of other autistics.
My sister recently reproached me (though gently), by stating that my online novel was too esoteric and wordy to be read. I reacted with a prepared statement, where I referred to H.P. Lovecraft who, in my mind, wrote not so much for adolescent males as for fellow autistics through his esotericism and dog-eared thesaurus. Doubtless my novel does not, in similar fashion, aspire to communicate with every day people about every day things; and this is the exclusionary curse in being autistic. Perhaps in the future this division between neurotypical creators and non-neurotypical creators will be better appreciated; and autistics will no longer need to justify their unique creative choices.
Roots: This roll-over is a set of Polaroids taken of the composer in either 1980 or 1981. The tuxedo is a rental, which was required for a male choir recital I was to perform in that evening. I present nothing of the compositions I wrote during that time on these pages, and in no small part because of the contemporary nature of the pieces and their atonal effects, which cannot be replicated with the software instruments I have. I may explore more of this music later, and possibly present it through a separate set of links.
I am not encouraged in the prospect of this venture. My musical compositions of this period are much like the cartoons of my early youth. They begin with promise but quickly fall prey to distraction; they are rarely finished. I am willing to entertain the possibility that I have a mild form of Attention Deficit Disorder.
Books Excerpts and Musical Notes| To pad many of these pages, the listener will find additional text at the bottom of the page. Beginning with 78) Ancient Astronaut (Music7.html), sample pages from my novel-in-progress are provided. These excerpts can be navigated in order by following the links.
Copyright © 2019 michael l. teague all rights reserved