Remote Recording Workshops Spring ’21 Opt. 1: Thursday nights, April 8, 15, 22 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm EDT Opt. 2: Sunday afternoons, April 11, 18, 25 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm EDT These will all be conducted over Zoom – details TBA
These spring courses are for new participants who did not attend any previous workshops. Placement is limited.
These courses are FREE to accepted participants. Fees are funded by the generous supporters of Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars. These courses are given by Patrick Grant, composer, performer, and educator.
The aim of these workshops is to teach recording techniques as a participant in collaborative online projects either as a performer or a producer. A basic understanding of the physics of sound, acoustics, and microphones will be given. We will use the audio application Ableton LIVE as a Digital Audio Workstation as well as a compositional tool for all styles of music.
*** Through this work we can grow our creative community beyond the limitations we all experience. ***
The course is designed for Mac and PC users, laptops or desktops. Sorry, no tablets or smart phones. You must have a working audio interface to participate. This should be set up and running before we begin. If you require help, you should ask for assistance, but there’s plenty of resources out there for you.
If you need to purchase a good audio interface, we recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, but there many you can chose from.
For this course you can use an electric guitar, electric bass, electronic keyboard, or a good microphone and/or an acoustic instrument of your choice to participate. We just want you to use something that will make recording fun for you.
As stated above, we use Ableton LIVE as our default software. It works equally well on Mac or PC. If you need a copy of Ableton, you can download and use a functioning FREE trial version for 90 days at https://www.ableton.com/
The course syllabus is:
SESSION 1 – The Basic Physics of Sound – checking your interface, setting levels, creating and using a template for Tilted Axes (and other projects), initial recording, multiple takes, bouncing out your audio, Assignment A.
SESSION 2 – Acoustics: The Behavior of Sound in a Room – Post-Production, FX = Frequency, Dynamics, and Time, creating a multitrack recording, editing, panning, bouncing out your edited audio, Assignment B.
SESSION 3 – Microphones – miking techniques, multi-track recording over Zoom, extended editing techniques, paths toward more creative composition, the completion of the course.
Upon completion, participants will receive a number of professional and university level resources to take with them.
NOTE: Space is limited and these workshops often go into a waiting list. As a courtesy to all other applicants, please only apply if you intend on being at all three sessions. Sorry, partial attendance does not work for this course.
CONGRATULATIONS to the participants of our Winter 2021 Remote Recording Workshop for completing the course with honors.
THANK YOU to our supporters and co-producers who enabled these classes be FREE of charge to the community. We now have even more musicians and music to look forward to for Tilted Axes and all other kinds of new projects in our community to present to the public.
Look out for spring sessions coming in April.
Amy Denio “Patrick Grant is a fantastic teacher and delightful musician. Music creates community, and Patrick encourages this beautifully in his workshops.
Dave Fabris “…(an) insightful and inspirational class!”
Jeff Adams “I know more now than I did before. This mini course gives me more confidence moving forward with my recording endeavours!”
Peter Legowski “Thank you for your excellent how-to that was both inspirational and grounded in immutable properties of sound. You offered a simple useful approach for using the DAW – Ableton – that I already have more effectively, and opened doors to new creative possibilities. Yay!”
Henry Lowman “THANK YOU, Patrick, for expanding the possibilities! MANY questions answered. We proceed…”
Jeremy Slater “Thanks so much! It was great. I learned a lot!”
Kim Cary “This class has been eye opening and ear opening…fun and surprising in many ways.
David Ross “I learned many important aspects of working in the studio and with others that will now become a foundation. You have a great way of distilling the essentials in every topic that you presented. I came away with a much more solid understanding of the tools and components of my studio as well as your enlightened protocols for remote collaboration… I would definitely participate in any workshop that you might offer in the future.”
Joe Pfeffer “You’re super talented at the online format. I had a terrific time, and I’m smarter too.”
Angela Babin “Patrick is a great instructor – patient and welcoming while keeping our group on task and focused.”
Alex Durante “The workshop provided valuable insights into the art and science of sound recording. I had no prior experience recording music and he showed me the fundamentals of getting a good sound from my instrument.”
Jason Goldstein “Patrick Grant’s class provided me with a great introduction to recording on my computer. I really appreciate his time, effort, and expertise. I especially enjoyed our guitar ensemble recordings! I highly recommend this class to anyone who might be interested in it.”
Milica Paranosic “Thank you Patrick! I’ve learned a lot from you. As always.”
David Oskardmay “Many thanks! This is very helpful. Time to dream of wires…”
“I’m very happy receive news that I have received a very generous Composers Commission award from NYSCA to create new work for Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars as a project of Fractured Atlas. This means a lot more new music and performance in the 2021-2022 season! The group and I look forward to bringing this new work to the public ASAP. Thank you NYSCA, thank Fractured Atlas!” – Patrick Grant, creator and composer for Tilted Axes #gratitude #nysca #tiltedaxes #newmusic
A number of the new participants in our upcoming (and fully enrolled) Remote Recording Workshops said to me, “Thank you for doing this!” but I feel that these thanks are misplaced. The only thanks that should be given are to the supporters and producing partners of Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars that enable these courses to be given FREE of charge. The aim is to educate our artistic community so that more of us can create original audio of all kinds: music, spoken word, sound design, etc. and share it in new projects. It is for that that I am the one saying, “No, thank YOU for your support! None of this would be possible without the great community we foster together.” – Patrick Grant
Announcing Tilted Axes’ “20/20 Soundscape” as part of our “Points of Seeing” virtual event on December 21, 2020.
What is it? It’s 20 musicians bringing 20 musical cells each into a protean structure created and produced for the winter solstice. Musicians participating are: Aileen Bunch, Alex Durante, Amy Denio, Angela Babin, Chad Ossman, Christoph Götzen, Dan Cooper, Elisa Corona Aguilar, Gene Ardor, Gerard Smith, Howie Kenty, Jane Mabrysmith, Jason Goldstein, Jeremy Nesse, John Ferrari, Leslie Stevens, Michael Fisher, Michelle Zulli, Steve Ball, and Tony Geballe.
This new music and event are made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Tilted Axes is powered by Vox Amps USA. This event is part of Make Music Winter NYC and produced by Peppergreen Media.
Ten Mixes to Countdown the New Year every mix is a new composition
The Process: Unedited drafts of each mix will be posted here as they are created. When the set of ten is complete the process of editing will begin. Each mix will be edited for its structure, balance, and duration. Expect the results of each track to be be 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the original. In this way, it is much like editing a film: only the good bits need remain. From these transcriptions for live performance could be made.
The first of the first. Raw. This is an entirely intuitive and random AF “proof of concept” mix. The only effects used in this fairly clean initial mix is an overall reverb for room ambiance. Future mixes will incorporate more effects. It is a slight modification of the mix that was used as occasional background during the Points of Seeing live stream. The clip array was played entirely with single mouse clicks and drags (for now) as opposed to using an external controller. The clips are played in concept order of Staring (64 BPM), Looking (96 BPM), Watching (144 BPM), Observing (96 BPM) and Seeing (64/128 BPM). Some sections work well and others could be better, but this is a great sound to arrange structurally to develop as a composition. Thanks to all the players for putting your soul into this.
This is quieter. It concentrates on a clarinet quartet with percussion, all three bassists, with guitars and Stick supplying patterns as connective tissue. The clarinet quartet was created artificially by multiplying Amy Denio 4x and playing her parts in canon for unintentionally-intentional polyphony. The sense of quiet comes from staying within the 96 BPM of the “Looking” section and allowing only a handful of instruments at any given time. The sense here is Stravinskian in that an orchestral sized group is only deployed in smaller subsets at any given moment. The structure is approximately ABA with the woodwinds appearing only in the outer sections.
Fretted strings and indefinite percussion only. There is no winds, vibes or xylophone in this mix. This involved rebalancing all of the parts. It’s a different approach. Guitars were divided left and right into stereo pairs that shared a similar soft-amp plug-in. This mix works through the sections “Seeing” to “Observing” and ending on “Watching” (543 in terms of the original 12345 order). It’s interesting to hear accompaniment parts become the focus while “lead” parts fade into the middleground. This is a quality that will be refined in future mixes.
The mallet tracks are triplicated for random canon polyphony. The size of the guitar ensemble is reduced by half. The saxophone makes a number of middleground entrances. The piece grooves within a solid 64bpm (or subdivided as 128bpm) by staying within the “Staring” section for the first half and the “Seeing” section for the second half. Out of all the mixes so far, this one avoids any section where all instruments play at the same time. They don’t. They are always small, transparent textures. If one gets too big, it changes to a smaller group immediately or gets stripped down instrument by instrument before building a new section.
Multiple personalities exist within this single organism. There’s also lots of effects on the guitars here. The material stays brisk throughout drawing from the 144 BPM phrases of the central “Watching” section. There’s many different combinations of smaller groups, every player’s contribution gets heard within this mix. There’s a big buildup in the middle and one near the end. Skronky guitars play against long tones in the background in sections where the rhythm section drops out entirely only to quickly return with a vengeance. This mix represents the end of the first half of these 10 countdown mixes. There is a great difference between where they have came from and where they have ending up here. All in all, the larger piece, the total of all soundscapes, has been revealing possibilities along the way. The intuitive combining of elements heard so far has given many clues to what lies ahead in its further evolution.
This mix and the next one are experiments in texture. The group was divided (approximately) in half and a recording was made using only these musicians. The mix follows the complete Staring – Looking – Watching – Observing – Seeing (ABCDE) structure in that order. The musicians on this mix are: Christoph Götzen, Steve Ball, Michael Fisher, Elisa Corona Aguilar, Aileen Bunch, Angela Babin, Chad Ossman, Alex Durante, Dan Cooper, and John Ferrari (vibes, xylophone, and hand percussion).
This mix and the previous one are experiments in texture. The group was divided (approximately) in half and a recording was made using only these musicians. The mix follows the complete Staring – Looking – Watching – Observing – Seeing (ABCD) structure in that order. The musicians on this mix are: Gerard Smith, Howie Kenty, Gene Ardor, Leslie Stevens, Tony Geballe, Michelle Zulli, Jason Goldstein, Amy Denio, Jeremy Nesse (stick, bass, touch guitar), Jane Mabrysmith, and John Ferrari (drums and hand percussion).
This mix goes back to the full ensemble. A significant difference is soft amp plug-ins on all guitars (Waves CLA mono amps) set to various “clean” settings, as a way to get away from the overdriven sounds of the last few mixes. It is similar in sound and form to the very first mix, but with the added benefit of experience. Different combinations of instruments were tried, but some it it feels kind of lazy. After this mix it’s time to shake things up. Even so, there are many good moments here that make the effort unique and worthwhile. Look forward to some change in the penultimate and final mixes coming up.
This mix aims to break off from the grid (the session array) that has been used up to this point. For this mix the structure consists of the clips from “Looking” and “Observing” (both 96 BPM) being combined into each other with the clips being interlaced. This section then moves into the clips from “Staring” and “Seeing” (64/128 BPM) which have been similarly combined and interlaced. This makes any familiarity with the patterns triggered or memorized up to this point useless. In a sense, it is brand new in this way. As a result, some of the transitions are smoother than in previous mixes, but there are also many that are more jarring than found in previous ones. Any seeming disadvantage was used as an advantage wherever possible. Every strange jump was repeated to become integral to the evolving structure. How could this not be seen as a metaphor for the year MMXX itself?
Music writer Kyle Gann tells of composer Morton Feldman describing one of his string quartets: ’’It’s like a jigsaw puzzle that every piece you put in fits,” he says, ”and then when you finish it, you see that it’s not the picture. That was the idea. The jigsaw puzzle, everything finishes, and it’s not the picture. Then you do another version, and it’s not the picture. Finally you realize that you are not going to get a picture.” While listening through these mixes, that’s the effect I experienced. It’s like being like a tour of a very large and grand mansion, entering the hallway, going up and down the big staircase, seeing variations of the architecture along the way. Sometimes you can see rooms far away down the hall that you’ll get to later in the tour and then can look back at those rooms across the expanse to which you’ve been. I’d like this experience to feel like that to the listener at the very least. At the very most, this experience was a great proving ground toward future group collaborations. It works on a number of levels and can be adapted and refined. This is was a point of seeing, this was the finger pointing at the moon. Thank you everybody who contributed to this project, thank you to the sponsors who provided the means to make it happen, and thank you, yes, thank you to the Year 2020 that gave us the opportunity to grow under incredibly difficult circumstances. Let’s take what’s useful to us into 2021 and leave everything else that is not far behind, but to never forget.
We wanted to let you know about a new interview that came out today on the Fractured Atlas blog and about December events that are currently scheduled. All information is below and you can click on the links to find out more.
We are grateful to all of our supporters and co-producers. With your support we just finished giving our fall series of Remote Recording Workshops, free of cost to interested participants. That means we’ll have much more music for all of you to listen to in the near future.
Wishing you and yours a healthy and safe rest of November!
Monday, December 21, 7pm EST: Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars presents Points of Seeing, an online presentation of recent work with live performance and a Q&A with the public. Tilted Axes artistic director Patrick Grant hosts an event where he and members of the ensemble discuss their past, present, and future work through music, visual art, and interaction with a live audience. The presentation will focus on how Tilted Axes has adapted its creative process in the past year, what was learned, and a look ahead. Links to view or participate in the presentation will be announced in December.
The afternoon before, there is a live performance scheduled in New York City, that is, should conditions remain to be safe…
Sunday, December 20, 12 noon to 3pm EST: Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars performs A Tilt for Our Time, a new music procession and socially distanced public action through Lower Manhattan. Post-rock composer Patrick Grant will lead the group in a “tilt” from Greenwich Village to the East Village and back again with a ceremonial stop at the Astor Place Cube (The Alamo). Tilted Axes will present a program of new pieces created for the event along with classics from their catalog. Procession route and performance details TBA.
NOTICE: Due to the ongoing nature of necessary public health concerns, PGM/Tilted Axes is continually monitoring the situation. If A Tilt for Our Time needs to be rescheduled, we will let you know ASAP.
Points of Seeing and A Tilt for Our Time are made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Tilted Axes is powered by Vox Amps USA. Rehearsal space support provided by Alchemical Studios. These events are part of Make Music Winter NYC and are produced by Peppergreen Media.
On August 24, 2020, Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars will release a new music video in observance of International Strange Music Day. The new work, entitled “Strange Changes”, is part of a multiplatform meditation on the word “strange” and its many meanings.
In what could easily be the strangest year on record for many of us, 2020 brings with it a number of challenges for us to confront as a society and individually. The idea of strangeness and the unfamiliar are obstacles for many people. What is the source of the fear that these people are experiencing? How have the roots of these fears manifested into centuries old systemic barriers that need to be removed?
On International Strange Music Day, Tilted Axes invites people to begin this work simply: to listen without prejudice, to seek first to understand.
Tilted Axes is an award-winning project of post-rock composer and performer Patrick Grant, which brings especially composed electric guitar music into public spaces. The group consists of 15-18 electric guitarists playing instrumental music through wearable mini-amps, accompanied by percussionists and other performers. Stylistically the ensemble covers a number of genres, centering on the nexus where rock, classical, and world music meet. Tilted Axes performs in public squares, museums, and festivals of all kinds. Recently the group has been creating free online content in response to the current crisis.
“For ’Strange Changes’ the aim is to create something that relates to our shared moment and yet could be understood as a project by anyone anytime anywhere,” says creator Grant. “We don’t want to create another grid-style video. We’re compiling images and video footage from our musicians and other artistic collaborators and building a narrative, visually and musically, that encompasses the personal experiences that we are all sharing in this strangest of times.”
As in similar creations from Tilted Axes, expect a large complement of auxiliary material completing the “Strange Changes” picture: related music and mixes, visual art, interviews with project participants, and micro-productions popping up in social media.
1st row: Aileen Bunch, Alex Lahoski, Angela Babin, Anthony Garone, Christoph Goetzen, Dan Cooper, 2nd row: Daniel Reyes Llinas, Frauke Wilhelm, Gael Grant, Gerard Smith, James La Croix, Jane Mabrysmith, 3rd row: Jason Goldstein, Jeff Adams, Jeremy Nesse, Jocelyn Gonzales, John Ferrari, Jon Clancy, 4th row: Leslie Stevens, Marcelo Andrade, Michael Fisher, Michelle Zulli, Nomena Struß, Nora Elbayoumy, 5th row: Patrick Grant, Sarah Metivier Schadt, Steve Ball, Sudeip Ghosh, Thiago Cury, Tony Twilight
Strange Music Day is a “holiday” created by Grant in 2000 as an internet meme. Ever since then, the concept has gained wide appeal and has grown internationally. Observance of Strange Music Day has been adopted by radio stations, summer schools, music festivals, and used as a platform to celebrate music, performance, and sonic innovation all over the world every August 24th.
For complete details about “Strange Changes”, its August 24th International Strange Music Day release and related events, please follow Tilted Axes on Instagram, Facebook, or on its web site.
“Strange Changes” is presented in partnership with the Festival Música Estranha (São Paulo), Make Weird Music, and is made possible by generous private donations through our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas and with support from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Adjunct Development Fund.
We want to begin by acknowledging that this has been a difficult two weeks for many, our team included. We hope you are well and safe.
We’ve made the decision to postpone this week’s telethon.
We chose the date for this event prior to the start of worldwide protests seeking justice for the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor, to name but a few of the most recent victims of white supremacy and police violence in our nation. These protests have accomplished an incredible amount in a short time, and it is our fervent wish that the progress continues unabated when so much still needs to be done.
We believe that proceeding with the telethon as planned would be out of step with what the present moment requires. Attempting to generate attention for this event when it is needed elsewhere would be antithetical to our commitment to opposing racism and oppression.
We also acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the lives and livelihoods of artists, disproportionately affecting communities of color. Until we can produce a fully-fledged telethon at an appropriate time, we still want to amplify the work of our artists by sharing it with our larger network.
Specifically, if you’re using your platform as an artist to dismantle white supremacy and advance the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement, we would like to feature your work on social media and/or in our blog. Please complete this brief survey to quickly let us know about your antiracism work as an artist. We’ll be in touch if and when there is an opportunity to feature your project.
Rest assured, we still plan to produce this telethon event (and others like it) with your fiscally-sponsored project featured in the lineup. If you’ve already started spreading the word about this telethon and invited folks to our Facebook event, you have our thanks, not only for promoting the event but also for understanding the need to disrupt the plan. You can share this announcement with your audiences via the URL below.