Henry Leacock

April 22, 2012

More Refinery

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Henry @ 9:40 pm

So, yes. We are going to talk about improvisation here in this blog. And also some other things. But mainly, if you are looking to improve your improvisational skills, whether you’re an instrumentalist, composer or academic then you will find insight here.

I’ll start with a bit of background. I’m a computer programmer by day and practicing composer by night. I aspire to create music for television, film and video-games using software to compose scores and synthesize sounds.

I have been studying music for almost 15 years, including my higher education at Webster University, culminating in a bachelor of arts in music. Additionally, I have racked up a number of credit hours in computer science.

Computers have provided a direction for my work. Not only my livelihood during the day, but it is the way of the future when it comes to music. However, this blog will only partially focus on synthesizing sounds with a computer while a great deal of focus will be on the more universal topic of functional harmony, melody and rhythm.

Apart from other topics we might touch on why there are so many programming musicians,  the important role that music plays in this digital age, and why hipsters have evolved to what they are (I am a self proclaiming and proud hipster).

So, some tools. There are lots of tools out there. Books are good, internet resources, blogs, social networks and the list goes on. My personal favorite are the Real Books with it’s various editions. Pretty much everything you need to know about improvisation is encoded in those books. Then I like using lilypond to input scores into the computer and I currently play them back with Mac’s Logic Pro 9, though I hope to move in the direction of using csound as my default synthesizer (just as soon as my understanding and facility of it mature to the point where it allows me to give up Logic).

My writing style will err on the side of technical seeing as this is a technical blog. Though, there is the possibility (and I encourage it) that discourse will emerge from resulting topics and trends. This blog should be a platform for social education and hopefully we can cultivate an environment that encourages creativity. I look forward to it.

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