Song Fight Orchestra

Discuss the many little competitions/projects that spring up amongst the Song Fight community.

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Jim of Seattle
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Song Fight Orchestra

Postby Jim of Seattle » Sun Jan 16, 2005 12:34 pm

Song Fight Orchestra is going to be a year-long project, at the end of which we will have one long piece, probably 15-25 minutes in length.

How it works is that every week someone submits a song to the title of their choice that is no more than about 30 seconds [edit: now 45 seconds] in length, under the band name Song Fight Orchestra. The key to this song is that it must flow musically from the Song Fight Orchestra song from the previous week, so that if the two songs were played in succession the second one would sound like a continuation of the previous song. For example, it would start on the same chord and with roughly the same instruments and same tempo as the song preceding it. Also, the lyric should flow logically out of the previous lyric. Once the segue from the previous song is established, you can go in another direction if you like, but you don't have more than about 30 seconds [edit: now 45 seconds] tops. If you want it to be much shorter than 30 seconds [edit: now 45 seconds], that's fine. The final goal is, as I said, to have one continuous musical piece which actually consists of a year's worth of short Songfight submissions.

As this is my project, I will be assigning people every week. If you want to play, say so here, and I'll put your name on the list. Chances are you will be asked to submit more than once, since it could span 50 songs or more, and there will probably be way fewer than 50 contributors. All it will require of you is one very short song, title of your choice, which continues musically from the song before it. You will submit your song under the band name Song Fight Orchestra.

One other thing - I'm serious about the continuity from one song to the next. I'm not going to like it if your idea of having continuity from the previous song it to do something totally different just for shock value.

So, I think this is going to be fun. If you want to try it, volunteer here, and I'll ask you eventually. I will give everyone a week's notice before it's their turn.
Last edited by Jim of Seattle on Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Eric Y. » Sun Jan 16, 2005 12:37 pm

sign me right on up for that!

except i don't want to be first.
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Postby Leaf » Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:46 pm

I'd be interested... but I agree with TVIH...no firsties for me... this could end up sounding like a total pile of ...welll, you know, but neat idea Jim.
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Postby jack » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:01 pm

i'd go first.

jack thinks massive kazoos intro ala "fanfare for the common man..."
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Postby Jim of Seattle » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:13 pm

I'm going first, then I have a tentative seconder already, but if he cna't do it, then Jack, you're up. I'll let you know in the next day or so. Leaf and tviyh, you're on my official list.
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Postby nicegeoff » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:21 pm

sign me up.

this is the best idea i've heard.

will production and timbre get in the way of a continually flowing piece of music?
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Postby Leaf » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:38 pm

will a continuing flow of music get in the way of production and timbre???
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Postby Eric Y. » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:41 pm

since we all have different recording equipment, and different synth/MIDI sounds and etc., sure there will be some problems with continuity, but i imagine once the project is completed, some sort of magick could be worked to get it to flow together at least somewhat? who knows....
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Postby Jim of Seattle » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:49 pm

Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking, tviyh.

There will be some production differences, but, well, better that than not doing it, I guess. Also, since I'm handpicking each person, I'm going to try to pick people that I think would sound good after the current person. It's all an experiment...

Geoff, you're on the list.
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Postby jack » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:57 pm

think stravinsky's "the rite of spring"

he. it could be called "the fight of spring" :lol:
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Re: Songfight Orchestra

Postby erik » Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:00 pm

Jim of Seattle wrote:The key to this song is that it must flow musically from the Songfight Orchestra song from the previous week, so that if the two songs were played in succession the second one would sound like a continuation of the previous song. For example, it would start on the same chord and with roughly the same instruments and same tempo as the song preceding it. Also, the lyric should flow logically out of the previous lyric. Once the segue from the previous song is established, you can go in another direction if you like, but you don't have more than about 30 seconds tops.


It seems to me that the border between two different songs would be a good time to take the song in a new direction (while still sounding like a continuation of the last song). I understand that you need clear rules or some people really won't understand what you want, but how married are you to the idea that the next song must start very similarly to how the last song ended?
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Postby jack » Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:10 pm

so jim, here's some fuel for thought. years ago, when roadtripping somewhere, we'd play this game where the idea was to write a poem, free verse, made up by everyone in the car. the jist was the only thing you could base it on was the last line of the poem. you had no idea what preceded that, by folding the paper over and passing it around the car. after doing this maybe 5-6 times, we'd open it up and someone would read it all dramatic like. sometimes, they were brilliant. the lack of direction took it in alot of interesting directions. i'd say drop the worry/rule over staying in key/time and make the constraint less uh.....constraining? :) like give the next person a 10 second snip of the last one and that's it. they could have at it in whatever form they deem fit. just my 2 cent.
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Postby roymond » Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:07 pm

Totally game here.

Yes' Relayer was done in a similar fashion, but not intentionally. They just didn't really know where it would go from one session to the next. And it turned out pretty damn cool.
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Postby Freddielove » Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:08 pm

Like one big end of Abbey Road, cool. I'm in.
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Postby Caravan Ray » Sun Jan 16, 2005 5:26 pm

yeah why not? I'll have a go
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Postby HeuristicsInc » Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:25 pm

jack shite wrote:years ago, when roadtripping somewhere, we'd play this game where the idea was to write a poem, free verse, made up by everyone in the car. the jist was the only thing you could base it on was the last line of the poem. you had no idea what preceded that, by folding the paper over and passing it around the car.


That's an old game, by (I think) Dada people called "Exquisite Corpse." It originally was one word at a time and the supposed original game created the sentence "the exquisite corpse drinks the new wine."
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Postby john m » Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:02 pm

Rotating in his display case.

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Postby j$ » Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:16 pm

Count me in, too.
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Jim of Seattle
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Re: Songfight Orchestra

Postby Jim of Seattle » Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:29 pm

15-16 puzzle wrote:It seems to me that the border between two different songs would be a good time to take the song in a new direction (while still sounding like a continuation of the last song). I understand that you need clear rules or some people really won't understand what you want, but how married are you to the idea that the next song must start very similarly to how the last song ended?


Pretty darn married. The thing is, people hearing the whole thing in its entirety will likely know the gimmick in advance. If they hear radical changes from one person to the next, they'll think "Hey, this isn't anything, they just spliced together a bunch of short songs, big deal". Whereas if each person continues out of what the previous person ended up on, a big part of the enjoyment for the listener will come at those transitions.

There are two albums that I use as inspiration for this idea, neither of which I really like a whole lot. They are Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle and Brain Wilson's recent Smile. They are both stream-of-consciousness collections of songlets, but in both cases (especially Song Cycle), the frequent and seemingly arbitrary stylistic jumps get really tiring. On the other hand, take someone like Bach, whose music often flows like a stream of consciousness, but never jars you arbitrarily - everything sounds like it came out of what came before. To me it's much more satisfying.

I think the piece will naturally morph into different things as it progresses. That process is what I'm most looking forward to. Hard splices are boring to me.
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Re: Songfight Orchestra

Postby j$ » Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:33 pm

Jim of Seattle wrote:Hard splices are boring to me.


I misread this as 'Harp Splices'. Had me wondering what they were, for about 30 seconds.
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Postby Denyer » Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:16 pm

I can't do this obviously but it sounds like a pretty awesome idea.
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Postby Poor June » Mon Jan 17, 2005 3:46 am

ehhh i'm up for it... of course the equipment may lower it...
and i'm guessin' for each 30 seconds... will have to have somethin' to do with the title... so no instrumentals alone?... this could end up soundin' really odd in a really good... or really bad kinda way...
i guess that would be fun to find out...
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