3. Amor mi fa cantar a la Francesca
4. Three Hours in Magenta
5. It’s Complementary My Dear Watson
For those of you keeping score at home, Magenta is the third EP in my series that looks to explore the science and history behind the seven primary additive and subtractive colors. These seven colors represent the CMYK and RGB color spaces.
Magenta itself is a highly unique color in that it does not exist as a part of the traditional, linear spectrum. It’s not artificial, per say, just not obvious. For this collection I’ve curated a selection of tracks that draw inspiration from it’s non-linear roots, it’s use in identity and branding, the musical history of it’s geographic origin, and the history, via warfare, of how the color received it’s name. I’ve even managed to bring all four topics together in one continuous storyline as presented in a final fifth track.
If you like what you hear, the download button in the player will take you to my store where you can purchase one or all of the tracks on this EP. The EP is available on a pay-what-you-want basis, including free.
As always, thank you for your interest in my music. I greatly appreciate all of you who invest a little time to download or listen to my songs.
And now for some track info for those who are interested:
The color magenta is unique amongst the primary colors as it is the one that does not exist in the linear color spectrum. It only exists when you shape the linear spectrum into a circle and is a result of blending together the ultraviolet and infrared extremes of the spectrum. In other words, it is extraspectral in nature. Now to quote Dana Carvey as the late great Johnny Carson, “that’s some weird, wild stuff. I did not know that.”
The track itself is very analog in nature with heavy use of my favorite analog synth emulator, the G-Force impOSCar 2 for leads and bass. I’ve also used the G-Force M-Tron Pro and Logic ES-P for pads, and the Logic Ultrabeat for drum programming.
In my other life I spend my days around the best bicycles in the world at Giant Bicycle. Back in June, 2009 I created the original version of this song for a promotional video for Giant. From 2005-2007 we were the bike sponsor for the Telekom professional cycling team, and the color magenta just happens to be the corporate color of Telekom and it’s more familiar subsidiary T-Mobile. For this collection I have allowed the track to evolve from being mostly euro house background filler to being a full on electro-house floor filler.
This happens to be among the most danceable tracks I’ve done in a while. It’s super upbeat and happy. Instrumentation includes the G-Force impOSCar 2, NI Absynth 5, Logic ES2, Logic Sculpture, and Logic Ultrabeat.
Amor mi fa cantar a la Francesca
This piece was based around the melody from one part of the Rossi Codex, a collection of secular songs written in the mid 1300’s and reflects some of the earliest known polyphonic music of Northern Italy. This piece turned out to be a difficult transcription for me. I read musical manuscript just fine, but not 14th century manuscript. Plus, flying to the Vatican to study the real manuscript was pretty much out of the question. Instead I listened to multiple recordings of it, and there are many interpretations of it, to find the shared melodic parts and transcribed them by hand. Loosely translated into the English, the title is “Love Makes Me Sing to Francesca”.
This was one of those tracks that just gives an artist fits. Melding 14th century music and instruments with modern dance music is not as easy as it sounds. I went through quite a few arrangement and instrument changes before settling on the final combination. The sparser and more organic the arrangement became the better it sounded. I guess 14th century Italians knew a little something about writing music. Anyways, what I ended up with is a highly dynamic piece that I hope pays proper homage to Italy in the 1300’s.
As minimal as this track is in many places I still threw a ton of instrumentation at it. Here’s the list: G-Force impOSCar 2 and M-Tron Pro. Plogue Chipsounds emulations of the Korg Poly-800, C-64, and a Yeno Super Cassette Vision. Logic EFM-1. NI Absynth 5. And Session Strings Pro, Alicia’s Keys, Studio Drummer, and Choir all running from NI Kontakt 5.
Three Hours in Magenta
The Battle of Magenta was fought over three hours in the afternoon of June 4, 1859 in the Northern Italian town of Magenta. It was a decisive battle during the Second Italian War of Independence where the French routed the Austrians. The dye magenta was named in honor of this battle. Like war in the 19th century, this track is loud, plodding, methodical, and relentless.
Originally created in 1858 and known by the name Fuchsine, the dye Magenta gained it’s common name shortly after the Battle of Magenta fought during the second Italian War of Independence in June 1859. The Battle of Magenta was fought between the occupying Austrians, and the French under Napolean III who were assisting the local Piedmontese forces of northern Italy. The deciding maneuvers were fought over three hours on the afternoon of June 4th within the Italian village of Magenta, with Austrian forces using individual buildings and mini-fortresses. After hellish close-quarter fighting he French forces defeated the disorganized Austrians who retreated to Milan. Napolean III ended the war less than a month later by taking Milan.
Sometime shortly after the color Fuchsine was renamed Magenta in honor of the victory. Some say that this decision was inspired by the reddish uniforms of the Zouave French forces who were decorated with the Legion d’Honneur for being instrumental in sealing the victory.
The song ‘Three Hours in Magenta’ takes its inspiration from the methodical regimented movements of troops, the underlying chaos of battle, and the heavy, often brutal results of warfare during that period. Instrumentation includes: G-Force impOSCar2 for the chaotic stereo bass and ‘victory’ arps at the end, G-Force Oddity for the precise ‘battle’ lead, Plogue C-64 and Colecovision emulators for the arpeggiated string hits, Logic ES P for the pads, and Ultrabeat for the drums.
It’s Complementary My Dear Watson
And here is where I tie all four songs together into one tidy storyline featuring everyone’s favorite British detective and his loyal sidekick. This track found it’s origin in late 2010 as a piece I created to explore a fun bit of MIDI gear called a Beatseqr created by my friend Steve. Other than adding some effects and the vocals, it is true to the original’s arrangement, including the drum track still being 100% Beatseqr generated.
I wrote up the ‘lyrics’ as a script for the good detective and his sidekick, and then had them ‘read’ by the two British voices Apple includes in their OSX speech software, which is why the sidekick is female for this version of their existence. Another note, this is the first published piece of mine in a while that does not contain any instances of the G-Force impOSCar 2 synth. This sounds in this piece, to stay true to it’s origins, is 100% from Logic. Along with Ultrabeat for the drum samples, I used Logic’s EFM-1, ES-P, ES2, and ES-M synths. The drums were triggered by the aforementioned Beatseqr and what you hear is a single take live performance using the Beatseqr. You can learn more about the Beatseqr here: http://beatseqr.com