Aleatoria (Le Professeur, January 2017)
I’ve had a fascination with spontaneous composition for a long time. Back in the wee early days of Le Professeur, I wrote a lot of songs as I recorded them, sometimes even trying to write lyrics as I recorded the vocal (that part almost never went well). Then I went to college and learned about aleatoric music, or ‘chance music,’ music meant to be composed by chance in performance. Right up my alley, right?
Not everything on this album is aleatoric, but enough of it is that I felt comfortable using the title. Aleatoria is a collection of tracks I made with just a couple of instruments–my wife’s old Casio keyboard (really a toy, not a legit keyboard), and my super swank retro omnichord (a Christmas present this past year–thanks mom!). That’s it. I piled on oodles of effects in Sonar X2, my current DAW of choice. The result was a freaky-deeky album of soundscapes and tuneful but meandering melodies. I can’t tell you why, but I’ve really been enjoying listening to it, too.
I think perhaps that’s part of the magic of aleatoric music, if, like me, you record and listen back. I’m not sick of these tracks yet. I didn’t take weeks or months to write them, practice them, perfect them, and then record them. I wrote them spontaneously as they were being recorded, and I’m still hearing new things in them when I listen. It’s almost as if I didn’t write them at all. They come to you, and to me, courtesy of the ghost in the machine.