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MP3 Geoffrey Armes - Berlin Dance Works

Electro Ambient Jazz For Contemporary Dance

23 MP3 Songs in this album (79:38) !
Related styles: ELECTRONIC: Dub, JAZZ: World Fusion

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Electro Ambient Jazz For Contemporary Dance

Musical accompaniment for Modern Dance technique class.

All instruments, including but not limited to bass guitars (Fender Fretless Jazz, ESP fretted), Triton Extreme, Poly 800, toy piano, Didgeredu, Gibson J45, J 185-12, and Seagull Artist acoustic guitars, a National resonator, udu, bongos, darbuka, Handsonic 15, djembe, Peavey, Crate, Phil Jones and Fender (mini-twin) amps, and the human voice. Composed and played by Geoffrey Armes. Dance Guidance by Helen Hansen. Mastered by Tom Desisto.

As I wrote during the recording of this music: seeking to preserve the improvisational aspects of how I play live for this stuff, yet layer, orchestrate, arrange… consequentially takes are going down fast, and I mix standing up (well, there are instruments in front of the console too), all the while moving, walking, pacing, dancing even, find groups and stems, get them talking to each other, do the frequencies, get them out of each others way, move on…
You should see this place right now — a mess of cables and cheap amps as I try to record a keyboard sound in a gritty kind of way…
‘Post’ recording processing, as it were, is important. The line between recording and mixing is blurred, as sounds get processed over and over again. EQ and texture work in the same way as level towards getting a balance...
Mixing electronic with acoustic, or at least ‘air’ elements, so I’m re-amping keyboards, recording toy pianos against expensive sounding pads, etc etc…
There’s a lot of back story -- undergrowth perhaps -- to some of these tracks, instruments played then hidden, perhaps emerging as a reflection in a chamber, or a brief figure out in the squall....
for example, playing live, solo, I am often working another part in my head, along with that which is in my hands at the moment. On these recordings, in this world of the overdub, I have sometimes rendered that second part so it can be heard.
A distillation of the various ways I have improvised music for movement since 1980.
Dance training usually involves long hours of repetitive and arduous physical labour. One intention of this music is to create a sound simple enough to be easily followed, yet complex and subtle enough to sustain repeated listening. An aural garden to wander around in, each time discovering ‘new’ growth, that really was always there, unnoticed before.

1 Eleven Fours (bpm 98 4/4) Helen says: see the video.
2 It Bounces (bpm 115 4/4) Lots of little warm up pulses. Helen’s phrases are: 4 counts to roll down, 16 counts to bounce, 4 counts to roll up, 4 counts to transition to the next position. This repeats three times. There is an improvised musical coda at the end for stretching, breathing, or changing groups.
3 Breathe (bpm 105 4/4) Helen says: 8 count introduction. Followed by 8 eights. After 4 eights the music implies the possibility of moving “double time”. There is a musical tag at the end.
4 Swing Dub (120 bpm 6/8) 4 measure intro. Helen says: The two kick drums are the “ready, and”; the “go” is the guitar strum. There are 8 threes of reaching and stretching arms overhead legs in parallel, 4 threes to push arms down, contract and curl on 5, release and reach arms up 7, 8. Then you have 8 threes to swing. This repeats three times. There is a musical coda at the end for balancing.
Phrased for Helen’s warm-up swings. Can be heard as 6/8 or 3/4.
5 Long and Open (126 bpm 4/4) First four measures are a count. Then it fits an opening exercise. Helen says: This music is designed for a long, languid, connected, opening seated floor exercise.
6 Opening Three (bpm 106) In 3/4; Helen notes: This music is designed for a seated floor exercise that is more staccato.
7 Rollover You Pushup (bpm 120) Can be heard in 3/4 or 6/8.
Another warm up, in sixteen bar cycles. Helen says: This music is 16 threes four times through.
8 Saturday’s Child (120 bpm) 4/4 Ametric; good for ankle circles, stretches; see video.
9 Tendue Dub (173 bpm 4/4) Once round the phrase, then you start with the piano.
10 Stau (bpm 132) 4/4; suggested use: adagio traveling across the floor. Original title DC - NYC -- it came out of a series of night drives between the two cities, and originally featured more club percussion styling and synths -- this dub strips back to what I felt to be the more interesting elements, and hints at a slower pace, hence ‘stau’ - traffic jam.
11 Djebre (100 bpm) 4/4; a lot of pick up before each ‘one’. Helen says: This track was made with percussive floor work in mind, ie; contraction into high release and contractions with the enfolding and releasing of the arms and legs.
12 Piano Fifteen (bpm 102) Three sets in 4/4; good for adagio or plies. Includes two short periods of silence for the dancers to count themselves through.
13 Little One (120 bpm) Good for traveling runs, small jumps, foot work, traveling grand battements. Featuring some very big expensive sounds fed through very cheap small speakers.
14 Nine (154 bpm) Phrased in three measure groups; i.e., it can be heard as 3/4 or 9/4.
15 Wahbuka (115 bpm) 4/4; speedy little drum, petite allegro. A distinctive traditional sound fed through some modern processing.
16 Combination (120 bpm) 4/4; in four eights with a fifth eight for transition. Count one phrase before starting. There’s a cymbal ‘ting’ at the beginning of each phrase, except the transition phrase. Helen says: check out the video. There’s a relaxed improvisational feel to the lyrical coda that evolves from jazz tinged piano and marimba into something far more electronic and abstract in character.
17 Twenty Seven (bpm 126) 4/4; Helen says: try it with traveling contractions through second position.
18 I Walk To School (97 bpm) 4/4.
19 Strings FM (120 bpm) 4/4.
20 Helen Ametric. This portrait is an improvised first take.
21 Bass and Pianos (bpm 114) 4/4.
22 Bells (bpm 143) 4/4.
23 April Eighth (bpm 99) 4/4.

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