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664374 Posts in 26627 Topics by 3819 Members - Latest Member: Occasional grilled cheese November 24, 2020, 06:44:21 PM
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Author Topic: Video: Brian creates at the piano  (Read 678 times)
aeijtzsche
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« on: October 19, 2020, 01:33:26 PM »

Hey everyone.  I'm not able to work on my orchestration videos right now, so I put together an alternative video about ways that Brian created unique songs by recycling basic harmonic ideas.  Hope you enjoy and learn something!  Thanks for watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oFOC0VPN7w
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JakeH
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2020, 03:33:14 PM »

This was good; thanks.

I'm not musically educated, but it seems like what you're illustrating here is the basic Brian Wilson trademark sound? I've read various materials about Brian's music, and writers have referred to it as basically a straight quarter-note downbeat thing, or a "rhythmic monad," and that if another songwriter wants to consciously evoke a Brian Wilson feel, they'll do this - like just downbeats and then the bass line and/or drums and other instruments move around it.  Van Dyke Parks makes some comments about Brian's style in the Priore/Smile book, and he characterizes the approach to a "smart-dumb" thing, or a "minimalist" thing.  Anyway, the basic pattern is noticeable in seemingly countless BW songs, even to somebody (like me) who doesn't really know music. 

Your video has right hand doing straight chords and left moving around - what somebody might think of as the "interesting" parts. To me - and again I don't play music - the standard approach to keyboard is left hand with steady bass or rhythm, and more ornate stuff with the right hand... if that's true, then is Brian's compositional thing notable for reversing that?

And, a question that is maybe related: I have noticed that if I get a Brian Wilson song stuck in my head, it is often not the melody of the song, as is most often the case with other pop music.  It's something else; the catchiness is somethig else that I can't put my finger on, necessarily. It might have something to with overall orchestration, and/or the bass line that pulls you in.  Thoughts?

If anyone else who knows music wants to jump in, I would appreciate it, since I'd like to get some sort of cogent, musically-informed description of what the Brian Wilson sound is.

Thanks for the video
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Mitchell
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2020, 08:54:11 PM »

Great to see another video from you, Joshilyn! Fascinating insight.

Something that came to mind while watching was Anna Lee the Healer; whether that's accurate or not I'll let you figure out!

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Quincy
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2020, 07:05:22 AM »

Wow! Very interesting, thank you
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Tom
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 04:54:27 PM »

Your video has right hand doing straight chords and left moving around - what somebody might think of as the "interesting" parts. To me - and again I don't play music - the standard approach to keyboard is left hand with steady bass or rhythm, and more ornate stuff with the right hand... if that's true, then is Brian's compositional thing notable for reversing that?

Not really, that style of piano (RH chords, LH moving bass) was popularised in the 50's with doo-wop and dancehall type music as far as I can tell. E.g. Fats Domino. It went on to be the prevailing style for most popular/rock music in the 60's and 70's.
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Dan Lega
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 06:31:04 AM »

That was brilliant!  I loved it.  I'd love to see more like this.
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