WIP: Nostalgia Ideas

At this point, most of my thoughts about this series center around using popular songs from the post-WWI era as source material. Although I'm aware of certain works in the classical/Western Art Music/Folk traditions that could be relevant (e.g. Recuerdos de la Alhambra), I think that manipulating modern songs using a combination of modern harmonic/rhythmic techniques (and potentially technologies) would produce the best results.

As I've been researching the topic I've started to think in terms of hip-hop/electronic music. Instead of "collage" or "polymeter", terms like "mash-up" and "remix" have consistently surfaced. However, I'm skeptical that these techniques can be applied to composition that doesn't take advantage of sampling technologies. If, for no other reason, that the unique timbre of a recorded performance can't be reliably recreated without the sample itself. Yet I still wonder if it's possible to tap into the musical developments of the past 30 years without using the technology that enabled them.

So, some ideas...
  1. Recompose popular songs using modern harmonic/rhythmic techniques such as matrix operations
  2. Using sections of disparate songs to create a pastiche
  3. Layering different voices from disparate songs a la Ives or Zorn
  4. Apply the rhythms of one song to the melodic/harmonic voices of another
Of course, all of these ideas could be applied to older, and possibly more importantly, public domain material. During this time I've also begun to explore my own culture through the music of my distant ancestors, and the idea of "mashing up" the folk melodies of Norway and Scotland with modern popular song is interesting. However, I'm not sure that it's possible to do this without the results sounding like a Wal-Mart "Jazz Loon" sampler.

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