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Flip Flop
The Tunes

1. FLIP FLOP SON is based on African, Caribbean and Northeastern rhythms of South America. It is about curved lines and curved angles with total equilibrium. We rooted the song with a favorable simple diatonic melody so as to be "cantabile" (able to sing along with.) For effective contrast, in the front section, using the principle of tension and release, we made the vertical distances between the melody, the harmony and the bass line very angular, while keeping the tune within consonance. The tune then goes into extensive reharmonization. In order to create rhythmic tension, a synth pattern was written underneath the trumpet that consists of 21 eighth notes arranged 2 1/2 + 3 1/2+ 4 1/2 equaling 21.

For the orchestration during the guitar improvisation, a compositional technique called "augmentation" was used on a motif that the guitar repeats near the end of the tune. We took the motif and assigned it to the synth strings under the entire solo, and held each note for as long as the harmonic rhythm permitted. So, the motif plays in slow motion throughout the whole guitar improvisation, preparing the ear for when it happens on the guitar.

The use of already existing elements in a composition provides unity to the music. As in other aspects of life, music is a balance between repetition and variation, unity and contrast, tension and resolution, etc. Charles Moore on trumpet! He understands perfectly.

2. DESDE is the orchestration of a guitar solo. It is directly reflective of Minas Gerais, Brazil ... just about the only place where 6/8 is played in the same way as in the rest of Latin American music. Eduardo M. Del Signore on Fretless Bass.

3. OLO Middle Eastern, Arabian and other world rhythms and instruments are included, such as: Tambourine (Arab), Dumbek drum (Middle East), Oud (Egypt), Saz (Turkey) and Tablas (India). Steve Fowler on flute.

4. EL TICHOLO consists of a short cycle of three bars of 4/4 that is simultaneously traveled as four bars of 3/4. The middle part is a "Chaca-rera" (rhythm from the Pampas, South American grasslands) that goes through the keys of Eb, C, A and F# effortlessly. Steve Fowler on flute.

5. CALLER'S SUITE Candombe and Murga rhythms depict an act of Santeria with mostly electric instrumentation. Eduardo M. Del Signore on bass.

6. MECHA is a totally spontaneous improvisation without any preconcep-tions, recorded with no overdubbing. The instruments played are trap drums and tamboriles (Perez) and a G&L electric guitar (modified by John Carruthers per my specifications, and very lightly processed into two Match-less 30 Watt Combo Amps) with a Roland GR 50 module capable of trigger-ing several sounds via midi (Ramos). We spent five hours getting all the gadgets to work, and ONE TAKE to record it.
7. LUISITO is Candombe music as played by traditional Uruguayan urban ensembles. Charles Moore again on trumpet. Ralph Jones on tenor saxophone.

8. THE CARPENTER The making of this tune is peculiar. We (Perez and Ramos) first recorded a basic track of assorted hand drums together, live. Then we came up with a bass line that doubled the low drums which sug-gested replacing the original drums with new patterns, heavily overdubbed. However, the new drums didn't really work with the old bass line, so we wrote an altogether new tune, recording it over the old one.

The only chord is G 13#1 1 (G thirteen with a raised I 1), which is basically prone to all kinds of scale possibilities. Moving the bass line through different chord notes creates a sense of chord progression. It is a big psycho-acoustic illusion.

9. MOVING'S DAY is Candombe back to its roots (Western Africa). The vocals of Nigerian singers, Alfred Martins and Gbeke Ephriam, as well as the trombone lines of George McMullen were edited through the help of the hard disc recording program, Pro-Tools, giving it the final form that services the music.



MP3 Samples

  1. Flip Flop Son
  2. Desde
  3. Olo
  4. El Ticholo
  5. Caller's Suite
  6. Mecha
  7. Luisito
  8. The Carpenter
  9. Moving's Day