Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Azer Terbang Lagi

Terbang Lagi means Flying Again.


After years in system developments - database programming, artificial intelligence and neural networks, I decided to take programming into a different zone. Music and graphical art then animation hit me once I got the idea.


1983 was the year I started programming. It was FORTRAN on mini-computer. My first program, 'Hello World', was a disaster as while I was compiling it, tons of errors came out with huge buzzing noise. While everybody in the lab was so pissed and stared at me, I was like ... "Whoaaaa ... this is cool". That was the moment I fell in love with computer sound. Unfortunately, it took me another 23 years to come back to sound programming.


Writing songs has becoming something special to me. Not only it is another kind of programming, it is also another kind of being creative. To be able to compose a new song and becoming the first person in the world to hear it is joyful. Although there is nothing great about my songs, to be irrational, illogical, and messing up all the reasons has helped me balancing out both hemispheres of my brain. It is healthy as life is not just about technical thing.


This entry means I have posted a hundred songs at Cadenza MIDI Diary. Should you ask me years ago, I would say this is unthinkable. You see, in order to accomplish something, there is no substitute but to keep on trying. Of course, we really need to have a lot of patient and passion.

Below are my ten most difficult songs I've ever written. All of them are quite my earliest and written in MIDI.


I Pop - Originally it was written based on complicated Baroque chord progressions. While trying to get some ideas on the melodies, my son strummed his guitar for a pop song. I noticed that, melodies for pop are quite easy so I experimented by strumming a guitar based on Baroque chords. It was chaotic in the beginning that I decided to move the chords closer to each other. Surprisingly, the strumming yielded the funky sound that I really like. I then added the clapping drums and synth for the pop trick.



Aku, Sheryl dan Malam - I have to admit that this song is derived from a very complicated fractal calculations. I was experimenting on some mathematical formulas to yield an ambient sound. However, an error in programming caused the equation to yield an interesting picking riff which later tested out on my acoustic guitar (nylon). I really like the sound of the picking which later has become quite my musical playing style and later give births to many ballad/romantic songs be it on guitar or piano.


Peter Olson In Paris - So far, this is the only song I have written on Ragtime genre. I consider this one tough because I'm not used to listen to rag. It took me to study rag for about two weeks before I started writing it. As I wanted to write something about Paris, I decided on continental rag rather american rag.


Curiga - The idea of this song hit me suddenly when I was reading something about Fugue. Fugue is described as repetitive sound and I like the idea so I told myself, "Okay, why not write different melodies and combine them all together." Once the melodies are combined, I have no idea what the
song is all about and so I named it as 'Curiga' meaning Doubtful.


Ketika Bulan Mengambang - This is the most controversial song I've ever written. I can understand the controversy as this song is derived from a mathematical geometrical pattern. Traditional musicians were so pissed because the musical notes are so impossible to be played. I have never written any song based on any mathematical formula or mathematical pattern since then.


Keretapi Malam - Musically, this song has the most notes events I have ever written on one musical instrument. It is baroque and the chord progressions are very complicated - an usual case for a baroque song anyway. Originally, the idea is to prove to a friend of mine that a pianist is faster than a guitarist. Of course it is a fact but this song is meant for a joke.


Bersama Selamanya - Originally, it was written on Baroque chord progressions but for an unknown reason, I just had to turn the song into slow rock progressions. It required many re-adjustments as I had to suit both baroque and rock and had to made them both intact as a song.


Layan Kepala - What is so difficult about this song is, it has the most genres as a song - hard rock, baroque, adagio, polyphonic and progressive rock. When comes to screwing things up, I really am so good at it ... ahaks.


Rampaisari - It took me five weeks to complete this song. Basically, it is quite a simple jazz song but because the song was requested, it was written with thinking (the only song so far that was written with thinking). From then on, I decided not to entertain requests because I prefer to write songs out of my heart rather my brain. Obviously, I hate to think ... LOL


Terbang Lagi - Okay, this song is among my earliest through MIDI programming. As starting things up are always the hardest, I consider this one difficult. Once the song is compiled and run, I told myself, "Holyshit! Did I wrote that?!!!" Until today, this is the song I like most :-) Of course I have the right to be biased on my own songs ... hahahahahaha.




At Cadenza MIDI Diary, we received monthly hits of about 100,000. To me, that's not bad.



The Patterns

Okay, this song is officially my 100th song posted.

Song and Music by Azer Mantessa

Flash Illustrations by Azer Mantessa

All mathematical patterns are calculated by Azer Mantessa

About this song.