Monday, July 6, 2009

Introducing ghidghid

I have myself a very good music animation video by ghidghid. This and all his music video are now my benchmark. Good animation, nice music and very creative.



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Inderawangsa – Matematika

Azer rely on humming and MIDI for song writing. For many years, Azer has wriiten his own MIDI programming which is now in Python but this link is a good reference for those who are looking for typical MIDI software in the market.


Song and Music by Azer Mantessa

HeartFeelFlow: Step 1 – Reflect

Flow 3: Keep Moving

Having to stop is normal but what important is to start again. There will be a lot of interruptions along the way but then what is life without those interruptions? Interruptions are the blessings. Just like there are sunrises and sunsets, there is always a brand new day. It means, we always get the chance to start again.

This is the main reason why to reflect is very important. To keep moving requires the complete positive pictures of us. It reminds us who we are. It helps to make the tasks fulfilled.

Interruptions also help us to learn from our mistakes and the past. To keep moving however requires us to have the art of ‘Letting it go’.

To keep moving is always as equivalent to how we get started. Do it one step at a time. As usual, always start with the first step. Be committed while we are at it so that every second counts.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inderawangsa - Sangkar Duka

Azer rely a lot on humming and MIDI Programming when comes to composing songs. It is important to understand what is MIDI and a bit extra to learn how MIDI programming is done in LINUX.

Sangar Duka

Song and Music by Azer Mantessa

HeartFeelFlow: Step 1 – Reflect

Flow 2: Be Equipped

So what do we need in order to write songs? Do we need a large sophisticated studio for recordings? Do we need some fancy musical instruments? Do we need to have a master degree in music? Do we need like 18 hours a day? Do we need to have the talent?

The answer is NOT NECESSARILY.

Fundamentally, it helps having a simple recording medium. I personally use a cheap microphone, the computer and Windows Recording. I never start writing songs by playing musical instruments, I hum! I have no formal musical lessons. I am a self-taught composer. Usually it takes me 4-5 hours to complete a song. I have no talent in song writing but I suspect talent has me … ahaks … I just made that one up.

Okay, we need of course a little knowledge in music and it helps a lot listening to many kinds of music. That is why it is very important not to be prejudice on any music. It helps a lot to feel what kind of sound any musical instruments produce.

It helps to keep things as simple as possible. What is a complex situation anyway? A complex situation is a combination of simple situations. During the songs developments, at anytime, the song can be turned into something more complex as we wish but always start with something simple.

It helps to be motivated. It gives us the confidence. Stay away from de-motivators – Fear, Frustrations, Lack of clear goals, Lack of plan, etc.

Have the time. No time is not an excuse. It takes a few seconds to few minutes or maybe few hours to have a simple melody to be converted into a song (I am a melody based by the way).

Have the ability to steal. Yes, it helps to steal other people’s playing style and later on mutate the styles as our own. Yes, stealing is part of the methodology I use in writing songs. If you think I love inventing new wheels, well, you are wrong … ahaks.

Stay motivated by being motivated while we are at it. You see, motivation is like fuel. Once we are running out of fuel, we need to re-fill.

Ask other people. I do this all the time. Ask people what kind of music they listen, where do they listen, and ask for references. I like YouTube and other musical websites. Of course ask them anything necessary.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hawa Gersang


Finally Azer has written us a song!

Softwares used for song development:
MIDI Programming.
Cakewalk Sonar 6 Producer Edition
Adobe Audition 1.5

Softwares used for video production:
Macromedia Flash MX
Windows Movie Maker.

Softwares used for animation:
Reallusions iClone 3.2 PRO

Musical props and accessories are downloaded from Google Sketchup 3D Warehouse through iClone 3DXChange v.2.0 Trial.

This song is also posted at Cadenza MIDI Diary.

"Hawa Gersang" are Malay words meaning Dry Weather

Song, Music, Animation and Music Video by Azer Mantessa

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Bugglers – Video Killed the Radio Star

New Wave Music started by the British artists in 1979 had gained popularity in the 80s. The song ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ was not only the first New Wave song Azer ever heard, it was also the first song heard the minute Azer stepped his foot in Canada back in September, 1982. The music is characterized by clear synth bass and synthesizer sound with elements of pop rock.

Adapted from Wikipedia:

Pitch represents the perceived fundamental frequency of a sound.[1] It is one of the three major auditory attributes of sounds along with loudness and timbre. When the actual fundamental frequency can be precisely determined through physical measurement, it may differ from the perceived pitch because of overtones, also known as partials, harmonic or otherwise, in the sound. The human auditory perception system may also have trouble distinguishing frequency differences between notes under certain circumstances. According to ANSI acoustical terminology, it is the auditory attribute of sound according to which sounds can be ordered on a scale from low to high.

Musical Note Frequencies on Guitar and Piano is a very good link relating both sound (physics) and music. This is useful particularly when later there is a need to do pitch bending usually on guitars.

HeartFeelFlow: Step 1 – Reflect

Flow 1: The Right Mindsets to Establish Objectives

To start is always the hardest thing to do. This is always true to those who are new in song writing. So first thing first is to get one self motivated. The best way to be motivated is to understand why we need to write our own songs.

Writing own songs provide us the opportunities to have our own perspectives. This in turn gives us the skills of having the insight to our surroundings including ourselves.

Then we need to know that a song is a song is a song. Whatever our perspectives project, our own songs are what our insights are. Our songs might sound pleasant or otherwise or even cannot be considered as songs BUT the songs are our perspectives. That is what matters.

Having both the perspectives and insights, those are the objectives reflected by the songs.

Having both perspectives and insights as our objectives, our songs then emerge from something we used to not see. This strengthen our faith. Our faith to God. Our faith to ourselves. Our faith to success. Our faith to our works. Our faith to those related to us. We know this by being the first person to hear our new songs no one has ever heard before.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dr. Hook – Sharing the Night Together

Writing chord progressions which Azer considers simply as harmony (one of the four elements in music) is a very tricky business. The main problem on which chord to use on a key note (tonal) is discussed in so many ways by so many different school of thoughts.

Azer agrees with this question-answer on Melody to Chord Progressions.

Azer’s chord progressions rule is simple. All his songs are melody-base so what chords he uses depend on what is the tonal note. He uses major chords on a tonal note should he wants the harmony to sound a bit happier. He uses minor chords on a tonal note should he wants the harmony to sound a bit sadder. He uses 7th chords on a blues genre. It is also common that Azer keep on mutating the basic chords. It is also common that Azer uses the picking riffs on a tonal note.

Azer considers this song, “Sharing the Night Together” by Dr. Hook as one of the best song in harmony developments. The guitar picking riffs has its own smoothing way to the melodies via singing. The ladies’ backup vocals keep echoing. The jazz guitar playing acts a bit of temporary solo playing which is brilliant. Other sounds like piano, synthesizers and strings keep accompany the songs with sometimes opposite to the melodies proving rules to chord progression is open on how creative a song writer is.

Special thanks to totz67.

HeartFeelFlow: Step 1 – Reflect (Introduction)

There are 7 flows in Step 1:

Flow 1 – The Right Mindsets to Establish Objectives
Flow 2 – Be Equipped
Flow 3 – Keep Moving
Flow 4 – Reflect the Surroundings
Flow 5 – Relax
Flow 6 – Start Imagining
Flow 7 – Reflect the Imagination

“I just want to establish all possible sounds as much as I can for life itself a huge loud speaker”.
- Azer Mantessa when asked on why some of his songs are irritating noises.

“To be honest with you, I had problem on how to stop writing that song”.
- Azer Mantessa when asked why the Song ‘GMG Travels the World’ is too lengthy.

“In my imagination, definitely YES!”.
- Azer Mantessa when asked is he a romantic person.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ABBA – The Day Before You Came

Previously we did point out that there are four elements in music. To understand what those elements are, here is a very good link for the reference - The Four Elements of Music.

Azer considers Göran Bror Benny Andersson as one of the best song writer in the world. Benny is a member of ABBA which is also his favorite band. ABBA had recorded many great songs but to Azer, “The Day Before You Came” is the best.

I am programmed by Azer according to this song. Azer loves it when I can do Benny thing. When Inderawangsa was formed, Azer make sure that a keyboardist and a synthesizer like Benny must be in. After all, sound technology in synthesizer sound differentiates progressive rock from other rock genre.

Special thanks to Musicmakesusmile

HeartFeelFlow – Introduction

HeartFeelFlow is a non-registered methodology developed by Azer Mantessa for song writing. It is divided into 4 steps:

a) Reflect
b) Capture
c) Evaluate
d) Activate

Azer is in the school of thought where the heart is the source of primary knowledge and thinking. There are about 40,000 neurons that communicate to each other and therefore HeartFeelFlow is to tap the Emotional Quotient (EQ).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chic – Le Freak

Previously we have linked a tutorial on The Guide to Chord Theory. With a good database programming, chords can be programmed according to names, related notes and number of notes. This way too, chords can be identified according to the number of notes and related notes. There are more into chords particularly on how they are played – picking, strumming etc but this should come into later stage.

Although understanding how chords are derived and strumming the chords with the guitar were how Azer got into contact with music, this however is not the correct way to learn music. Understanding Basic Music Theory is a tutorial which is the way. There are 36 parts in this tutorial. To those who are interested, again, we suggest you to study them, understand them and practice them.

Sure this is the hardest part but if you can’t stand the learning curve in education, we suggest you to try ignorance :-)

Our featured music video for this entry is Le Freak by Chic.

Azer considers this song as outstanding because this song has popularized a new sound – Muted Guitar. The way how the chords are strummed too has lifted funky music into another level and the running bass is evolutionary.

I know … I know, I’m embarrassed too but we are into progressive rock. You see, progressive rock does not have any definitive rule for it and don’t be surprised that most progressive rock bands out there do play funky strumming as well so Azer has his point with this music video.

Also this song has revealed something major when comes to anything progressive. Chic has successfully popularized muted guitar sound which then paved the way for further guitar sound development and other musical sound development. Sound technology has never been the same since then.

Special thanks to LODGIcare2500. Until then …

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Smokie - Living Next Door to Alice

Oh my goodness! This is embarrassing!

Here we are being programmed to rock but our blog starts out with this country music by Smokie!

Oh please Aduka, don’t be a prejudice! Music is colorless and there is no such thing called good or bad music. In fact, Smokie is one of Azer’s favorite band.

So folks, please do surf around about these great musicians. As far as album sales volume is concerned, Smokie is among the top in the world! Do google for SMOKIE!

Yes people yes. Our blog is about diversity simply because if you really want to learn how to write songs, first of all, you have got to listen to varieties. Without diversity, there is no interest. Azer does not believe in a single pigeon holes in any artistic production. In fact, he doesn’t bother your conditional opinions!
So start listening :-)

There! Hope you enjoy the song and the video. Smokie has produced so many sweet songs apart of what you have just heard. Above all, their music is soothing country rock!

Unfortunately, we are not that friendly because when comes to artistic works, we have to be exceptional and temperamental. Inderawangsa really don’t mind temperamental people :-) But then, if you bite us, we’ll bite you back … haha.

Azer is trying to make a point through this song. You see, in music, there are four major elements you have to understand – melody, rhythm, harmony and dynamics. This song is a good example on how a nice harmonic rhythm guitar is played.

Azer started out playing harmonically and when we talk about harmony, we are dealing with chords. Here is a good tutorial - The Guide to Chord Theory.

There are 10 parts in this tutorial. We suggest you to read them, study them, understand them and practice them. Many years ago, Azer had to go through the same process too therefore writing songs has nothing to do with being a genius. It’s about hardwork, keep on trying, gets as many resources as possible, lots of trial and errors, a lot of practices, a lot of reading and so much more particularly having a lot of passion and patient.

We pity those who keep insisting that good works are done by geniuses.

Special thanks to CanadaJade3. Until then …