Right, boys and girls, here it is: the voting thread!
Firstly, to set the record straight: when i wrote down the rules the wording was not absolutely clear. ( i did post an edit aftwerwards). The rules could have been interpreted as 'maximum of 6 samples + effects', which it would mean it was ok to use less. Because some people seem to have interpreted it that way, i will make it valid.
For the purpose of voting, provided a composition has used samples from the set given, and samples + effecs = 6 or less, it is ok.
Second point... I have been asked before to provide guidance(i.e., a criteria) for voting. So, this time i will do just that.
In the first paragraph of your voting thread you must explain what you understand by 'minimalism' (no quotes from wikipedia or the like, please. I do not want to know what the books say, if i did i would go and read them myself . I want to know what minimalism means to YOU.)
Now, for your voting all you need to do is decide how much each track fits in with what you wrote as your definition and vote accordingly!
For voting you list your top ten tracks, starting from the one you like the best.
First track gets 10 points from you, the second gets 9 points, etc.
People who did not submit an entry to the dare can still vote. But they must already have 3 sounds uploaded to freesound or 5 forum posts before voting
Entrants must vote or be disqualified (meaning they loose all their votes).
DEADLINE: voting closes 5 th March, around 11pm GMT.
Well, being decidedly Ent-like, it's far too early for me to cast my votes... however, I'm feeling a bit uneasy about the voting guideline. I mean, my definition of "minimalism" doesn't seem to bear any relationship to many of the tracks or, more importantly to the criteria we were given in the first place, which was simply to use a minimal number of sound samples and/or effects. My gut feeling is to judge tehm by _that_ criteria. Does that make sense? If we had been asked to produce a piece in a minimalist _style_... well that would be a different ball=game entirely!
I guess that it's perhaps opportune for me to state what my definition of minimalism is. First off, I don't like the term anyway! Labels are just that - labels. My main experience has been in teh visual arts world, but it's very similar situation. A minimalist painting would be one of those stark abstracts like a huge canvas painted off-white or something. Same with architecture. My first introduction to minimal music would probly be listening to Ravel's Bolero as a child. It's basicly one long crescendo with a single melody repeated over and over until the climax where it suddenly changes key! Great stuff! My second exposure came when I was a teenager and I heard a strange and mesmerising music on the radio with a similar structure to Bolero with a simple tune repeated until a climax. That turned out to be Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield and it was the very first LP I bought. I loved it. Still do. It was through Oldfield that I found out about other composers working in a similar style like Philip Glass,Terry Riley and Steve Reich. Like most labels, I believe that the "minimalist" tag was invented in a disparaging way by smart-arse critics who also insisted on calling it "stuck in the groove" music. Now, I'm not sure what the books or Wikepidia say as I havn't looked, but that's my potted version!
So, my voting would be very different if I tryed to put that criteria onto it instead of just voting on which tracks I think sucseed the most using teh minimal material!
I can see your point(s). Now you know why i have always resisted in the past to giving voting guidelines.
I am doing this since i received several requests in the last couple of dares. Suspect most people will fell that it is not as helpfull as they first thought it would be and we won't do it again .
Here's how i intend the criteria to be used:
Think about what would make the ideal entry, in the context of this dare.
Then rate songs against that ideal.
It is very subjective as i am asking YOU. For example... The ideal entry for you could be made up of 1 sample + 5 effects and contain a repetitive theme.
Someone else may think that less effects is better, and consider their ideal a song with only 1 effect.
Others may say it does not matter number of samples/effects, but needs to sound simple and uncluttered.
Whatever the 'ideal' criteria you choose as yours, apply it to all pieces and then vote accordingly
Ah, I might have not explained myself properly in the previous voting when I asked for some sort of a guideline, but simply put I wanted to move away from or incorporate just a tad bit less of the "subjective" aspect of voting. So while 90% of the weightage in the voting could be laid on the subjective/personal-interpretation part, I wanted 10% (random number) of the voting to be based on a standardized scale (so that we would have a certain comparative aspect) in order to rank a particular piece higher than another.
I don't really know how popular votes and jury votes work, but I'd assume that in popular voting people simply vote on what they like the best. They do not think about the technicality; the only thing they look for is "which did I like more?" Jury voting, again I'm only assuming, would be when the critical and technical aspects of the piece/art would be taken into consideration. In that, I think what we have here more often than not is popular voting. So I just thought that when voting, on every piece, assign part of the vote to popularity (subjective) and part to technicality (objective).
It sounds complicated, but really isn't (and I'll demonstrate it when I vote).
Even then, I think I am just complicating matters further.
I do concur with Puniho, though, partly maybe because I was confused. So before I vote, let me just ask one question: What was the idea of the dare? To produce a minimalistic piece or to use minimal resources to produce any kind of piece? (I did the latter). Let me know, and I'll edit this post with my votes. Thanks!
Well, I think to make that clear when all the pieces are done, is too late. For me and the production of my piece, the term "minimalist" worked as a theme, not as a rule. I didn't use it as a rule, because it was none. The rules have been to use only minimal amounts of samples and effects, and that's it.
Same with me about the voting guidelines, but i will interpret it my way. As afleetingspeck pointed out, i think it could be helpful to include technical, compositional, stylistic or whatever skills into to the pure "like/like not"-voting, but a voting finally is - in every case if it has to do with art - an emotional process. You can never judge over a piece of art regarding only technical or formal aspects. It always has to do with interpretation, what means, did "it" reach me, move something in me and so on.
So before I vote, let me just ask one question: What was the idea of the dare? To produce a minimalistic piece or to use minimal resources to produce any kind of piece? (I did the latter). Let me know, and I'll edit this post with my votes. Thanks!
Ahhhh 'What is the idea of the dare?'
I cannot possibly answer that. LOL. That is for each of you to find out through your own composition and the listening of the other's
What I asked of you (samples + effects = 6) is only part of the story. Each of you took your own path, along the lines of what you felt was right.
There is no right or wrong answer.
The point of the (voting) exercise is for each of us to take time to think "what makes the ideal piece for this dare". Write it down and then use that same criteria to measure all pieces and to vote.
You make your own criteria. So do it in reverse, if you like: listen to all pieces, decide which ones you like and then work out why you like them. Try to condense it into one paragraph and then use that criteria to measure all pieces.
Don't stress when I said there are no right or wrong answers I was lying: all answers are right!
but i will interpret it my way.
I think that sums it well.
You got it!
...but a voting finally is - in every case if it has to do with art - an emotional process. You can never judge over a piece of art regarding only technical or formal aspects.
Before, when I was simply a listener, it was either a "like/like not" process as you pointed out, but now even pieces that I do not completely like, I feel happy, because I am able to visualize a person (and often the effort) behind a given composition
I think, that's the point. You are extending your horizon when you are learning to do things. And that is part of the process. I think, the author/composer cannot address every single recipient with his/her composition, but can create art within his/her ability. Now it is part of the audience to recognize it with her comprehension. That is why art needs educated recipients.
I think "minimalism" is best thought of as a framing technique. I first fell in love with minimalist design when I studied the architecture (don't worry I'll get to sound soon-ish) of Luis Barragan; every single home he designed was a completely livable work of art, in contrast to many american so-called minimalist homes (which are really just Modern). What made Barragan's homes minimalist was that they were all focused on the Mexican sun, whether there were a plethora of brightly colored walls or it was all white and dark wood, whether the window was one invisible wall or deep yellow cuts in a passageway. Every choice he made as an architect responded to the Mexican sun and how to live in it. A good minimalist music composition is the same way whether the piece is made up of pure tones or ornate rhythms the composer should use every creative choice to highlight a single "truth" or perhaps essence. It takes patience, focus and restraint to utilize all of your creative choices for an entire piece to focus on the same thing, and that is why minimalist should be re-purposed as a term of praise, an acknowledgement of the unity within a piece.
My voting is based on whether creative choices as outlined by the composer, and experienced through my listening led me to discover a single "thing-ness" from each piece. (Also, I pretty much enjoyed all the pieces musically so being really adamant in my definition is necessary)
Also, My comments are all relative to this mindset of listening and are intended to emphasize my thought process through the listening and ranking. The purpose/concept of many of your pieces I'm sure had nothing to do with my mindset, please know that my comments are merely to show how ANY/ALL of these pieces could become more minimalist using the above definition (aka please don't be offended).
10pts: Phase Slow Down, Dwight, Michael_Trickery, 2sounds + 4effects
Repetition+Phasing feels like the perfect way to emphasize percussive elements of speech after hearing this piece. All of the effect choices supported this main impression. Nice job.
9pts: Triangular Bells, Kyster, 1sound+2(?)Effects
Wouldn't it be nice if a truly triangular bell sounded so resonant, deep, and full. I think perhaps the most interesting thing about processing the triangle to sound like its venerable cousin is that you didnt to change the tiny and "cold" character of the triangle. It's voice and presence mimics the tubular bells but there is no warmth in the ring, which gives it, somewhat, a gong-like nature. A totally intreiging meditation on metalic tonal percussion.
8pts: Ten Till Four, thatjeffcarter, 2sounds + 4effects
This piece, and thatjeffcarters description of his process, aim to do nothing more than change the character of the sample he started with. From the haunting "hunting" sample he coaxes this shimmering hope, whiose brightness is highligted by the ease with which it blends with the triangle.
7pts: Half Dozen Minimalist, soneproject, 3sounds + 2(?)effects
The only thing I seem to be able to think about this is that it feels like sunrise on a beach...
6pts: Meleduct, cannonrayj, 3sounds + 2 effects
This piece is like a trance, her voice has become totally indepented from her bodily being and is floating in another plane of thought entirely. The reason this works so well is that nothing changes much except the listeners perspective on whats happening. I think you know (from the fact that it is exactly 4mins long) this could be 6 or 10 mins long as long as that same restraint is used on the evolution of perspective.
5pts: Knocking, OSH37, 3sounds+3effects
Slowly building variations/ornamentations onto The Rhythm. The sonic effect is almost equivalent to a spectrum of various shades of yellow, or perhaps all the different moods of our main "character" rhythm. A very compelling solution to the dare.
4pts: Voices in the Head, afleetingspeck, 3sounds + 3effects
A piece whose whole purpose is to make the listener groove. I'm lovin that she harmonizes with herself so well (maybe thats a "duh" kind of thing to most people, but i've found it hard to accomplish with my own voice without re-recording things). Most interestingly is that i came away with this very specific melody stuck in my head thats not actually in your piece verbatum but is perhaps a synthesis of your nice splice work, plus it's totally funny with your title.
3pts: Minimalist[at]work, schluppipuppie, 1sound + 5effects
From the waveform and first 30seconds it appears this piece will be a finely crafted drum build. It shows no relelting and no hidden agenda, just wants us to have fun. Really the essence is copyc4t's comment: "Dare 10 part 2: I dare the listeners to listen to this and stay perfectly still"
2pts: Speed Limit, copyc4t, 5sounds+1effect
From copyc4t's comments within his own piece, it seems like the main focus of this piece is to get you into a racing/cruising mindset, and the effect choices complement this well. The full storyline is, perhaps, uncessecary even if it was the origin of the retro racing texture. Sonically the heart monitor and death tolls, while pretty hilarious, don't match the atmosphere of the rest of the piece.
1pt: Untitled or "bloody awful mess", toiletrolltube, 3sounds + 3effects
Cacophony meets you at every second, the shifting nature of the piece created by these frozen noises vying for attention. Perhaps the intent was to present release/releif from the chaos. If thats true the chaos should have been less interesting and varied because I was very sad when the shifting painful textures just died away.
Minimal Sequence, AlienXXX, 3sounds+3effects
I'm not sure if I would have connected to this if the word 'sequence' hadnt been in the title. Also, interesting is that, in a way, its stylistically the reverse of cannonrayj's piece. I wish that it were more focused on paring down an ornate sequence because I love the second half, although theres always the possibility that i wouldnt like the second half for its focus if the first half were more like it.
Dwight's bad dream, bebops, 1sound+5effects
Very interesting, with all the cuts and views to the original material its hard to tell if the sound, or even my perception of it has changed. I've listened to it many times and I'm still not quite sure if what I think is happening is actually happening. Which actually works a bit in favor of your piece because the attacks have all been emphasized and the rest kinda just fills in the void. A fleshed out studder completely scattered? I still have no idea...
Dont't think Dwight will slow down, escortmarius, 5samples + 1effect
A very interesting play in contrasting textures, I totally love the section at 0:40, especially the slice of voice (almost a "tchs" sound) from "please slow down dwight" you used there. BUT I still feel that it tries to do too much at once. This piece seems to me to be a teaser of many thoughts and ideas (which I think are probably delineated for me by how the triangle interacts with each of the other sounds at different points) but doent convey any solid image/focus/thing to me (because that interaction changes character so often).
She loves me even if I drink too much, klankbeeld, 5sounds + 1effect
The title is the main thing I have to go on regarding some focus for the piece. So, I listened for a sonic drunken bender of sorts. The lowering of the alchemic hunting sound puts me on tenderhooks the whole time, together with the belching makes me nervous about what I'm about to hear. the increasing pace of the synth-y sound increases that nervousnes...BUT then the silly addition of the triangle at the end deflates everything I thought, like it was an acting excercise or something. It would have been better to get rid of the triangle and use a second effect, perhaps some deep echos to build on the nervous feeling of waiting for something bad to happen.
Mr Dwight Rides Again, Puniho, 5sounds + 1effect
Especially around the one minute mark your treatment of the material feels very orchestral, but I'm not really sure to what end. All of your techniques are interiging but don't always complement eachother as one piece...Actually, I think it would be pretty incredible as an installation, different sections playing and meshing as you move through a narrow passageway?...
wowza my post is super long...sorry bout that
wowza my post is super long...sorry bout that
I know some people don't like writting reviews. That is always optional but never required here at the dares.
I would ask you to reconsider on the voting, though.
This is something i don't particularly like myself, but it is part of the fun. - for the others, if not for me, personally.
On the more practical side, often when i have to decide between two very good pieces i need to do some carefull listening to look fir the finer points that will tip the balance either way. That always results in me finding hidden gems in those pieces, which i had missed initially - so it is time well spent.
I am a very literal person, to me minimalism has several meanings: 1 what the name implies, the minimum necessary to achieve what is needed.
2: simply clean and makes sense.
3: from an artistic point of view, modified and simplified, this doesn't really relate with sound, more of with other art forms...
but also to me minimalist doesn't try, its not forced or complex, it extracts itself from reality and creates its own environment, and is deep and has meaning whether literal or not.
so here is my votes
10pt triangle bells, Kyster: the mood created in this song is incredible, the cacophony is stunning and it creates this wondrous world that i wish i could live in.
9pt built to look weathered, joannageralyn : the monochromatic essence paired with the metallic and computer glitch noises is really appealing to mea and hold a very contemplative mindset.
8pt ten till four, thatjeffcarter was here: i really love the small/ background noises that are used, it is a really nice, clean song, with a really nice movement and really inspires a good mood.
7pt knocking, osh37: the progression is really nice, keeping the sounds separate while still blending them creates a nice atmosphere
6pt speed limit, copyc4t: the intro really made this song for me, even thought the beat afterward can be complex it simplifies into something that works incredibly
5pt mr dwight rides again, Puniho: this song really reminds me of burial, it has a fairly simple beat, and a complex structure based on vocal samples, and a lot of little noises created from the samples which is my favorite part of this.
4pt she loves me even if i drink to much, klankbeeld: this one does have a truly minimalist approach, in sound and structure, but it left me unimpressed, and the song was really quite empty, and without any substance.
3pt minimal sequence, AlienXXX: this was really nice and relaxed, it didn't feel forced and it creates its own sense of time and space
2pt don't think dwight will slow down, escortmarius: the uniformity of sequence between segments saved this song for me, its creates a confusing, and restlessness that really made it hard for me to focus on the song itself which i actually appreciated and it was seemingly tricking me into continuing to listen to try to figure it out, and i was able to appreciate the overall effect
1pt voices in the head, afleetingspeck: after about the first fifty seconds the secondary beat of the door sample combined with the beat of the triangle created some confusion, and distracted from the vocal sampling
minimalist doesn't try, its not forced or complex, it extracts itself from reality and creates its own environment
My voting is, as some may have expected, a complicated process, because as always, this is one part of the dare where you really feel that there's no justification in saying a piece is better than another. I mean who am I?
But such are the rules, and you can read my hypocrisy hereon.
A really brief explanation about my voting process: I tried to assign points out of 10 to each composition, and then I ranked them on the basis of the highest point-getter to the lowest. You could score a max of 4 points for the piece as a whole, 3 for whether or not or how much (to me) it was minimal, 2 for the techniques/backend process (the process on the composer's part: relates to the complexity involved in the technique, not the final piece), and finally 1 point for a surprise element in the composition. Tie-breakers are decided based on minimalism first and the piece-as-a-whole-second. If everything is similar, the more rhythmic section gets a higher rank.
The detailed analysis is here: http://goo.gl/kT3Gi
When I say minimalism, here's what I understand: If I listened to a complex piece, and it endeared me to 95 on a scale of 100, any other much simpler piece in terms of techniques, instruments, or brevity that helps me go to a scale or 95 or above is a good minimalistic piece. I don't know the textbook definition, but that's the idea I always had in mind, and so I will take that into consideration: was the piece minimal but effective? Was it minimal yet evocative? Because you could take the triangle sample, make a click track out of it, and that'd be minimal, but not exactly enticing.
Based on that criteria, my votes are (and I'll admit, I've laid more emphasis on the final mood/rhythm/liking-ness (er) than any other element):
Rank. freesound nick (soundcloud nick|points on my scale) - points for the dare.
I'll double-check the list later and confirm with my document posted above that the ranks are right (although I think I got it all correct), and I'll also edit after reviewing a few pieces that I think need some mention.
A note about the 0.5s -- if you look at the detailed analysis, and you got a 2.5 or 3.5, assume that you had a 3 or 4 respectively. I just couldn't give you a full score.
Congratulations! Sorry if some of my votes weren't correct, we had way too many entries this time. I guess this is as much an exercise in judging and being critical as much it is about being the contributors.
Not sure you have noticed, but this voting is turning out to be different from previous ones. There is a lot more discussion going on. - Suspect this is because I have introduced the request for a criteria.
As I said, I may not do it again. I am sure we will get the general feel for whether or not the comunity enjoyed the exercise more or found it more useful because of it.
Please don't feel that you need to make it as complex as afleetingspec did
Remember that the longer you spend doing critical listening, the better musician you will be.
Make sure that you are taking advantage of the voting process to do that.
Now... if you did make it as complex as afleetingspec (and that is also fine!). Think of what a valuable resource this could be for later.
Taking afleetingspec as an example... Imagine he is trying to compose a minimalist piece in 6 months time for whatever reason. He is a bit stuck between making it minimalist enough but at the same time interesting enough. A quick reference to his voting table (which hopefully he would have saved somewhere with his music notes and in close proximity to the downloaded dare 10 pieces) would give him a few reference pieces that scored high on 'minimalism', and also had a high score on 'surprise' = initerest or a high score as an 'overal composition'.
Here are my votes and criteria:
What is minimalism? - At least in the context of this particular dare it is the challenge to make more from less. We have incredible resources available to us in the sheer number of sounds available (at freesound and around us everywhere) and we have mindbogglingly powerful computers to process these sounds in an infinite variety of ways. This minimalism dare set some limits on those resources and challenged us to do more with less.
My points are awarded on two standards:
-1)Subjective: Like/Dislike. Did I like it? All of it? Most of it? Some of it? None of it? (no one fell into that group)
-2)Slightly Less Subjective: Do I want to emulate that style /technique?
And the results-
10 points - Schluppipuppie "Minimalist [at] Work" So many great sounds from one source. Astounding
9 points - jgeralyn - "Built to Look Weathered" I often feel that I clutter my music with too much. this piece is beautiful in its restraint.
8 points - Kyster - "Triangular Bells" I love the contrast between the deep solemn bells and the little chattering bells
7 points - afleetingspeck - "Voices in the Head" - Nice rhythm and motion.
6 points - Toiletrolltube - "Dare 10" - I sometimes wish I was brave enough to let my music be this "noisy"
5 points - osh37 - "Knocking" - I like the progressive changes to the beat.
4 points - Michael_Trickery - "Please Slow Down, Dwight" - this is minimalist at its minimalist.
3 points - copyc4t - "Speed Limit" - Great sounds, nice story
2 points - AlienXXX - "Dare 10" I like the rhythms and the bells
1 point - Klankbeeld - "She Loves Me Even if I Drink too Much" - I like the story in the music... especially in the silences between the music.
and if I didn't give your piece any points take comfort in the fact that my evaluation is almost completely subjective and that it is just me. I may be wrong.
This is an example of what I know as minimal music, but after AlienXXX sayd not to go to wiki,
I did go and discovered that thats not the only style/type of minimal.
What minimal means to me is using minimal sounds/recources to create a NICE(very important) MUSICAL(or its not minimal-music but just sound!!!) piece, whatever the results are.
Like my piece sounds like an automated factory on full speed production, I like music if it has some kind of "groove" that gets me in my hart or whatever you call it, and gets me on the move.
Or like afleetingspeck Voices in the Head, I just cannot keep still.
I am listening to all entries again now, to make my votes.
And this is what my voting will be about: Can you get me on my feet??
Can you get under my skin?, Automate my factory!!!
I am missing/cannot find 1 piece so my votes will come after I sort this out.....
Oke my Top 10:
10 points afleetingspeck http://soundcloud.com/afleetingspeck/voices-in-the-head
9 points AlienXXX http://soundcloud.com/alienxxx/alienxxx-minimal-sequence
8 points OSH37 http://soundcloud.com/osh37/dare-10-knocking
7 points schluppipuppie http://soundcloud.com/sonofapreacherman/minimalist-at-work
6 points Michael_Trickery http://soundcloud.com/trickery_dnb/phase-slow-down-dwight
5 points Kyster http://soundcloud.com/kyster/sets/triangular-bells-dare-10
4 points klankbeeld http://soundcloud.com/klankbeeld/she-loves-me-even-if-i-drink
3 points copyc4t http://soundcloud.com/copyc4t/speed-limit
2 points soneproject http://soundcloud.com/saoesound/freesounds-dare-10-half-dozen
1 point bebops http://soundcloud.com/ramacod/dwights-bad-dream-freesounds
All off you thanx!!!! I had a great time, and learned a lot again.
I didnt want to vote, everyone made great stuff, but the rules are there.............
I'm not really any good at writing reviews so my voting'll have to do. I hope it's ok.
The minimalism dare was great though, and everybody made a quite brilliant entry If I might add.
My personal understanding of minimalism is, that one have to use as little as possible, to make something as good as possible. But as the dare is boiled down to five sound sources, it's pretty much as minimal as it gets. Btw, i'm terribly sorry that i've misunderstood the rule about the six slots that have to be filled.
But, i'm not good at leaving any entry out either, and being forced to do just that, I thought I would set up some criteria for my voting. That ended up being personal feeling of the piece / Minimalism / surprises along the way of the piece. Each category was given points from zero to ten (and that seemed to make the whole lot easier for me), so here's my votes.
10 pts - Cannonrayj / Ro unit - Meleduct
9 pts – jgeralyn / joannageralyn - Built to look weathered
8 pts – bepops / ramacod - Dwights bad dream
7 pts – afleetingspeck / afleetingspeck - Voices in the head
6 pts – thatjeffcarter / thatjeffcarter - Ten till four
5 pts – escortmarius / escortmarius - Don't think Dwight will slow down
4 pts – Schluppipuppie / sonofapreacher - Minimalist at work
3 pts – Michael_Trickery / trickery_dnb - Phase slow down
2 pts – OSH37 / OSH37 - Knocking
1 pts – copyc4t / copyc4t - Speedlimit
I just hate to vote on things like this, but sadly that's part of the dares. Just want to point out that every single dare was listened to, with joy!!