Defense Mechanisms - Track Analysis: 5/ Soundfrieze

Track name: Soundfrieze


Composed: 2011



The Title:


(Architecture) A decorative horizontal band.

(Mathematics) frieze group is a mathematical concept to classify designs on two-dimensional surfaces which are repetitive in one direction, based on the symmetries in the pattern.

(Military) The cheval de frise was a medieval defensive obstacle consisting of a portable frame covered with many projecting long iron or wooden spikes or spears.


The Music:

(The tune is in the player on the left)

I mostly took inspiration from the visual idea of a frieze (architecture). As you can see on the score, the first motif/shape is developed using geometrical/graphic processes.

Using mathematics in a composition can be a good way to hide yourself behind something logical, "irrefutable". But the general audience don't want to hear about numbers, they (rightly) want emotions. I often use numbers/geometry/symmetry in my compositions, because I believe these things have some kind of "magical" power. Needless to say, my ear always has the final word - if it doesn't sound good to me, I change it. I believe it's possible to make numbers sound beautiful!

The score is extremely minimal, incomplete. As it is, it's not a piece of music. The drum parts, the drum feel, give it a sense. I never write drum parts, I prefer to sing them to the drummer. As I wrote earlier, the drums are always an integral part of my compositions - when I compose, I hear them in my head. This might be the "drummer in me", as I wanted to play that instrument as a teenager; but my elder brother was already a drummer, so I picked the bass...!

Hats off to Matt - the precision of his playing is beyond words!


The Recording:

We recorded the bass and drums first, splitting the tune in four parts. Then we added the Rhodes and piano.

This is the only track I played with a pick.


Here's a short video shot during the mix:


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