“Call Out My Name”: Hey-hey, look, it’s another compound meter, with an ultra-slow 45 BPM tempo. By comparison, the slowest tempo we reached in last year’s Chartmania was 57 BPM — also a compound meter. The form here is why they made up the word “formulaic.” Though perhaps the absence of any tricks lays a foundation for Abel Tesfaye to take more liberties with his phrasing, starting his melodies first where you’d expect them, later well before the bar lines dictate, and then after the bar lines for a stumbling, dizzying effect. Watch out in the outro for the strong G♭ in the bass making a good argument for a G♭6 chord. Then again, it may be a first inversion E♭.
Once you get a motif, you can repeat it. A very good idea: Repetition is the songwriter’s friend. The more times you repeat the motif within a song the more easily it will be remembered. And you can repeat it at either the same pitch or at a different one.
Described by Time Out New York as “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” and The New Times as “one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York,” Missy Mazzoli has obviously earned an indisputable place on this list. She’s been creating innovative, daring, and also stunningly gorgeous music for almost 30 years. A composer and pianist, Mazzoli not only writes ground-breaking operas, orchestral works, and chamber music, but is the founder and keyboardist for the all-female band Victoire. Selflessly spreading her knowledge and original musical insight, Mazzoli is now a member of the Composition faculty at Mannes School of Music at The New School.
Brad Pack is an award-winning audio engineer, writer, and educator based in Chicago, IL. Brad holds a Master’s degree in Electronic Media Production. When he’s not in front of his laptop, Brad can be found in the mosh pit.
Jeremy is a Montreal-based musician, sound artist and improviser who loves giving advice to emerging artists on how to make their tours more effective. He writes, records and performs electroacoustic “concrète” music for tape, oscillators and amplified objects and surfaces, as well as solo guitar. He has performed and released material throughout Europe and the UK, Asia, the US and Canada, mostly with his trio Sontag Shogun.
But here’s the good thing. Before you go spending $6,000 on a professional studio, you don’t need a pristinely recorded full-length album under your belt at all. Demos are fine, but try to get a decently home-recorded and mixed couple of tracks together whenever possible. If it doesn’t sound perfect, that’s fine, just don’t print and sell copies of those songs yet. Just don’t think about booking local shows until you’ve got music to share.