Playing By Ear: 60 X 365

Composer David Morneau has concluded a heroic yearlong musical project. A doctoral candidate in composition at Ohio State., Morneau has been composing, producing, and blogging one 60-second piece of music daily for the past 12 months on a site called 60 X 365. He discussed the project yesterday on NPR Music:

“I kind of hit a creative block with a couple other projects I was working on at the time,” he says, “so I was looking for a way to try some new things, and also for a way to sort of develop a little more discipline in my composing life.”

Morneau’s 60-second compositions took all different forms. On “String Cheese,” he took the sampled strings from Apple’s GarageBand software program, and mixed that sound with the oft-sampled drum solo known as the Amen break.

“Some of them are just about making one sound last for a full minute, and seeing what that feels like and what that sounds like,” he says. “And then some of the other ones are really more about finding a way to build a miniature structure within the one minute.”

Not all the compositions are what everybody would think of as “music” either. On “Glassbreak,” he took the sound of breaking glass to fashion what he called “old-school musique concrete.”

“And I’m happy if people want to think of some things like that as sound art,” he says. “I used to be more concerned about that question, but now — you know, I like to work with all kinds of sounds, in sort of all different ways. And I, of course, think of it all as music, but I know that that’s kind of a hurdle for some people, and calling it sound art or some other term is fine.”

Morneau’s project naturally made me think of John Cage. Then I wondered what Mozart or Beethoven would have made of the blog medium.

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One Response to Playing By Ear: 60 X 365

  1. alex says:

    brilliant! thank you so much for pointing to this.

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