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Clark - Playground In A Lake


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20 minutes ago, toaoaoad said:

rather than saying in interviews "look how brilliant I am, and now this album is going to inspire people to listen to classical music" lmao. Tell me how that's not pretentious. 

yeah i don't think he ever implied he was brilliant or anything though, that's just you reading too much into what he said imo. but i agree that "i want this to be a bridge between musical genres" is a pretentious thing to say, especially when all you did was barely scratching the surface of the genre in question. and yeah, "i taught myself how to read and write sheet music" is about the most "cool story bro" statement you can make in an interview. lol 

Edited by brian trageskin
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1 hour ago, toaoaoad said:

But it sells as some kind of advancement to the music itself, which it doesn't seem to be at all.

I probably should have just said this from the beginning and left it at that 😅

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44 minutes ago, toaoaoad said:

I'm not sure what you mean... has it come across at all that I don't understand something?  It's my personal opinion that saying "I taught myself" is pretentious; it leads people to think "wow this guy is so smart, he taught himself!" when really it's something quite unremarkable, and teaching yourself actually more likely means that you've learned something somewhat incorrectly (or at least incompletely) and have blind spots. It's misleading and a bit self-aggrandizing. So I'm calling him out for that. In the following post I admitted that I didn't have a concrete basis for my overall impression that he's pretentious. We're all entitled to our opinions, but naturally fans on a fan site are going to resist the negative ones lol

you don't know/understand clark's intention when he made this music, you've just read too much into things he's said in an interview.

personally i'm not a big fan of the album, i'd rather he released something different too btw.

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Sorry but what's the purpose of posts like "good thread" and "why is this so long"? Go to genban and post that shit in the China thread. Or the NFT thread. This is an artist page and we're talking about a new album. If you don't like the thread, go somewhere else. 

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what's the purpose of posts redirecting people to other threads? it derails the topic of discussion - only topical posts please

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The theory posts are interesting. I like classical music, especially from late romantic period on and some contemporary classical music is thrilling - but I struggle with this end of modern kind classical music, the kind that is very pleasant and tame and seems "emotional" because like a broken A minor arpeggio is softly going around and around and apparently this means sadness or evokes the arctic or whatnot. I know Ludovico Einaudi, Nils Frahm Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds etc. are super popular, but I just don't get it. Everything about most of that music irritates me more than any other kind of music. To feel emotion from music I need it to do *something* challenging or unpredictable, sometimes. It can be relaxing and pretty, but my ears yearn from some harmonic shifts that aren't the same plodding, diatonic things we've heard so often, or the same pretty modes on the same piano sounds...But again, I know a lot of people find this music very functional and question me about what the "point" of more difficult music is and don't get why I enjoy it so much, so whatever.  Debussy or Ravel can move me to tears, even at their most restrained and "simple", but that other music makes me cry for other reasons.

Edited by Lianne
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12 hours ago, Lianne said:

I struggle with this end of modern kind classical music, the kind that is very pleasant and tame and seems "emotional" because like a broken A minor arpeggio is softly going around and around and apparently this means sadness or evokes the arctic or whatnot.

flol. sadness and the arctic. my thoughts exactly.

13 hours ago, Lianne said:

Debussy or Ravel can move me to tears, even at their most restrained and "simple"

that's because their music is extremely sophisticated and harmonically lush, even at their most restrained and simple. 

on an unrelated note: @toaoaoad i completely forgot to mention that my main goal with that analysis was to show to music theory noobs (that is to say, about 95% of watmm) that our friend clark didn't make much of an effort here, as most tunes on the album consist of basic minor progressions, without a single modulation. but for the sake of accuracy, i chose to write down the modes, and ended up writing down every single modulation i could spot as i was having so much fun, and i also wanted this to be a gateway drug to music theory lol.

that last bit is actually true though. my goal here isn't to impress noobs but to arouse their interest in theory. i always post that kind of stuff hoping it might have that effect on someone. sue me lol. 

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as soon as an artist forgets to add beats to song, they get torn up by the theory snobs hehe...

 

Yeah I dunno I don't like this a ton either. Sounds like clark, but less like the clark I know and more like the part of clark that I want to build up into a cool drop, not just keep noodling on. kinda sounds like the same song over and over again, i dunno maybe that was the intention. desolate post-apocolyptic themes washed out by various smears of reverb and drone

 

ok but I kind of like this suspended reservoir song tbh

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This is only tangentially related but if you're interested in some excellent lectures on how old-school classical music is constructed these are really good:

 

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Also not totally related to this thread but if you go back and listen to some of the work that the avant garde composers of the 20th century were writing many decades ago it makes most of the amateur electronic music coming out now sound very amateur and conservative indeed. It doesn't make it bad but I think we need to evaluate the kind of stuff we listen to on this board on its own terms and not spend too much time worrying how it measures up to more orthodox "classical" music.

Edited by kuniklo
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On 4/13/2021 at 6:17 AM, o00o said:

That’s very interesting- did notice a difference to his older releases like body riddle or empty  the bones of you in terms of harmonic structure?

Could you do this song by song key analysis  with said records? 

there you go man (took me quite a while tbh). again, i may have made mistakes

 

empty the bones of you: 

1 - F3/4# dorian 

2 - Bb minor - D# locrian ♮2 (that's how i hear it anyway - could be any mode of F# jazz minor as toad would point out but this is my personal take on it, so fuck you toad - just kidding, love you bro) - repeat. btw the tune doesn't modulate to that locrian stuff, it's just a non-diatonic phrase. i only analyzed it for fun because i've always loved it, and this is my favourite clark tune 

3 - F#m (m is for minor) 

4 - A mixolydian 

5 - A major 

6 - Abmaj

7 - Fm - Abmaj - F#m 

8 - A dorian - Bbm 

9 - D#m 

10 - Fmaj  

11 - who cares 

12 - D#m 

13 - F# diminished - Bbm 

14 - A1/2b minor - Am 

 

body riddle: 

1 - C#m 

2 - G#m 

3 - Gm 

4 - C1/2#m + non-diatonic progression in G1/2#maj (meaning the tonic chord is G1/2#maj but the other chords aren't necessarily diatonic) - extremely rare move from clark as far as i know, that non-diatonic prog 

5 - Bm

6 - no key in particular 

7 - Bbm - Bb dorian - Bbm

8 - F dorian - Fm 

9 - Am 

10 - B dorian - Dmaj- B dorian - Bmaj

11 - B1/2#m 

very similar to what he does these days, except he used to modulate even less. the harmony was better back then though, imo. 

i hope this is helpful, or at least interesting.

Edited by brian trageskin
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Thanks for all your sharing on this, @brian trageskin!

In truth there is more going on in this new Clark album than most of the music of those modern / easy-listening classical composers I mentioned. The grain, the textures, the use of effects and detuned synths - that takes it to a better place than that stuff. I would still have personally preferred the piano / string aspect to be a bit... actually...a lot more adventurous, but in places the production and timbre of things really shines in a beautifully rusty way. 

Edited by Lianne
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On 4/16/2021 at 3:17 AM, brian trageskin said:

there you go man (took me quite a while tbh). again, i may have made mistakes

 

empty the bones of you: 

1 - F3/4# dorian 

2 - Bb minor - D# locrian ♮2 (that's how i hear it anyway - could be any mode of F# jazz minor as toad would point out but this is my personal take on it, so fuck you toad - just kidding, love you bro) - repeat. btw the tune doesn't modulate to that locrian stuff, it's just a non-diatonic phrase. i only analyzed it for fun because i've always loved it, and this is my favourite clark tune 

3 - F#m (m is for minor) 

4 - A mixolydian 

5 - A major 

6 - Abmaj

7 - Fm - Abmaj - F#m 

8 - A dorian - Bbm 

9 - D#m 

10 - Fmaj  

11 - who cares 

12 - D#m 

13 - F# diminished - Bbm 

14 - A1/2b minor - Am 

 

body riddle: 

1 - C#m 

2 - G#m 

3 - Gm 

4 - C1/2#m + non-diatonic progression in G1/2#maj (meaning the tonic chord is G1/2#maj but the other chords aren't necessarily diatonic) - extremely rare move from clark as far as i know, that non-diatonic prog 

5 - Bm

6 - no key in particular 

7 - Bbm - Bb dorian - Bbm

8 - F dorian - Fm 

9 - Am 

10 - B dorian - Dmaj- B dorian - Bmaj

11 - B1/2#m 

very similar to what he does these days, except he used to modulate even less. the harmony was better back then though, imo. 

i hope this is helpful, or at least interesting.

Ah thx for writing it out that’s really interesting. Going to do a listening session to it soon

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He seems to have a thing for dorian and d minor. I did similar analysis by also extracting the chords with melodyne from the analord series. (Especially xmd5a and phonatacid)
 

did you notice some microtuning in the Clark analysis?

 

we should start a topic on this sometime 

Edited by o00o
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I think the last quarter of this album gets good. 'Earth Systems' is a really powerful track in particular. That's more my kind of thing when it comes to Clark's music (at least when he's going largely beatless.)

Edited by Lianne
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