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The Vine Orchestra
December 9, 2013 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Last month, the Vine Orchestra held a call for orchestral scores with durations of less than 6 seconds. Over 150 compositions were entered, and 52 compositions were performed and recorded on December 1st. You can find all 52 on their youtube playlist.

The Vine Orchestra is named for the Vine mobile app, which people use to make looping videos of no more than 6 seconds.
posted by moonmilk (23 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
(If you use the metafilter inline youtube player, you'll only get the first piece! Click through to youtube to hear them all.)
posted by moonmilk at 6:27 PM on December 9, 2013


Is it just me, or do a lot of these seem like lost Star Wars cues?
posted by Iridic at 6:46 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eyecatch music!

or... Telephone ring tones!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:09 PM on December 9, 2013


Is it just me, or do a lot of these seem like lost Star Wars cues?

Exactly! I'm back in the house that I grew up in playing Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire on my N64 after my parents went to bed.

posted by 2bucksplus at 7:23 PM on December 9, 2013


Watching these, I get the feeling that the mechanical repetition (literally, it is clear they played the 6 seconds once and looped it by electronic means) and short duration combine to make almost anything seem conventional. It is the aural equivalent of the whole team lined up to give a high five when I kind of wanted to talk somebody. It could be there is a way to make one of these (or a way to listen to one?) that would really stand out, and it is only the curation of the examples which leaves me with this impression.

It feels cinematic, perhaps because I am used to orchestra hits to punctuate a movie, that don't necessarily fit into a larger compositional structure.
posted by idiopath at 7:32 PM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think part of it is the length of repetition too. Anything looped for a minute is going to sound straightforward enough, but much longer -- 30 minutes, 3 hours, 30 days -- and it will most definitely become strange.
posted by speicus at 7:39 PM on December 9, 2013


Leap Sounds: 1-Second Music for the Leap Second (2006)

(Something I participated in.)
posted by Foosnark at 7:47 PM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would like to have these play though just once, rather than loop for a minute. It would give less of a conventional feel. As such I'm listening through them once and then skipping to the next.
posted by solarion at 7:56 PM on December 9, 2013


I thought the looping was a bug; it's actually supposed to be a feature? Anyway, like solaria, I skipped through the pieces. I find this exercise about 1/3 enchanting and 2/3 frustrating to maddening. The quality of the composing and playing is pretty fine, but the "6 seconds" gimmick I found to wear thin very quickly. It's also possible to read the whole exercise as somewhat insulting to the talents of those involved; is this supposed to be an audition/chance for exposure for composers? If so, then yuck.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:16 PM on December 9, 2013


is this supposed to be an audition/chance for exposure for composers?

I get the impression it's somewhere between that and a project to mess around with Vine. The world of art music doesn't play well with Twitter et al, I would initially imagine (given the low fidelity, ephemeral nature of much of its material) and this seems reasonable to try and bridge that content gap, even if it's a little bit fumbling at the moment.

Several of these composers have a sound I enjoy but I have no clue where I'd go to find them usually. I'm just not in those kinds of circles?
posted by solarion at 8:25 PM on December 9, 2013


Also Foosnark, your link appears to be dead. The sounds do not play, though the page is still there.
posted by solarion at 8:32 PM on December 9, 2013


Leap Sounds: 1-Second Music for the Leap Second (2006)

(Something I participated in.)

posted by Foosnark at 7:47 PM on December 9
i also participated in this!!

solarion, i'll ask peter from createdigitalmusic to see what's up! :)
posted by raihan_ at 8:42 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Several of these composers have a sound I enjoy but I have no clue where I'd go to find them usually."

A tried and true method is to go to concerts that are playing something you like. With art music there will be multiple composers, each one a potential new lead. In the pop music world there will be opening bands which may interest you.

A more current method is to find compilation albums with artists you know you like. This is especially useful in the Art Music world as it is common to find recordings where one ensemble will play a curated set of pieces by various composers. If you like one you can check out the composer's other work, other ensembles that have played that composer's work, other composers that ensemble plays etc...

There are also competitions, conferences, and festivals, which are sure to have some artists you have never heard of and may want to hear again.

Nowadays there some ensembles will even have their own record label or internet radio station you can check out.
posted by idiopath at 8:49 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm, I agree that it would be nice to have a way to play them all without looping. I'll ask them on twitter.

I forgot to mention - one of the participants is metafilter's own Kala Pierson!
posted by moonmilk at 8:58 PM on December 9, 2013


Heyyy, number 50 is 10 seconds long.
posted by moonmilk at 9:04 PM on December 9, 2013


"I forgot to mention - one of the participants is metafilter's own Kala Pierson!"

Yeah, and hers is one of those I quite like.

Here's my list: I think only one of those, Hoffman's "Backwards Decade", is of the character that most of the pieces share — a soundtrack theme, incidental music, or OS/GUI sound — and while many of those like that are competent, they're mostly mundane and forgettable while Hoffman's piece is actually quite successful at this. It's memorable and interesting, if still relatively conventional.

The others I like seem more like interesting short pieces of music rather than, say, merely functional incidental music for a soundtrack. I quite like Pierson's, Kovarik's, and Perez's. I suppose those three all relatively similar and reveal some of my taste. Still, I think they're interesting and self-sufficient.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:21 PM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


The fact that this is being taken seriously rather than as a gimmick is bothering me. Do folks here really think there is an untapped need for 6-second pieces of Western art music? Ivan Fyordoravich, do you really believe that a 6-second piece constitutes an "interesting short piece[] of music," such that our definition of a short piece now should include a 6-second piece? Convince me that I am being a Philistine here (gently). Six-second art music should be a genre? Is this what we have come to? As part of the audience for art music and not a composer or performer (rara avis that I am), I continue to think that this 6-second composition contest is sort of a joke, at worst exploitative, like a pie eating contest for composers. Nevertheless, it's apparent that at least some of the composers, and all of the performers, took it seriously enough to make a real effort. But, to what end? Are musicians really so desperate? What am I missing?
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 9:50 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why a serious piece of music couldn't be six seconds long. Art exists because of constraints. This is a tight constraint that defines a very specific space within which to create art. Will a lot of it end up being forgettable, formulaic stuff? Self-evidently. But there's no reason why some of it can't be interesting and worthwhile.

Really, I am just not grokking your intuition that something limited to six-seconds is necessarily unserious and uninteresting.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:59 PM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is this what we have come to?

I don't see any problems with fine novelists hopping on Twitter now and again to turn a phrase, or a painter doing some work on a post-it note. Culture should engage with developments. Them doing this isn't going to stop many longer-form works; and in this case (as I said before) I see it trying to bridge a gap between "quick internet stuff" and "western art music", which are not two things I often see connected and thus would seem to me worth the effort.

Given the framing of the work and the constraints there is a certain levity in the whole thing, but I don't see seriousness as equal to po-facedness. Tim Labor's Reincarnation is my favourite of this bunch and its vocal work is downright goofy, but for me quite evocative.
posted by solarion at 10:44 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


This one is 12 seconds too long, but I'm sure you'll get it.
posted by quoquo at 10:51 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


a pie eating contest for composers

That's a great idea!
posted by thelonius at 12:44 AM on December 10, 2013


JimInLoganSquare, this is what your comment reads to me: "why should artists interact with the plebes?"
posted by brokkr at 3:16 AM on December 10, 2013


Here is a video of short story writer Goerge Saunders talking to Colbert about why short is sometimes better. Hemingsway's For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn is also mentioned.
posted by quoquo at 9:20 AM on December 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


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