Beyond Summer

Live-Looping song for Native American style flute
Beyond Summer is a song for Native American style flute. It features a flute by JP Gomez of Heartsongs flutes in the key of A.
Recording Beyond Summer
ABOUT THE RECORDING
The song was recorded and filmed in real-time, using Ableton Live 9, Reason 8 and two simultaneous video cameras. Also performed live during the filming were midi instruments consisting of an electric bass, a percussion set, a kalimba and a synth-like pad. Also used were a Akai MPD218, and a M-Audio Axiom 49. The film was edited using iMovie.

I was able to automatically trigger inputs, create loops and record all tracks in real time. Thanks to David Scarth (scarthfilm) for his great videos about using Live with the IAC driver.

LOOPING WITH SOFTWARE
The idea for Beyond Summer started in the spring of 2015 when I was preparing the material for my duet workshop, “Whispering Winds.” At that time I was working with a pedal looper and composing duets by looping a repeating line, usually a bass NAF, that had some harmonic movement in it. Over this I would layer higher flutes, working out the tunes that I wanted to present to the workshop participants. These pieces were always meant to be the basis for improvisation in the workshop.
Beyond Summer Sheet Music
For those who would like to play “Buffalo Dance” there is sheet music available in NAF TAB and Number TAB. Although the recording was done with F# flutes you can play the song without the video track in any set of NAFs in the same key. The sheet music is Free. Just fill out the form below.
Playing Duets at the Santa Fe Flute School
Playing a Loop-Based trio in a SFFS Workshop
if you would like to learn how to use Ableton Live to create your own Live-Looping songs let me know by filling out the workshop form. If I get enough people interested I will teach a multi-day workshop. Filling out the form does not commit you to a workshop. It just helps us gauge the level of interest.
While working with a pedal based looper was fun, it was also frustrating because it was extremely difficult for me to hit the loop “in” and “out” points exactly the way I wanted them. Plus there was no way to easily switch between different loops through time, or add midi instruments and time-based FXs, like delays. After the workshop was over I decided to really explore Ableton Live, a software based DAW (Digital Audio Workstation,) which I knew excelled at creating multiple loops. This includes loops of varying lengths that can play back simultaneously and the ability to add midi instruments and delay and reverb.
After experimenting with Ableton Live, creating simple loops and learning how to make the software trigger itself to move from loop to loop and track to track without me having to touch my computer during a performance, I wrote Beyond Summer as a song that I could perform “live” in real-time, and film the performance. I’ve since recorded another song/video using the same technique. That song, called “Buffalo Dance,” for three Native American style flutes is a continuation of composing songs that can be performed and filmed live in the studio.

In Harmony,
Scott August
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