Put in some headphones. I know it’s long, don’t worry there’s no text, just some heavy beats. And please don’t be freaked out by the creepy glowing mouse head. It’s a thing that is supposed to have some special meaning thing. Just finish reading then go play Minesweeper.
Did you click play? Okay okay…So, if you came to this blog thinking it was about how to kill a mouse or a story/song about my triumph over a rodent, bad news is coming. This is actually about a person, one whom I didn’t know even existed until this past weekend. His stage name is Deadmau5 (pronounced Dead Mouse); real life name is Joel Zimmerman. He’s a DJ, producer, and I would throw “music composer” in there as well. I honestly have no idea what he would call himself.
I’ll get right to your question. What is the point of this post? Why are you telling me what to listen to? Don’t you have better things to do? (I should probably study for a midterm tomorrow, you’re right.) I just want to point out a few things and let you get on your way. Straight up: this is club music; techno, dance, disco, whatever you call it – it’ll get a person moving. With this bundle of classifications we can also just state some very obvious things:
1) the composition is probably played from a laptop.
2) You’ll probably sweat a lot less listening to this from your computer than listening to it live.
3) The instrumentation isn’t mind blowing, but when your dancing in a sea of people with huge waves of treble and bass rolling through you, a person can’t be to picky.
Thinking about the sound and feel of this piece, I want to bring up Erik Satie a French composer who was a major precurser to the musical minimalism movement. All the sounds, in this piece, feel warm and are incredibly repetitive, which is maybe were I am drawing the connection with minimalism/repetitive music. Satie wrote some piano pieces late in his life called Gnossiennes, a word he made up. I want to refer directly to Gnossiennes No.1. Satie’s piece is basically 5 different blocks (an A, A’, B, C, and then an A”), maybe even only 4 depending how you look at it, that Satie will just cycle through. The form is simple. There’s no modulation, just quick tiptoe moments outside the key. The harmonic rhythm is always the same and there’s really only 3 different chords for the entire piece. The rhythm is always the same – we know what to expect; it has a slow dance feel, sparkled with beautiful moments to enjoy in the melodies. I want to propose that “club” music, or whatever you want to call it, is a legitimate offshoot of what Satie started. Key word being “legitimate”.
Thinking about it as a composition, it has obvious form. Basically it has the same shape as Ravel’s Bolero and Goreki’s Symphony No. 3, Mov. 1 by starting small and slowly moving towards a very intense, beautiful high point in the piece. I think of much Debussy and a little Chopin when I listen to where this high point occurs in the piece. I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the idea of 2/3 being the perfect place of symmetry, but the Ancient Greeks (what do they know?) saw this and wrote about it. They called it the Golden Ratio, and when dealing with music, it mathematically surmises that the high point for a composition is around 2/3. So take that idea or leave it. Just something I noticed. Now, I’m not equating this DJ with any of these great composers (or Greek philosophers), I’m just saying he is (or appears to be) smart enough to borrow their ideas. He’s obviously got a good ear (or his producer does) for this music. Enough parentheses.
What I want to say: this is a good piece of music that maybe doesn’t say something out right, but connects the listener with every other listener around them. This composition connects the live audience with each other by movement. When preformed – people will dance. Maybe not at first and maybe not through the whole thing, but it’s impossible to resist the urge to move when you reach that apex. I think of dancing as a very primitive response to being happy. It puts a smile on your face. I want to propose that this song is about being alive. So maybe it does have something to say; I think it does. Let me know your thoughts.
Hopefully in my next post I’ll submit some more of my own ideas before you readers and you can tell me what you think.