Weird Combinations: The Exquisite Corpse Music Project

Music

corpse - 13In creative problem solving often a trick to engage is to combine random ideas, fields and objects.  By doing this, it helps one to break out of rigid mental models and see new possibilities that you wouldn’t have noticed if you always stuck to what you were used to. These new combinations of randomness and serendipity can lead to weird but surprising and sometimes relevant insights and solutions.

Training in combinatorial thinking is something we should all explore and experiment with and so we were stoked to be able to team up with some talented artists to create an exquisite corpse music project we’re calling Le Vin Nouveau.  It’s a collaboration between artists, Doug Organ, Trevor Rockwell, Peter Belec, Kris Schindel, Lyle Bell, Ben Weinlick and a growing collective.

Exquisite corpse project

First Exquisite Corpse Explorers

In early 2013 we set out to experiment with creating soundscapes through using the same process early surrealists of the 20th century used to create exquisite corpse visual collages. The name of the project, Le Vin Nouveau is not just another pretentious band name… It’s pretentious but also derived from the phrase that resulted when Surrealists first played the exquisite corpse game sometime in 1918.  The story goes that during the first game, artists randomly assembled words into a phrase. The phrase that emerged was, “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau (The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine).” After that,  people played the exquisite corpse game with words and images. A few have experimented doing this with sound but not many.  In exquisite corpse projects, chance, randomness and serendipity are king. Artist Pierre Reverdy, said this about exquisite corpses in 1918,

“The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be”

#4 Dystopapopolis

HERE’S HOW THE fourth SOUNDSCAPE CAME TOGETHER

We selected a random theme to inspire us… and laugh at

For the fourth sound corpse the random theme was… Dystopia/post-apocalypse,  stolen identity and a relationship story

We set a loose frame

Just like the original visual corpse explorers had a folded piece of paper to loosely frame the random pieces of the collage, in the sonic realm we randomly selected a set tempo, key and length of the soundscape.

We worked on the tracks without knowing what others were doing

Each of the tracks of the song (Bass, Lead, 2 Vox effects tracks and Percussion) were made independently and entirely without hearing or knowing what the other musicians were creating. After being finished we bashed the separate tracks together and the result was what’s above.

 

#1 This is not a shooter

Here’s how the first soundscape came together

We selected a random theme to inspire us… and laugh at

For our first “sound corpse” the random theme turned out to be…Surreal action. The main character: ethical bartender. The major event of the story: premonition.

We set a loose frame

Just like the original visual corpse explorers had a folded piece of paper to loosely frame the random pieces of the collage, in the sonic realm we randomly selected a set tempo, key and length of the soundscape.

We worked on the tracks without knowing what others were doing

Each of the 4 tracks of the song (Bass, Lead, Vox effects and Percussion) were made independently and entirely without hearing or knowing what the other musicians were creating. After being finished we bashed the 4 separate tracks together and the result was what’s above.

#3 The ANAESTHETIC Corpse

We selected a random theme

For the third “sound corpse” the random theme turned out to be… Dramatic Drama about surgery featuring an acrobatic rascal 

We set a loose frame

Just like the original visual corpse explorers had a folded piece of paper to loosely frame the random pieces of the collage, in the sonic realm we randomly selected a set tempo, key and length of the soundscape

We worked on the tracks without knowing what others were doing

Each of the 5 tracks of the song (Bass, Lead, Vox 1 effects, Vox 2 effects and Percussion) were made independently and entirely without hearing or knowing what the other musicians were creating. After being finished we bashed the 5 separate tracks together and the result was what’s above.

#2 The Pirate Western Corpse

We selected a random theme

For our second “sound corpse” the random theme turned out to be… Setting: Pirate/western. Theme: power fantasy/transformation story 

We set a loose frame

We experimented with a little bit different frame for this corpse.  Here we each had a set amount of bars and had to create a full piece (all instruments) that then was stitched together seamlessly to the next persons piece.  We didn’t hear what the others were creating until we were all done and ready to bash them together. This one turned out more like a traditional corpse of stitched together randomness.

More exquisite sound corpses will be emerging over the year to please, entertain or just weird you out…

Tales_of_the_Unexpected_16

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One thought on “Weird Combinations: The Exquisite Corpse Music Project

  • Hello, I love what you’re doing. It’s always great to find like-minded artists. My band/project Kitty Tooth Salad has been producing surrealist music using random combinations of noise, words, outdated recording technology, and collaborations from different artists all over the world using any variety of instrumentation. We’ve been recording since 2001, but only recently in the last few years have we begun promoting ourselves online. We combine musical sound-scapes, psychedelic melodies and experimental noise with absurdest, sometimes comical word-phrases/lyrics/rants. We have enough finished material to release at least 4 full albums, but we don’t have a record label nor funds to release them ourselves. As starving artists go, we’re about as starved as can be. But we do have several songs and videos online. We recently had to suspend our official website due to funding issues. But our music can still be found on ReverbNation, IndabaMusic, WhoTune, Facebook, MySpace and especially You Tube. We have several songs and videos there:

    I hope we can combine our efforts. KTS is always open to others. We’re a band that anyone can join. We have a total open-door policy. I hope someone from your project is interested. I would also be interested in being a part of what you’re doing if that’s a possibility. Thank you! Peace….

    Sincerely,
    Daniel James Wrzesinski
    kittytoothsalad@nulllive.com

    BTW
    Our sound(s) are quite all-over-the-place. Our tracks range from utterly bizarre to just plain silly. Here’s a good place to start……

    “Damien” – Kitty Tooth Salad (official video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHQ3sB_pF8A

    “Curtain of Penguins” – Kitty Tooth Salad (official video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeiHKTWnY8w

    “Krisfalusi II ” – Kitty Tooth Salad (official video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-RS7YjUDL0

    “Pluck n Luck”- Kitty Tooth Salad (official video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl7DPdhzXAA

    “Don’t Help Me, Help the Bear”- Kitty Tooth Salad (official video)

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