Meredith Jane Monk is a world-renowned composer, singer, choreographer, filmmaker, artist, and writer. An absolute powerhouse of contemporary art and music alike, she’s been making waves as a composer and performer for over 50 years! Now 76 years old and showing no signs of slowing, Monk continues to be a leading force in extended vocal practices and techniques, and avant-garde performance practices. Her 21st century works have been published by ECM and Tzadik, and a few years back, she was a composer-in-residence at Carnegie Hall. Much is owed to her history of fearless experimentation and her forward-thinking eye toward the body and its sound-making capabilities. The piece is constructed as a linear entity, with an introduction and conclusion that share the use of natural harmonics in the piano. The keys two octaves below the notes in Bar 3 are pressed but only sound out by sympathetic resonance, after the sforzatissimo in the upper part (0:13 into the video). Ligeti uses sub-harmonics in the first part and both lower and upper harmonics at the end of the piece.
From a musical standpoint, these kinds of bass lines can be a bit busier and more melodic since they exist in a range that’s “singable” (at least by the baritone section of the choir). We can learn a lot about what makes a great line by dissecting classic bass performances from blues, rock, funk, and disco. A classic example of bass guitar in early hip-hop is The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” which samples the bass line and beat from Chic’s “Good Times.” Soundfly courses are interactive, practice-based, motivational, and inspirational, and these are just some of the reasons why our students have continually come back to us with positive feedback, even more positive results, and often to take more courses in other fields.
Lauren Hill’s “Ex-Factor” is a timeless song that will always give me goosebumps. I danced around my living room to this song — lip syncing and wishing I was in a music video, wishing I could sing like her. Today there exists another artist, and another song, that encapsulates Lauryn Hill’s soul, but more contemporary, and that’s Lianna La Havas’ song “Green & Gold.” + Join our email magazine, Soundfly Weekly, a weekly review of the best in music learning and inspiration, all focused on helping you learn one new thing a week. In other words, tons more stuff just like this. Sign up here.