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From the influential mid-century Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů, we have his Fantasia for theremin, oboe, string quartet, and piano. Composed in the summer of 1944 and premiered the next year in New York, this work may not be one of Martinů’s better-known pieces; but, nevertheless, it’s exciting to see a composer exploring a new and exciting instrument so late in their career. With the microtonal possibilities of this instrument, the entire tonal spectrum is your oyster, and Martinů’s off-kilter expressive notation really brings out the depth of beauty and unrest that this instrument is capable of producing.

Ethan Hein is a Doctoral Fellow in Music Education at New York University. He teaches music technology, production and education at NYU and Montclair State University. With the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, Ethan has taken a leadership role in the creation of new technologies for learning and expression, most notably the Groove Pizza. He is the instructor of the free Soundfly course series called Theory for Producers. He maintains a widely-followed and influential blog, and has written for various publications, including Slate, Quartz, and NewMusicBox.

First, we’ll look at what they actually do while recording and composing, which is interesting in its own right. Second, we’ll survey what kind of software is available to help you quickly approximate that sound. And finally, we’ll explore how to create some of their signature sounds from scratch using simple and inexpensive software. But first, if you’re looking to expand your knowledge of synthesis or even introduce yourself to synths for the first time, join Soundfly’s free online course Demystifying Synths today. It’s free!

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Go find that hard drive, finish up your beats, and put them out! Try using a service like LANDR to master tracks at scale, and check out FreshTunes for free music distribution.

Set up as a museum and artist-in-residence program inside a former three-story thrift store, Elsewhere is an incredible opportunity to collaborate with other residents and make use of a ton of random objects and locations. Artists spend one month working and residing on-site, creating projects that activate the living museum. Artists are asked to produce work that is highly specific to the building itself and make use of the unique environment, history, and surrounding neighborhoods. Perhaps the coolest part is that all objects and art remain a part of the museum long after your residency is over, making way for future artists to continue to transform it, and giving you the opportunity to be a part of a permanent collection. 

To add more character to your drums, try panning each piece in your kit in a thoughtful way. This will help keep sounds from getting muddled and will be great for later when you need to differentiate instruments like the kick and bass. This also gives you the opportunity to spice up you drum part with a bit of unpredictability. For example, if your kit includes claps, each hit could switch from falling on the left or right side.

Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.

Planning to take your creative or compositional practice out of the house sometime soon? These gorgeous residency locations will have your jaw on the floor.

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All of our mentored courses come with six weeks of one-on-one professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Whether you’re interested to dive deep into a topic covered by one of our in-depth courses like Songwriting For Producers, Modern Mix Techniques, Sight Singing and Harmony Essentials or The Creative Power of Advanced Harmony, or just to work with a Soundfly Mentor directly to achieve a specific goal, we can help you succeed. 

We’ve used A.I. with the fundamentals of DJing to create the first automagical algorithm that can classify any song into the correct genre with 99% accuracy in a matter of seconds.

Before founding my current project Madam West, I played and sang solo with my ukulele, usually in reaction to some breakup I was still bitter over. I referred to myself as a singer-songwriter, a term which tends to conjure up an image of a lovelorn twentysomething strumming an acoustic instrument in cowboy boots (which, in my case, was totally spot-on). In the past few years, I’ve come to redefine and expand my own definition of a songwriter. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a plethora of songwriters who push the limits of that stereotype. In addition to singing or playing an instrument, some do their own composing and full band arranging, while others write electronically, producing and/or engineering from home studios. In celebration of Soundfly’s #SongwritingWeek, here is a calendar of great local NYC songwriters to check out:

With a robust membership of over 725,000 composers, ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and operated by its members. It distributed $1.109 billion in royalties in 2018.

Perhaps the most popular song form in modern music, the Verse-Prechorus-Chorus is also very versatile and strong. It features the inclusion of a prechorus, a bridge between your verse and your chorus that ties the two sections together with a central idea or melody, or a way to flip your chord progression around so the chorus makes sense starting on a new chord.