50:50 Online Sound-on-sound music minus one

System 50:50 Music Minus One An introduction.


Music-minus-one tracks are files that can be used by improvisers as part of their practice. They have been recorded by improvisers using 'System 50:50'. You are invited to play along with the recording using the same 50:50 settings, perhaps recording your playing, and so making a virtual performance.

Examples of how this might be used:

  • as a `warm up` process in advance of a real-time online ensemble session;
  • listened to, and participated in, as a form of practice or practising;
  • taken as an opportunity to simply `play`, pass the time away and have fun :);
  • to become familiar with system 50:50;
  • to make a private recording so the player can review their playing.

The Plan

The plan is that the website will host a large number of `music minus one` tracks exploring the three aspects of 50:50 - the duration of the piece, the number of players and the ratio of tacet to free play.

The sound density of the preparation tracks will usually be thin, allowing space for the participating improvisers to engage through listening and playing. Knowledge of the use of the clock settings in System 50:50 simplifies how this can be done.

The case against!

While improvisers could use the music minus one to practice (or just play) against, this could be seen as against the spirit of for a genre embedded in the here and now where interaction and collaboration is a central part. Further, the genre generally assumes the music is being heard for the first time, whereas the recorded tracks could be revisited.

The case for!

Music minus one, in this instance a `sound on sound` project for free improvisers employing system 50:50 is an area to be researched. If there is positive feedback on the use of `music minus one` tracks the implications are important, as they could be used to:

  • Build confidence,
  • Explore creativity,
  • Encourage experimentation,
  • Enable the development of playing techniques.
  • Test the effect of using 50:50 or not.
  • Explore the issues of playing to music not being heard for the first time.
  • Who knows?

The tracks, start here

This is the first presentation of Music Minus One tracks produced by members of the Blank Canvas octet.
There are six ensemble tracks and two solo tracks.
This is referred to as a short-list, it supports the research phase of this project
A long list of albums/collections of tracks will be uploaded in October 2021.

Solo Martin Hackett Korg MS, Duration : 6 minutes, Free play : 4` 30`` Tacet : 1` 30`` , nickname MHAC_Test001

Solo Nick Branton, Reeds Duration : 6 minutes, Free play : 4` 30`` Tacet : 1` 30`` | Spike-Yes, plus 30 second silent header. nickname NBRA_test001

Quartet: Tacet 4 minutes, freeplay 2 minutes
No spike, no silent header. The audio starts from the pressing play.
Track ref Temp21, recorded 03 03 2021

Sextet: Tacet 6 minutes, freeplay 2 minutes, Duration 8 minutes
Track ref Temp23, recorded 11 03 2021 

Sextet: Tacet 10 minutes, freeplay 6 minutes, Duration 16 minutes
Track ref Temp25, recorded 11 03 2021

Sextet: Tacet 9 minutes, freeplay 3 minutes, Duration 12 minutes
Track ref Temp27, recorded on 24 03 2021

Octet: Tacet 4 minutes 30 seconds, freeplay 1 minute 30 seconds, Duration 6 minutes
Track ref Temp 31, 06 03 2021

Octet: Tacet 4 minutes 30 seconds, freeplay 1 minute 30 seconds, Duration 6 minutes
Track ref Temp 32, 06 03 2021



You can comment on this concept and your experience as a result of your participation by completing the form below

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Key words

key words - citation to follow

`First heard` in music minus one, means just that, you play along to a media file that you have not heard before.

A music minus one track may have the inclusion of digital silence at the beginning or it may not. This may proceed or follow a
spike - an audible spikie. The silent header concept is part of the preparation process for the participant.If the silent header is 10 seconds, the piece starts in ten seconds following pressing `play`.
The is still under consideration

A music minus one media track may have an audile sound described as a spike.
The spike is a marker, it may be, get ready to play.
A spike with a ten second `silent header` tells the participant to be ready to start in ten seconds.

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zoom seminar

From time to time there will the opportunity to participate in a zoom meeting, a seminar, to discuss System 50;50 Sound On Sound projects, ask questions, share and exchange experiences.
You will need access to a computer & the internet.

The next meeting is to be announced shortly..


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