Up To No Good

This is a smooth version

Up To Know Good (MP3 3:26)

This is the excessive version

Up To No Good (MP3)

I started this piece in late 2019 before all my Win98 machines self retired. I didn't get the midi system up until mid 2020 and started again on this work 082020.  The quatro and the melodica were played by my left and right hands respectively and everything else is writ on the computer with a mouse and keyboard. Usually by placing lots of musical pearls on the paper some by discovery some by intention and some by chance. I then start with the math... there can be a crunch process for music creation. I do love to crunch the numbers.


Up To No Good

AKA Up To No Good Too, Up To Know Good, and UTKG.


This is a sextet because it’s the most I can get on screen in Cakewalk 9 with a readable pearl. It’s based on a 9th chordal structure I call stretch chords because the notes are as far as I can stretch with my left hand.. The one-of-twelve analysis results in nearly always four consecutive notes on a major scale and this is developed with a modified major variations, overlayed blues scales,  and whole tones with contrasting enharmonic action using the Korg MS-2000BR bouncing ball.  The beat is a modified swing and its intention is seduction through any means possible. AKA Strip Tease. I finally have an opportunity presented to me by my exploration to cover swing. This short 3:25.5 min piece of performance air sculpture involves over 15,000 notes and 1000 more for controls like portamento, pitch bend, and effects. I know it’s a bit rich with all the very tall chordal structures and contrast created between the stress points of the guitar/piano and organ/choir voices. It’s supposed to tell the story you see in your mind's eye. Play it loud but not too loud there are a few peak highs. Kick up your bass near full. It was recorded in Edmonds WA at 125’ above sea level If you are including time dilation in your audio calculations. 

Nylon E piano played by Quatro Lutz

Basso  played by Chill Layman

Snare and Percussion played by Randy Snart

Melodica by Cowboy Roy

Organ and Choir played by U.P. Handstorm

Synth bouncing balls played by Synthmind.




I work in MIDI time of 120 tics per beat and video 30 frames per second. What that says is our ears  are much more discerning where rhythms can require a very fine increment to appear cognitive for spirit and fluid for dance compared to video at just under 30 frames per second where at any a finer rate we really can't distinguish anything different.  This opportunity of composing, producing and playing these chord structures with the bass line, the two melodic forces with the melodica and the bouncing ball, plus the magic snare brush, and the organ/choir was a real joy to represent the many before me with their art air sculpture form. At 120 tics per beat the "swing note" is at it's finest at tic 00:072. Down beat is 00:000.  Up beat (not useful with swing) is 00:060. More on numbers later. Remember at tic 72 of 120 appears the "swing note." The swing note is a thing- a phenomenon. This is a blues piece. I had to limit my hands at a musical keyboard input to keep away from blitzing hand storming with blues pentatonic runs and destroying the opportunity of creating the different story I wanted to tell.  At the start I take my mouse and drag some notes on to the screen and the note sounds depending on which staff and or note the pointer is and when I find the one I'm hearing in my head I drop it and add another and another...!!! I love making music. The reason it sounds so woozy is I'm using multiple modes at the same time. Of course each mode or scale is used with a different voice creating the emotional width of the story being told by different interwoven tales.  The basso is written in blues pentatonic where the penta notes matched the scale of the chords and the blues notes don't. I imagine the coolest dude I know, like he sews all his own stuff, as the base man. I become him and try to sound like I'm having have cool fun playing the song with the band. The driving force of the bass is strong enough to dance in the air (syncopate) for a few pulses and get away with it because the snare is right on the tip of the tap showing where the beat is at.

Numbers; there is a different set of possible fine tic notes for each of the four beats of the measure. After the song form was set I cut up the music into measures of four beats then stacked them one on top of the other with the last at the bottom and the first at the top. Then,  like a spread sheet, look for a prescribed number and type of  note events where the rules are different for each of the four beats. Notes during the down beet and the downbeat it's self must fit the rule sets and their allowed or mandatory variances. I did this and the notes I had thrown on the screen all lined up and the song immediately got tight revealing a few errors that I got to fix and tell a richer story. It worked. The formula for this piece is a strong playing full swing variation. For example; one rule for this blues swing piece is for each measure 99.99% of the time there must be at least one swing note. Another is where the normal straight swing note is on beat two and four this piece isn't straight so the allowed variance and propensity sets are different for each beat one through four with mandatory variances set too. People ask me, "What's the song about?". Well this is what it is to me.

 Then there is always room for triplets with swing. So some of triplets were backed in as events for periodic variation requirements. Even the bounds of swing get tested to a degree of absurdity with this musical gem. After and during the rhythm correction process one of the first reductive processes performed is a Most Dissonant Note Evaluation. This performed reiteratively until the piece is kind to my ears. Not easy to live with me as I'm resistant to removing all the bad notes because what is that anyway? So that brings me to content and the piece's logical story development and continuity.  You already know I'm a fan of the mud... the complex (not so nice) chords. I like a bit of tension so I can make it all right and feel something nice for a brief moment before the tension must start again always being driven by the beat, the chord progression, and the musical arcs of the voices.  This reiterative reductive process applied after the input stage of song creation is like air sculpture to me. A song is an air sculpture so get up close turn it up, the bass way up... and I can reach your mind, your heart, and your body. I can touch your body with my music.


There are a few very good samples within this test file of the Korg MS200BR's bouncing ball program. The voice name is Trip To Ibiza (pronounced Ibitha.) 

Bouncing Ball Samples