“In C-Flat” is an audio-video tribute to composer Terry Riley, featuring contributions from around the globe. In order to get your submission featured, please try your best to follow these guidelines. Please also understand that exceptions can be made by request, and if contributions do not fit our guidelines, we will try our best to fit your audio/video clips into this project, or perhaps other projects in the future.
Detailed instructions for “In C-Flat”
What are virtual projects?
It’s basically a long music video featuring musicians making music together from different locations and times edited together to make an artistic film and a musical piece.
Any musician who’s able to follow some very specific and complicated instructions. We are more focused on the product, and take no consideration to the popularity and privileges that artists might have. We do take special interest in disadvantaged artists, especially those who are mentally disabled, and those living with other disadvantages. Artists do not need a lot of experience or a music degree, however a working understanding of music theory is essential to submitting a useful product. Must be 18 or older, unless arrangements are made.
What do the contributors get out of it?
Every contributor who’s selected for a project will be credited. The bad news is that there are no royalties, even for these original compositions – we are just not set up for that kind of administrative work, sorry. We hope to get some other perks out to those involved. Also, for emerging artists, the amount of exposure this project receives can also bring more attention to “outsider” artists. The finished audio will be billed as “Dialectic Flowers” and contributors will be listed online, or if liner notes are available for various audio and video formats. There’s no cost to apply, and no compensation if selected.
What submissions will get rejected?
-If the audio is distorted or containing too much background noise
-If there’s no video footage, or unusable files
-If the contributor tries to overly influence our decisions in selecting submissions, or attempts to overly-influence the creative direction or process of the overall project
-If the audio is incurably out of tune or containing notes not in the scale
-If the music isn’t strictly following the tempo
-If we just don’t like the submission or if the contributor represents anything that undermines our efforts or causes
-If the music is plagiarized or sounds too similar to protected content
Why so complicated?
We aim to raise the standards and have a clear idea of how the final product should look and sound. With that being said, if a submission deserves to be featured and requires some tweaking to get it to work, we will try our best to make it work; that can just mean extra time in post-production which we are trying to avoid. We might also use your contribution for a different project if we cannot fit it in. Otherwise, without a lot of guidelines we typically end up with a lot of “noodling” and artists just wanting to show-off. Please don’t let the details intimidate you, especially if English is your second language. Please contact us if you have any concerns.
What about singers?
This is considered an instrumental piece, and we hope to also record a choir as well (ask for a score if submitting coral music).
Any singing with lyrics and vocals accompanied with an instrument will not be considered, because of the nature of the original In C process. If you want lyrics, we have an idea for you, just email us for details.
What about submitting drums and percussion?
Acoustic and electronic percussion parts are very encouraged to submit, as long as any tonal sounds are in the key of the project (this might be difficult). With every submission, it must be at 130BPM. Please don’t make all your loops in 4/4 time, get creative! Play hubcaps and trashcans!
What kind of instruments?
We encourage unusual instruments, rare folk instruments, and orchestral instruments, especially things like double reeds and french horns.
If the contributor is a multi-instrumentalist, a submission with a single artist switching instruments during a clip would be a creative way to be a part of this project.
Electronic instruments are also encouraged, especially if there’s plenty of visual activity with the performance. When working with noises and modular synths, please be aware of any tones outside of the key of B Major.
How many clips will be accepted?
The goal is roughly fifty submissions to be used in the final product, with each submission containing roughly one to five short looping phrases.
Remember: everything must be at 130 BPM and only using these seven tones, B C# D# E F# G# and A#.
First, get inspired. Listen to different versions of Terry Riley’s classic, “In C”; just make sure you don’t copy any of the melodies because this tribute is all our own original music, but based on a similar concept. When pre-production versions come available, listen to what the trio of the band has recorded already and get inspired! If you need pre-composed material, please ask for scores if you are absolutely not a composer (or better yet, roll dice to base a melody on!)
Since you are creating an audio/video solo, melodic, collection of excerpts set to a fixed tempo – setup is very important. Here’s what you’ll need:
Video recording – either a digital video camera, a still camera with a video feature, or a mobile device that has the ability to produce a usable product – professional lighting isn’t required, as long as you are clearly visible – and if you want to be super cool, film yourself with a solid color background, like a green-screen!
Audio recording – either an input into the camera, or a “second unit” audio type setup that you can sync and edit together (we might make exceptions for submissions that contain separate audio and video files and sync them for you).
If you are playing a loud instrument like a trumpet, for instance, you might get away with relying on the microphone on your camera, however most submissions done that way will probably get rejected or asked to be re-recorded.
Metronome – the best setup is to use an earpiece to follow clicks from an electric metronome set precisely to 130 beats per minute (sorry, no old fashioned mechanical metronomes are allowed) if you cannot find a way to record your performance to this specific speed, you are still encouraged to submit your performance as long as it is considered a “drone”, which would resemble long tied whole-notes. A great alternative to the use of a metronome is to create a beat on a device or a DAW with the required tempo.
Important: if we can hear your metronome on your submission, your contribution might not be approved, so please avoid audio “bleed through”.
Jam With The Band! For best results, especially if you don’t have access to a metronome, please email us and ask for links to our preproduction tracks we have so far from the band.
This is a loop based project, so repetition is essential. If your submission is as basic as just one or two notes, that might work fine. Try to play as many different meters as possible. Try to keep your music as simple as possible. If you don’t loop your performance, we might loop it in postproduction. How many times do you need to play your melody/phrase? Play it until it gets annoying and then play it a few more times.
Pre-roll and post-roll:
Please allow at least five seconds of no activity before and after your clips and between segments – otherwise it might not be able to be edited into the final project.
Framing the scene:
Make sure your face is clearly seen along with your instrument – vertical video isn’t recommended however may be usable.
Get generative! Our original sessions for the background tracks for In C-Flat were based loosely on the rolling of dice which determined most of our key center changes and the time signatures of our looped segments. Although generative music isn’t required for your submission, artists are encouraged to tap into some kind of random data generator to base their music on in the spirit of the Flower Wizards, and the work of Dialectic Flowers being a “generative” project in addition to being “interactive” (your submission is part of our interactive nature of the band). Please consider as many time signatures as you can perform. The overall effect creates polyrhythms that get in and out of sync with each other.
Remember that your submission will have seven right notes and five wrong notes. In C-Flat is musical humor representing the key of B Major. B and C-Flat are the enharmonic notes of each other, like a C# is the same tone as a Db. It will be easier to think of Cb as the scale of B Natural Major, which is strictly: B C# D# E F# G# and A#. All other notes will make your phrase unusable. No microtones or “blue notes”. Tuning is based on the standard A=440.
One performer will play at a time, playing melodic intervals. Chords and harmonies will probably get rejected. If submitting as a band or ensemble, please contact us if any exceptions will be made.
Important: please compose your looped melodic phrases to be no more than two measures each. Each phrase can be from one to ten notes, maybe more. Remember that your music will be buried in the midst of several other looping clips to create a sort of musical waterfall of several sounds. For an example of a multiple layered piece, please listen to this clip.
Multiple phrases should be filmed in one single clip. If you perform your phrase perfectly one time, that should work, although you are encouraged to play your phrase a dozen or two times, with at least five seconds in between each phrase.
If using audio effects, please consider submitting your loops “clean” in addition to a repeat performance with your audio effects.
Get creative! Think outside of the box. Do you have a homemade instrument? An interesting location? Natural acoustics? Something artsy in the background like a dancer or an original painting?
If you are having trouble with the scale and you play a keyboard-based instrument, like keyboard percussion, you are safe just playing the five “black notes”.
Higher octaves are encouraged to feature more “upper tones”, like A#, C#, and G#. Please limit use of bass tones, although if your instrument can reach those tones, feel free to submit some deeper tones. Bass tones should focus more on notes like E, B, and F#. Try to feature some loops that encompass as many octaves as you can reach!
Submitting your material:
No physical media will be accepted. Upload your video file to a host service, preferably Google Drive via email. Please make media available to everyone with a link so we can show your submissions to other members in our team. Most formats will be accepted, like MP4, MPEG, MPE, MPG (MPEG-1, MPEG-2), M2V (DVD-compliant MPEG-2), MTS (avchd), MOV, FLV, or AVI. Please make sure your audio isn’t compressed but try to use something like a WAV type format. If the audio is compressed, please use the highest setting possible, for instance an MP3 at 320kbps. Your clip should be roughly a minute, or longer if you have more material to share; and should average about 100-500MB. Please limit to 5 minutes total. HD footage is nice but not required, 4k might be too much data to process because of how many layers will be edited at a time. Deadline for submissions is currently undecided.
Please don’t hesitate to ask questions! For more information and to submit your material, use the following email address in this link.
Since this project will be edited using a video editor, it’s limited what we can to with tuning and special audio effects. The soundtrack will be the audio version of the project and should be available for sale on various formats, like CDs, downloads, streaming, etc… If you have an album cover idea, please contact us.
By submitting your material you agree to have Dialectic Flowers (Sunday Driver, LLC, Jason T. Ingram) publish your original compositions, show your face, and use your name or alias in a product that we can publish online and on other formats, in addition to marketing and selling the product. Contributor releases all rights and agrees to not file any copyrights and takes responsibility for any plagiarized material, the unauthorized use of minors, or any other issues that might put our business at risk. Any laws in your country concerning any of these issues do not apply, if they differ from any related and current laws in the United States. All submissions will remain the intellectual property of Dialectic Flowers, Jason T. Ingram, and/or Sunday Driver Productions; and cannot be reused, in any way, in its entirety or excerpts, without permission.
If you’d like to apply to be featured in one of our other virtual projects, please contact us ahead of time. This particular electronic project is in need of two contributors.
For more information, please go to this blog entry or for the Virtual Projects page, visit this link.
©2020 Sunday Driver, LLC