Print Shortlink

About Omni Music

The history of sound has moved in a very parallel fashion to the history of technology. From antiquity through the middle ages advances were excruciatingly slow. Things like the plague, famine, war and ubiquitous squalor were very inhibiting. As wealth increased and new instruments were added, profound music was always written to greet the new capability. The baroque era ushered in powerful advances in thought as well as instrumental improvement. Who isn’t aware of the Well-Tempered Clavier by Bach, which took advantage of adjustments in tuning? But further advancements were to come as not all areas used the same pitches. A South German C might be different from a Dutch one.

During the Baroque era Brass might have been better used as a weapon in hand to hand combat rather than for music making due to its limitations. But the composers at that time were probably grateful for the extra color they added to their music. In Don Giovanni Mozart made use of new developments to make the Commendatore come back from the dead with eerie deep overtones. Wagner took the development of brass out even further in his epic operas, pushing to create emotionally charged moments of transcendental quality. Woodwinds, Keyboards, Strings, Percussion and much more were all improved so great thinkers and orchestrators could create magical moments and open up minds to the great sonic possibilities.

This great growth was matched with great strides in form, harmony, counterpoint and combination. Composers readily combined techniques, styles and language from dissimilar sources and made new surprising art that bristled with excitement.

The advent of the computer was a turning point of mammoth proportions. With it came new sound sets and fresh worlds. The advancement of the synthesized universe has been fast and amazing. At first one of the many problems with these sounds was their strength was also their weakness. The consistency in pitch and sound quality is pleasing at first but soon becomes redundant, boring, and inorganic when over used. Smart composers understand where the pleasure-pain line is and terminate sounds at just the right time or augment them with other ones. The new developments in sound production have brought with them energizing solutions, changelings which are sounds that constantly evolve and take on different shapes as they go, sounds treated with wonderful granularity and much more are available to all. This was made possible because of the increases in processing power and memory chips.

Omni is a musical style I have thus named which seeks to incorporate all of the previous advantages in instrument, sounds, language, production values, compositional procedures and anything else in a single construction. This can occur separately between movements or songs, or it can occur in a single song/movement, this being preferable. It encompasses as lofty a goal as can be or very narrow goals.

Most composers did this to some degree but notable ones were Stravinsky, Copland, Ives, and Gershwin. The composer I think did the most to advance this concept wedded to pop music was the prolific and highly intelligent Frank Zappa. It was a great loss to have this fantastic thinker leave us too early. Andrew Lloyd Webber made contributions as well as many others to differing degrees.

The Centrifugal Satz Clock is intended to be a thorough mixing all possible elements in a way that supports the story and the connective themes that morph and marble through and across the terrain. The best approach to getting to know the piece largely depends on your interests and experience. An alternative method from just listening to the piece front to back is to get to know a few songs here and there and after those have been brain mapped move on to some others. Eventually a large number will be under the belt and then listening to them sequentially will be a familiar event.

Each of the pieces on the Satz Clock is a study in combination or existing style and form. Other composers who just may be Omni composers are encouraged to write about their experiences for this forum on all things Omni and otherwise.
Good luck!