Monday, 7 January 2013

Ultra Slow Audio #1 - Albinoni's Adagio for Strings

I was recently introduced to the phenomena of Ultra Slow Music. This is where a piece of music is drastically slowed down whilst retaining the pitch and texture of the original piece to create something with a unique character of it's own.
Most notably I was impressed by a post on Soundcloud by Birdfeeder where he had slowed down John William's theme to Jurassic Park (listen here). The result is uplifting, emotive and a wonderful piece of music (the original work is fine as well but has a wholly different effect on the listener).
I decided to experiment and soon realised it's not as straight forward as you may think. Many pieces I tried just did not work and it's hard to put your finger on why a lot of the time (although strong rhythmic pieces do not work well). However, when it does work it is extremely rewarding, the results can be breathtaking.
I've found two pieces so far that I think are successful, this post is for the first one, Albinoni's Adagio for Strings.
This is one of my favourite pieces of music and I had a hunch it would suit the Ultra Slow treatment and it most definitely does, IMHO of course. In fact I think the result is stunning (and represents slowing the original piece down by a factor of about 100)
It's best listened to fairly loud, in a relaxed environment and is quite capable of retaining the listener's interest for it's hour long duration (this from a piece that originally lasted 8 minutes).

I've posted the result to Soundcloud and I'd be very interested in your opinions.


Mr. Primate said...

The first time I came across this phenomenon was a couple of two-three years ago.

The example used was a Justin Bieber song stretched out to an hour or more. The results sounded quite amazing for about five minutes, up until it reached the point when the little ratbag started to sing. Then it took a decided turn for the creepy and I had to turn it off!

Your choice of the Adagio works wonderfully however. I think I'd like to have a go myself, on Barber's Adagio For Strings or some Boards Of Canada perhaps...

Teenage Mary said...

Interesting stuff. Slowing things down to that degree and getting a listenable and deliberate sounding piece puts me in mind of Mandlebrot sets for some reason.

Mark Back said...

Mr Primate: I'm a bit late to the game with this but I've checked out the Bieber thing and agree with your interesting to see how BOC works out!

Mary: I know exactly what you mean, it's that whole thing about "hidden worlds" found at extremes, whether in scale or time...

Eugene Kononov said...

Hello Mark,

It looks like you have a good piano transcription of this piece. Would you mind sharing it (the sheet music, that is)?


Mark Back said...

Hi Eugene,

I'm afraid it's just a jpeg of the score I found through Google Image search.