By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 7/11/2020
Posted: 2/6/2016
Topics/Keywords: #Music Page Views: 1733
The first track on my new album, 'Timelines'.


By Paul S. Cilwa

While I was trying out various music editing and creation software, I fell upon a program called cgMusic. This app, which was written by a student as his masters' thesis. The program generates entire pieces of music, following the standard rules of music composition. Of course, as the program author remarks,

A computer can create hundreds of songs in a second but it will never be able to tell which one it likes the most.

And, in fact, most of the tunes it generates (with random parameters) aren't very good. But one of the first I generated produced the essence of this piece and was, in fact, my starting point.

I mostly used SONAR (the descendent of Cakewalk) to add drum fills and pads. I used to be very good at Cakewalk, but when SONAR bought them, they changed just about everything and so I'm having to learn the app as a newbie.

I then used SynthFont to map the MIDI voices to more realistic and rich-sounding sound fonts. (I believe SONAR will do the same but I haven't yet figured out how.) SynthFont also generates an audio file that can be played on any device capable of playing them (like computers, MP3 players, and smartphones).

Once the piece was complete, it needed a name; and a pure musical piece seldom offers an obvious title. Since it sounded vaguely hispanic, I decided to give it a Spanish name, and I used Google Translate to give me the Spanish for "Pick One Man", which was Recoger A Un Hombre. However, when I played the tune for my Spanish professor friend Barbara and gave her the title, she looked puzzled. "Recoger is used when picking fruit off a tree. You want to pick a man from a tree?!"

While I found the concept amusing, I changed "pick" to "choose" in Google Translate and got Elegir Un Solo Hombre. But I don't actually speak more than a few words of Spanish, and I had trouble remembering the darn name.

So I finally decided to name it after my beloved granddog, Ella.