My latest discovery is the Mutopia Project. This service takes public domain songs, hymns and classical pieces and posts them for free up on the internet. The best part is that volunteers create MIDI files of the pieces, which are often also donated to the public domain. Because I can download MIDI and set it up in my music notation program, this lets me take great tunes, alter them a bit (or, actually, a lot), and use them in new pieces of music.
Today I downloaded a well-known piece, John Phillip Sousa's "Liberty Bell March", which is more familiar to folks as the theme song for Monty Python's Flying Circus. I'll have some fun with this bit of MIDI--I've confirmed already it sounds great when played with robot ocarinas.
I'm waiting to receive in the mail the 19th Century Methodist Episcopal hymn book I purchased on eBay. I have in mind to take a dozen Charles Wesley hymns, input the sheet music into my music notation program, and then slow them, morph them, and alter them into ambient soundscapes. The resulting album I'll named "Strangely Warmed", which is a quote from the hymnist's brother John Wesley about a conversion experience--although I may alter the name if I find a similar quote from Charles Wesley.
I'm still frusrated with my efforts at a hip-hop remix for a contest at the CC Mixter. I got a
great artist from Dmusic.com to collaborate with me, who provided me with a rhythm track and with vocals in English and French of my lyrics. I spent yesterday failing repeatedly to get the vox and the beats to sync, and then failing repeatedly to get a good sound from an "interspersed" version which alternates vox and beats. Someday I will learn how to do beats matching--although I think that in part the problem is that I need software better designed for this activity.
I'm glad to be nearly over the jet lag. It was amusing to nod off while bathing Saturday, although the splash from the book descending did awaken me in good order--or at least good order for me, perhaps rather less good order for the book.