Happy April, folks!
This month, I came across a release by Ben Prunty called ‘Music Workbench’ – a series of improvisations performed by Prunty weekly – is featured live on Twitch every Saturday at 2PM Pacific Time. Taking advantage of a live streaming platform not only gives the opportunity for real-time performances, but it also creates a platform for viewers to inquire about technology and creativity in real time.
Being a huge fan of music tech and music production myself, I would be all for this release, even if I hadn’t heard it: I totally support helping people move past the intimidation phase of learning music technology, in hopes that it starts enabling them to start having fun during the creation process. To me, breaking down barriers is the first step.
Being a six-track release, Ben Prunty creates five improvisations on the fly, and performs one that was previously written (‘Going To The Market’).
Released on April 12, 2017, this week’s ‘Music Workbench’ is beautiful. Starting off with pulsating bass jumping between intervals, the space between is filled with an atmospheric synth, and gradually leaves room for more instrumentation to be added. The mix is stellar, the music is tonal, and the effects used are tasteful and flare between light-hearted and dramatic. Surely, just hearing the first track should be enough for anyone to want to dig more into syncing synths together with digital or analog approaches.
Though different from ‘Retro Punch’, ‘Colored Lines’ definitely got made me aware of Prunty’s stylistic approach. Varying from the last track, track two starts with panning synths, but remains atmospheric till about 2:21, when the structure remains true to the beginning but becomes more percussive.
My favorite track on the EP is track 5: ‘Glowing Minds’. I’m pretty obsessed with dark atmospheres and melodies, and tracks that gradually add percussion to it. A good composer is one who can write realistic parts for a variety of instruments, and it makes me wonder if Ben Prunty himself is a drummer.
I always try to write articles about projects and composers who use a variety of musical elements and sound design to hopefully inspire those “only” working on Gameboys (or other consoles) to check out the world of synths and production. I love when people tie both elements into each other. I would absolutely recommend everyone to not only purchase this release, but check out Ben’s weekly Twitch stream. Judging by the sound of this album, there is a lot for viewers to learn about music technology. The whole release is gorgeous and inspirational, and if I wasn’t at work right now, I’d be home on my own synths!
Until next time,
The Unicorn Princess