Tiny Tron demo – “Neutrino Dance Party”

Welcome to Episode V of Ye Olde Detholz! Blog!

Last week, the song “Minnesota Nice” resulted in a lot of debate and a flurry of suggestions, most of which were eerily similar. A 3rd version of the song is forthcoming– I haven’t had a chance to complete it yet, but will post it here as soon as I do. So, stay tuned! Thanks to all for joining in the fray. Viva la Composition by Collective Consciousness…

I’ve played in bands for almost 20 years, and Detholz! is the only one that truly runs by committee. I write the majority of the songs we play, but as you’ve seen, the composition process does not begin/end with me and my robot friends. Occasions when I crank out a demo and the band plays it by rote are extremely rare, indeed!

Over the past 11 years, I’ve had the privilege of watching Detholz! turn from a rag-tag surf rock band into a true “hive mind,” where each member has equal standing and input into the composition process. Each “Dethole” is skilled at composition in his own right, and I have learned a lot from watching each of them in their own respective projects.

In that spirit, over the next 2 weeks we’re going to branch out into wider Detholz! territory. This week’s selection comes from our doughty bass player, Ben Miranda, who has a solo project he calls “Tiny Tron.” Take a gander, tell him what you like/don’t like, and he’ll respond to your comments and critiques… Ben?

1. Neutrino Dance Party by Tiny Tron (aka Ben Miranda)

To hear more of Ben’s music, visit www.tinytron.com or www.myspace.com/tinytronmusic

So many of my compositions come from melodies sung in the shower, a hummed tune accompanied by the whir of the microwave or whistling while walking to the train station. I don’t think I’ve ever sat down to write a song about x or with a feel like y, they just happen. This can be great, but really frustrating when I have writer’s block. The muse analogy is very apt for me.

I was tracking guitar for a Detholz! demo we are working on now, “Bird,” and was using an alternate tuning on the guitar to help me, the drummer-turned-bass-player, with a third hand. I hit a chord that would have made any slowcore fan turn his/her head, and then a melody/chord progression just came out, sung in “meows.” I wanted to use it, but couldn’t keep it as it was. It was too sappy! How could I arrange it to be the opposite of what it was? What is the opposite of “slowcore?” “Dance party…?”

I’m also borrowing a great classic 80’s bass synth (Novation Super Bass Station) and was dying to play with it. What better forum than slowcore-turned-dance-party? Armed with a drum beat that came to me in my stereo-less car and my beautiful Novation relic from 1986, I sat down to rearrange this sappy nugget. As I worked with it, the lyrics never seemed to fit the melody, so I decided on a synth lead and spoken word in the verses.

What to talk about? Hmmm…. I enjoyed a Nova special on Neutrinos. Hah! Dance parties and quantum physics go together, right? Yes, yes they do! Plus, I had to give props to Ray Davis Jr., a scientist that repeated the same experiment to detect neutrinos for over 30 years! He didn’t receive a Nobel prize for those experiments until he was 88, and could barely comprehend its worth due to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Neutrino is an Italian pun for “little neutral one”. More can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino.

-Ben Miranda

2. LYRICS

lonely among us
passing through everyone
too many to count
meet us underground
in tank of chlorine

pick your one of three
we’re not as fast
and we live many lives in a second
the sun is our home

trying to look for us for forty years
you only see a small segment of us
one sees the left
and one the right
but does anyone see us for who we are?

we take no sides
and are the little brother
you almost did not see us
we are not fast
and the sun is our home

little neutral ones
We have cousins
But they come from the sky
little neutral ones

you look in deep places
and are surprised by our cousins
little neutral ones
we are not as fast
and the sun is our home

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10 Responses to “Tiny Tron demo – “Neutrino Dance Party””

  1. kebabdylan Says:

    ben, by far the best thing I’ve heard from you. I really really like it. who would have thought you could tickle the keys like that? the middle section/interlude is really great and I like the electronic voice. reminds me a bit of Air. good job my friend!

  2. BP Says:

    The drum stop near the end really got me the first time I listened to it. Very cool, Ben.

  3. detholz Says:

    Hey Ben:

    This took me a few listens to sink my teeth into. At first, I didn’t think it was as strong as your other TT material, but it’s definitely grown on me. Is it Kraftwerk meets the GLF? Is it Ladytron after having sucked helium? Or something from a tiny unknown dimension?

    Initially I found the pitch-shifted vocal to be a distraction. The rhythms, melodies, and of course, the TONES of this song are fantastic, and I thought the “Alvin and the Chipmunks”-style narration turned it into kind of a goof. On subsequent listens, however, the tiny nerd in my heart is winning out. After getting used to it, the vocal bothers me less and less.

    Is this the voice of the Neutrino? Or is it the voice of the mysterious Tiny Tron himself which, up to this point, we haven’t heard?

    Hmm…

    Interesting song, and as always, interesting approach!

  4. tiny tron Says:

    Gosh, it’s nice to hear such positive things. Thank you all.

    Mr. Kebab: I wish I could say I play the keys that swiftly, but alas it’s ye olde sequencer. BTW, I highly recommend my favorite new composition tool/loop based/thought it was only for DJs app: Ableton Live. All of the TT stuff has been brought to life via it. The bridge: I thought I would throw in a little toccata & fugue and I had some gestural help from Mr. Pete Beyer, believe it or not.

    BP: I tip my tiny hat in your direction, thank you sir. It’s a relief to hear that the break is not obvious. I usually have issues with being artistically objective with my own work.

    JC: I appreciate the honest initial feedback, but YOU’RE WRONG! I kid, I kid. Jim has made a nod to the seed of the project name: Ladytron. I also have you to thank for introducing me to them; really fun and really sexy, I recommend checking them out. The pitch shifted voice is a first person narrative from the perspective of a neutrino. I do cringe a little at the voice myself, but it seemed appropriate for a song about little neutral ones. I try and approach each vocal part on each song with a different style/production technique, there are bound to be some poopers.

  5. kebabdylan Says:

    i just installed it to give it a test drive. Looks interesting. I am just sooo used to the cakewalk interface that I feel so lost with it.

    did jesus christ comment? I must have missed that one
    ;->

  6. tiny tron Says:

    Bab: For quick composition, stay away from the audio tracks and focus on the midi tracks in Live. I usually work in the track view where faders and such are present and then use the bottom area (switches back and forth between track settings and track parts) to setup up each part. Using any single note audio sample you can use a simple sampler called the “simpler” plug-in and click notes into the midi note editor view. You can actually use the computer keyboard as a musical keyboard with the monitor set to “On” not “Auto”. To pull this up click the “In/Out” controls. The icon looks like a single column of an excel spreadsheet on the far right side. You can also pull up a quick drum kit with “impulse” or use any VST instrument in a midi track to flush out quick ideas.

  7. jon steinmeier Says:

    HEY BENNY!

    nice work. i dig the synthy sounds a lot. i dig the bass line. i dig the wacky synth solo sections too.

    this tune is really layered! one of the things that i dig about your writing is the almost contrapuntal layering of single line parts. lots of ’em. same thing is apparent in the latest miranda/detholz song “bird.” the part writing in this guy “neutrino” is pretty cool, although at the vocal entrance i got a little overstimulated and passed out and woke up again and was in a wicked synth solo break down! fresh. i think the vocals are interesting/funny, and i’d personally like to hear more of ’em. just me two cents. nice work benny!

    thank you for tiny tron!

  8. tiny tron Says:

    The bass line was definitely a happy accident for me and gives the tune two distinctive parts where really only one was there before. It’s that great feeling in the heat of the moment where the notes is coming out like a faucet and the something like this part just falls under your fingers. I really didn’t talk about that moment in the initial write up as it just happened like the holy spirit laying its hand on you, but not on your special area. I also try to use counterpoint whenever it seems appropriate and fun. This is more fun and silly. I’ll give the tiny vocals some future consideration. …and Thanks!

  9. dj Says:

    Ben,

    I spent the last two weeks on a photo shoot in the saccharine world of Disney World and Disneyland. For one, I was watching families from around the world have fun, while I was away from mine. Then, I’m forced to capture this magical, fun environment without a hint of cynicism. Tricky. Tricky. Tricky.

    Late one evening I needed to escape so I clicked on the Detholz blog and saw a new song by Tiny Tron. Pure happiness. Wicked synth lines. Layer upon layer of sound. Tricked-out vocals. A real, genuine, non-Disney smile appeared on my face. I was drowning in a sea of sadness, and Tiny Tron swam me over a life vest. Thank you Ben.

  10. tiny tron Says:

    Run DMC says: It’s tricky to rock around, to rock around on time, is tricky. I think they were referring to this exact situation. I’m glad that I could be a tiny beacon of hope in the sea of furry ears and over sized snouts. That I could bring such a needed grace to such a good family man as yourself is a true honor. Next tune will be called “Hey, it’s Mickey!”

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