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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer Kathiya's Avatar
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    When cutting together 2 songs, what "logic" do you use?

    When you want to fuse 2 songs to make one dance piece, which do you pay attention to most: that they fit together musically, or that they don't clash "meaning-wise"?

    What I mean is this: sometimes you find 2 songs that would sound really nice together, and that musically would work just fine cut into the 4-minute time limit for your choreo's song (lol), but when looking up their backgrounds you find out that, for example, the origin of one of them is like from Um K, and very sad lyric-wise, whereas the second is pretty joyful.

    What do you do? fuse them together anyways (and make sure you "emote" properly during your choreo to make the distinction)? or do you avoid doing so, cos going from very sad to happy in a half-second would just be weird to the audience members who know the meanings of the songs?


  2. #2
    Ultimate BHUZzer artemisia_danst's Avatar
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    Re: When cutting together 2 songs, what "logic" do you use?

    to me that entirely depends on what the performance is for and who the audience is. a stage show gives you a lot more, eh, "artistic freedom", then performing at a party where you want a set with a flow that entertains people. to name but two.

    competitions are another kettle of fish again
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  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer Kathiya's Avatar
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    Re: When cutting together 2 songs, what "logic" do you use?

    yeah, i understand the point for party-starting, but the context of the question is mostly for stage, i guess.
    would you say it's ok?

    what would you do differently re: competitions?


  4. #4
    Mega BHUZzer cbarros's Avatar
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    Re: When cutting together 2 songs, what "logic" do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathiya View Post

    What do you do? fuse them together anyways (and make sure you "emote" properly during your choreo to make the distinction)? or do you avoid doing so, cos going from very sad to happy in a half-second would just be weird to the audience members who know the meanings of the songs?
    This could work depending on how you cut them. I did something similar more than once . . . put the sad section first then have the more upbeat one at the end to bring up the mood.

    I also created my own balady piece recently by lifting parts of 2 different balady pieces . . . first a couple of minutes of an accordion taqsim then a couple of minutes of an accordion balady . . . and people came up to me afterwards to ask where I got the music, lol!!! But it can be a challenge to get it right as sometimes i decide to lift out of the middle and not beginning or end . . . so my editing skills get a big challenge doing that.
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  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: When cutting together 2 songs, what "logic" do you use?

    Whenever possible, I think it is best to collect a suite of songs that hang together well on multiple levels. Obviously this starts from an understanding of what pieces go together in terms of their instrumentation and production. It would be jarring to go directly from an ethnic field recording into a slick, Eurodisco pop tune. Your suite of music should have some variety of emotions and sounds, but this is easier to achieve with a longer multi-part set where you have the luxury of time, than two songs and a four-minute limit. In the latter case, I would imagine transitioning directly from an Umm Kalthoum song about being heartbroken into an up-tempo number from Saad where he's making sexual innuendoes would read as a particularly obnoxious sort of cluelessness to knowledgeable audience--disrespectful to Umm Kalthoum, and oblivious to the incompatible character of those songs.

    I don't think this implies that you can't ever combine disparate songs in a shorter set, but that if you want to do this: (1) you should have some sort of buffer in between them to "cleanse the palate" like a taqsim or other short instrumental, (2) it's probably a good idea not to go too extreme ("abject despair" and "let's party" don't really go together), and (3) look at the larger cultural context. Sometimes a song may have lyrics that sound very meaningful upon reading, but over the years, it has turned into "just another old song" and people don't think of it in those terms any more--however, it's important to remember that the natives and the dance community don't always perceive songs the same way. It's also important to note that too much song editing (trying to fit too many songs into too short a time frame) just comes across as choppy and doesn't do any of them justice. I think that's why when a dancer is working under a time constraint and wants a multi-song "mini-set," they usually either choose a short song and a short drum solo, or they use a medley that was intentionally arranged by its musicians to give this effect within a single track.

    In other words, if you have concerns that what you've got won't flow nicely, keep looking. There's a lot of music out there. Being able to string songs together in pleasant, compatible ways is an art unto itself, and the larger your database to draw from, the better your chances will be for making good matches.


  6. #6
    Advanced BHUZzer SandraDances's Avatar
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    Re: When cutting together 2 songs, what "logic" do you use?

    My first thought is to stay with the same musicians-then they sound the same. I don't always do that, but when putting something together with no guidelines, that is where I start.


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