Christopher Tignor: Bronx Science


Christopher Tignor

The cold snap has arrived here in the Bronx. Feral cats huddle together for warmth beneath old Chevys. It was on such a winter's day that I began experimenting with the violin loops that I record live while playing the song "Wood, Metal, Bone" off the new Wires.Under.Tension record Light Science. This violin technique, known as bariolage, makes use of high-energy string crossings to create melodic arcs which convey the very essence of the instrument. That song gets a lot of practice because the technique is challenging, but more importantly, all that bowing is a great way to keep warm down here in my underground studio.

We're always looking to get the instrumentally idiomatic to speak in new tongues. By taking these samples and subjecting them to some automated transformations, a sort of neo hip-hop flavor fell out. Using drum samples taken off another track, "Mnemonics in Motion" played by Wires.Under.Tension's better half, Theo Metz, these fantastic, off-kilter hi-hat grooves arrived. The core sounds of the band then all found their way in: digitally extended glockenspiel melodies, punchy brass hits and even some overdriven clavinet. Theo and I were impressed at how the whole thing uncannily expressed the vibe of my newfound neighborhood and in a nod to the public high school of the same name, "Bronx Science" was born.

I've divided the song up into many finely grained scenes. In each scene name, you'll see the number of bars that I let each last before moving on. Of course, feel free to linger or hurry as you like or skip the script entirely.

So season's greetings and enjoy. Maybe take a break between meals to reinvent what you can do with strings, drums and the rest. You've earned it. And if living as a musician has taught me anything, it's that to keep pushing what excites you is to keep warm.


Christopher Tignor

Download Christopher Tignor's Livepack here

Filesize: 19 MB, Requires Live 8.2 or higher