Alpha Penguin Tanz


click above to watch the movie

This is a microtonal rendition I did of the famous
Penguin Dance of 1956.
The tuning system I used is
Carlos Alpha.
First I uploaded the original movie to Apple Logic X, then I synchronised it to the sequencer’s clock (more about it later).
I wrote down the chords of the original song in
12EDO then started figuring out which combinations of notes in Carlos Alpha could resemble them. To do this I used my two keyboards: the one above is my Alpha one, the one below is a regular Halberstadt keyboard.

20160508_175331 copy

So I started playing. First on the regular one, then on the Alpha one, trying to replicate what I had just done on the other keyboard.
Once confident with the Alpha version, I recorded it, small pieces at a time (sometimes a bar, sometimes a chord, a few notes and so on).
Then I orchestrated the Alpha version with Apple Ultrabeat for the drum part and with Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 for everything else.

To show what I did I add another video, something like “the making of Alpha Penguin Tanz” showing Logic X playing the video with my soundtrack.


click above to watch the movie

So, for example, you will notice that in order to synchronize the video with the sequencer’s clock I had to “beat map” all of it and that the tempo is not steady (look at the tempo window at the top)
The melody you see scrolling are MIDI notes played by Omnisphere tuned to Carlos Alpha (having different meanings than if played by an instrument tuned to 12EDO)
I dare my friends with perfect pitch to follow the scrolling score of the melody while listening to the Carlos Alpha version of it. I think it is unbearable!

Trivia: I watched the
original video, while working on it, so many times that I finally chose which one was the best dancer. Undoubtedly it is the fourth woman on the line (the blonde one) whose dancing is much more graceful than that of all the other ones. Compare, for example, her dancing with that of the first woman on the line (look closely!).