[24 March 2011]
Darren Solomon spends his days writing music for commercials, TV and movies at Big Foote Music + Sound, working with many top session musicians in New York City. Another outlet is his cool electro pop band, Science for Girls, which incorporates a handful of singer/songwriters from the area. Lately, he has also created an online collaboration for anyone anywhere to join in composing a musical piece. InBFlat.net is a collection of 20 YouTube videos by professional musicians as well as everyday enthusiasts, using a wide array of instruments. Solomon set the parameters based on a 1960s minimalist composition called “In C” by Terry Riley. Here, each video is under two minutes long and in the brass-friendly key of B flat. The webpage features performance by musicians all over the globe playing traditional trumpet, clarinet and guitar along with non-traditional pairings such as harmonium and synthesizers, even a Nintendo DS. The human voice is also part of the plan, both the spoken word and sung vocals. By choosing a few or all 20, a visitor can create their own piece of music as well as controlling the mix by adjusting the volume of each video.
In a recent interview with NPR, Solomon explains that the idea came after learning how YouTube allows 20 videos to play simultaneously. To bring people together online who normally wouldn’t be in the same room had its appeal as well. He calls it his digital Web 2.0 tribute to Riley, yet this project is another example of how the internet has further expanded the simple notion of collaboration.