NOTOPIA Video Release

NOTOPIA Video Release

During the sessions of the “Celebrating Life” album, we had Robert Vater joining us to film the process of creating something from nothing. Here is a video, that shows how something evolved from the void. The track was released as “Inspire” on the album. You can see the whole gang in action, working on every note, building this up to a great feature of Mike Keneally’s guitar playing. Enjoy…

The album “Celebrating Life” is available at Bandcamp, by the way. Just saying…

Fifty Shades Of White, a new NOTOPIA release

Fifty Shades Of White, a new NOTOPIA release

Today I released another NOTOPIA album. It’s called “Fifty Shades Of White” and contains about half an hour of trio madness. From the album description:

What would you get if you put a Chameleon, a particle collider and a cheese cake into a rehearsal room? Well, we don’t know either, but it’s almost as unpredictable as recording a NOTOPIA session.
This new 26 minutes EP called “Fifty Shades Of White” covers six tracks, which can not be more unpredictable. This is progressive free jazz with a spice of dark ambient Real Book phobia. Dive in and enjoy!

“Fifty Shades Of White” is available on BandCamp or iTunes. And of course it’s a free release for my BandCamp subscribers!

Rhythmic Harmony

Rhythmic Harmony

Okay, here is some food for thought. Maybe someone can help me and think it further:

I thought about intervals and chords only to be very fast rhythm. Like a4 = 440Hz, the 5th = e5 = 660Hz and so on. This means, that if the rhythm of a4 is a quarter note, the rhythm of the e5 is 1,5 times that fast. Can you follow me so far?

Then I started building a graph, where I can see a sine-curve per interval. Whenever it crosses the x-axis it’s a beat. As as example I added the three curves of a simple major chord. 1-3-5. The root is black, the fifth is blue, and the major third is green.

As you can see, they all meet after 4 beats, so it might sound strange, but this harmony can easily be transferred into one bar of 4/4. It’s not so easy with the minor third or notes like the 7 or b7, but there are also repetitive patters for that.

The rhythm of the intervals of a minor 7 chord will repeat after 10 beats.

The intervals of a major 7 chord will repeat after 8 beats.

Has someone else already experimented with this? Do you have any idea how I could transfer this into real rhythms? Maybe some LFOs and a modular setup will work. I’m in explorer mode, so hit me up with questions and ideas…

NOTOPIA “Celebrating Life” CD Release

NOTOPIA “Celebrating Life” CD Release

Dear friends, this is a wonderful moment, and I would love to share the story behind it:
In June 2016 I had some studio time with my friends Sven Kosakowski and Peter Alexius. We recorded some free improvised music with crazy guitar god Mike Keneally and the bassist of his trio, Jaan Wessman.
It was a wonderful session with a lot of very nice output, and it took us about 6 months to select the most beautiful moments. Then we started mixing and editing the raw tracks – but we did not add anything new. The rule was “no overdubs”. But, we broke our rule to bring this to another level. Some of the tracks were sent to prog legend Peter Hammill and vocalist Mimi Ventura for some vocal additions. What came back from them blew us away, and we were happy to add their lyrics to our improvisations. Another run of mixing and finally mastering was done and now, after more than a year in the making, the final CDs arrived.
This is a lot different to the SAM sessions we had with Julie Slick in 2014 as I was much more involved in the production process. I did the complete mix down and half of the mastering by myself. I even laid out the track order and track names to make this a concept record. And finally I also did the cover photography and the whole artwork. So this is very much my baby.
I learned so much on the way and I am thankful for the help and advise I got from so may people. And I want to say thank you to my friends Sven and Peter for their trust in my work and giving me so much creative room to play with my own ideas.
The resulting record NOTOPIA “Celebrating Life” is already available for preorder. It will be released this Friday, Nov. 17. We are going to have a virtual release party online, and you are of course invited to join us at https://www.facebook.com/events/505752703126230??ti=ia

NOTOPIA also has a nice small website at
http://notopia.mennigmann.com/

And the NOTOPIA Facebook page is at
https://m.facebook.com/notopiaproject/

I hope to see you Friday to celebrate this release.

Thanks for reading.

All my best,
Marc

NOTOPIA – A Week About Friendship And Music

NOTOPIA – A Week About Friendship And Music

So here we go!
The next week will be about friendship and music. I have a two days studio session with my two NOTOPIA pals Peter Alexius on guitar and Sven Kosakowski on drums. Our very special guests will be our friends Mike Keneally on guitar and Jaan Wessman on bass. Virtually with us will be Divinity Roxx, who is joining us in form of a vocal phrase sampler I built with her in the last weeks.
I simply don’t know what will happen during these studio sessions, as there are no tunes to play, no prepared lead sheets, scores or chords. We will talk with our instruments, have a conversation through the music that will happen. And we will have a really good time. As I said, this is about friendship and music…