iOS Music Tunes: The Price Of Patriotism by Chip Boaz

by chip on July 4, 2013

Every week, iOS Music Tunes will feature a piece of music made with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod – directly from one of our readers. There’s a lot of artistic potential in iOS devices, and iOS Music And You readers are putting all the fantastic tools to use in creative and exciting ways. This regular feature will be an opportunity to appreciate the interesting things that our readers are doing with iOS music, get some new ideas, and kickstart the creative process. If you’ve made some music with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod that you want to share, submit it now – you can get the info HERE. Now sit back and enjoy today’s featured reader on iOS Music Tunes . . .

The Price Of Patriotism
Chip Boaz

It’s been a while since I posted an original composition, and I figured that today would be an appropriate time to introduce this piece, due to the fourth of July holiday in the United States.  For a while, I’ve explored the potential of using story lines to structure longer form electronic pieces, and I’ve often relied upon Science Fiction tales to fuel my creativity.  I’m certainly not letting go of my love for sci-fi – that will always be a part of my music – but I think sometimes real life can be stranger than fiction.  There are plenty of compelling stories that come to life in the world around us, and they need to be told through music.  I’ve always admired the work of jazz musicians like Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, and more who made bold statements about freedom and equality in the sixties.  In a way, this new direction harkens back to that powerful music and strives to bring similar social statements into my music.

This piece is loosely based upon Edward Snowden’s decision to reveal the PRISM program to the United States public, and the price that he has paid for committing an act of patriotism.  The frantic feel at the beginning of the song emulates the transfer of data, while the drama behind the chords relates to clandestine nature of this movement.  The repetition of the melodies relates to shock and awe over the misuse of data and the blatant disregard for the public’s privacy.  As multiple layers of arpeggiated figures fall over each other, the confusion becomes apparent, questioning which would actually be a patriotic act – keep the government’s secret or inform the public?  A sense of open calm comes over the song as the information hits the public and the general population reels over the implication of PRISM.  There’s also a reflection sadness inherent in the strings and the return of the main melody as the government’s reaction insures that Snowden will be robbed of a normal life.  As this section continues, fragments of the former section seep through the background, as the public slowly looses interest in PRISM and even worse, accepts it, while Snowden continues to pay the price of patriotism with the lose of his former life.  Whether or not you see Snowden as a patriot, the implications of his actions certainly give us something to consider; hopefully, some of that has been captured in the song.
This song was created completely on my third generation iPad using a number of music apps in various combinations.  Some of the apps that I used included Sunrizer Synth, Nave, Thor, Galileo, ThumbJam, DrumJam, iFretless Bass, SoundPrism Pro, Arpeggionome Pro, Stochastik Drum Machine, Audiobus, and NanoStudio.  At the onset of writing this song, I realized that we’ve seen a wealth of powerful new synths recently, and I really wanted to explore them.  I took advantage of this song to wander through the vast amount of presets offered in this apps to get an idea of the possibilities behind these apps.  I really enjoyed thinking this one through and  I’m happy to share them with you – I’d love your thoughts; if you get a chance to leave me a comment on the timeline that would be fantastic or send me a message.  Thanks!

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