Exclusive Interview with TNEO (The New Electronic Orchestra)
TNEO, (The New Electronic Orchestra) is releasing singles that all are part of their upcoming Robotish album. Explains the band, “we see more and more art created with the inclusion of artificial intelligence. That is why we are focused on blending the new sounds and production techniques with traditional instruments to create a fresh, never-before-heard music,” adding, “remember, music is fun. It should fit in your life. It should make you happy. Welcome to TNEO” )
IndiePulse Music recently interviewed one of TNEO’s band members, who choose to remain anonymous. Here’s how it went.
IPM: Talk a bit about TNEO, how and when it got formed?
TNEO: The idea behind TNEO came from an unexpected convergence of musical and technological progress. The progress musically came from a lifetime of involvement with traditional musical instruments (violin, double bass, guitar, the instruments of the orchestra and big band) and musical forms (rock, jazz, classical, Top-40, blues, and southern rock.) Technologically, progress came through the use of computers and software, removing the barrier between recording, composing, and performance.
The question; “How can music be based on loops?” took on new importance as the use of the DAW Ableton Live became more common. An exploration into loop-based writing led to the first TNEO songs. Old habits die hard and it seemed right to add some traditional instruments like guitar, electric or double bass, violin, etc. to the tracks. It became apparent that each medium – the electronic and the traditional – had much to offer each other and TNEO, The New Electronic Orchestra, was born.
IPM: How would you describe the overall musical sound of TNEO?
TNEO: First and foremost, TNEO’s music is meant to be fun. The stories of the songs are about simple emotions that each of us have at one time or another. Or sometimes they are just about having fun! A deep groove that makes you want to move, cool sounds, melodies that get glued in your mind: those are some of the goals of each track. The great thing is, music is so diverse that there are a million ways to reach those goals. So, a slamming House bass drum can sit side by side with a violin; a sequenced arpeggio fits perfectly with a classical guitar, and so on.
And then there is the human voice. Autotune has changed the game when it comes to what is acceptable processing for the voice. The voice, already an incredibly expressive instrument, now can be completely controlled in terms of facility and timbre. TNEO takes advantage of the natural expression of the voice while at times exploring the sounds made possible by vocoders, autotune, audio quantization, sample slicing and more.
IPM: Would you describe the recording process of TNEO as hi-tech or low-tech, and why?
TNEO: Given the mix of electronic and traditional instruments, the process is both high- and low-tech. Traditional instruments are miked using tried and true techniques developed in countless recording sessions since recording began. Once an instrument has been recorded, the computer allows for infinite possibilities to achieve the feeling of the song. It is sometimes right to use a contrarian approach when creating a song. For instance, the more electronic a track becomes, it can often be enhanced by adding a real instrument for contrast. Whatever brings out the meaning and feeling of the song is the right move.
It’s great to have vintage plug-ins like the Lexicon 224 from Universal Audio available along with synths from Native Instruments and Synapse and cool processing from Izotope and of course, the instruments and effects native to Ableton Live. The new Wavetable synth in Live 10 is pretty incredible!
IPM: Is there a full-length TNEO album and/or video in the works?
TNEO: Currently, TNEO is releasing one audio track per month. The first release, HiYa! says just what you would say with you first meet someone. Hello! The next song Look Into the Light is about hope and overcoming obstacles that can limit your growth. It also features vocalist Kara, a consummate Soprano coloratura stretching out on this House-influenced piece.
Each track will become part of an album called “Robotish.” We are living in an age of ever smarter machines. Collaboration with machines should enable us to create music, or any art for that matter, that is a bit human, and a bit machine. Robotish – a mix of human and machine.
IPM: How can people keep up with the latest goings-on of TNEO (Social Media links, etc.)?
There will be a Patreon page up soon where, (we hope!) those that want to directly support the artist will join up.
All of the tracks released are available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.
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