Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Final Song Choices

10 days to go and tonight, I made the final choices on which tunes will be used for Piper's first freestyle.

The semi-finalists included three Abba songs, four jazz tunes, and three Spanish guitar songs.   The Spanish tunes did not meld together well and were the first to drop off the list.   The rest, the finalists, were loaded onto my Shuffle.   Watching a videotaped training session of me riding Piper, I listened to the music and looked to see which suited Piper's movement.   While they all matched the BPM of his gaits exactly or close enough to match with a bit of help from the Audacity software package, I was looking to see which matched his lightness and his ring persona.

Jeddien, who is a chunky ground stomping KWPN Dutch Warmblood mare, worked aesthetically to good strong German folk music, music which one might hear at an Octoberfest celebration.   Piper, however, is a much lighter type KWPN who benefits from light "fluffy" music.

The Spanish tunes are wonderful, but I failed to find a matching set that share enough of a common feel to work well together for one freestyle.

The Abba music was suitable for Piper, however, no matter how I tried to think of the music, I could hear lyrics in my head.   And that's not a good thing!   I don't want the audience and judges to be mentally singing along when I suddenly cut to another song.

In the end, I went with two jazzy tunes, both of which are recognizable (and therefore predictable for the audience), but if the songs have lyrics, I doubt anyone knows them.   Both songs, while having very strong beats, manage to still be very light and fluffy.   Perfect for Piper.   And, best of all, both songs make me smile.   This is really important as I'll have both songs stuck in my head for the next few months.

Two songs?   Yup.   Unlike Jeddien's kur which used three songs, one per gait, the music I have chosen for Piper has one song for the trot and another for both the walk and the canter.   Since the BPM for Piper's walk and canter differ by a small amount, a little tweaking will be needed, but not much.

Editing with Audacity is now underway.   The computer may be hooked up to the outdoor arena speakers and to allow for editing on the fly.   Alternatively, new MPEG-4 files can be created and loaded onto the Shuffle, then ridden to.   The iterations will continue for the next several days, with a goal of having Piper's debut Freestyle CD ready a few days before competition.

So, progress continues....   It feels great!

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