The Midi Opera

A hommage to the greatest file format, 15 midi file songs + 3D renderings. Research: Beauty

Watch and listen:
MP3 Release (320k/bits) on Shalom Salon.

The MIDI Opera is a little homage to the MIDI file format. Due to its limitation composing songs with the MIDI synthesizer of my laptop was always an attraction to me. The sequencer software is simple, and cheesy melodies are clicked within a second. After clicking this link you'll find a compilation of songs squeezed into a little story about Gérald Midi, a hard working businessman, who is caught in his dreams of a colorful, exciting life. Maybe similar dreams are shared by MIDI files themselves as well.

Before we start, you might like to watch the beautiful trailer:

It's a stop motion clip (screenshots) done with WordsEye.

The story of Gérald Midi is super simple. He's an ambitious businessman, who works always too long in his little grey office - he sometimes even sleeps there. But Gérald isn't always on top - he loves dreaming of beaches, girls, money,... his future life!

Only in his dreams he finds joy, love and adventures.
Here are some examples:

The "Sound_Tracks" Track features following instruments: Sound Tracks, Rhodes Piano, Seashore, GS Wind, Electric Bass Fingered Electric Bass Picked, Standard Drum Kit feat. Agogos & Shaker:

Gérald is having a bath with a beautiful woman.

The "Banjo" Track features following instruments: Banjo, Harmonica, Reed Organ, Square Wave, Gunshot, Synth Bass 1, Standard Drum Kit feat. Tambourine & Guica:

Gérald even knocks a real cowboy out.

The "Glockenspiel" Track features following instruments: Glockenspiel, Acoustic Piano, Shannai, Panflute, Acoustic String Ensemble 1 Contrabass, GS Dog, GS Laughing:

Gérald has an exotic dinner for 4.

Some words about designing/interpretation: Both, composing music with the Easy Beat sequenzer software and drawing pictures with WordsEye have to deal with a hard - or software interpretation process. Going through this process allows you to play around with its rules and frontiers. But as the end-product of a MIDI file is quite open according to the sound card, WordsEye is quite the opposite. You create mostly accidentally beautiful pictures which you can save as jpeg.

Download "The MIDI Opera" themes as Ringtones!

This is my favorite one: the "Helicopter" Track features following instruments: Helicopter, Bird Tweet, Acoustic String Ensemble, Church Organ, Synth Bass 1, Synth Bass 2, Standard Drum Kit feat. Jingle Bell:

Gérald sees a poor bird getting hit deadly by a helicopter ;(

The MIDI Opera

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Review on "Recent Music Heroes":

"No doubt, Manuel Buerger's The Midi Opera is a thankworthy output, dedicated to the midi file format, which has been boycotted by the predominant part of computer users. However, played on an inbuilt synthesizer of a computer Buerger does offer 15 short tracks of a very short longitude, going their way through a lot of peculiar sonic details reminiscent of space age pop tunes back to the 60`s and 70`s. Played up in a fine mode you can be caught driving on a route of weird sample flushes, high-pitched chords, roughly sounding caustic swirls, sublime glockenspiel combinations, in a primitivistic way conjured bubblegum funk and trance beats. Moreover, it might even be considered a bit mocking regarding different styles and currents (for instance, some prog-rock-esque eagerness at Tuburalbells). Though built up in a rough way, it does sound lushly because of being squeezed into a polyphonic result, being caught between format and nostalgia. For an argue, compared to his contemporaries his work gets the spot really close to Dave Keifer`s (aka Cagey House) compositions, though, Keifer is used to exploit more haunting samples. In a short, it is a funny and serotonine-pumping work, being a pro-flag for the midi format for sure."

-- Recent Music Heroes, 05.11.2010

"Watching The Midi Opera Trailer"

by Martin Kohut