Limited Supply: Responses to CE #6

Back in February I posted Composition Exercise #6:

Compose a drum track with exactly

40 kick drum hits

30 snare hits and

100 hi hat hits.

A few musicians have since shared their tracks with me and gave their permission to publish them here!


First up is Juan Dahmen from Spain. Juan says:

“I just tried your exercise three times with different approaches:

1. Doing the math and arranging three different tracks:
5 bars with 10 kicks (in total) repeated 3 times
4 bars with 6 snares (in total) repeated 5 times
4 bars with 20 hi hats (in total) repeated 5 times

Every 4 bars, snare and hi hats repeat the pattern, but the kick don’t, so it feels less repetitive. I added some velocity changes as to feel a little more alive. Everything was written, nothing played live.

2. Improvising free with [Ableton] Push trying to play more hi hats than kicks and more kicks than snares. I did it but, evidently, not perfect, so I had to add a few here and remove a few there. As a first take on that, I felt the restrictions occupied to much of my thoughts […].

3. Improvising but with a groove in mind and, again, trying to play more hats than anything. Here, in order to groove I played way more kicks than allowed and had to remove them later, resulting sometimes in an ungroovy groove. Snares were surpassed by around 3 and hats were short by 8, which I corrected too.”

Find Juan’s music at juandahmen.wordpress.com


Next is Kaspar Torn from Estonia, whose files were named “Limited Supply”, giving this post its title.

Kaspar’s music can be heard at kaspartorn.eu.


Cha Blasco, a musician from Spain but now living in Sweden, has applied the exercise to different drum sounds and sent in these tracks:

Find more of Cha’s work at chablasco.com.


Finally, Ernesto Medina from Argentina has shared the following recordings. He notes:

“I’ve tried to write three different forms over the same hi hat division but not thinking of a very specific structure. Of course, respecting some logic on the executions (meaning that it’s actually kind of playable) and also the possibility of making a long loop with it. I always try to not to think of well known patterns to find new stuff.”

Listen to Ernesto’s music at ernestomedina.com.ar and laorillera.com.


Great to hear all these submissions and the different approaches that can be taken in working with it. It always suprises me anew how these kinds of restrictions – of which you can of course create infinite variations – can be put to creative use. So come up with your own rules or work with one of my other exercises, and let me know what you come up with.


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