What are some songs or clips from songs that slowly build up by adding instruments one at a time?
September 15, 2012 9:24 AM   Subscribe

What are some songs or clips from songs that slowly build up by adding instruments one at a time and/or by featuring one instrument at a time?

I'm taking a film-art class, and would like to make a short (3-8min) video of cooking where the footage mimics a song being built out of a bunch of instruments. Ideally, I'd like to use a musical piece that I don't have to assemble from scratch and one in which the different instruments can be matched with sounds that are made during cooking (an egg cracking, the oven preset beeping, etc.) so that I can fade, over the course of the piece, from the sounds of cooking into the sounds of music. So, my absolute ideal would be a song that's close-to perfectly broken down into individual instruments.

The closed song I've ever heard to what I'm looking for is Sly and the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music." but that's a little overwhelming to be a background...
I don't care so much about the music style (rock, jazz, pop, etc.) just the structure of the 'sound montage' within. :)

Thanks so much for any help/suggestions finding something!
posted by ch3cooh to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This is probably too on the nose and the individual parts are likely too short, but have you heard Memphis Soul Stew (or Marge Simpson's Springfield Soul Stew)?

(second Soul Stew answer in a week...now we're cooking)
posted by griseus at 9:29 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

First thing that comes to mind is Tighten Up by Archie Bell and the Drells from 0:45 on.

Also - check out Ravel's Bolero - same melody over and over, starting with one instrument and building.
posted by kdern at 9:30 AM on September 15, 2012

I'm on my phone and linking to YouTube videos is a major headache, but go search for a video called Multiple SIDosis. The guy records himself building up a song by playing one instrument at a time. It's cute.
posted by phunniemee at 9:33 AM on September 15, 2012

Or Angélique Kidjo's adaptation of Ravel's Bolero? Youtube. It shortens it to the length you specify.
posted by londongeezer at 9:36 AM on September 15, 2012

Ol' Enter Sandman uses terraced entrances.
posted by ignignokt at 9:38 AM on September 15, 2012

Reflection by T00L
posted by Cuspidx at 9:40 AM on September 15, 2012

One other one that might work, depending on what you have in mind:

All Things Reconsidered (note that the video linked contains two songs, ignore the second one)
posted by griseus at 9:54 AM on September 15, 2012

Bolero by Ravel might work, though it is rather long (17 minutes). You would have to cut out part of it for sure.
posted by ruhroh at 10:10 AM on September 15, 2012

There's a whole sub-genre of pop music that's developed over the past decade or so where solo musicians loop themselves in a live performance and build a song from scratch. This MeFi post about Kimbra doing this live with her song "Settle Down" has a ton of links in the comments to other similarly-built songs.
posted by carsonb at 10:11 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

maybe XTC's Complicated Game
posted by dtp at 10:13 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Elvis Perkins' While You Were Sleeping does this, and it's mellow enough to be background music.
posted by scarykarrey at 10:27 AM on September 15, 2012

Sonic Youth - Sugar Kane builds to a nice crescendo, adding instruments. Food ingredient themed title too.

Pulp - Like a Friend starts off slow, builds to a frenzy. Was already used at the end of the Venture Bros. season 4 finale though.
posted by NoAccount at 11:07 AM on September 15, 2012

Saturday Looks Good to Me - When the Party Ends does precisely this in its second half.
posted by eugenen at 11:10 AM on September 15, 2012

Have a listen to some of the music of Steve Reich. I thought of "Clapping Music" - which is the right length but has only two parts - also the 4th movement of Drumming which has the gradual adding of instruments in looping patterns. Not sure what sort of pairing of ingredients that would make with cooking footage - but a novel one probably.

In the genre of carsonb's cited pop music tracks that are based on looping sounds there is some of the music of Dr Didge like this.
posted by rongorongo at 11:49 AM on September 15, 2012

Actually, a friend of mine has used Steve Reich's clapping music for a similar project. :)
posted by ch3cooh at 11:55 AM on September 15, 2012

Of the links on the MeFi page carsonb recommended, the El Ten Eleven samples were really great - especially because I think there's enough 'space' still left in the rhythm that I can add my own sounds from cooking into the rhythm. Ian Mackaye Was Right and Every Direction Is North are particularly good fits for what I'm looking for. Thank you!
posted by ch3cooh at 12:03 PM on September 15, 2012

And while Real Live Flesh by Tune Yards and Just For Now by Imogen Heap have too much character for me to use them as a remixed-background track, both are really quite amazing.

Also - Andrew Bird is simply brilliant, though I can't imagine being able to use something so complicated well. Adding a visual component to his pieces that isn't just a simple backdrop for featuring the music is, I think, well beyond my skills. :)

Anyway, thank you so much to everyone who posted a suggestion! I'll check back on this page in a couple days for more ideas, but I just want to say that y'all have been really helpful! Thank you!
posted by ch3cooh at 12:09 PM on September 15, 2012

King Volcano by Bauhaus?
posted by mon-ma-tron at 12:11 PM on September 15, 2012

The Heroic Weather Conditions of the Universe by Alexander Desplat?
posted by jph at 1:16 PM on September 15, 2012

Andrew Bird, yes yes yes. I don't know if you've ever seen him live, but it's insane.

Architecture in Helsinki's song Escapee does this in the intro pretty clearly, and I can see tying it to cooking sounds to some extent... but then again, its only about 20 seconds worth of material.
posted by jorlyfish at 2:02 PM on September 15, 2012

Flying by The Beatles. A nice little instrumental that you'll find on the A-side of Magical Mystery Tour.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:44 PM on September 15, 2012

Britten's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" does that.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:05 PM on September 15, 2012

Mike Oldfield "Tubular Bells" though its a lot longer than 8 min
posted by canoehead at 5:30 PM on September 15, 2012

Walk On By - Isaac Hayes

At about 4:30 they add a large orchestra to the orchestra already in the song.

There is a shorter edit from The Dead Presidents Soundtrack that I think is better but it doesn't have the dramatic larger orchestra.
posted by Che boludo! at 6:23 PM on September 15, 2012

Walk on By might not be cooking appropriate.
posted by Che boludo! at 6:24 PM on September 15, 2012

One more: The Intro and the Outro from the Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Band. Probably a little too mad.
posted by rongorongo at 12:57 AM on September 16, 2012

"Uninvited" by Alanis Morissette?
posted by jitterbug perfume at 10:39 AM on September 16, 2012

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