1. of or pertaining to accidental causes; of luck or chance; unpredictable: an aleatory element.
2. Music. employing the element of chance in the choice of tones, rests, durations, rhythms, dynamics, etc.
3. of uncertain outcome, lit. "depending on the throw of a die" (from Latin alea, "a die, the dice")
Many music review websites feature questionnaires that they send out to the musicians they review, a set of twentyish stock questions that act as a way to sort of catch up with an artist and find out what they've been up to (and what they've been listening to) recently.
The Aleatory (designed by Davecat) is our version, with a twist: dice are rolled to determine which 20 questions, from a list of 100, each artist is asked, adding a bit of randomness and fate to an otherwise straightforward, traditional survey. The list of all 100 questions is as follows:
1. Favorite word?
3. Favorite key to write in?
4. Favorite person to have worked with?
5. Favorite piece of equipment?
6. Favorite visual artist?/Favorite work of visual art?
7. Favorite composer?
8. Favorite author?/Favorite book?
9. Favorite song to start (or end) a mixtape with?
10. Favorite lyric?
11. Favorite music video?
12. Favorite band when you were in high school?
13. Favorite Shakespearean play?
14. Favorite sound?
15. Favorite exhibit or subject at the museum?
16. Favorite campfire story?
17. Favorite plant?
18. Favorite pick-up line?
19. Favorite foreign film?
20. Favorite new band?
21. Favorite album(s) from the past year?
22. Favorite vice?
23. Favorite natural oddity?
24. Favorite historical time period?
25. Favorite historical figure?
26. Favorite badass?
27. Favorite chord/chord progression?
28. What instrument would you most like to learn to play?
29. Who do you wish more people were listening to?
30. How many languages do you speak?
31. Other than musician, what career would you most enjoy?
32. Best thing you learned this week/month?
33. What's something you could teach anyone in an hour or less?
34. What's the best joke you heard recently?
35. What's the best place you've randomly discovered while on tour?
36. Lyrics first or music first?
37. What do you consider most important about a song's structure?
38. What is your family like?
39. What's something you could probably beat anyone you know at?
40. What was your best/worst subject in school?
41. If you could go anywhere in the universe, where would it be?
42. What's an image that haunts you to this day?
43. What's the road ahead look like?
44. Something you've heard, know is false, but wish were true with all your heart?
45. What's the best lie you've ever told?
46. Where do you keep things hidden? What do you keep hidden there?
47. Biggest fear?
48. Biggest moment of triumph?
49. Now that you know a much larger audience will get to hear the music you've made, has your writing changed at all? How? What's changed and what's stayed the same?
50. What's your religious tradition or background?
51. What are you currently obsessed with?
52. At what point did you realize that music was going to be your full-time occupation?
53. So far in your career, what's been your biggest regret?
54. So far in your career, what's been your proudest accomplishment?
55. You're curating a festival. If you could choose any two bands to open for you, who would they be?
56. Have you ever considered writing or producing for other artists?
57. Most rock star thing you've ever done?
58. Least rock star thing you've ever done?
59. Worst venue you've ever played?
60. What's the worst show you've ever played? What would you have done different?
61. What's the best advice you could give to a young, upstart band?
62. Your favorite song that you've done so far?
63. Band/artist you're secretly envious of?
64. Weirdest promotion you've been a part of?
65. Ever see yourself penning the score/soundtrack to a TV show or film?
66. Worst song you've heard recently?
67. Do you reach any kind of personal catharsis when it comes to songwriting/performing?
68. Favorite interview you've ever been a part of (aside from this one, obviously)?
69. There's got to be one: who has been your craziest fan?
70. What is a personal belief you hold that you would fight for to the death?
71. How well do you feel your music lends itself to remixing or being covered?
72. A few years ago, Beck gave an interview for SPIN in which he lamented the glut of reality TV shows and blogs about musicians, wanting to know less details about their life because he felt they were more mysterious that way (he liked to envision Devo as living in a crazed art-deco pyramid when he was young, instead of just some guys in a tour bus). Do you feel that there's a lack of mystique out there for musicians in today's YouTube age? Do you feel your band carries any mystique?
73. Are there any songs that you're working on right now?
74. Better to burn out or to fade away?
75. Very first song that you ever wrote?
76. Dream collaboration?
77. What was the hardest part about recording your current release?
78. Your life has been reduced to a bumper sticker: what does it say?
79. Best concert you've ever been to?
80. Worst run-in with the law (to date)?
81. If you could sync an album of yours to a movie (like Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz), what movie would it be?
82. Current pop song that you would file under "guilty pleasure"?
83. Have you ever thought of pulling a Jack White-styled Raconteurs/White Stripes thing and be in multiple bands at once? If so, what would the other band sound like?
84. Most disappointing concert you ever attended?
85. What's the biggest mistake you've made that you inadvertently learned a great lesson from?
86. With Radiohead's In Rainbows release and Nine Inch Nails doing boffo business with his online releases, do you see yourself ever doing some alterative kind of release for any of your future projects?
87. Ultimately, you will want to be remembered as …
88. What's your deepest source for musical inspiration?
89. You just died. I'm sorry. Fortunately, your will states that you want very specific music to be played at your funeral. What did you choose?
90. Sexiest thing about you?
91. Which single album should be in everybody's home?
92. Which venue are you dying to play but have not yet had the chance to?
93. Longest show you ever played? What was different?
94. What's your hardest song to replicate live?
95. Do you ever read your own reviews?
96. The one thing that no one knows about you (yet)?
97. Your label wants to do a music video for a song off your album, and have inexplicably procured $1,000,000 as a budget, then decide that you'd best direct the visual accompaniment to your own music. What song do you choose, and what will your video look like?
98. Would you say that there's somewhat of a political undertone to your music? If so, what motivates it?
99. Licensing your music out to companies for TV ads: good or bad?
100. Even with the gradual decay of the B-side, most artists still have vaults of unreleased songs. What's in yours?