[PD] Am I alone?

Josh Moore kh405.7h30ry at gmail.com
Sat Jan 29 21:16:40 CET 2011

Well in my opinion most electroacoustic shit is all surrealist/dadaist crap.

The people involved try too hard to be the electronic version of John
Cage, it's quite annoying.
In fact, I'm so against it that I'm going to come up with a parody
album with actual good dance music
that uses elements of the academic code geek norm with real electronic
music that have titles like
"computer scientists make for very bad musicians" and "chainsaw in a
cave, recorded 6 feet down"

In all seriousness though, i like the science.

However, I believe that just because it's accepted academically
doesn't mean that it will
put you ahead of everyone else nor do I like/take part in the elitism
that follows which is ten
times worse.

I read the CCRMA and IRCAM articles/publications, use Max, Csound,
ChucK, and all of that jazz.
I even read the Pd/Max/Csound/Chuck mailing lists too but I choose to
make actual music with those tools.
I use Renoise for sequencing because it can send open sound control
data to the extra stuff, then I multitrack it
in whatever DAW I feel like using that day whether it's Pro Tools,
Live, Logic, DP, or whatever really.
Most of what I make is just normal synthesis stuff, like what you
would get out of a synth/workstation anyways
but I like the fact that I made what I'm using, or heavily modified it
if it was sampled.

An off subjerct example but relative is the guys with modular
synthesizers. You can go to youtube and
see videos with these guys with big huge multithousand dollar Buchla
synthesizers and they make this
repetitive crap that sounds like it came from lost in space. Then,
they just keep turning knobs
and it's the same thing for five minutes. It's like, wtf is that trash
nobody is going to listen to that...

The technical ability to program synths is great, and I love people
who take the time to be
scientific about their sound but to me the whole entire point of music
is about being technical
with a control present. You can look at all of the great classical
composers, marching band composers,
composers/musicians on labels and find the same thing. If I was to go
to school to study music and
electronics, and figured out that I can get a plastic drum, destroy an
alarm clock to make a contact microphone,
and do some basic signal processing I can do much the same thing then
I would be asking serious questions.

I guess for someone who's learning, that stuff is fine but these big
institutions who teach music already
require one to take proper music courses in primary school yet we find
5 minute 20 hz drones everywhere
with some white noise. Are the teachers assigning this stuff? Are they
mad? I grew up in a super small
area in Washington state and I've never been to college so I wouldn't
know but what comes out of this
circle is baffling.

Perhaps it was just the way I was musically brought up, I don't know.
I had a crazy band teacher in
primary school who would flunk you if you didn't show up to any of the
performances, and dock your
grade if you didn't practice so many hours a week that had to be
logged and signed by a parent. Plus,
you had all the standard music theory stuff, tests on melodic,
chromatic, harmonic scales, sometimes the
odd ones too, inversions, chords, and so forth. My mom would listen to
Van Halen, Stevie Ray
Vaughn and Bluegrass music which in my opinion is very technical. I
was into house and dance when
I was in my preteens to late teens and my mother used to always say
that stuff isn't music
because it repeats too much. Eventually I saw her wisdom and started
listening to lots of Prog Rock
and Aphex Twin, Radiohead, Industrial Metal, and stuff like that and
it totally changed my view.

I think it's all too easy to get caught up in the technology behind
production, and leave the good stuff out.
Most of the stuff, including my own that's made with computers just
doesn't have that same feel even
after I spent 8 hours programming complex drum patterns note by note
in a numeric based step sequencer.

However, in my case my own musical control would be the simple math
that makes up harmony and melody.
Some however can defy this and still make good music, like Sonic Youth
for instance or other people who have
experimental music actually published on a reputable experimental
label. There's still structure there, what
is up with this other post-modernist stuff?

Shouldn't artistic enrichment be the goal? Did I miss the boat?

To me, music is controlled noise. You can make a math equation based
on chaos theory and apply it
to a sequence, but then it becomes noise. You can destroy all sense of
scale and timing, but then it
becomes noise.

I mean, i can sit there on a synth patch and make noise for 8 hours or
I could just go write a song.

Personally, I'll choose to write the song.

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