[PD] Am I alone?

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 30 04:17:57 CET 2011

--- On Sat, 1/29/11, Josh Moore <kh405.7h30ry at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Josh Moore <kh405.7h30ry at gmail.com>
> Subject: [PD] Am I alone?
> To: pd-list at iem.at, chuck-users at lists.cs.princeton.edu, csound at lists.bath.ac.uk, max at bek.no
> Date: Saturday, January 29, 2011, 9:16 PM
> Well in my opinion most
> electroacoustic shit is all surrealist/dadaist crap.

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> The people involved try too hard to be the electronic
> version of John
> Cage, it's quite annoying.

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> 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.

[1( Make Music
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> 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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