Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap

Subject: Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap
From: Richard Wentk (
Date: Mon Jul 19 2004 - 05:46:10 EDT

At 21:06 18/07/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>And this started from the premise that electroacoustics is what comes from
>a loudspeaker. The parallel (unmentioned) is that of film and video which
>carry no stylistic connotations, and they too have no performer 'present',
>the audience being (largely) passive observers of "objects" (sic) which
>were produced (and 'fixed') prior to their presentation.
>Just as newsreel footage, the filming of a play, the creation of a 30
>second commercial, a 4 minute pop music video, an interview, or the
>'re-presentation' of a film via video are all film/video, -- soundscaping,
>documentary text, classical recording, radio spots, pop (etc) music (and
>classical recordings), spoken books, etc or the presentation of 'art
>sound' are all electroacoustic.

Not by most people's definition.

Film and video are terms that are widely understood and accepted by anyone
who's familiar with them. But the 'electroacoustic' word most certainly
doesn't mean what you're claiming it means to anyone outside of academia.
The corresponding word that most people understand would be 'music'.

Otherwise it's like claiming that all film is really TV just because most
people watch it at home. Or that all video is CGI just because it can be
viewed on a computer monitor. Or that all photography is digital because
these days it has to be scanned before reproduction.

It's the means of *production* - the focus of creative effort - that
defines a medium. Distribution and reproduction are comparatively unimportant.

Even in pop the original production tradition is one based on recording an
acoustic performance, and any manipulation that takes place is subservient
to that goal. Today the real medium of pop isn't sonic manipulation for its
own creative sake - which is what EA is about - but for the production of
beats, with lyrics and vocals tagging along behind as a very close second.
It's a different creative tradition that just happens to use some of the
same technology.

People don't listen to drum 'n bass because it has extensive layers of
metaphorical allusion poignantly offsetting the juxtaposition of various
contradictory yet related sonic elements. They listen to it because it has
a bangin' beat, a bass line you can slice concrete with, and it sounds good
if you're on drugs.


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