(junk yard dog in) hidden place

Subject: (junk yard dog in) hidden place
From: bill thompson (innerd00r@yahoo.com)
Date: Tue Sep 13 2005 - 15:29:39 EDT

i really don't enjoy posts where someone jumps in and
starts shredding someone else's point of view, sort of
like some crazed junk yard dog....

but what the hell, can't help it.

i'm sorry but i hear so much pretension in this
thread. different artists have different aesthetic
goals. it's not always that their software/hardware
isn't up to the job. it's often more that they're
trying to accomplish something different and thus are
using their equipment differently, or are purchasing
different equipment. i know more then one artist who
spent more on a minimoog, or ems synth, than many 'ea
composers' spent on their laptop. they didn't do that
because they wanted to be limited by subtractive
synthesis, but rather it's the best tool to
accomplish their aesthetic goals. because their goals
are different, doesn't invalidate them.

it's of course easier to say that their
aesthetic/equipment is impoverished and in the process
lift oneself up a notch on the ego ladder, rather than
trying to understand what they're attempting, why, and
if there's anything to it for you.

with the exception of naming b.o.c. and a label, all
these artists, whoever THEY are, seem to have been
lumped into one big 'them' (easier to hit i guess)
although someone mentioned THE 'noise and drone
artists'...didn't realize they had a union....and btw,
noise does not necessarily equal drone, and idm is not
even in the vicinity.

and whose drone anyway? radigue, niblock, conrad,
lucier, oliveros, merzbow, nakamura, young? can anyone
really say that these artists are all the 'same'? that
they don't have an attention to detail? aren't into
sound? aren't innovative? who's not paying attention?

and as to why THEY aren't into SOUND...again, who's
they? do you know them? is it because their use of
sound is different then how you use it? is not being
into 'sound' mean not making everything they compose
sound liquid? or they don't morph one sound into the
next sound into the next sound etc...or use recordings
of water in every composition...or use exclusively grm
plugins and compose music that is only meant to be
diffused live (and thus is 'gesture heavy')? or maybe
the lack of attention to detail means that their work
doesn't come off polished to a muzak-inducing sheen
and actually has some live, visceral quality to it?

see, it's easy to knock the hell out of something.
much harder to try to understand what its goals are
and to try to come around to appreciating it.

i'll take a stab and say that most of the
minimalist/experimental composers i listen to (some
named above) are very much into sound and listening.
their music is minimal because they have more of an
interest in sound itself, in listening, and the subtle
experience of this (even within a merzbow piece) than
much of the mainstream academic ea i've heard (that
is gesture heavy imo due to the common performance
practice of diffusion and the lingering 'hangover' of
instrumental/orchestral paradigms).

often minimalist electronic composers focus more on
sound itself, rather then gesture, and thus in order
for the surface and deeper tones to be appreciated,
they use longer sustained sounds..otherwise you'd miss
the details of both the texture of the sound as well
as much of the details within the 'drone'...they
usually don't diffuse their music, moving the sound
over several speakers as in much academic ea, so
again, less gesture...their music (to me) is more
contemplative, meant to be experienced slowly, the
experience of time is dilated, and the details within
a drone, or between the pauses (in say a glitch piece)
are important, even critical.

but the prejudice goes both ways i'm afraid...most of
the non-academic composers that i associate with find
much of the sound palette used by university/college
composers to be extremely dated, homogeneous (to each
other), cheesy, grm laden (now becoming mas/msp
laden...and YES I CAN hear when it's a max patch),
unsubtle, and uninspired.

so, they don't get it either. most of them haven't
experienced a diffusion concert where a sonic image
seems to float right in front of their face in 3D and
then disintegrate to various corners of the room...or
haven't heard pieces that sound like electric cables
being shorted out, flailing around you (that's
visceral!), or all the other good pieces being
performed and played.

they also often don't appreciate that much of the
gear/techniques they use were pioneered, researched,
discovered, and refined by university research

so, i think a healthier thread would be what would
make ea stronger, better, more interesting, rather
then how much better it is than musics that don't
share the same goals. otherwise we may as well slam
the tejano and grindcore bands while we're at it.


ps...if i've offended anyone, i'm sorry. truly. i just
have a real sensitivity to the 'aren't we better then
them' vibe (regardless of which camp it's coming from)
when there's so much to be appreciated and learned
from all musics, noise, glitch, ea, experimental etc
etc...god help us if we ever figure it out and finally
all make the same kind of music.


"The more you think about things the weirder they seem." -Calvin

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