Re: Re : (junk yard dog in) hidden place

Subject: Re: Re : (junk yard dog in) hidden place
From: Michael Gogins (
Date: Wed Sep 14 2005 - 12:03:11 EDT

Frankly, it is a wonder to me that more composers aren't taken with the potential of computers.

I think one reason is the standard of production and sound quality has often been higher in commercial and classical music than in EA. This is because there is just a much larger body of experience and talent there, there is no engineering reason for this at all. But most composers naturally go by what sounds good.

Also EA and computer music are much more labor intensive. Again this is because there is a degree of routine and 'chops' in other musics that makes production more efficient.

Of course experimental music needs to be more labor intensive, but there is no reason at all that has to be as hard to work with as it actually is. Too many software packages, too much re-invention of the wheel, not good enough engineering from a musical point of view. This, of course, will change (is changing, in fact).


-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Dufort <>
Sent: Sep 14, 2005 12:27 AM
Subject: Re : (junk yard dog in) hidden place

I totally agree with you Bill, but I really think that in reality, seeing a
lot of concert and collecting a lot of impression and discussion, most of
the audience are bored with our music, I know I am. As Ned said, history
will filter out the crap. I've got my little EA, IDM, Noise, Drone and many
other favorites but I must admit that lately my ears are much more excited
by non electronic composer, such as, Murail, Grisey, Boulez (latest), Ades,
Finneberg, Hurel, Leroux etc.

So I guess to bring out this thread to a more "positive" perspective, I do
feel that instrumental composer are much more pushing the envelop of
composition than most electronic and EA composers.

I think that beneath of it all, the fact that making EA is in a way more
accessible than instrumental music brings a larger group of composer that
doesn't have the musical knowledge which sometime can be good and refreshing
but we still get to hear most of the boring stuff. This is just a fact. In
instrumental composition playing a piece cost a lot of money and is far more
complex to produce which acts as a big crap filter.

So this being said, having so much sound artist out there, I would greatly
appreciated some more innovative music, and the purpose of my "pretension"
thread was and attempt to find what was lacking in electronic EA composition
and my first argumentation was around the sound itself where in the spectral
instrumental school, most of the composition material comes from the
intrinsic of the sound while I feel that in EA and electronic music at large
take it for granted. Lately I rather listen to Death Metal (big fan of
Meshuggah) because the producing is so innovative...

I did put 2 of my recent EA nice discovery in my last email, maybe you could
send to the list your 2 most recent "coup de coeur" Bill and start from


> 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
> composers.
> 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.
> b.
> 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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