Re: Looking for a Mentor

Subject: Re: Looking for a Mentor
From: Morgan Sutherland (
Date: Thu Sep 15 2005 - 19:13:12 EDT

"Academic" is used to refer to the "intellectual", the overly
technical and insufficiently (subjective!) emotional. You said
"thereThanks for the ideas though, they will be helpful. I'd take your
idea for a new guiding question, but it sounds like a thesis for a
research paper or essay, not a framework in which I can explore and

You said "there is no such thing as academic music" and then you went
on later to describe exactly what I meant by academic music. Another
term is "DSP wankery".
I intend to play around between the extremes you explained, because,
yes i agree, they are not mutually exclusive. Or they do not have to
be, but often are, or at least in my experience.

On 9/15/05, lawrence casserley <> wrote:
> Hi Morgan
> God luck with your quest for a suitable mentor - I would just like to
> make a serious comment about your proposed project.
> On 15 Sep, 2005, at 19:06, Morgan Sutherland wrote:
> > My "guiding question" is something along
> > the lines of "how can I create 'academic' DSP oriented music that does
> > not become too 'academic', or that doesn't lose sight of tradition
> > musical goals such as emotional provocation and simply communication".
> >
> There is no such thing as "academic" music. There are people who work
> in academic institutions who make music, some of it very good, some of
> it very bad, most of it in between. There also people who do not work
> in academic institutions who make music, some of it very good, some of
> it very bad, most of it in between. This is simply a non-issue (albeit
> one that has been discussed ad nauseam, with no discernable outcome, on
> this list over many years :-)>
> Please don't get bogged down in this silliness. A much more creative
> approach would be something like:
> How does the study of technical issues, such as DSP, interact with,
> influence, enhance, distract from, interfere with, etc natural
> expression, "emotional provocation", communication, etc?
> There are those who argue that greater knowledge of the technical,
> psychoacoustical, information theory, etc issues leads to a greater
> understanding of how best to communicate. There are others who argue
> that the only thing is to follow your instincts, and study will
> interfere with these to their detriment - or perhaps, if you need to
> study, then your instincts can't be adequate. Once again most people
> are somewhere in between.
> In all art forms there is a spectrum between the most intensely
> intellectual and the most intensely emotional work (although these are
> by no means mutually exclusive!) - in film, painting, literature, etc
> this seems to be taken as normal - it seems only in music has this
> become a matter of religious wars. My advice is to forget it, it's an
> old battle fought by people who are only worried about their own
> status.
> Music, like all art, appeals to both the head and the heart - that is
> an essential part of the magic - but how do these interact? That is the
> ever ongoing question.....
> Best
> L
> Lawrence Casserley -
> Lawrence Electronic Operations -
> Colourscape Music Festivals -

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