Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place

Subject: Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place
From: Richard Wentk (
Date: Fri Sep 16 2005 - 09:22:26 EDT

At 01:50 16/09/2005, you wrote:
>I'm just trying to make the point that software has many possibilities
>and that an almost infinite range of sound can be created from any
>given software. Although, as somebody mentioned, you may get that
>"Sound Forge" sound in your music, think about a cellist... Having to
>deal with that "cello sound" in all of their composition. That's not a
>very good comparison

No it's not, because one of the characteristics of acoustic instruments is
one that I haven't seen commented on much - an ability to foreground
performance nuances at the expense of timbre.

There seems to be a process with acoustic instruments where the timbre
becomes irrelevant once the instrument has been identified. When you listen
to a piano piece you're not constantly thinking 'That's a piano note - and
that's another one - and that's a piano chord - and that's an arpeggio...'
And so it is for all acoustic instrument instruments. What seems to happen
instead is that the performance nuances come to the fore. So your
experience becomes focussed on the nuances and that indefinable thing
called 'expression'.

I'm increasingly starting to wonder if timbral musics are a dead end.
Timbre on its own doesn't seem enough to make up for this kind of gestural
nuance, no matter how interesting the timbre may be, or how carefully
nuanced it is in its own right.


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