Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place

Subject: Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place
From: Michael Gogins (
Date: Fri Sep 16 2005 - 10:03:43 EDT

I don't think what is required is a gadget to enable real-time 'playing' of software instruments. I think this will always be inferior to acoustic performance because there is one more layer of delay and indirection between the musician's mind and the sounding object. For the same reason tracker organs are often better than electric-action organs.

I think what is required is a deep enough understanding of musical expression to properly program the software instrument. This could end up being more expressive than the best player because the physical limits of the human body can be left in the dust, and all the intervening layers will be reduced to just one, the software.

It all boils down to conscious understanding of musicality, making conscious what interpreters do unconsciously or unsystematically. Sometimes they even have a conscious system (like Tabuteau), and one can learn it and perhaps apply it to software.


-----Original Message-----
From: Morgan Sutherland <>
Sent: Sep 16, 2005 9:28 AM
Subject: Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place

I agree with Michael in that as computers get better, timbral music
will, or we should help it become, more complex and... better. It took
hundreds of years to develope the guitar, computers have been around
for 50 years. And they're evolving exponentially (in theory).

What we need most is a better interface for controlling it.
Programming is not as effective as "playing".

On 9/16/05, Richard Wentk <> wrote:
> 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.
> Richard

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