Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:

Subject: Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:
From: Louis Dufort (
Date: Fri Nov 04 2005 - 01:57:08 EST

> Of course not. It becomes academic when there's a fixed way of carrying
> out this interesting
> goal. Instead of "experiencing:" we read the skill levels as a kind of
> symbol system about how to compose
> EA music. This is why we tend to notice GRM tools, for instance.

Again you seem to mix up the ingredient and the final product. There is a
very nice piece from Andrew Lewis call Penmon Point. When I first listen to
it I did recognize the almost excessive used of GRM resonnator same feeling
with Adrian Moore piece call Junky. But even though I did recognize the
tool it didn't turned me off at all. The music that was made out of it
transcended the tool and was not important for the decoding of the composer

Experiencing is not composing, it is indeed embedded in the process but when
it comes to say something you need some clarity for your listener. There's
a lot of experimentation going on in the underground electronic scene, and I
do follow the scene closely and the most of it is totally crap. EA made a
lot of those experiments (which younger generation of electronica think they
invented) back in the '50 and 60' not to mention Cage's numerous
experiments. I think that now, some composer, with all the experiment
background history has provide and surely some of their own experiment
decide, or maybe I should say conclude, that Acousmatic art is the best and
most exciting way to express their artistic endeavor.

Beside "Acousmatic" the EA integrates very much all type of experiment thus
very eclectic so you should be able to find your turf in that huge melting
pot. On my behalf, I do connect more to Acousmatic music because of the
expressive freedom it represent.

> Louis, the sense that "skills" are involved leaps out to anyone with any
> kind of artistic experience.
> Everyone recognizes these sound effects from information overload
> culture. The skill is evident
> in the way the composer navigates the world of chaotic sounds. He holds
> back and keeps in control.
> The underlying chaos is restrained by his knowledge of the genre.

I would refer that more to the Information theory. I wouldn't say that he
is restraining by lack of knowing other genre but more for keeping the
clarity of the code. The underlying chaos is maybe not that interesting
after all.

> Let me address this in a different way. I've recently been playing
> around with an
> idea I call "structural favoritism." This means the kind of listening
> where you "wait
> for the good parts." This used to be considered a very low-class way to
> listen
> to classical music. But I've been thinking that it provides a
> cognitively more plausible basis
> for the experience of music than do ideas that come from music theory --
> that a piece is
> unified entity with no extra parts, and which ought to be apprehended as
> such. The structure
> of music is dtermined by strictly internal considerations, etc.
> Structural favoritism says: the cognitive representation of music is in
> order of rank by those
> bits we most like. I'm trying to develop this into a theory: it's just
> an idea at present. (My AI might have to work like this.)
> Our cog. reps are greedy about satisfying stuff -- climaxes, the tune
> there,
> the chord that comes in then, the way the flutes sound there, etc.
> Listening to music
> means going from what you like via preparation for something else you
> like. Of course
> you could also like everything that happens. Somewhere along the line
> there might be something
> like what Jimmy Durante called "a GOOD note."

Yes, I'm ok with that. You must love contemporary music, Murail, Grisey
Haas, Lachenman...? Those composers are very active in term of density of
information where the "preparation function" is basically inexistent. I
must admit that in some Acousmatic piece you kinda see it coming.

> What I found in Skyla (a bit of which I listened to again) , and many EA
> pieces, was the overt structure of favoritism -- the
> sense that there are compelling moments that I'm moving towards, with
> long stretches which may offer me
> something to listen to, but which I represent as transitional or
> preparatory, in case my idea for a theory happens
> to be true.

Styal, shouldn't be here represent because you simply heard an exerpt and
it's simply not fair to talk about "form management" (transition, climax
etc.) over an excerpt. But what you mention about "structure of
favoritism" goes for any kind of music, no? That's why I prefer "pro
active" music form that can be found in many style/genre.

> The first music that was earnest about getting us to actually listen
> alway7s stayed away from the structure of
> favoiritism -- consider Stockhausen's "Moment-form" idea, in which every
> moment stands alone -- you
> are NOT moving from place to place.

Hmmm what do you do about pop music? Personally I cannot take moment form
for very long moment. The language gets to noisy and I loose interest. If
I listen 2 Chinese friends talk their language I will at first be very
attentive but after 2 minutes I'll be pretty bored.

It's all about balance, noisy information versus predictable information, we
need both and good composer know how to manage both of them.

> I don't find this problem in Ryoji Ikeda's work, because, first of all,
> I do find it to be anti-favortistic,
> and there is always an underlying drive to directly manipulate the
> listener's perceptions. I can't
> "reduce" the piece to partoicular moments. The same is true with
> Maryanne Amacher's music.

Ok Ikeda is one of the few with Pan_Sonic and Oval to achieve this but many
others in that vain fall into boring conceptual process where time (sense of
timing) seems not even to exist, it's infinitely boring. But now concerning
Ikeda, he is in one way in the same situation than the Acousmatic composers.
He becomes pretty much predictable and without the visuals his music is not
touching me as much anymore.

> Perhaps the international style is really a teaching tool of some sort?
> Perhaps EA really is
> a teaching music? What then? Then you should learn to write the piece
> and afterwards you
> can consider the problem of getting your own voice and vision. IN that
> case, I can say of Skyla, "nicely made,"
> "transitions were ok," "interesting flip there," etc. Ok. So now that
> you passed the course,
> it's time to become your own artist.

I can only hope your wrong here...



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