Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:

Subject: Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:
From: Louis Dufort (
Date: Mon Nov 07 2005 - 13:14:12 EST

 PS.This interesting and civilize thread has exploded and time is slipping
by, so here's my late reply without reading all the posting since... I'll
try to keep up and come with an update.

>> Again you seem to mix up the ingredient and the final product.
> No I'm not, Louis. If the ingredient is "the conventions of classical
> EA" then the final product becomes
> about reading those conventions rather than experiencing anything.

Not to me, convention assure an esthetic, a style, which is primordial for
any art form, but it should not affect the content of a work! Same with
microsound or any other style of music. Each of them constitute their own
convention. Now this being said, talents composer will make you forget
those convention, just like good film maker etc. If you listen to
acousmatic music and you're always confront to the syntax then yes it's a
boring experience. If I understand your argumentation ,is you feel that
there's to much didactics going on in Acousmatic music and not enough
exploration within the "Convention".

> The fact that Andrew's piece does pursue many of those conventions is not
> one of its strengths.

Indeed, his strength is that he makes you forget about them (convention) and
brings up the MUSIC!

> I have to overlook them, since there's something in his work I like. The fact
> that penmon
> begins with the EA cymbal crash followed by fill
> is a symbol announcing a certain kind of piece with a certain kind of
> pacing. I have to forget everything I ever heard in order to subdue that
> perception and actually listen to it.

Wow, your listening experience seems to be hell! Right from the beginning
if you have to "forget this" or "forget that" to enjoy a musical experience
then I would say that you are already burned out.

How can you affirm that with a "EA cymbal crash that it's announcing "a
certain piece with a certain pace"? The Cymbal,is certainly use as a
musical function (analyse fonctionnelle de Stéphane Roy) of an
"Announcement", or "Ouverture" but what's wrong with that and how can this
simple musical function can "leak" to a "certain kind of piece and pacing"?

Someone with no background in EA
> hears that as "oh, an announcement of a
> big thing is happening, and it's building in suspense." The symbols leap
> right out at you.

Yes this is what I want as a composer, and hopefully it is intent to a very
large public with no background in EA analysis . For me the fun of
composing is to be able to play with those simple musical function and this
is how one can achieve surprises. If you don't use those symbols then what
are your reference to transgress those same symbols? Those symbols are in a
way anchors point for the listener and the composer can build on them.
Those points can be call function (ouverture, rupture, extension etc) or
they can be more abstract and lined to a more musical language such as
motivic, rythmic, pitch etc oriented pattern.

My guest is that you find to obvious those "musical functions" in most of
Acousmatic pieces and acts more like a turn off then a turn on.

>> 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.
> What do you mean by "the code" -- whose code? The composer's or the
> small group of people who've decided
> on the conventions the code embodies?

I'm referring mainly to Stephane Roy's book "L'analyse des musiques
électroacoustique" where he make an interesting description of musical
function based on perception. He use 4 big categories of function: 1.
Orientation (intro, conclusion, suspension, transition, release...)
2.Stratification (to hard to translate here) 3. Processus (accumulation,
acceleration, dispersion...) 4. Rhetoric (call/answer, theme/variation,
affirmation, imitation...).

So the code is the one perceived by the "average listener" intended from the
composer or not.
>> It's all about balance, noisy information versus predictable information, we
>> need both and good composer know how to manage both of them.

> Why balance anything? Pick something and go with it. This is the
> modernistic headache of
> EA to me. You don;t have to do everything in one piece. You can listen
> to other pieces.

All good music makes use of balance this is where you can appreciate the
edginess of a piece. Like a pop song that does offer a bit further
excitement because I can ear some crossover and the way the artist create a
new kind of balance just like i.e Radiohead. They manage to take rock music
to another level by mixing more complex structural form, harmony etc and
still kept it balanced for the pop culture.

At the other part of the spectrum an artist like Francisco Lopez, all his
recent production sound alike and always cumulate in a big crescendo, goes
back down, then goes back up and BANG, finishes with a cut. I like his
music pretty much but I would really like a more "balanced" piece once in a

You see Eliot I'm tired of drone music or any underground electronic music
that does not use beats (love it when they make use of rhythmical pattern
this is where I think they really succeed to be more cutting edge) where
most of those artist don't even bother to think in term of sound morphology
and offer uni-dimensional music.

To me Acousmatic music is a full blown perception/immersion art just like
cinema but for the ear. You take it or leave it. One day it's Missy Eliot
or Gorillaz, then other it's AGF and Eight frozen modules, other day it's
Ligeti or Fineberg and another day it's Dhomont or Parmerud. I can enjoy
all of them equally and each of them is scratching a different part of my
brain and sometimes more my hips. There's so much music out there just let
it go and maybe Acousmatic will come back for you with engaging new



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