Re: encouraging polemics and reflection...

Subject: Re: encouraging polemics and reflection...
From: Rick (
Date: Thu Feb 11 1999 - 09:13:54 EST

Peter Valsamis wrote:

> I think Eno's frustration lies not in mastering an instrument but more in
> the separation between the sounding body and the human body. As instruments
> become more advanced so does the distance between the performer and
> sounding body. Maybe if Eno encountered this problem 25 years ago he would
> have considered it a challenge rather than frustrating? Eno is definately
> stuck between two worlds, niether here nor there.

I think the concept of 'advanced' partly what is in question here. Interface
design for computer driven tools is still in its infancy.I would consider
"advanced" to relate to interface surface as well as control concept. Even
computers' mechanics are hidden in hideous putty colored blocks (usually). I
can hardly think of an instrument and more advanced and elegant with respect
to degree of control than a violin.

Mixing and diffusion boards are a dillemma. How does one denote control in 3
(or2) dimensional space, relative to the listener, in an intuitive fashion?
What about effects sends?

I was watching a very competant technically fluent composer attempt a
diffusion for what I (possibly naively) thought was an over-complicated mixing
board. It didn't go well. The computer controls to the side that evidently
interacted with the 16(?) discrete levels that the individual speakers' volume
controls had. It went on and on. (great sound though) This was a board
realized for realtime diffusion. Of course the center's director had no
problems with it; snapping those controls like a fighter pilot. Some of these
problems are relevant to familiarity.

Eno's main tools were 30+ year old concepts from established commercial
environments. Not counting, of course, 12note boundaries... and I digress...

Rick Nance

Birmingham, AL 70F, high humidity, chance of rain

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