Re: Prix Ars Electronic 99 (Computer Music)...my 2 centimes...


Subject: Re: Prix Ars Electronic 99 (Computer Music)...my 2 centimes...
From: a l an b am f o rd (alanb@lavalink.com.au)
Date: Sat Jul 03 1999 - 19:33:03 EDT


gabbling on about Prix Ars Electronic 99 (Computer Music) Barry was
heard to mutter...

> Last spring....regarding the Prix Ars Electronica,you advised Larry Austin who posed the question that his
> work, and by implication this type of computer music, would be "welcome".
> The results of this year's jury emphatically show that this was not true.

well perhaps not so.. just that the prizes didnt go to 'that' kind of music.

> it is
> clear that the Prix A-E has lost credibility with
> those working in artistic/non-commercial forms of computer music because
> of the controversial and obviously biased results of this year's jury.

I think it needs to be said that the likes of Aphex Twin and Fennez do not
make buckets of loot from their music. Aphex probably does by far 'the
best', but to imply that these musics are somehow 'commercial', as you
do by putting in opposition to them the ' artistic/non-commercial forms of
computer music' that did not get prizes, and that they are for some reason
to be differently regarded is purile, if you forgive. A careful listening to the
sort of stuff on mego and related labels such as Mille Plateaux, Table of
the Elements, Sub Rosa, Warp, Chain Reaction,Trente Oiseaux Dorobo,
Raster Music, Meme, Touch, sigma, Caipirinha,Mtamkine, iridium, cci,
Barooni, em:t would inform you as to the degree to which the composers
on these labels have listened to and been influenced by the composers
who are generally lumped in the ( now quite redundant) 'academic' or
'computer music' baskets...as well as having been influenced by the likes
of the Beach Boys and The Stooges, for example.

And this is exactly my point.. these composers are independent in the
sense that as they have the technology 'at home' they are free to
incorporate into their music whatever they like and they are not bound any
more than they want to be by stylistic considerations or considerations of
lineage or tradition. The technology makes his possible to degrees
unheard of before.

The music that results is no less 'artistic', laboured, considered, or
informed by ideas and abstract concepts than any other 'kind ' of music,
allthough I have to say there is often a fair amount more humour there than
has been in evidence in the past. Have a listen to/read of the work of
Scanner or Terre Thaemlitz.

A few of the people who have been moved to write about the PAE would be
better advised to take a leaf out of the books of these mentioned
composers and cross fertilise a bit. Computers are marvellous for it.

> I would therefore urge you to, once again, reconsider how this category
> is defined and juried. One suggestion that has been circulating is to
> divide the category so that "popular" and "artistic" styles are considered
> separately - though the exact wording of this distinction would obviously
> be tricky.

This is elitist, laughable and impossible. The technology that exists today ,makes it so.

> In any case, you should be aware that because of this year's results,
> if no further change is made, I personally, and probably most of my
> colleagues in the computer music field, will no longer consider
> participating in your otherwise worthwhile and prestigious competition.

Thus rendering it even less worthwhile and prestigious....

Pierre Henry plays at dance parties for goodness sake....the kids love it
and so does he....Steve Reich gets 'remixed' ... DJ Spooky works with
Xenakis...Tony Conrad records with Faust....Terre Thaemlitz does piano
interpretations of Kraftwerk....as does Balinesku in his own way ('scuse
spelling)...and the Kronos Quartet did Hendrix years ago....

get into it!!!!

with respect

alan
"Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds"
Wild Bill Shakespeare.



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