Re: Prix XX

Subject: Re: Prix XX
From: Anomalous Records Eric (
Date: Wed Jul 07 1999 - 15:13:20 EDT

>And what is this "academic music"? Ask composers. Do they really make
>academic stuff? And do they really call what they do that way?

I think the one thing possibly dividing things into academic and otherwise
is what goes into it before hand. Generally an academic CD is composed and
there are all kinds of considerations towards techniques, methods and so
forth. More specifically it often is more concerned with the methods of
creation and the atomistic viewing of each element. While the more
'popular' trends tend to be self taught and concerned with the end sounds,
not so often composed but improvised, and learning about methods by trying
them out. More of a gut feeling than a cerebral one. These are very black
and white opposite extremes examples, and as anyone should now, in real
life one almost never sees the two extremes of duality but rather a mixture
of the two. There are maybe 'popular' people who actually have schooled
training (like Jim O'Rourke) and likewise some people that come from a rock
background but are more interested in created a composed and cerebral work
(like bernhard gunter) although lack the actual time in halls of learning.
Generally it would appear to be a question of motivation as quite honestly
I see both sides coming up with results that are aurally the same. Only
they come packaged in a different context. And this is where the
commerical aspect comes in. If someone takes the same piece of slow moving
electronic sounds and packages it alternately as 'dark ambient sounds to
relax your mind' with a pretty and forboding picture on the front, or as
'computer music created at such and such University' with liner notes
explaining all the algorhythms used to generate the sound, which one do you
think people are likely to think might be approachable and something that
they want to listen to? The later example tends to appeal only to other
computer music composers which we know is a limited market often strapped
for cash to invest in listening. Eventually it would probably get
discovered as some lost classic if it were really good, but it would take a
lot longer. On the other hand, many academic composers have very similar
motivations of expression as those not trained in the arts, which is why if
you listen to the music out of the context of it's liner notes, cover
picture, title or band name, a lot of it is pretty similiar. Academic
composers are more likely to lean toward including certain compositional
elements though and the more 'popular' are more like to lean toward more
'popular' elements (like techno beats) but in many things these are very
fine divisions.

Eric Lanzillotta

Anomalous Records
P.O. Box 22195, Seattle, WA 98122-0195, USA
telephone: (206) 328-9339 fax: (206) 328-9408
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