[rumori] a related discussion

From: kevin leeeeee (kevinATastsoft.com)
Date: Wed Jun 21 2000 - 16:24:16 PDT

this is a response i wrote for another list i'm on. i realized afterwards that it is fairly relevant to rumori.
the original email talked about how technology (ie electronic music technology) isn't "enough" to create new original music (i'm totaly paraphrasing).

so here it is...

> If we really want to move ahead, at some point someone has to get their
> hands dirty and dig into melody, harmony and rhythm. The technology is
> a skin... you've still got the M/H/R trio at the core.

i agree to a certain extent. technology does mean fancier tools and tricks.
but heck, electric guitars at one point were a new technology. the electric
organ was new technology. i'd propose that technology does have a lot to do
with M/H/R because the actual sounds that are created by whatever
instrument, new or old, are pretty important to the artist's... inspiration
let's call it.

in the ex. of kraftwerk, sure they did have their own original sound
regardless of the gear but you cannot discount the amount of inspiration
their synths and sequencers and drum machines and vocoders and effects
processors, etc. really had to do with "coming up" with that sound of
theirs. when they heard the timbre, color, sound, etc. of the synth they
bought or made, that sound inspired their writing to a great extent i think.
an equivalent example would be a classical composer hearing a tuba and being
inspired to write a piece with a tuba line that reflected its low, loud,
forceful sound.

i think my point is that a tool like, say sampling, isn't just a skin in all
cases. at this point in music, long gone are the days of the old composers
and writers sitting the piano scribbling on paper and selling that paper
with the notes and words to some producer who'll go and hire some arranger
and musicians. crafting actual sounds is just as important as writing
melodies n such. and i can sample something, a sound or a loop, experiment
with that, and it may inspire me to do something with M/H/R that i otherwise
wouldn't have done with an old piano and a piece of paper.

if you want to talk about "progress" in music, there's a lot of
possibilities in just this one technology of sampling, not to mention all
the other tools at our disposal. i like to think that even though mostly ev
erything has been done in music, that current or new technology really can
have an important role in an artist creating some new, "original" pieces.

think of it this way: if a composer 200 years ago had 100 instruments to
compose for/with, that same composer today might have 1000 instruments at
their disposal thanks to electricity, synths, effects, sequencers,
microprocessors, samplers, etc... now how's that for moving ahead?!

my problem is that so much of this new music isn't really trying to move
ahead in a larger sense. at least in electronic music, so much of these
artists somehow feel the urge to pigeonhole themselves into these
supernarrow categories like techno or jungle or house. which is so crazy to
me considering the amount of freedom they have with all of this technology
at their fingertips.

is it me or is this just such a supreme let down? there's a reason why
kraftwerk still sounds fresh: not enough people have really moved things
along enough. at least now we have the kinds of artists that popnouveau
fans like us are into to at least try to do something different and unique.

in my humble opinion...




"We are electrical creatures using a bio-chemical body to exist in a electro-chemical environment."

          -From a paper "The Integratron" by George Van Tassel, founder of the Integratron.

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