“This song ain’t my song” – Manifesto
Growing up I found my way into the musical world through classical piano studies and down the road percussion and drums. Later on, I found myself cleaning and operating a rehearsal room, which was a dream come true, I get to work in helping people create music? YES, YES and YES!
After some time, I started learning cinema, and shifted my interest in music into a broader, interest of sound in cinema and media, which would lead me to experiment with programming, audio-reactive art and also write a thesis paper about interactivity, listening modes and the similarities between cinema and interactive experiences from a sonic point of ‘listening’ which I ended up naming “The choices we hear”, original right?
*Disclaimer: I do have tremendous respect for the craft of writing, producing and recording music, everything mentioned in this post refers to my ‘five-cents’ on personal aspirations for experiments in music creation, publishing and distribution.
So what’s wrong?
From a creation, publishing and distribution point of view, even though all three topics mentioned did transform themselves as the web developed (just one example out of many), the points listed below are still things I personally think are worth investigating
- To some extent, we have lost fandom, artwork for instance, hasn’t been ‘reinvented’ to accommodate the new mediums available.
- Even though a major portion of music is consumed in a streaming model, it still is a one-sided dialogue, the listener has no ability to affect, control or ‘personalise’ his listening experience
- A general note, is that since these digital distributing services are branding themselves as the messenger, I personally feel that the gap between the artist and listener is actually getting bigger, “it’s just a catalogue, look me up”.
- One major point from a creation point of view is that it seems one of the bigger trends in music creation has been emulation. By emulation, I am referring to analogue and dynamic processors. While I do think this uprise has brought many interesting and well-made tools, I rarely get to come across experimental tools, which aim to break the paradigm of ‘music-making’, whether it be algorithmic composition, experimental sound design or bizarre sound processing, these are way out of the main stream leaving little-to-no financianal reason for developers to investigate these options.
Sound particles is a prime example of one of the few experimental and interesting sound processing and design tool. The Roli Seaboard and the therevox (http://therevox.com/), are prime examples of a wild reimagination of the fundamental concepts of a keyboard.
So what’s next?
During this semester I would like to create musical and sound experiments using the following as guidelines
- Inclusion, Inclusion, Inclusion – use the web for what it’s good for, making things accessible to the mass. Design, implement and code things so they could be intuitively used, music COULD be for everyone.
- Avoid sticking to the creation<->publishing<->distribution paradigm, the experiences should mix these elements into one cohesive piece, it’s creation is a part of its distribution
- Continuing point one, examine how music could be made using different inputs rather than music theory knowledge (continue walking the line if my ICM final – Forever)
- Examine possibilities for sound creation and shaping using a 3D (the opposite of audio-reactive, maybe graphics-reactive synthesis?)
- Try getting good sleep, because it helps explain yourself to yourself
With this tone in mind, I look forward to a semester full of sonic experimentation.