July 1, 2007

Ouch...

by Chris Randall
 



I don't understand why the concept of "alternative MIDI controller" almost always leads to the actuality of "cacophony", but there you go. If you can watch the whole thing, you're a braver person than I. You can read all about the Sweatstick here.


For more cacophony... errr... I mean alternative MIDI controller fun, check the dueling Zendrums here, and the always-popular MIDIgun here.

 
 
 

19 comments:

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Jul.02.2007 @ 2:32 PM
Ataru
I know I'm kinda alone on this one, but I love process-oriented music.
 
 

 
Jul.02.2007 @ 4:21 PM
microray
Let us not forget, That 1 guy, he really thought long and hard over his chosen midi instrument. two pipes connected by a swivelling bridge covered with midi triggers. the two pipes have lengthed out stings one tuned to a double bass, and the other to an electric bass, both have midi pick ups. Dont know what modules he triggers but he does a very cool looping overdub performance.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6kCThSzB5Y&mode=related&search=

 
 

 
Jul.02.2007 @ 6:41 PM
giantm
I don't think anyone has said anything against process oriented music. I'm saying I prefer process oriented music that is producing something that has some ties to traditional music. I have seen completely uncontrolled MAX patches produce very good, almost classical style, music. I just don't know that know that I can classify the sound of crickets chirping completely arythmicly underwater run through a decimator and a granular processor music. I will listen to it, but the experience is different for me than listening to something with a more traditional aesthetic. It probably has something to do with the additional information you have based on context due to the similarity to other things you have heard.
 
 

 
Jul.03.2007 @ 5:24 AM
BirdFLU
I think the problem with a lot of these "alternative" electronic folks is they can't self-edit. This results in a lot of pretentious crap being labelled music. I've been around this scene in different cities in different decades and the main attitude seems to be "I spent time on it, so it must be good." It's a rare occasion someone comes up with something interesting AND listenable.

Brian Eno could be the king of this crap, but he's not because he doesn't release everything he records. He can self-edit.

I think there are great alternative controllers that never made it because they are new instruments that require time to master. You couldn't learn clarinet in a month. You wouldn't do a public performance of your original composition on clarinet a month after you started playing. But hey, build your own controller, wear black clothes, and no practice is required before performing!!

It's the same lame ass syndrome responsible for too many rich white trust fund pretend hippies playing hand drums in public. They think drums require no practice. I wish I had an accordian. I can't play accordian, but I''d like to have one so when I see a bunch of worthless trustafarians pretending they can play drums in public, I'd sit down with them and "jam" on my accordian with the same skill they drum with.

Rant off. I don't think I should post when I'm on painkillers.

 
 

 
Jul.03.2007 @ 1:03 PM
Chris Randall
I think I swing with both GiantM (good comment) and BirdFLU on this whole issue. The vast majority of "alternative" MIDI controllers fall in to the "Accessory For Performance Art" category rather than the sort of thing someone would play along with a band.

(I'm thinking about the DrumSuit that Lauri Anderson used to inflict "music" on an unsuspecting public with alarming regularity as a good example of this.)

-CR

 
 

 
Jul.03.2007 @ 5:55 PM
giantm
It seems only right that you're posting on painkillers, I'm readjusting to being back on my ADD meds...

In closing, the idea that this stuff is experimental leads to the idea, at least if taken literally, that at some point a conclusion will be drawn. I just hope that the conclusion is that things can be done differently, not that you are the cleverest person in your chosen field.

 
 

 
Jul.03.2007 @ 6:56 PM
Scodiddly
I did sit through the whole thing, but that was only possible because I put it in the background and did some other web stuff during. Actually the "music" itself was somewhat interesting, though you should take that with a grain of salt because I occasionally enjoy putting on some Morton Subotnick. But watching would have been way too tedious.

As Birdflu said, it's mostly a matter of needing to self-edit. Almost nobody in the experimental music genre is doing a 3:25 "hit single" approach.

 
 

 
Jul.08.2007 @ 11:28 AM
yemski
There are some interesting comments here on the need to self edit, also on the viabilty of alternative midi controllers as credible musical instruments.

I think that a lot of people creating this sort of "music" seem to labour under the deluded assumption that every gesture or action they make is by definition art, since they are artists. It's the sort of circular reasoning that has been used to justify a lot of bad art in many feilds. Creativity may work at a pre-conscious level as a spontaneous act, but at some point critical judgement and analysis needs to be applied.Another way of concieving of this process would be self editing.
What we witness here is the remnants of the Romantic ideal that artists are essentially people above the level of the ordinary everyday mass,whose every action is immediately art because they believe it to be.

This conveniantly forgets the fact that what made Beethoven,
Miles Davis, Prince,etc,different to other people,was the application of hours and hours of practise to master their craft. This is of course far to mundane and practical a way of looking at things.
Having good technique along with an understanding and respect of past aesthetic models is also a method of apriori self editing.
After all, who would give the better piano recital. Someone who has played piano for 10 years or someone who picked it up yesterday?
If controllers like this were treated as real instruments,(in other words as somthing you had to master),then maybe they would create something that was of real musical value.

Instead they create an arhythmic,atonal mess, that is difficult to listen to. This last part is of course the point. Since it is difficult to listen to it alienates most people, (myself included and my tastes are hardly conventional). By being self consciously elitist,the performance elevates itself to art,without any effort on the part of the artist. That's where the real trick lies.


 
 

 
Jul.08.2007 @ 11:28 AM
yemski
There are some interesting comments here on the need to self edit, also on the viabilty of alternative midi controllers as credible musical instruments.

I think that a lot of people creating this sort of "music" seem to labour under the deluded assumption that every gesture or action they make is by definition art, since they are artists. It's the sort of circular reasoning that has been used to justify a lot of bad art in many feilds. Creativity may work at a pre-conscious level as a spontaneous act, but at some point critical judgement and analysis needs to be applied.Another way of concieving of this process would be self editing.
What we witness here is the remnants of the Romantic ideal that artists are essentially people above the level of the ordinary everyday mass,whose every action is immediately art because they believe it to be.

This conveniantly forgets the fact that what made Beethoven,
Miles Davis, Prince,etc,different to other people,was the application of hours and hours of practise to master their craft. This is of course far to mundane and practical a way of looking at things.
Having good technique along with an understanding and respect of past aesthetic models is also a method of apriori self editing.
After all, who would give the better piano recital. Someone who has played piano for 10 years or someone who picked it up yesterday?
If controllers like this were treated as real instruments,(in other words as somthing you had to master),then maybe they would create something that was of real musical value.

Instead they create an arhythmic,atonal mess, that is difficult to listen to. This last part is of course the point. Since it is difficult to listen to it alienates most people, (myself included and my tastes are hardly conventional). By being self consciously elitist,the performance elevates itself to art,without any effort on the part of the artist. That's where the real trick lies.


 
 

 
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