Re: Glass music and related...

David Bradley (
Wed, 06 May 1998 00:36:41 -0400, this is nothing against you personally... You actually reminded me of my suggestion.

> The techno explosion is all about cheap disposable, recycleable, music
> made by the microprocessor/human interface. This is the folk music of
> the future.

Wow, I always hoped that if/when people could transcend the need to worry about short life spans and technology advanced, that more time could be spent expanding the horizons of art and creativity.

If that is the folk music of the future, I'd prefer the folk music of the past any day.

> Is is the driving, pounding soundtrack to the information
> age.

"Cheap, disposable, recycleable music" is exactly what we've had since who knows when. Many bands start making more complex or even just better music just before they begin losing the skills they've just acquired, or when their 15 min. of fame is almost up. Transhumanism/the information age should correct that, not perpetuate it. IMHO, as always.

> Passionate and dispassionate, pretty and sterile, virtual and
> virtuoso. Everything that technology promises to be.

Hrmm, I'll agree to an extent. I don't see computers as pure numbersifting machines who's only purpose is to let us become more lazy (though, not implying that you necessarily do, either). Perhaps since I'll always be a game programmer (and a fantasy writer) :P at heart, I cannot see such awesome machines in anything except the most 'creative' light. I consider this less the information age, and more the creation age, at least after it gets going a bit. The world still has a lot to learn before we can can concentrate on leaving all the mundane numbercrunching office jobs behind and head towards invention, insight, and, uh, innnnnterstellar transport, that'll work. :)

So, I suppose it's just those two middle adjectives there that get to me. <shrugs>

>							Slapping soulful

> house lyrics on top of clinically accurate beats is like slapping XML on
> top of HTML. Having eerie spacey synth pads play over distorted
> energetic breakbeats is like a cold ATM in a local fruit market. The

Alright, this is a little more like what I'm talking about.

> replacement of jazz for acid jazz, roomfuls of violinists for a sampler,
> a conducter, orchestrator and composer for MIDI, virtual concerts via
> the internet instead of huge concert halls all represtent the
> digitizing, 'uploading' if you will of our common cultural aesthetic.

I don't know about this though. I mean, aren't we trying to get computers up to our level so that we may surpass, not bring ourselves down to the level of the machine to be left with straight computation?

I love the feel of being around hundred or thousands of others at a concert hall. Whether it be Bach or Ozzy, the music is very moving, and the combined energy of the crowd accentuates that. Just because you are extropian, doesn't mean you can't use the help of others to advance yourself.

On another note, the actual playing of an instrument can easily be much more expressive than even the most advance sampling or MIDI. That's why such technologies are still so obvious when heard in music. All the types of sounds that can be produced by a violin or a guitar are uncountable, if not infinite. Many things are not even planned. The way you pick or bow a string can make an amazing difference in sound quality. This is especially noticeable with recorded music. The same symphony can be recorded with the same timing, the same positing, and even the same instruments, but each's player's particular style of holding strings, or blowing on brass, or if one accidentally bends strings when they hold them, or the direction they point their instrument while playing, all make a difference in a work. It may not be noticeable to one not listening intently, or even if only one person is playing, but when the whole group has these minute differences, that is what separates performances.

I have many times played famous songs on the same guitar and amp setups that the original was played on, and though I hit it note for note, none has ever sounded *just* like the original. I am more familiar with the guitar, so I will stay here for a second. The amount of the string you are bending down with your finger makes a difference, if you bend the neck, it makes a difference, if you pick the string parallel or on an angle, it makes a difference. Many things, like how you pull a finger off a fret, that are not even thought about, make the largest difference. Until MIDI can adjust realistically to all these variables, it still remains "Cheap, disposable, recycleable music." Even when it will take these into account, only computers themselves will be sophisticated enough to control all these variables. So, then, it will truly be ‘uploaded,' but it should still be anything but ‘Cheap, disposable, and recycleable.' If I could plan out all the little inaccuracies and unintentional extras, I would be in my creative glory. If ever such power were given to a machine, it would be a shame to limit it to it's current standards of creativity. I would love to hear the kind of music a computer working off of an uploaded consciousness would make, though.

Now that would be true ‘techno'
Dave Bradley