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Thread: phenomenology of eletroacoustic music

  1. #31
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    yearning for the algorithmic (mvunet remix)
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  2. #32
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    with both those threads the underlying question is what is the value of repetition and predictability?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post
    with both those threads the underlying question is what is the value of repetition and predictability?
    Well, I'm reminded of chava saying that early titonton (techno producer) is completely undanceable. I obviously disagree but it's a common refrain isn't it? Electroacoustic to us helps break the mould of the structure of the populist commodity. it avoids standardisation in some respects though as the tradition develops it itself becomes standardised, as bob ostertag put it... For instance the only electroacoustic records I've been huge on these years are the Sote ones, merging the microtonal maqam system with sickest insane modular/fm synthesis. Phrygian mode for all yer needs...

    https://sote-sound.bandcamp.com/albu...persia-diag054
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvuent View Post
    is it a fair representation to say that listening to someone like parmegiani is like listening to an interesting collection of foley fx for you? that was meant as a prompt, not a shut down of course.



    de natura sonorum is woebot cannon so maybe it's worth mentioning. is your experience with it consistent with what he says here?
    yes, I find De Natura Sonorum far more organised and far more structured in the sense of moving like a musical piece. yet it's not even music in the sense of atonality that you might have in Cecil Taylor or even Schoenberg because there aren't melodic tonal antecedents to compare the sound to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    I'm sure you're right but I'm not sure it matters. That there are more conservative (dull, conventional) aspects to this music is probably true but I don't think we've got any obligation to root them out. I think we are better off ignoring them.
    not sure I follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    The other thing is that if we collectively are completely incapable of perceiving these other more abstracted conceptual levels then we have no means of investigating them 'phenomenologically' They become like the Loch Ness Monster. Maybe there lurking in the sunless depths of the loch. ...but who knows
    very true. the "levels" I had in mind are perceptual though.

    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post
    with both those threads the underlying question is what is the value of repetition and predictability?
    interesting connection! I might flip around how it's phrased. the value of repetition and predictability is a given. the question is to what extent moving away from them can be fruitful, and why anyone would want to do that in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvuent View Post
    maybe there are three perceptual “levels” that are worth paying attention to with this kind of music.

    the first is individual sounds / timbres, as we’ve been talking about. what parmegiani refers to in that quote as “the power of Orpheus.”

    the second is what would be referred to in dance music producer talk as sequencing. i.e. the level of rhythms, melodies, interplay between different elements.

    the third would be structure. verse-chorus, sonata, that sort of thing. structure is a major focus in the classical tradition, and as blissblogger pointed out these people were all steeped in it.

    so combining this with the quotes last page from the other thread, “impossible” or surreal things could happen on any of these levels.

    when dance music producers want the listener to wonder what the hell they’re hearing, they tend to focus on the first level and to some extent the second. so in a sense you could say that their magic is limited

    electroacoustic composers are about equally capable of generating “the sickest, most insane sonics” but more willing to extend the psychedelic to the other two levels. in terms of sequencing it doesn't feel tethered to a midi grid or a steady 130 bpm. structurally it can be developed in mind-blowing ways and turned inside out.

    ^^^^don't think this attempt was any good but it's just a quick start.
    btw this isn't a knock against music everyone here loves. if dance producers are more conservative at the 2nd and 3rd levels it's for very good, self-explanatory reasons.

    the point is, setting "functionality" aside, the values or magic of both kinds of music are deeply similar. eshun quotes or references stockhausen like 6 times in more brilliant than the sun, which might seem odd given how stockhausen felt about "post african repetitions". I think it's telling that despite that, eshun recognizes him as a kind of kindred spirit. in energy flash the idea of approaching electronic dance music as "audio sculpture" comes up (for me "audio animation" might be even more helpful)--and it's an idea that's very transferable to electroacoustic stuff. even formally speaking, both use some of the same tricks. stockhausen and ligetti were playing with the sudden introduction of reverb and delay years before dub existed. maybe they didn't come to those tricks in the same way, but the results feel similar.

    the second part of that idea is that if you're interested in exploring the application of said values, it makes sense to, uh, wade into the deep end of electroacoustics. my recent interest in / much greater appreciation for this stuff came entirely from listening to dance music (particularly early hip hop and 90s nuum material) and wanting to hear music that (successfully) went further. of course music with a dancable beat is great--but if you think mantronik's edits are mind-blowing... wait till you hear parmegiani's. and not just in the sense of virtuosity or complexity.
    Last edited by mvuent; 02-07-2019 at 02:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdform View Post
    Well, I'm reminded of chava saying that early titonton (techno producer) is completely undanceable. I obviously disagree but it's a common refrain isn't it? Electroacoustic to us helps break the mould of the structure of the populist commodity. it avoids standardisation in some respects though as the tradition develops it itself becomes standardised, as bob ostertag put it... For instance the only electroacoustic records I've been huge on these years are the Sote ones, merging the microtonal maqam system with sickest insane modular/fm synthesis. Phrygian mode for all yer needs...

    https://sote-sound.bandcamp.com/albu...persia-diag054
    Hey, I didn't diss titonton records. You can play them as a dj but you need a non-techno crowd to make them work. It's deconstructed funk music more than techno. His stuff is high on structural invention (in a dance context), low on the acousmatic end (as all american producers often rely on easily recognizable synth work).

    All music balances predictability and surprise, perhaps in the three dimensions mentioned. Simulation of how a lateralized brain learns.

    Lots of electronic dance stuff in the third category (sequencing) has become stale mainly because of a very lazy standard shuffling preset often used (and very often by UK tech house producers). But some producers has their complete own feeling because they sequence uniquely, often it is very subtle but hard to decipher. It is very recognizable in a few producers.

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    any favorites in that regard?

    mine's Eon.
    Last edited by mvuent; 03-07-2019 at 08:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvuent View Post
    where's that from then?

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    I think it was from electronic music: a listener's guide by elliott schwartz. the edition I had was from like 1972 so not exactly comprehensive, but iirc I liked it a lot.
    Last edited by mvuent; 04-07-2019 at 02:41 AM.

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    Default first example


    compare the vocal manipulation at 2:00-2:07

    to 17:30-18:30:


    as an example of electroacoustic exploring possibilities hinted at by hip hop and dance music. in both cases a short voice sample is "spammed" so much that you start to hear it (partially) as one texture rather than a series of discrete sounds. in the dilla one this only happens for a few seconds before he moves on--but parmegiani keeps going: the sound developes into a hurricane of constantly shifting voices. I think he even throws in a few jungle style time stretches around 18:20.


    actually if you haven't listened to it at all, even if you mostly hate this stuff, please just listen to the entire section from ~16:30 to 18:30, its amazing. describing music as "dreamlike" is maybe cliche, but I think this part realizes the strange emotions that the word conveys in a way very little music does. the dawning realization that something is out of place, and then the sense of the world falling away and impossible transformations occurring.
    Last edited by mvuent; 04-07-2019 at 06:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvuent View Post
    so they're essentially just making sample packs then. got it.
    lol for the record this really was meant to encourage the initial talk. sorry if it sounded dismissive. could be elaborated further and connected with other stuff if or when there's interest.




    the excitement of sudden negative space, of sound objects being pulled abruptly in and out of existence. motion that evokes not just a world but an agent (of some kind) violently manipulating reality. a lot of early hip hop uses it to really good effect.

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    Default RIP for now

    for next time: is there anything I could do differently that would make threads like this more interesting and participation-friendly?

    should have gone with a title that would have been more fun like "electroacoustic is academic bullshit". but I'm not enough of a writer to persuade someone on the fence that this stuff is more than a curiosity. just think it's interesting how this area of music is one where even the few people who like it never talk about it.

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  21. #45
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    Almost everybody here loves this music I think. I found it a bit intimIdating in as much as I felt you had preconceived notions of what the right answers were and that I had the wrong answers!

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