I like these but in the literal landscape / environment metaphorical system I would frame them asarpeggiated, MIDI grid movement <------> free movement
rigid sounds <------> malleable sounds
frozen <------> hyperkinetic
discrete chord structures <------> blended textural harmony
lush is a funny word. fans of electronic music (in the aphexian vein) tend to use it not in the sense of a forest, but more to describe beautiful synth pads and the like. but you're probably right that there is still an environment metaphor implied in that usage. the sci fi environment comment has to do with this whole notion of audio animation, which as noted seems to have a formal aspect. but i think that term has caused some confusion due to not having ever been rigorously defined before, and it's perhaps easiest just to drop it for now. tbh you may have been expecting a higher standard of conceptual rigor from this thread than was originally intended. i thought this was going to be a very laid back thread, sharing discoveries without much arguing, but it hasn't entirely turned out that way.Later in the post you start using words like scifi environment and lush where I feel like you've slipped out of formal land into environmental metaphor
that reminds me, my favorite part of this tolkien article (you and @Corpsey have both posted it before) is its description of what tolkien called "glamour":This stuff is all over Tolkien too. Mists and storms, mountains and barrens, overgrown woods you're fighting through step by step. He makes a big deal about getting up on vistas and seeing the lay of the land, versus the grounds eye view perspective of the trail in a forest. Far sighted shortsighted. Day night. It's all about visibility—can you see the landscape, the obstacles and affordances, can you see other organisms who you might come into interaction with, are they dangerous do they look friendly can they see you
Tolkien, Shippey writes in The Road to Middle Earth, loved above all things in literature a quality he calls ‘glamour’, ‘that shimmer of suggestion that never became clear sight but always hints at something deeper further on’, a quality he found in Beowulf in particular. While composing his fiction he would deliberately pile up fragmented layers to give the appearance of age, depth, variant versions, mystery, that he so loved in the broken texts he studied by day.
I would love to hear a spirited defense of this view. Can ya treat us @woopsi think woops is some kind of musical abstract expressionist. he's aware of evocative/representative qualities but he's just decided they're utterly banal, that they're not what really matters. it's a very radical stance and is like the exact inversion of my and luka's perspective. which makes it very weird that we all tend to be such kindred spirits aesthetically.
Yes that's very good I recall that excellent coinage.that reminds me, my favorite part of this tolkien article (you and @Corpsey have both posted it before) is its description of what tolkien called "glamour":
you can actually get a similar effect in music (a type of music which i very very famously termed "palimpsestscape") where it's as though there are ghostly memories built into the experience. the music doesn't sound like it's from the past, it sounds like it contains fragments of the past.
i've noticed that a lot of ambient records coming out these days will try to weave some kind of folk music influence into what's otherwise very shiny modern-sounding music. maybe a lot of people are hungry for tolkien-esque glamour these days?
this of course connects well with your notion of visibility: there's a sense of some great, storied, barely visible past exerting its pressure on the atmosphere.