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Re: Basic intro (OT)

There's an aesthetic issue and an economic/social one.

Aesthetically speaking, loop music using appropriated samples is
as much an art as collage painting, or tape-based art music a la
muique concrete.  As such, the 'artistic merit' of these works
is a subjective determination of inspiration and execution made
by the audience, IMHO.  I don't think coming to a group
consensus on this subject is very important at all.

Economically and socially speaking, it's a different matter
because the ramifications impact real peoples real lives in a
more earthly way.  The whole notion of 'intellectual property'
invokes very strong mixed emotions in me.  Philosophically, I
admire the concept of free information and the notion of
imposing abstract legalistic limitations brings me down.  But
practically speaking, without these limitations, living as an
artist within our current ecomomic/social paradigm would be
unfeasible, in the extremes, and I would not want that result at

However, addressing these issues in a way that balances free
sharing against the economic needs of artist is fucking dicey to
say the least.  As a philosophical discussion, though, it's


----- Original Message -----
From: "Caliban Tiresias Darklock" <caliban@darklock.com>
To: <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2001 3:19 PM
Subject: Re: Basic intro (OT)

> On Wed, 15 Aug 2001 13:06:17 -0500, "Dennis Leas"
> wrote:
> >As another view, perhaps this is a "deployment of technology"
> I tend to think it's more of a generation gap. Each generation
> technology provides simpler ways to make music. The previous
> being jealous, claims the music isn't "real". When I use
looped samples,
> people complain that I didn't make the loops myself. When I
use loops
> composed from one-shot samples, people complain that I didn't
> the sound myself. When I use a series of software synths,
> complain that they aren't real synths. When I use rack-mounted
> via MIDI, people complain that I'm not really playing. When I
play a
> keyboard-equipped synth, people complain that it's not a real
> instrument. When I play an electric guitar, people complain
that the amp
> and the effects are doing all the work. When I play an
acoustic guitar,
> people complain that the instrument is doing all the work.
When I sing,
> people complain that my singing is simplistic and uninspired.
And when I
> try to sing complex operatic solos, everyone complains that I
suck. ;)
> The fact of the matter is that you can't win. I constantly
hear people
> complaining that since I use looped samples, I must not be
*able* to do
> any of the other things listed up there. It's usually a
guitarist. But
> once I pick up a guitar, play something, and offer the
complainant a
> seat at my workstation to try this "easy" looped sample stuff?
> that's okay, he doesn't need to cross this line. And
incidentally, I was
> a little flat on the last part of that solo, so he was right
all along.
> What I think has actually happened is that everyone reaches a
level of
> incompetence -- they get to a certain point, look at the next
level, and
> can't make head or tail of it. So they say "sour grapes", and
claim that
> wherever they personally tapped out is where everyone ought to
be. This
> is why there are people who can't shred sitting around going
> speed metal sucks!", and people who can't program a drum
machine going
> "dude, drum machines are stupid!", and people who can't make
head or
> tail of a sampler saying "dude, samples are gay!"... because,
> simply, they can't do it.
> This isn't a universal truth, of course. Some people have gone
the other
> direction; Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple is currently
> almost-ignored CDs of medieval madrigals with his wife,
because he
> doesn't really find much pleasure in playing hard rock
anymore. (It's
> probably a little disheartening when you play something grand
> majestic like "Gates of Babylon" and people just keep saying
"dude, play
> 'Smoke on the Water'!") He's been there, done that, and
decided he
> wanted to do something else. In some interviews, he's said
that he left
> the rock scene because he wanted to play "real" music. And
then you have
> a bunch of people who look at DJs and synth jockeys and say
"wow, man, I
> wish I could do that -- but all I know how to play is this
> guitar".
> Everyone gets to a point where they can't do something. I'm
just in awe
> of people who can create the exact sound they want from
scratch; I
> always come up with something that's nowhere close to what I
want and go
> "oh well, it still sounds pretty cool anyway". If I want
something that
> sounds *almost* like the orchestra hit at the beginning of
some beat or
> other, I have to painstakingly filter that hit out of the beat
and then
> tweak it. Other people would say "let's see, that's an A flat
> wave with some second harmonics and about 25% distortion on an
> logarithmic curve with a 2.5 ms choral delay detuned by around
4 Hz, and
> the decay rate is proportional to the integral of time t
cubed -- but
> I'd like a bit less distortion and more of a square wave with
> width modulated by a 1.3 Hz LFO". I'm so jealous of those
people it's
> not funny.
> And yes, it IS tempting to say "what you do isn't REALLY
> whenever I see them. After all, they're not "really"
musicians, they're
> mathematicians and walking DSPs. But what comes out in the end
is still
> music, and what I'm really complaining about is my *own*
shortcomings. I
> think what we really need to get past is the concept of music
> "real" before it's finished. A musician, technically, is
someone who
> makes music. Who cares how he makes it? Who cares if it's what
you do or
> not? It's music in the end, and that's what really matters --
isn't it?