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Re: Basic intro (OT)LESS TALK MORE ACTION!!!!

"less talk..more action!!!"

On Fri, 17 Aug 2001 13:15:31 -0700
 Caliban Tiresias Darklock <caliban@darklock.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 17 Aug 2001 13:36:18 -0400, "Liebig, Steuart A."
> <Steuart.Liebig@maritz.com> wrote:
> >** i suppose i should have been more precise in my
> wording of this. how
> >about "pure sine waves"? that is, not mixing of numerous
> sine waves bu just
> >pitch frequency series played by pure sine waves - -
> that sounds boring to
> >me. ymmv. (and the fft may "demonstrate," but what do
> *your* ears tell
> >*you*?)
> That any single sound is not music. Music is by
> definition a combination
> and sequence of sounds, and using a single sample is just
> like using a
> single note (or a sine wave): it's boring. There are
> cases where it
> works, but it doesn't work because it's artistically
> interesting in and
> of itself, it works because it's placed into a *context*
> in which it
> works. Whether your "note" is a sine wave, a kick drum, a
> piano key, or
> a 16-second drum loop doesn't matter; artistically, it's
> not interesting
> until it's placed into a larger context. The sample may
> be *sonically*
> interesting, but that isn't YOUR art, it's someone
> else's. 
> >** i guess it depends if you call triggering one note on
> that keyboard
> >"playing." i wouldn't. 
> Neither would I, which is exactly what I was getting at.
> No matter how
> long or complex your sample is, it's still effectively
> only one note,
> and the amount of creativity and originality involved is
> directly
> comparable. Even if you have the coolest goddamn sample
> on the face of
> the planet, if you loop it and say "check this out" it's
> *artistically*
> just like playing one note on a piano. Think about how
> you'd do it on a
> hardware sampler with a keyboard, and consider whether
> doing the same
> thing on a piano would be impressive or just flat-out
> pathetic. 
> >i'm not sure that you would necessarily sample those
> items. don't
> >you usually sample more traditional instruments being
> played by people, or
> >electronic instruments as used in an already existing
> pices of music? it
> >seems to me that the reason *you* would sample those
> would be because of the
> >non-generic and personaliazed sound of those events. 
> It depends on the situation. I've constructed entire
> songs from a single
> sample pitch-shifted and timestretched in various ways
> and passed
> through effects to create the illusion of different
> sounds. A low-pass
> filter and fast attack turns a 303 note into a bass drum;
> bandpass and
> distortion turn it into a snare. There's a great range of
> nuance and
> humanity available with samples, IF you work at it.
> Certainly it would
> be much, much easier to just grab several samples, but
> it's interesting
> from a theoretical standpoint to say "look, this is all
> the same
> sample". Whether it's interesting from a practical
> standpoint is another
> matter entirely, and whether it sounds good is yet
> another.
> >From the critic's standpoint, theoretical interest is
> important. From
> the performer's standpoint, the practical interest of the
> piece matters.
> But from the lay listener's standpoint, it's only
> important whether it
> sounds good. I think that's why so many obviously
> untalented musicians
> become popular: they sound good. A performer may look at
> how they create
> music and go "why, it's all studio trickery" and turn up
> his nose. A
> critic may look at the structure of the music and say
> "why, it's almost
> childishly simplistic" and turn up his nose. But the
> public listens to
> the music and says "hey, that sounds good". 
> I don't think anything a performer or critic thinks
> should impact that.
> If the public isn't going to say "that sounds good", what
> exactly is the
> *point*? Performers nodding at each other over how
> creative the
> production is won't make it sound good. Critics gushing
> over how
> original the theory is won't make it sound good. But
> conversely, the
> public buzzing about how great it sounds isn't going to
> make it art. 
> In the end, it's about goals. Who is your audience?
> Critics? Performers?
> The public? Realistically, it's a combination of all
> three: the
> admiration of critics will win you awards, the admiration
> of performers
> will give you credibility, and the admiration of the
> public will give
> you popularity. How important each of those things is to
> you will
> dictate what's important to your work. I'm not concerned
> with awards,
> and if I had to choose between credibility and popularity
> I'd choose
> popularity. So original theory isn't all that important
> to me, and
> creative production is only slightly important. I
> primarily care whether
> it sounds good. 
> Is it art? Sometimes. It can be. But no, I wouldn't say
> *everything* I
> do is art. That doesn't mean I'm not an artist, it just
> means that
> sometimes the artistic validity of my work is
> questionable. Every doodle
> by Van Gogh wasn't art, either.
> >** i'm not convinced that a sample can really truly
> capture that "essence,"
> >but this is probably a whole other kettle of fish.
> Not all of it. Samples never sound quite right. They're
> *missing*
> something. Different people have different ideas as to
> what that
> something is, but I think most musicians have noticed it;
> they blame it
> on digital/analog sometimes, other times they blame it on
> unoriginal/original, and I don't think any of that's
> altogether true. I
> think "recorded" and "live" just sound different.
> Recordings of
> recordings start to mutate and degrade in a way that
> isn't obvious,
> because -- BIG dose of whacked-out opinion here --
> they're getting
> farther from the original team that produced the work. I
> don't really
> know how to explain that, it's just something I halfway
> perceive which
> doesn't make any sort of logical sense. 
> >Samples capture *some* of the
> >original's emotional content, which can be carried over
> for further
> >effect. 
> >
> >** interesting, this almost seems to be somewhat
> contrary to your statement
> >above - - or maybe that's what i'm driving at. 
> I don't think a sample captures everything. When you
> watch someone play
> piano in person, you can see the emotion on his face, and
> there's a
> certain dramatic component to how he moves. If you hear
> it from the next
> room, something is missing -- and if you record it and
> play it again
> later, something else is missing. So if you sample that
> recording and
> record it, you have something missing again. That's three
> generations of
> something going out of the sound, which might be
> described like:
> - Someone is playing this right here, right now.
> - Someone is playing this over there, right now.
> - Someone played this some time ago and recorded it.
> - Someone recorded a recording of someone playing this
> some time ago.
> No matter how much of the humanity and nuance you record
> in the sound,
> you keep getting farther from the original artist. The
> human connection
> gets more and more faint. It can be enhanced if someone
> knows who played
> it, or if the recorder of the recording of the recording
> (damn that gets
> tedious) associates himself as a "bridge" between the
> original artist
> and the listener. This is where recognisable samples have
> value. 
> And here, I almost wrote a very long essay on sampling as
> a directional
> weighted graph with comparisons to network routing
> protocols, but I
> think few people would follow it and nobody would care.
> :P
> >** the interesting thing that strikes me *right now*
> about this whole
> >sampling thing - - in terms of how i understand *your*
> usage of it  - -  is
> >that is *referential* rather than *generational*  . . .
> in other words it
> >doesn't necessarily *generate* any new information
> (particularly emotional),
> >rather  it *refers* back to someone else's generation
> and attempts to
> >recontextualize it. 
> With the caveat that this isn't the only sonic weapon in
> my arsenal,
> that's a pretty accurate description. A lot of my work
> partially boils
> down to a background track overlaid with recognisable
> samples that
> effectively say "think about this, now think about this,
> now think about
> this" -- leading the listener through several concepts to
> draw
> connections. Sometimes that has a purpose and a point;
> other times, it's
> just a train of thought thing. The musical value of what
> comes out
> varies likewise; just like sometimes you can sit at a
> piano and play
> something great, and other times you'll play something
> that just plain
> sucks.