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Re: flame war

On Feb 15, 2005, at 2:33 PM, Devin Smith wrote:

> You know, as much as I have been trying to ignore this thing and wait 
> for it to pass over, I couldn't help but comment about some of the 
> dichotomies that seem to have driven this whole thing.
>  Regarding the topics of the educated/indoctrinated versus the 
> uneducated/amateur, as well as that of unadulterated "musical virtue" 
> versus a "reliance" upon technology, I am reminded of my close friend 
> Durf. He is a terifically amateur musician (he can play guitar-- 
> mostly power chords and simple bar chords-- and for a while his main 
> method of playing the keyboards was to "only play the white keys") and 
> yet a wonderful composer. He makes music on an audio editing program 
> called Sound Edit, which for those of you who are familiar with this 
> type of interface, is not really designed for producing music, and if 
> at all, certainly not from scratch. But he does just that, in fact, 
> utilizing sort of looping modalities. After years of working with the 
> program, and a lot of tenacity, he is to the point where he can make 
> really wonderful unclassifiable music, almost like a patchwork quilt. 
> He uses a lot of household objects as sound sources, an manipulates 
> them in var! ious ways. On his last album, all of the drum sounds were 
> made using cardboard boxes, pots and pans, ballpoint pens, and the 
> drums are, if not realistic, very full and striking.
>  His music has some pretty esoteric underpinnings, I think. Stuff like 
> the relation between the micro and macroscopic, properties of 
> resonance, etc.

i'm sure these kinds of things can happen within a program.  i can make 
formal relations within a constraint.  as a matter of musical fact, 
that's what a form is.  a form is a program let's say and the events 
are the ram.

i can act like a monkey and do the most untrained and horrifying 
expressions in sound.  i can also make highly controlled pieces where 
everything is accounted for in a modern and traditional way.  the two 
exists in one life but when you talk about buttons all of the time you 
don't talk about music.  so when a guy talks about someone's music to 
them he talks about what his buttons have done in the ambient world.  
just gripes me.  it's wrong to box the guy's music up this way and if 
he is truly a student and expecting to get a sage on loopers delight he 
may take this to heart and ruin some of his work.  from the sound of 
this guy it will really be no problem.  he knows what he's doing as an 
>  Anyway, I don't want to get too deeply into this topic, nor do I want 
> to add fuel to the fire. I just think perhaps such dichotomies, while 
> useful as analytical tools, are constraining when reified. Someone 
> like Durf helps to illustrate how a person who is "amateur" and 
> "reliant on technology" in one respect, can also be a kind of "master" 
> whose technology leads him to an understanding at least equal to, 
> perhaps greater, than that he might have attained through more 
> conventional means: like learning to play both the black and the white 
> keys on the piano.

nix on that last statement.  there is no way that a musician is better 
off not knowing something unless there's some sort of time constraints. 
  a program is a constraint and to master it would be to master running 
with a potato sack on.  you can do some interesting things with it but 
where's the freedom?  i guess you could learn to be free within the 
constraints but where's the freedom that is necessary for a clean 
association with music at the outset.
>  I'd like to conclude by noting a truism that I've found time and time 
> again useful: opposites are similar. The most politically conservative 
> and the most politically liberal/progressive share the most in common 
> ideologically. They also have the least control over the political 
> infrastructure. Perhaps try applying that to the aforementioned 
> dichotomies and see what you come up with.
> In the meantime, I look forward to some useful and flame-free postings.

you know devin, the truth comes out when passions are lit.  i find this 
kind of thing very useful.
the thing about talking about buttons musical virtue, as you put it, is 
a corporeal life beyond electricity.  i don't like that flame thing.  
it has overtones of something that i don't do.  i have passion.
> -Devin
> Do you Yahoo!?
>  Yahoo! Search presents - Jib Jab's 'Second Term'
Larry Cooperman
New Millennium Guitar