Something… and Authenticity

So that last blog post got cut short by techno-goobage and exhaustion.  In this post i’m determined to expand on the thread about authenticity… or something.  But first – consider this a somewhat accurate soundtrack to my mind at the moment.

So yes… the Shbobo Shnth currently provides a 5min noise performance for each patch – all the patches i’ve found online are essentially nuts.  This is cool but I might need to whittle that rough stone into some shiny gems.  So to the business at hand…

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I recently witnessed a presentation on education where Flow Theory was likened to Car Manufacture.  If the Creative Industries is now a production line then the realisation i’m surfing on a conveyer belt is clearly part of what has been eating away at me for the last few years.  And here I thought it was parenthood.

I’m working at two institutions teaching music technology.  For the most part my place within this is focused more on “Electronic Music” history, theory and aesthetics – not so much on production tech – though i’ve had to dip into that world to sound somewhat credible in the staff and class rooms.

On top of tech…

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Lately i’ve been obsessively researching mastering techniques – despite making ambient noise music that rarely seems to need much more than a decent spacious mix.  I wondered if I was missing something…

This is the same reason I gave ProTools a whirl again.  It’s OK while it likes your audio interface but once it gets a sniff of intolerance… forget about being invited back.  When ProTools stops recognising my interface the solution is usually to boot up Reaper… where it will instantly work… and then go back to ProTools and lo… that will be working also.  Except the other night I just stayed in Reaper… a great reliable friend.

Renoise has some surprising awesome with the ability to embed CDP functionality into the sample editor… it now rivals Ableton Live and Max for Live for DIY flexibility.  Logic Pro X really seems to have the broadest coverage for Mac people and running Numerology in it is a joy.   Usine Hollyhock is really waiting for me to buy one of those Touch Screen Windows 8 iMac clones.  I can see it being an awesome tool there but everything takes far too long when you are mouse click click clicking.   I have no money for such things right now though.  There are so many great tools but none of them are really a be-all-end-all tool in their own right.

Hardware is a bit the same… Over the next little while I need to ID whether I prefer the sequencing and multipart control of the Beatstep or the expressive potential of the QuNexus.  If I could only use both at the same time…

Presetland…

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I’m still flabbergasted that a majority of the students I work with have such an aversion to making their own patches.  I can appreciate editing pre-existing patches to see how they work but can you really call yourself an electronic musician if all you do is replay other people’s work?  Isn’t that DJing?

Then again what is electronic music? As a term it is so meaningless now it actually sounds like deflection.  There was a time where I tried to focus on “pure” electronic music made only from synth tones but the end result I now feel is dull and lifeless.  Electronic Music history is interesting only because it wasn’t just OSC->Filter>ENV rinse repeat.  I try to promote an awareness of history and aesthetics but I feel the waves of disappointment every second i’m not explaining how to “pump” or “wub”.  Part of my problem is that in order to educate… I have to start with familiar contexts which leads to me spending way too much time research and testing stuff that at best I have zero use for – at worst I actively despise.

Demonstrative VS Expressive

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Perhaps my biggest concern at the moment is that I feel being an educator has lead to my art being more demonstrative than expressive.  I’ve had 100 times more plays of my video using the Arturia Beatstep to make some lame bleep bloop than i’ve had listeners to my SoundCloud.  Lately when I make something i’m wondering what process I’m trying to demonstrate rather than what planet i’m exploring.  This is a balance that I feel needs to shift back.

An Authentic Practice?

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I never used to care about authenticity but when you spend a lot of your life explaining stuff it does help to make your position as trainer somewhat clear – this is something I have trouble doing because the reality is both nebulous and anti-system.  When I realised I was doing no work on my Phd I looked to my relationship and my child as a reason for deferral however the reality is I no longer felt that I could continue pretending to be an authority on AV when I was no longer interested in the broad sweeps I was painting.  I’m now convinced I can finish this if I rethink it and scale it down… focus on a few very important words said by more than one interview participant… I can do it and feel like I can own it.  Because I’m reminded of why I started doing this in the first place…

To create authentic new diegetic experiences, for myself and my friends first and foremost.  Beyond that is emptiness… a vacuity of meaningless forms, words without object, vague blurs.

The great wipe of 2014

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Sometime in July my Soundcloud account will expire.  I’m dropping back to the 4hr account.  Between now and then I am wiping everything.  I will probably migrate The Included Middle, Anthropoclasm and Infidels Guide to Bandcamp but the rest will be gone.  I will still post the occasionally demo for blog purposes but I really want to spend more time crafting expressive musics.  What will happen to this blog… we will see.  I’m sure there will be stuff to comment on and if I get back into the research it will surely be documented here.

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