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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Commentary and Editorials
The MP3 Phenomena and Innovative Music
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 8:14 am    Post subject: The MP3 Phenomena and Innovative Music Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The MP3 Phenomena and Innovative Music
By Judy Dunaway
(The following paper was presented at the Institut für Neue Musik und Musikerziehung in Darmstadt, Germany on April 9, 2001. Since then, many of the topics discussed have undergone considerable changes (most notably the corporate assimilation of MP3.com andNapster), and certainly more changes will occur. Nevertheless, the important structures and movements revealed by this research will remain pertinent for years to come.)
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Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey! Another gem! THX! Very Happy
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver) wrote:
Are you talkin' to me?
Very Happy
Britney Spears wrote:
Oops, I did it again
Shocked
Very Happy

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Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yup! You are on the "soft huggable elk" list for XMAS.
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jbenzola



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I actually took part in that survey. If I remember correctly, I think that she quotes Doug Kolmar a few times in the piece (Doug was the guitarist who appeared on my Ritual in Four Parts CD).
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Aha... a small world!

Very Happy

The angle on innovative music reminds me of some recent discussions I have had with various people. To me it seems like there is a confusion of terms. Like = "new music" = innovative music=experimental music=sound art=noise music=experimental music= etc etc.

The various terms and uses of these are OK with me.. whatever suits you.. but if one follows the reasoning and then discovers there are some inconsistencies.. and then even more inconsistencies.. then I get a slight headache.

My reasoning is this:
There is a lot of "old" music which is innovative
There is a lot of "new" music which is not
Some of this music might be "good" or "bad".. whatever.. that is not the point..
Some experimental music might not be innovative.. some can be. There can also be bad music which is insanely innovative. Some innovative music can in fact work with issues and methods that very few will see and appreciate. And the same can be the case with "non-innovatove music". What we do know is that music these days is based on tradition.. even new music. In extreme cases you can have 2 pieces that sounds prettty much the same, but when it comes to the music theory, the composers have been working with completely different methods and concepts. I am not trying to make any point here, rather than suggesting that music critique and curators possible might need a new tradition.. a new vocabulary or whatever. The composers will keep on making weird stuff anyway. As it is now it seems to me that academic art music critique and music composition is off into two different directions. I might be wrong. Dunno. Guys?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I do not like the terms, innovative, experimental, avant-garde, free, new, etc. To me these terms mean nothing. They might be helpful in demarcating what the music might sound like but they are more destructive than useful. I for one do not like to use any terms to describe the music I produce. What I strive of for is an individual voice. I want people to know that when they hear the first few notes that it is Joseph Benzola. This is not to say that you don't have influences, but it is rather how you use them. When people use terms like experimental and innovative to describe their music and when I listen to it for the most part I don't hear anything particullary innovative or experimental nor do I here the individuals stamp on the music. Same thing with the term free as applied to Jazz...what the fuck does that mean? Albert Ayler played so called "free jazz". Keith Jarrett has put out "free jazz" music with his trio of Peacock and Dejohnette? Which is right? Which is more free? What is free about the music? What I find wonderful in Ayler and Jarrett ( as an example) is that I hear their soul in the music. I hear a real life, sweat, pain, pleasure, blood, sex, god, mysticism, love, their environment, their beliefs. I hear one note from Ayler or Jarrett I know who I am listening to. To me, striving for a voice is much more important than being innovative or experimental.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jbenzola wrote:
To me, striving for a voice is much more important than being innovative or experimental.


Well said! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I agree with your thoughts about this. The current fad with everything experimental and innovative ( try googling experimental music.. eeeeeek) is slightly problematic. I am not quite in the mode suitable for elaborating in this, but to me this seems like a disease. But there is a trend going on.. in the opposite direction. I see Xeroid Entity is doing electronic chamber music these days, which is an excellent use of an old term,.. and this can possibly contribute to a new focus on the very music. Of course, I now the Mother Mallards have been doing chamber music since like 1970 or so.. but anyway.. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
As it is now it seems to me that academic art music critique and music composition is off into two different directions.


Yup...

Things get really confusing with academic music composition. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very Happy
Hehe.. well.. OK.. but you see my point..? or ... I hope I have a point in here somewhere.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great article. It touches on many concerns that I've expressed about innovative art, mp3s & the net. I agree with all the comments here. I don't like labels or categories either and I have little use for professional critics, but recognize that others need these things in order to navigate through a sea of choices.

I've usually listed my electronic work under 'experimental' because on mp3 hosting sites, which operate using categories, it was the only category left after I'd ruled out all the rest. I try to ofset this when I can by running Varese's quote; "I do not write experimental music. My experimenting is done before I write the music. Afterward it is the listener who must experiment." I think that many composers see their music the same way. Experimental ends up being a catch-all category for all that weird stuff that promoters and consumers of popular/mainstream music don't understand or like... "Oh, that stuff, hmmmm, I dunno, let's put it in experimental." There's something of a jaundiced implication to it like it's not finished or the composer has no idea what they're doing.

And so it is the listener who must experiment. Not only is it a semantic issue, but many have adopted that list of adjectives to, obviously in my humble opinion, inaccurately describe their often prosaic music. Perhaps because it sounds dangerous or edgy, the term tends to get abused and I find a lot of 'experimental' music that is really straight ahead hip hop or house, and that's not it for me. You can do that Google search, as I have many times, only to find that, unfortunately, very little of it is 'experimental', innovative, or 'new'.

Now that mp3 artists have been scattered to the winds of the web, it makes the search even more frustrating. (And that's one reason I've returned to listening to web radio like Headtones & Xstream- let them do the footwork for me Very Happy ). Fortunately both art & the web are innately innovative and will probably mutually evolve into a new solution.

The search continues...

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