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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
don't be sharp, don't be flat, just be natural!
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seraph
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 2:43 pm    Post subject: don't be sharp, don't be flat, just be natural! Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

don't be sharp, don't be flat, just be natural!
this sentence makes sense to musicians but made me think about an unavoidable truth: we can only become what we already are. it may sounds obvious but it's much harder to achieve than it sounds. creative people in particular are faced with this problem. everybody wants to look "sharp" but is that our true self? I want to assure everybody reading this that I am not in "new-age-mumbo-jumbo mode". I am posting this thoughts on the Composition Forum because composers do need to find their "natural" source of inspiration to be able to thoroughly express their inner voice otherwise composing becomes only stylistic dexterity.
Any thoughts? Very Happy

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Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, I´m in complete aregeement, I think you can often tell when people are "trying" too and it never sounds good. Conversely; you can also tell when people are unselfconciously enjoying themselves and that nearly always sounds good, regardless of the style.
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orczy



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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice one Seraph. It is hard to avoid "New Age-isms" with this. It is about finding the inner voice, and doing what comes naturally. I have felt the pull of some trends once in a while, and those works haven't stood up as well as ones where I did what I do, so to speak. I agree wit Kassen, it is easy to pick try hard works, as well as hones, sincere works. I would much prefer to listen to a sincere, honest, work with flaws, than a meticulously organized piece that is "hip".
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, I agree with being true to the inner voice. The trick is filtering out all of noise so you can hear your inner voice; even if it is telling you to make noise. My inner voice is always making new suggestions. Laughing

Anyway, I'm always responding to new influences. This is one of the reasons I LOVE to jam with people. Music is an analog for life - make progress in life and make progress in music. Visa versa too.

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seraph
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
The trick is filtering out all of noise

and that's hard. "mental pollution" comes from inside and outside and clearing things out is the hardest thing. what about a Quick KNOW YOURSELF Quiz Question Wink

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chuck



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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Interesting topic. I'm sure that anyone who aspires to do artistic things does, in time come to face themselves. I'm sure everyone deals with religon and/or church (there is a difference) and the values they were raised under trying to balance who we were told to be with who we feel we are.

What I find, personally is that the harder I try to come up with answers about myself and what certain things mean, the futher I'm pushed from whatever truth there is to be discovered.

Do others feel that? That the personal mechanisms that create the BS in our lives are the very same that keep us from the truth?

Perhaps the Zen guys are right. Keeping it simple. Focus on one thing. Make one simple item as perfect as possible. Don't judge. Don't keep score. Make music for the joy it brings personally.

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nicely said, Seraph.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

chuck wrote:
Perhaps the Zen guys are right. Keeping it simple. Focus on one thing. Make one simple item as perfect as possible. Don't judge. Don't keep score. Make music for the joy it brings personally.

Yes, this sounds pretty much right on to me...

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seraph
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

as a sculptor specify shape by chipping at his block of marble with a chisel we have to take away all the unnecessary stuff and see if, at the end, something remains Wink the trick, I guess, is just working, working working (do you remember the old saying about one per cent inspiration ninetynine per cent perspiration Question )
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

chuck wrote:

Perhaps the Zen guys are right. Keeping it simple. Focus on one thing. Make one simple item as perfect as possible. Don't judge. Don't keep score. Make music for the joy it brings personally.


Word. Last night I thought that perhaps we should have some electronic music koans we might hand out at times.

Some guy came up to me and asked "what software do you use?" and even (this one realy made me wish for the koans) "how many pices of gear do you think you need for a realy good track?".

Now, I´m pritty open about this stuff, It´s not like installing Live, a G1 and some guitar effects is magically going to make you sound like Bangkok Impact or Kassen and put us out of work, but this is realy getting silly. Do I realy need to spell out that one or two boxes or programs will do if you realy deeply get into them?

If this sounds off topic; remember the guy wanted to sound like us....

We need koans, preferably on busines cards.

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: don't be sharp, don't be flat, just be natural! Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
composers do need to find their "natural" source of inspiration to be able to thoroughly express their inner voice otherwise composing becomes only stylistic dexterity.


i don't listen to any inner voices when i work but rather i litterally go pay a visit inside the part of my body where the music i'm working one comes from. maybe those place correspond to chakra point..i don't know and don't want to. Inside my hip i get to have housy/dance floor stuff..IDM is clearly in my plexus..around my heart i hear some long notes and in my gut i hear kik and snare stuff. Sometimes they all want to play together and i get uncomfortable and have to discipline them.
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 9:01 am    Post subject: Re: don't be sharp, don't be flat, just be natural! Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

aquanaut wrote:

i don't listen to any inner voices when i work but rather i litterally go pay a visit inside the part of my body where the music i'm working one comes from.

as long as it works for you that's fine Very Happy

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: don't be sharp, don't be flat, just be natural! Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
aquanaut wrote:

i don't listen to any inner voices when i work but rather i litterally go pay a visit inside the part of my body where the music i'm working one comes from.

as long as it works for you that's fine Very Happy


And if it stops working we can always try and fix it with surgery!
;¬)

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7/4



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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'd rather be just.
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

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Word. Last night I thought that perhaps we should have some electronic music koans we might hand out at times.


Back to this idea (which I love)...

The sound in your head is the only sound to be heard.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

7/4 wrote:
I'd rather be just.


Well, yes, but wouldn´t striving for being just and being natural idealy make one end up in the same place?

....At which point we have to wonder wether the discussion is realy about music at all.

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
Quote:
Word. Last night I thought that perhaps we should have some electronic music koans we might hand out at times.


Back to this idea (which I love)...

The sound in your head is the only sound to be heard.


Perhaps we should collaborarte on a collection of koans like this, put them in a printable pdf to be cut, sign them under some comunal monnicer and start leaving them around, animously, at venues?

This would of cource be a long term project; koans can´t be forced to fit deadlines.

I quite like yours, it reminds me of Peter Hammils´s interpertation of The Fall Of The House Of Usher, where Roderick at one point goes "my only peace lies in my music, and then only because it drown out all other sounds". I´m not saying that quote is particularly deep or saying a lot about your koan, it just reminded me and, well, I thought I´d note that.

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Something along these lines which I realy like, b.t.w. was said by -I blieve- Jeff Mills who said; "Techno is that which you haven´t heard before".
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

maybe this is not a koan but I like it nonetheless: "I don't need time, I need a deadline" by Duke Ellington
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
"Techno is that which you haven´t heard before".

this one sounds very pretentious to me Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
Kassen wrote:
"Techno is that which you haven´t heard before".

this one sounds very pretentious to me Rolling Eyes


I´m not so sure, I think he was expressing a link between electronic music and progress, development, new sounds. For better or worse a lot of development in electronic music is fueled by technological development and many audiences actively expect this; they expect a new record to have new sounds; if it´s just sounds you heard before it´s considdered disapointing. Quite unlike jazz where you can go for decades on drums, piano, bass and sax. If I get a Dave Brubeck record and it sounds like the last one I found; that´s fine but a new Autechre record is expected to have new sounds.

I love the Duke´s one.

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

new sounds are good, but not so much when the music lacks new structures or arrangements. I like a balance between these when hearing new works from an artist.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

zynthetix wrote:
new sounds are good, but not so much when the music lacks new structures or arrangements. I like a balance between these when hearing new works from an artist.


Certainly, but I´d say that new structures and arangements fall squarely in the "what you havn´t heard before" section. I also feel the quote trancends much of Mills´s musical work.......

Of cource structures and arangements too can be fueled by technology.

I would be interested in any and all views on how people see this relating to Seraph´s original note in this thread. Certainly the interaction between this and that must be a major influence on many artists?

Is anything being released that people see as a new thing that´s "old" from the perspective of their inner voice?

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Agreed. Techno is, as implied, music tied to technology. If technology is constantly evolving, then techno should as well. Somewhat of a "Here's my voice as heard through what today's technolgy can produce". I suppose if you use old technology in a new way, that may also be considered. Understand, the comment is in reference to the Koan offered.

What used to be techno, might not be anymore...
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Don't forget what Milton Babbit said, "Nothing gets old as fast as a new sound."
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