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Richard Caceres (M)
Los Angeles, US
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    On Innovation and Electronic Music
    Project: Proposal for a multimedia playground
    I just spent the last three hours browsing the internet and trying to interface a joystick with Pure Data. I want to create a two-joystick software-based version of the joystick synth. Pure Data has been a frustrating program so far. First of all, there is hardly any documentation available on the web. The closest thing I found to an introduction were two video tutorials on youtube that were helpful, but still not enough to get me really started with PD. I keep leaning towards using MAX MSP because of the clean user interface and less steep learning curve. I am using PD-extended, and the HID joystick examples that it comes with do not work because there are missing objects.

    I am evaluating the benefits of trying to learn a complicated software (Pure Data) versus using software with a higher level of abstraction. I could for example, just route the joystick data to Ableton Live and use a pre-made software synthesizer or sampler. These however have a completely different sound quality than the barebones sine/square wave oscillators of Pure Data. But is the use minimalist synthesis just a trend, a sort of intellectual masturbation?

    I spend some time each day browsing the web and searching for new interesting videos and projects. Youtube is a good place to do this. While exploring these projects, I can't help but wonder what my and other people's motivations are. Some times I feel like the situation is a constant one-up competition to see who can do the most technically challenging feat. Other times I feel like each person thinks they are the next experimental music auteur - the next John Cage.

    The phrase "the next" has a dialectical relationship to history or the past. It refers to a previous who is or will no longer be because the next will take its place. The next would not exist without the past, and the past would not exist without the next. What happens to the present when we are preoccupied by the past and future? Is it ignored?

    Just because the earlier pioneers of electronic music used sine waves and square waves because that was all the had, does not mean that we still have to use them with our advanced technology with which any sound is possible. Innovation can draw from history, but it must be about the present, because the goal is, after all, to communicate with people - to share experience and ideas.


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    sonicport+techfolder     Tue, Oct 12, 2010  Permanent link
    Take a look at www.longplayer.org
    Especially significant is the fact this music is designed to outlast our current technology. Building a survival instinct into a piece of music is just as relevant to digital work as it was hundreds of years ago, if not thousands as we instinctively value survival.

    If you need different synth to try, check out Paul Miller's TX modular and let me know what you think of it. I have been beta testing it and have suggested some improvements based on physical needs I have reached. There are more changes to come, I have found the project really exciting. I have found that suddenly music is boring, design has become my music. You can hear the design in the music. You can find the links on my website.

    So indeed a software patch which can be reproduced has a better chance of survival than a hardware unit, but it's lifetime is threatened by future format changes and ageing tools.

    Self identifying such as your example 'I am the new John Cage' may not be enough to insure survival of music any longer, but electronic music's ability to survive still uses parasitical sampling techniques which can insure it's survival for the lifespan of 'electronic' music, solving the purpose of its existence. This will last as long as our current technology persists.
    jo be     Thu, Oct 14, 2010  Permanent link
    There is always a strange lingering pride that effects how people strive to accomplish tasks. In the most abstract sense, I agree with ye olde work ethic, but I find it rather silly to not use the tools we have available to transcend the tasks that had occupied a former generation to take on new ones.

    Calculators for math is an obvious example—but digital music is another good one. I think the strain may be a social one—to impress people, to show excellence, their must be a common domain of appreciation. A lot of people do not understand, yet, the higher complexities people are and could more easily engage in if they used automation and the tools available rather than exhume brain power.

    In a sense the internet has created the ability to form communities that en-womb the most ambitious (and the most insane) intentions because people can communicate outside the limitations of physical space and time.

    Aesthetics are fluid, opinionated, and for an artist in the creative process, have a very limited use having discussions about, because creation is a forward motion to produce a form and discussion is the circular motion comparing form. As much as the internet can incubate, it can also dissuade with its noise.

    I would go as far to say as innovation is not so much a process that can be intended in and of itself, but it is of consequence of surrendering ones self to a sincere intention. All the tools available to us now will never help the artist, designer, or creator express what it is they need or want. I believe that will always be the first step, to bring a clear mind to the creative process and to explore the space with fresh eyes.
    sonicport+techfolder     Thu, Oct 21, 2010  Permanent link
    Nicely put Jo be,

    I also feel that traditional Aesthetics may be largely constructed above the emotion of acceptance, and that a cool mind is the best way to migrate around this anchor, and lengthen the rope.

    I have found that the word acceptance fits snugly into any receptor in my life also making it hard to pinpoint what is really happening there as it is a common factor.

    The seating plan is thrown wide open with creative freedom though there is still a mechanic: do we use it, or do we use it for something else.

    There is a fine line between designing a 'robust' piece of work and building in 'self-distructive' architecture, either that or some form of dormancy ethic maybe? I prefer the anti-art movement when regarding self, it can use satire, self-destruction, ridicule, piracy and am sure there is also an anti-science movement too (like bio-punks? hope I don't offend anyone!) sometimes for people who accept they no nothing about the architecture of cell nutrients in detail but are willing to give it a shot, change reality.

    I think in whatever we do, we choose a frequency in which to live by at an early stage in our growth.

    On digital music- I never want to hear another drum machine ever again, Please someone! When will they become obsolete?
    alok subbarao     Fri, Oct 22, 2010  Permanent link
    Great post. Thought you might enjoy this video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mgy1S8qymx0
     
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