Eclectic I

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Technology Journal week 7 Submission

Forum Speaker: Seb Tomczack

Seb is music technology honors student who has completed the Technology degree. He is also a friend I study with; to see someone I know in an everyday environment doing some creative and imaginative things with music technology was very assuring.

The majority of his musical endeavors are focused around the principle of “taking something out of its usual context and using it for a musical one.*1” One such example of this is his interest in “micro music*2” He has converted a game boy into a music making device. Another was a piece by “Hidden Village” entitled “music for 2 desk lamps” As the title suggest, Seb and the other member of the group Lauren Sutter created music with two desk lamps.

#2 The “Milkcrate Project” was what I found most interesting and inspiring. It was an idea which first began to formulate in his mind in year 11 of high school; to “lock people up in a house with a bunch of rubbish and make them make music.*1” Qualifying this idea was his perception of “music being sounds with constraints placed upon them*1”; so his thoughts were to just further the constraints. “Milkcrate is a music project. The idea is to write music with rules constraining time, space, efficiency and materials.*3”

“The rules...
1. The objective of milkcrate is to write, record and produce as much music as possible, creating a completely finished product within twenty- four hours of beginning the session
2. No member of the group is to leave the environment, within reason
3. All materials and raw sources used to create music must be explicitly non- musical
4. All the materials must fit inside or on a milkcrate
5. There is a limit of one milkcrate per person
6. At least one member of the group must be productive at all times
These rules are modular in nature; milkcrate sessions may have additional constraints, so long as they do not break the existing ones.*4”

The various outcomes presented to the forum I found to be very aesthetically pleasing. It was really interesting to listen to the evolution of the project. Despite only hearing less than an hour’s worth of the 7 hour collective, it was quite apparent the increase in sophistication that has occurred in production as the project has matured.

Steel and Glass

Workshop with David Harris.

David played 3 pieces to the class this week with the intention to show vast opposites in music styles

Iannis Xanakis’s “voyage to Andrometer” (1989) was an extremely granular and dynamic piece composed using a UCIF computer which read the graphs which Xanakis designed and converted them to sound.

Gabrielle Manca’s “In Flagrantti” (1990) was a piece for slide guitar with excessive complexity based loosely on the 12 tone system.

Philip Glass’s “Rubric” was a piece for his band that. It was a lot more contemporary then the other two. It seemed more based around the layering of instruments around certain themes and motifs.

I found the Piece by Xanakis most interesting as the other two failed to introduce me to any ideas or concepts that I was not familiar with although they were aesthetically enjoyable

Creative Computing

The new assignment that has been set intrigues me, but I’m worried that having to stay within the frame work of music concrete might limit what I wish to achieve. As I quite enjoy creating music by editing and altering “real world” “non musical” sounds, but if I have to stay within an aesthetical framework I’m not sure if I’ll be able to create to my full potential.

Remixing the Nine Inch Nails song this week was also enjoyable.

NIN Remix

Audio Arts

I have organised a band to record and booked studio time, now I just have to be patient as I’m eager to start this assignment but I am not recording for another 2 weeks.

*1 Seb Tomczack “musical endeavors of seb Tomczack” Lecture presented at University of Adelaide, 27 April 2006.

*2 Wikipedia. “Chiptune” Wikipedia. 29 April 2006. (30 April 2006).

*3 Tomczack, Seb. “welcome to the milkcrate site!” milkcrate project. 24 March 2006. (30 April 2006).

*4 Tomczack, Seb. “is what?” milkcrate project. 24 March 2006. (30 April 2006).

Picture Refrences (in order of appearance)
#1 1st picture"Tomczack, Seb." 2cnd picture "Hidden Village" little scale blogspot 4 May 2006. (30 April 2006).

#2 "Milkcrate 1 members" milkcrate project 24 March 2006. (2 March 2006).

#3 "Iannis Xenakis" Classical Music Pages. 10 October 2000. (30 April 2006).

#4 "InFlagranti-Contemporary Works for guitar" ABC classics 465 701-2. (30 April 2006).

#5 "lebrecht music+arts photo library" Philip Glass Pictures. 2004 ( 4 May 2006).

Sound References

#1 "milkcrate session 6 Audio" Milkcrate 24 March 2006. (4 May 2006).

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Technology Journal week 6 Submission

Tech Journal - Forum

Panel of speakers – (From left to Right.) Stephen Whittington, Tristan Louth Robins, Mark Carroll.

What is Music Technology?

Stephen gave 3 separate schools of thought upon this matter. 1. An opinion stated by Xavier Serra.*1 Music technology is a discipline. It is merged from various Places using the application of music in technology. 2. It is an “interdisciplinary field,*2” or 3. “Music Technology straddles the intersection between art and science*3” and there for isn’t a discipline.

A general consensus existed amongst the panel from Marks comment “Music Technology is an Amalgamation of Disciplines.*4 ” Furthering this comment he went on to compare it to how generally University is very singular in its disciplinary focus; i.e. a violinist studies to be a better violinist. The fear was that with such a broad spectrum of things covered under the banner of Music Technology, the course would be “spread to thin.*5”

Tristan stated very incisively “The course has been a vessel to communicate my own specific agenda.*6” This reflects a personal resolution that the multiple disciplinary outcomes of the course are in fact a positive. It gives freedom to discover how the individual wants to take and use the knowledge gained from the course.

Of key importance was the statement made by Stephen that the course was in fact geared toward a creative outcome. Although a component of the course deals with studio engineering, a musical and creative agenda are at the forethought of the course curriculum. I see this as a positive also.

Workshop with David Harris

David played 3 pieces to the class. Milton Babbit’s*7 “Ensembles for synthesiser” was based on Intragul-serialism*8 adapted for the synthesiser. It encapsulated virtuosic use of the synthesiser. Despite its brilliant complexity the piece failed to inspire me.

“Ecutorial” was a serialist piece by Edgar Varese.*9 It utilised various instruments being played in abstract ways. It was the “typical” Varese approach. Putting the sound created in the composition above the melody and harmony produced.

Modernism was a much needed phase in musical evolution. Despite this, I grow personally bored with discard of aesthetic in favour of form that happens in modernist structuralist pieces. The eerie world created in “Ecutorial” was enjoyable for this reason. Even more so for this reason Barry Truax’s*10 piece “Nike I” was a refreshing conclusion to the workshop. Focussing on sounds themselves, in there rawest form.

Audio Arts

The main focus of the lesson was signal flow to and from studio 2 and the dead room for “talkback” and headphone monitoring. The dead room involved the most amount of thought; there wasn’t a direct signal flow from studio 2 into the dead room. The solution was to patch the signal through from the wall bays in the recording space and studio 1. Ben and I worked as a team again in our own time to make sure we were capable of doing everything covered in class. We achieved this easily. The reading was information from the EMU website.

Creative Computing

A slightly more extensive coverage of “Spear” was given to the class as well as a brief introduction to “Sound Hack.” Both programs are very appealing and seem to hold great possibilities when used in conjunction with one another. The readings were the same as last week plus a link to the Sound Hack website.

*1 Serra, Xavier. “Towards a Roadmap for Research in Music Technology.” Online Paper. 2005. (7 April 2006).

*2 Boehm, Carola. “Between Technology and Creativity, Challenges and Opportunities for Music Technology in Higher Education.” Shared Visions Conference. 2002. (7 April 2006).

*3 Mitchell, Helen. R. “Straddling the Intersection” Crossings; eJournal of Art and Science. December 2003. (7 April 2006).

*4 Mark Carroll. “What is Music Technology.” Lecture presented at University Adelaide, 6 March 2006.

*5 Mark Carroll. “What is Music Technology.” Lecture presented at University Adelaide, 6 March 2006.

*6 Robins, Tristan, Louth. “What is Music Technology.” Lecture presented at University Adelaide, 6 March 2006.

*7 Barkin, Elaine. Brody, Martin. “Babbit Milton.” Grove Music Online. 2006.§ion=music.01645 (9 April 2006).

*8 Palisca, Claude.V. “Theory, Theorist. 14. 20th Centaury.” Grove Music Online. 2006.§ion=music.44944.14 (7 April 2006).

*9 Griffiths, Paul. “Varese Edgar” Grove Music Online. 2006.§ion=music.29042 (7 April 2006).

*10 Jordan, Robert. “Truax Barry” Grove Music Online. 2006.§ion=music.44096 (7 April 2006).

Picture References (In order of appearance)

#1 "Stephen Whittington" Adelaide University Elder School of Music. 14 July 2005. (5 March 2006).

#2 "Tristan Louth Robins" Milkcrate Session 6 picture. 24 March 2006. (5 May 2006).

#3 "Mark Carroll" Ben Proberts blog. 30 April 2006. (5 May 2006).

#4 "Milton Babbit" Seamus online. 1 April 2006. (5 May 2006).

#5 "Edgar Varese" Karadar Classical Music. (5 May 2006).

#6 "Barry Truax" SFU Barry Truax (5 May 2006).