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making music
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aquanaut



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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2004 9:39 pm    Post subject: making music Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

everything becomes too technical...


the opening of "Rettic AC" by Autechre is wonderful


what makes it great?


i'm trying to analyse this without to much subjectivity...no it's not impossible.


we are having a little discussion here about why some recording does not sound like they should. i make myself clear... Confused a couple of album that i have are not reflecting what they are. you sense the intention but you don't hear it! before we made this kind of conclusion, rule number one was to listen to the music in a certain state. when we listened we had to look at ourselves. sound stupid...in another way. you had to converge all your attention to yourself first and then to the music.

some records penetrate you easily. while other fall off. they kind of land in front of you. the weird thing is it does'nt mean that those were not good.
we made the exercise with songs that we love.

my headphones are broken. you can only listen with one ear.

Nicholas






the weird thing was that some
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mosc
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great question. I don't know if there are answers that are TRUE. Music theoreticians, musicologists, and critics make livings trying to answer those questions. There have even been computer programs that analyze music and determine if it will be a hit or not. That doesn't mean much, not all hits are great.

Art and music have an ability to communicate with us transendentally, often non-verbally. When we are "reached", we know it. For me, there is usually a sense of mystery and wonder.

These are experiences that are difficult to verbalize.

I remember when I was younger, I was asking similar questions. I wanted to understand music. I felt that if I had some special knowledge and skill, then I would experience it better. So, I studied music, both formally and on my own. There was a time during this study when I was very unhappy, because my analysis mind was disecting and explaining every piece of music I heard by the theories and techniques I was learning. Fortunately, after a while, this analysis stopped getting in the way, and the sense of mystery and wonder returned, maybe even moreso.

Then there is the phenominom of not liking music that someone else really loves. Is the other person an idiot, or what is it that I'm missing? Sometimes people actually hate a particular type of music. I know different people who hate opera and rap. My take on this is that music has a very strong cultural idenity, and sometimes these cultural biases are very difficult to break away.

Still, having said all that, I think that there is some very small percentage of every kind of music that is "great". What is it about that music that makes it great is your question. Question
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paul e.



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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i work with an amazing drummer

if i were to take his sticks and hit a tom you would hear the usual

'bwooong' [or something like that hehe]

but when he hits the toms it sounds like 'bwoooooonnnngggg'

his stick hits produce a very rich and sonorous tom sound...

so what makes the difference between the two of us..

Question

i am not sure, but it is not mechanical or skill oriented because we both simply struck a drum skin with a wooden stick..

i think it is his intimate knowlwedge of drums..his LOVE for drums..his visions about drumming that add that extra element and depth into his simple mechanical action...

a note to all artificial intelligence philosophers and scientists who bring us wonderful emulations and synthetic singers

give up...there is no calculator large enough to encompass this energy

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djfoxyfox
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

paul aka sudden wrote:
i work with an amazing drummer
if i were to take his sticks and hit a tom you would hear the usual
'bwooong' [or something like that hehe]
but when he hits the toms it sounds like 'bwoooooonnnngggg'
his stick hits produce a very rich and sonorous tom sound...
so what makes the difference between the two of us..
i am not sure, but it is not mechanical or skill oriented because we both simply struck a drum skin with a wooden stick..
I propose that it must be at least partly mechanical. Your drummer knows how to hit the drum head; where to hit the head, the correct proportion between straight and glancing blow, strength of the hit, etc.
paul aka sudden wrote:
i think it is his intimate knowledge of drums..his LOVE for drums..his visions about drumming that add that extra element and depth into his simple mechanical action...
His love and experience allow him to know how to hit the drum. And it might not even be a fully conscious thing on his part. It might, in part, be instinctual.

Cheers,

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paul e.



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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dj foxyfox

there is no doubt that it is at least partially mechanical...

however, can we then assume that a robot could be configured in such a way to 'perfectly' physically hit the drum skin would also produce that same 'special' rich tone..... Question

i doubt it, but it is hard to prove.

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aquanaut



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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i had two major music lesson. the first one was with Wayne Krantz ten years ago. the last one was with my neighbor. he plays sax and guitar. technicaly speaking, he knows nothing about guitar and he don't want to know. he told me that, for his sanity, he needed to approch at least one instrument in that manner. his tone made an impression.

what makes the difference between the two of us?

the drummer imagine his tone and play accordingly...and he never thinks that he really knows how to play the drums.

me, i expect the tone to happen...and it gets a bit weird when the tone is in a sample or a synth and then OMS is saying "there is too much midi data...do you want to forget the port"

give me a drum stick
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jkn



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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
i think it is his intimate knowlwedge of drums..his LOVE for drums..his visions about drumming that add that extra element and depth into his simple mechanical action...


I liked this quote. It's not all of it - but it's a huge portion of it. Bill's addition of experience and the instinctual part - that's definitely another big chunk of it. Also, I just think some people are born with it - there's an inherent talent for certain things that some people have. Things that some people have more of a knack for than other people. I definitely think people can learn to play (or do) something - but some people are "just born with it". Then again, maybe that's what Bill meant when he said instinctual.

Back to the thread - it sounds like you're listening to songs in a different way. That can definitely be good. As long as you're enjoying it and it's not removing the love of the music by over-analyzing which can be easy to do.
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jkn



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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I should add to my born with talent comment - no matter how much talent you already have... it's not going to come out without a lot of experience and practice. Not that I thought anyone would argue with me on it. (actually I have a friend that doesn't believe in talent, but we disagree on that point...)
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djfoxyfox
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

paul aka sudden wrote:
there is no doubt that it is at least partially mechanical... however, can we then assume that a robot could be configured in such a way to 'perfectly' physically hit the drum skin would also produce that same 'special' rich tone..... Question
I don't think that we could jump to that conclusion. In theory, I think it might be possible, but I'll believe it when I see/hear it. Don't forget, this applies only to single drum hits. It would be a BIG leap of faith that a robot could do more than translate MIDI into specific movements. Talk about mechanical, the robot would also be LATE! Wink

Cheers,

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paul e.



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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jkn wrote:
I have a friend that doesn't believe in talent, but we disagree on that point...)


I'm gonna make a wild guess and say that this friend is very talented.

I'm gonna make another wild assertion about the drum hit thing: it's entirely mechanical. But let me elaborate. The complexity and subtlety of that mechanical event is impossible to control consciously so it's something that's controlled on a different level, perhaps an intuitive level. Intuition, love for the music, these things translate into inconceivably minute changes in the mechanical action. This resonates with the listener on that same intuitive level making it very difficult to rationalize.

I've heard 2 descriptions of what makes music 'good' (in the subjective sense) that really make sense to me. One is when it sounds familiar but you know you've never heard it before and the other is that the music is constantly on the verge of telling you a secret. The first description fits with the theory I just made up. Perhaps it sounds familiar because it hits something on an intuitive level that is processing faster than our conscious minds can analyze. I suppose the second description is another way of saying the first.
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paul e.



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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

noiseusse wrote:
Intuition, love for the music, these things translate into inconceivably minute changes in the mechanical action. This resonates with the listener on that same intuitive level ...



well said...but i wonder if the word 'mechanical' is the right one for this concept...because is 'love' a mechanical process ..Question

if 'love of drums' is not a mechanical process itself[but some other kind of process], then the act of hitting the drum really well cannot be entirely mechanical

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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

perhaps there is a place beyond the quark where the line between intention and action blurs
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

noiseusse wrote:
perhaps there is a place beyond the quark where the line between intention and action blurs


Wow! cyclops
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

well, you ever have that experience where you know exactly what someone is going to say at the moment they start saying it? You can sort of feel their intention. Same thing, but with drum sticks or a violin or a sample but the communication doesn't happen until the actual mechanical act.

Hmm...almost like the mechanical act is really a metaphor *wink* and if someones intentions come from a place beyond the mundane or physical realm, the act is just a doorway for the real communication. The act could be anything but usually it's something that the person is very skilled at so they don't even have to think about doing it, it just happens.
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paul e.



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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

noiseusse wrote:
The act could be anything but usually it's something that the person is very skilled at so they don't even have to think about doing it, it just happens.



yeah i think you hit on something there for sure..that makes sense...

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The Dan



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

love has only to do in the fact he will "know" how to do it, but people can love a lot of things and not be able to accomplish them like people that dont love them so much..just have Talent.

in the example of the performers view, if a person plays something on the piano, you can tape it and then reproduce it exactly the way he did, therefore, a robot CAN play exactly the way he did. The differenece is, a robot can NOT create music, or anything else for that matter, a robot can only obey, not follow instincts, inspiration or intuition. The farthest a robot can go, is to "make" music by combining random pitches and rythms following a certain order, but that would be just as writing the music down without having any idea how it will sound, it MIGHT sound great, but how far can it go... can it make a beethovens 9th? or a mozarts requiem??


No.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Life does not need to be understood to be lived.
I suppose music does not have to be understood either, but it still needs to be made and heard.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Dan wrote:
in the example of the performers view, if a person plays something on the piano, you can tape it and then reproduce it exactly the way he did, therefore, a robot CAN play exactly the way he did. The differenece is, a robot can NOT create music, or anything else for that matter, a robot can only obey, not follow instincts, inspiration or intuition. The farthest a robot can go, is to "make" music by combining random pitches and rythms following a certain order, but that would be just as writing the music down without having any idea how it will sound, it MIGHT sound great, but how far can it go... can it make a beethovens 9th? or a mozarts requiem??.


Well, people can create robots that make beautiful music. If Mozart or Beethoven were alive today, maybe they would be writing noodles instead of symphonies. I've heard some pretty beautiful and even moving noodles. Noodles are really robots that are built to play music.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah. I've made and released a few peices generated by bots and it's interesting and sometimes beautiful. I think it's a more general kind of creation. You just provide the raw materials and let the forces of order and disorder mold them. It's like the beauty of fall leaves on the ground except a little more digital ::)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've been wracking my brain & the web trying to find more info on a story a biology friend of mine told me.

In a nutshell, some bacteria cells were grown in a test tube. Now, these bacteria put out a certain chemical under certain hazadous environmental conditions. But it took some level of environmental hazard for this chemical process to begin. This chemical, in essence, protected the bacteria. Many bacteria die in the process. Drop the hazard in the environment, and the chemical production goes away.

Taking cells from the same culture, two different experiments were run in tandem. In one case, the environment was brought to a level below "hazard", but still enough to kill many bacteria, and no chemical was ever produced. The other test tube, hazard level was reached, chemicals were produced, and bacteria recovered. All hazards were then removed. Once a cell produces this chemical, it can do so at any time with any amount of environmental hazard, no certain level needs to be reached anymore.

Cultures were then taken from these two experiments. And again the environment was made hazardous. Progeny of the first experiment, were subjected to increasing amounts of hazard...many died until hazardous levels were reached, when finally they would produce chemicals for protection. Progeny of the second experiment were subjected to the same exact experiment. But none died. They already knew to produce chemicals. They had "learned" it somehow from their ancestors.

The odd thing, remember, is that ALL bacteria have the EXACT SAME GENES. Physically, all bacteria were proven to be chemically identical in every way. Yet, somehow, one set was able to learn a lesson from their parents. EXPERIENCE was passed from one generation to another without chemical interaction. The fellows doing the experiment received a Nobel Prize for their finding.


Just a little science regarding the blur between intention and physical mechanics...
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Genetically inherited memory, I hear that the same or similar applies to flatworms. I suspect that the team that mapped the human genome has just scratched the surface and that each individual gene contains as much information as the whole. Sort of like zooming in on a fractal image, or how a small fragment of a hologram contains the whole image. So our DNA may contain not only the info to make us as individuals, but the cumulated info for all individuals and species that have come before us.
Like when a continent becomes geographically isolated, say Australia for example, a small group like marsupials can expand and diversify to fill all the available niches. And as they do, they assume forms and sizes that have striking resemblance to other unrelated groups.

Oops, OT again sorry.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I hear it's also true for crystals. Big problem for crystals researchers because every time someone creates a new crystal formation it starts popping up in labs all over the world. So maybe it's not genes at all but something like the morphogenetic fields. Habits. And once the habit changes it's easier for it to change again because all the morphogentic fields are resonating.
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