Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Performing, Composing and and Musical Tools

I was not sure what to title this blog but I thought I would get off a quick blog this morning to comment on a quote of Mark Mosher:

"I'm simultaneously composing and arranging for live performance with various controllers."

While I know that Mark was simply commenting on his days activities, it struck me that music technology has brought us to a new word where the old paradigms simply don't work anymore. I think back to the movie Amadeus when Salieri asks Mozart's wife for his original transpripts of his music. Upon looking at them and realizing that they were without flaw with no corrections and changes, Salieri responds that he wants the originals upon which his wife explains that those are the originals on which in shock, Salieri drops them on the floor.

For Mozart, music was something that was all inside his head. Mozart could write a work for an entire orchestra by hearing it all in his head and when he wrote it down, there was no difference between the visual representation and the music that musicians would latter perform.

I can't do what Mozart did and I suspect most who write music can't. Composing is a process full or starts and stops, edits and mistakes that in time, make for what one would hope is a composition worth listening to.

But now we live in different times and the tools that musicians/composers have at their disposal today are far different than the harpsichords, musical instrument and quill and paper that were the tools of Mozart's musical trade.

Last night, I was perusing two books I recently purchased. One was on polyrhythms and the other on rhythmic illusions. I was thinking about how I was going to use these to create music on the Tenori-on. Now I am not a drummer nor have I had any great talent in creating complex rhythms but with the Tenori, the ability to see and hear at the same time, a complex rhythmic pattern had now become accessible. Even real time modification of this in a performance environment became possible.

I also think of how much Ableton Live has become talked about more than any other DAW. Part of the reason is in the very name "Live". Live provides and environment where much like Mark Mosher's work, composing and arranging blend into live performance.

Adriene Lake has also commented in one of her tweats how she had all these snipits of music flouting around in her head but not sure who composed them. Ableton's clips allow us to categorize these clips and modify them and arrange then in new ways.

For me, see musicians/composers living in a wonderful new world of music where the lines between composing, arranging and performing are being blurred but I see that as something positive not negative. Who knows what great music that musicians/composers/arrangers can make when they cross the streams and make way for a new music.

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