Saturday, January 8, 2011

Why I am not anti MIDI

I am publishing this as a retraction of sorts. I want to clarify that I am not anti MIDI or event to some extent quantization. However, with a lot of the new technology that is available I fear the technology will dehumanize. The use of technology for electronic music has always been around but many of the early works of electronic music, such as those of Karlehintz Stockhausen, were wondeerful experiments in using technology to explore sound. They were not at all de-humanizing but rather a exploration of how the human person encounters sounds and their organisation in music.

I am very much a technologist I just fear that it becomes follow the leader even if the leader is not all that talented. Kesha is a great example in my mind of the abuse of technology at the service of a creating music that is little more than a form of glitter to sell an empty musical box to a subculture.

What do I like? Well, obviously from my last post the Wavedrum. But I also like some products that might surprise people like the Tenori-on. Why? Because it humanizes sequencing again by putting variations in sequences at the thumbs of the musician. It's both creative and playful.

I also like the Eigenharp although the expense takes it a bit outside my range. I see it as a very expressive electronic instrument. I like the Haken Continuum because it breaks away from the pitch bend/mod wheel domination. There are more products I could mention but I use these as solid examples.

What I try to do in my own music is go back to a more experimental time in electronic music before the domination of the drum machine and the dance beat and the glitter and find ways to use technology to create art that allows technology to be a tool of the human person not the focus of the art. I even want a Octatrack to use it in a way that is not intended for and perhaps break the de humanizing trend.

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