Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'd Give It a Ten But You Can't Dance to It

I am writing this latest blog post to provide some impression, thoughts, conclusions and other such meanderings on what I experienced in Heugenot this year at the Electro-Music festival. I have been to the festival now for two years although I trucated my first visit. What impressed me the most about the festival is that I found a group of people who did what I do that is make "electronic music'.

"Electronic Music" has been around now for a long time but clearly defining what exactly it is is perhaps left to better philosophers than me. However, what was clear to me was that what I was listening to at this festival was not "dance music". If anyone came to the festival expectiing dance music and for example listened to Richard Lainhart would be sadly out of there musical element.

I am a would be student of Electronic Music history. I believe it has its roots more in classical music than any pop movement although the difficulty with defining it today is that is has been entrangled with pop and yes, with dance music. But the odd thing is that for the most part, those who write it don't write dance music. I know I am not making sense here but I guess what I am trying to say ever so badly is that while some people who make other kinds of music would call themselves electronic artists there is an "electronic music" that is a true genre however broad and ill definted. That genre is what I heard at the Electro Music festival and why I felt at home there. With people who where trying to do a version of what I do whatever that is.

A little side note here with a purpose. Its funny. I support and truely appreciate what music therapists do. They seem so together in clearly defining what they do to the point of having a certification process. I also appreciate the difference between therapist and artist and at times, I also find that desire to clarity everthing in music therapy a weakness as well. It seems closed in on itself and unable to benefit from other directions that might help expand it and allow it to grow.

No I come to the point of this blog. The "whatever that is" part. One thing that can be said of classical music is that through each era, each incarnation, each century there has been a way to define it. A set of methods, practices, ect. As music came to the 20th century, those practices began to dissolve. Despite the attempts of serialism, classical music took many different directions including it's spinoff, "Electronic Music", at least that is how I see it.

But now we have what? Drone music, space music, new age, krautrock, experimental, ok, i'm not going to give an extensive list but you get the idea. Defining what it is that we do is very difficult. But more than that, talking about it is even more difficult. If you want to talk about Bach you pull out sheet music. There it is. OK, sure, there is some degree of interpretation but for the most part what a classical composer composes is sheet music (to illustrate a point).

What an electronic artist does is programming, finding new instruments, finding new controllers, layering sounds, again, the list could go on and on. So where to we from here? I don't know but perhaps this blog is an invitation to some to start talking about what is is that we do as electronic artists so that we can pull out the electronic music equivalent of sheet music (at least metaophoricaly) and for the reall great music proclaim: "I'd give it a 10 but you can't dance to it" and so it goes...

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