Creative Misuse and Abuse of Musical Tools
July 23, 2004 11:41 AM   Subscribe

Creative misuse and abuse of musical tools with a lot of examples
posted by ronsens (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What? Nothing about Alison Hannigan's flute in "American Pie"?

I apologize for this comment, and promise I will never do anything like it again for at least 24 hours,
posted by wendell at 12:44 PM on July 23, 2004

Is it me or is there not a single reference to Sonic Youth anywhere on this site? How can that be? A band so into misuse of musical tools that when a TRUCKLOAD of them was stolen it was said that some of their songs could never be performed again without specific instruments.

Maybe I'm being overcritical but how do you miss that?

On the other hand, John Cage! John Zorn! Kurtis Blow! Even a shoutout to those genius' of x-track tape, the Beatles. Other than dissing Sonic Youth, this is good.
posted by m@ at 1:00 PM on July 23, 2004

Very cool.

I think Christian Fennesz, referenced here, has succeeded in making some of the "prettiest" music using the glitch aesthetic without being too grating or atonal (well, for the most part). Some of it reminds me of My Bloody Valentine, minus drum machines or conventionally-played guitars.
posted by dhoyt at 1:03 PM on July 23, 2004

I second dhoyt's comments: fennesz's records 'Endless Summer' and 'Venice' are, you know, mind-blowing. I also love Dan Abram's (mentioned on the same page) Streams which is available on the generally great label Mille Plateaux.

Not mentioned is Taylor Deupree who writes a lot of stirring minimal gitch, or microsound as the kids call it these days. Duepree also runs the labels 12k and LINE.
posted by xmutex at 1:30 PM on July 23, 2004

Great post, thank you. Wonderful to be able to hear some early tape works. Good accompanying essay too, detailing Barthes' three types of listening as they relate to the "semiotics of wrong sounds."

Further writings on glitch, these by Kim Cascone (a founder of
The Aesthetics of Failure: 'Post-Digital' Tendencies in Contemporary Computer Music
Grain, Sequence, System: Three Levels of Reception in the Performance of Laptop Music
posted by Dean King at 2:26 PM on July 23, 2004

what an excellent site!
posted by Peter H at 2:33 PM on July 23, 2004

Derek Bailey is incredible. see also Loren Mazzacane Connors (released by YOD)
posted by Satapher at 4:32 PM on July 23, 2004

Sonic Youth were the first band of their ilk to make it big, but listen to early Glenn Branca (ie, Static and Theorhetical Girls) and you'll find their very obvious roots (not to mention Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, late Coltrane et al)

In fact Ranaldo and Moore played with Branca before the birth of SY, and it is said that he "introduced" them to alternate tunings.

Sonic Youth is jesus. But they're still pop as far as I can see... imho, middle eights made of noise doesnt put them in the same 'purely experimental' category as Cage.
posted by Satapher at 4:42 PM on July 23, 2004

Thanks ronsens, this is really a kick-ass intro. Brief intro followed by loads of well-informed listening choices.

Anyone interested in hearing more about how all this got started might buy or borrow the 3-CD set "Ohm-Early Gurus of Electronic" (on Ellipsis Arts). The technical experimentation outlined on OHM led to today's incredible ferment -- promising an endlessly diverse, sonic-rich tomorrow.

For the technically-oriented (bring your algebra), "Computer Music" by Dodge and Jerse is a helpful guide to general principles, as is "The Computer Music Tutorial" by Curtis Roads.

ANYBODY with a computer can play with and record this sort of stuff. True! There's tons of freeware / shareware to get started with.
posted by Twang at 1:49 PM on July 24, 2004

Great find. Thanks.

I have it on good authority that Autechre uses Max/MSP, among other things.
In any case, this pre AskMetaFilter thread is excellent.
posted by hama7 at 6:18 PM on July 24, 2004

« Older Riding Giants.   |   Fear is the mind-killer. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments