Wednesday, August 09, 2006


As previously mentioned - I'm currently battling with the laptop and a bunch o' wires to produce something approximating music to share with Mexico. EBP's generous loan of a Korg Prophecy (messing with my purist use of only things wiv strings) has opened up a whole new universe which I'm currently trying to expand to fill.
Basically I'm finding the whole experience (linked with the recent purchase of a loop station) has set my synapses alight (ie: I'm getting no sleep as I sit in my little nest of cables and flashing neon) as I go back and erase and overdub and erase and overdub until I end up with soundbeds that I feel would make interesting starting points for more polished 'compositions' (and I use the term very loosely).
What amazes me is that I end up making diagrams such as the one affixed to this post and that the simple act of pushing buttons twiddling knobs and pressing black and white keys in such a RANDOM fashion always seems to end up conveying remarkably precisely where my head is AT (to use the muso parlance hehe).
I LOVE the element of chance in making music. It's like lifeblood to my thought processes, and yet a circuitous path still sends me to the same destination as a rigorously planned one. How does this happen? What's more, I agonize over the 'credibility' of such a wayward methodology, yet I then hear a track like Peter Namlook and Klaus Schultze's Three pipers At The Gates Of Dawn (from Dark Side Of The Moog) which consists of ONE NOTE and I realise that I'm still TOO FORMAL. Confusing, or what?
Of course, I should now present examples. They will follow shortly. But trust me when I say that my subconscious seems to be stronger than my waking psyche. Way stronger. I'm in a dark space. But it's good...


Peter said...

don't get me started on this subject innit.

my theory is as follows. ahem. i think you're dead right about the role of chance at the initial 'push some buttons and see what happens' stage. but even then you're making judgements constantly as you reject some sounds, accept others and then chuck them together to see if they'll make friends (to paraphrase hatfield and the north). and it's those judgements that make up what (for a want of a better word) your 'aesthetic' is.

so in a sense it doesn't matter about the planning stage, because you make thousands of tiny decisions all the way throughout making something. setting up tour mixer and effects in a certain configuration is as much a part of the music as which notes you play; effectively you're designing new instruments every time you do it.

that's my theory and what it is too etc.

Chris Jones said...

wise words, mate...and actually quite useful too!
Of course it never occurred to me that this was what was happening as I twiddled.
I still find it almost miraculous that I can START with a very definite sound in my head, and yet when I finish I'm nowhere NEAR what I really wanted, but still seem to have drawn some map of my head. Your explanation makes it quite logical. The best thing about this methodology is that it liberates you from previous ruts (sometimes in very alarming ways. I'm starting to worry that I'm quite sick really ;-)) - or is it that as I get older, I'm somehow LESS shackled by preconceptions. That would make me, like, John Peel or summat! Surely shome mishtake etc...
Whatever it is, it's more fun than anything I've done in a long time. I doubt anyone would wanna visit tho...