Thu, 06 Jul 2006

Experimental Electronic Music.

Denis Crowdy the convener of SLUG's Audio Music Special Interest Group has informed us of an upcoming performance here in Sydney by Nick Collins, author of BBCut, a beat chopping library (under the GPL) for the Supercollider (again GPL) audio synthesis and performance engine.

I always attend events like this with a great deal of optimism. Sometimes I am rewarded. Other times my reaction is along the lines of this review I wrote for some friends about an event I attended in 2004.

Hey guys,
You didn't miss much last night. Three guys performed.
The first had a guitar lying down on a table being fed through a laptop while the guy dropped things on the strings of the guitar and bashed the guitar body. Extremely "fucking tedious.
The last guy had a whole pile of stuff going on with some external controllers hooked up to an iBook. The main result was some really crappy sounding digital distortion. If it wasn't for the guitar guy I would have called this extremely fucking tedious. The presence of the first guy elevated this to merely "fucking tedious".
The second guy was significantly better than the other two. He started off with noise running through a resonant filter with the occasional echoing bleep and bloop. After about 5 minutes of this he brought in some stuff being manipulated by one of those Nintendo-like data gloves. This was border line interesting.
At no time during the night did I hear anything from the performers that was rhythmically, harmonically or melodically of any significant interest. The thing that made the most impact on me was the fact that I'm pretty sure that given enough time to develop software/ideas/whatever, I could have done significantly better even within the confines of being "experimental". In fact, I know I have created more interesting results with a guitar, a fuzzbox and a digital delay.
I'm glad I went and would probably go to another event like this because I think the chances are good that other people performing at events like this should be able to do so much better.

I hope I can make it along on Sunday.

Posted at: 22:18 | Category: Music | Permalink