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[ARSCLIST] Are we at the end of the road musically??

I too have been pondering this question and the following is my personal opinion which should be taken as nothing more:

I believe that one of the two main keys to creative invention in today's world is technology. Much like the electric guitar fueled rock and roll, and sampling technology fueled hip hop, the new "music" will be or currently is affected by the technology of it's time.

Currently there are a plethora of advances in computer based electronic music that are based on micro-editing of audio, sound mangling plug-in programs, computer based random influence, and module based dsp.

The extremes here continue to un-define the term "music", and head strictly toward sound manipulation much like avant gard music, which dis-associated itself from the musical "rules" leaving nothing but pitches, inappropriate chords, and floating time signatures.

Before you think to dis-credit computer music, because it's not played live, think of Musique Concrete, and it's contributions. Also, using control surfaces, most of the computer programs used can be played/edited in real time. One program called Ableton live, allows for real time composition, real time playing, AND real time mixing.
The other main key to creative invention comes from creative direction. 

As for musical (or any other) styles, they're always the possibly of new combinations of old thoughts (Retrospective). Genuine new ideas (innovations), either happen slowly over time only to be appreciated when comparing the end result against the beginning, or they happen completely accidentally.

My favorite two examples of this are the artwork of Mondrian and Pollock's.

Mondrian's later work, which almost everyone is familiar with is typically 3 colors and a few black lines on a white canvas. It's Brilliant. But where did this thinking come from? Mondrian himself started painting as a Realist, then moved to Impressionism, then eventually to Minimalism. It was a life long span of continuing to obscure his painting a little bit further each time.

The other example is Pollack. He developed his most well know style almost by accident. By changing the position of his canvas (lying it on the floor) he found a new way to apply paint.

So what do this mean?

As much as I love both acoustic and electronic music, I can't look to a group of humans playing fixed pitched instruments to give me anything beyond a retrospective recombination of past styles, for the following reasons.

1) Humans need money to live, and developing fringe music as a group doesn't pay the bills.
2) All the notes have been used up. Mid-century avant gard and free jazz addressed almost every viable way to play, mis-play, combine, and destruct western music. 

Just as well, I can't image a way that a computer by itself, even with advanced AI, would be able to repeatable produce something of value without a human involved.

Therefore, I look to humans exploiting cutting edge computer programs (possibly combined with traditional instruments) to provide the "next" musical revolution.

Don Andes

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Roger and Allison Kulp
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2006 12:18 PM
To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CD versus Download was "All hail the analogue revolution..."

You don't know how much I think about this,but I am beginning to wonder if we are at a point where everything has been done already.
                       Roger Kulp

Steven Barr <stevenc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
   I'm waiting for some new musical form, as different as rock'n'roll was to bland fifties pop, or swung to the sweet, Lombardo-ish dance sound of the early thirties, or ragtime to the sentimental ballads of the Victorian era...to anything that has gone before. So far, all I have heard are old ideas relentlessly recycled.
But...IS there anything left that won't repeat what has already been done?!

Steven C. Barr

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