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Re: Playing an instrument versus building an instrument

I completely concur.  Sometimes I feel like exploring the technology, but
for the most part I like doing so for the purpose of providing a new canvas
for performance, or composition.  After 23 years in the PC biz, I pretty
much hate contending with technology in front of anyone.  How much more
satisfying to just sit down and PLAY, yes?

Steve Goodman
* EarthLight Productions
* http://www.earthlight.net

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rick Walker/Loop.pooL" <GLOBAL@cruzio.com>
To: <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2003 6:46 AM
Subject: Playing an instrument versus building an instrument

> Andre sent this in for our consideration:
> --------------------
> "Software instruments never stop changing, never stop offering up more of
> those infinite possibilities we're always hearing about. Compare the
> situation with, say, playing an acoustic guitar. Years of practice are
> necessary before you really begin to discover the hidden potential
> inside that rounded box with six metal strings and a hole. But right off
> the bat, software instruments - especially modular ones like Max/MSP and
> Reaktor - provide a dizzying number of powerful effects.
> This makes it easy to endlessly tweak your material rather than to
> accept the constraints that partly define the act of composition. And
> this is particularly true when you can tinker not only with the sound
> but with the virtual machine that makes the sound.
> "There are two approaches you can take with your music software," says
> Gerhard Behles, who quit Monolake in order to run Ableton full-time.
> "One is to consider your tools as fixed. The other is to control the
> tools themselves. That gives you a much bigger lever. But it can keep
> you from ever doing music again."
> Joshua Clayton programs for Cycling '74 and remains captivated by the
> nitty-gritty processing available in environments like Max/MSP. Clayton
> also has concerns about the aesthetic attitude that such programs can
> produce. "I find that people who use Max and similar programs often
> aspire to be the god behind the universe, to come up with a formal
> system that's completely under their control. Some people can't wait to
> get everything inside the computer so they can generate some kind of
> utopian music that's all contained within the machine."
> **************************************************
> This is fascinating stuff to ponder and I can see the dangers in living 
> the software environment and , indeed, no many artists, who
> never even produce any music for people because they are trying to stay 
> top of the expansion of software that is continual.
> I, however, also sense a wierd sense of deja vu recalling the judgemental
> response of many 'old school' acoustic guitarists when
> encountering Les Paul's first experiments with that new fangled 
> technology called the magnetic pickup.
> Thank God, Dre' (for your fascinating music) that you went with the
> instrument innovator's approach.    If you decide that you never want to
> anything but keep exploring a non-processed guitar through an EDP or two,
> more power to you.  I know you'll create
> really cool music with your approach.
> It doesn't have to negate an artist who just can't wait to get and master
> the latest mangling plugin software.     Two different instruments.  Two
> different musicians...............Viva la difference!
> Peace,   Rick