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RE: What it means to build vs. play...

> From: Andre LaFosse [mailto:altruist@earthlink.net] 

> Rick and dcoffin's comments make me want to put this thread 
> into a slightky broader perspective...

Nice post, Andre! Since I'm also myself a musician that loves the feel
of an old and well crafted instrument (or two of them, but not too many
;-) I read your post with my smile broadening with the perspective ;-).
But to me you seem a little too biased towards holding the EDP, Max/MSP
and Reaktor as being only instruments. There are also musicians that
would never narrow their personal ways of musical expression to
"instruments", since they are constantly refining their art "mentally"
by manipulating different combinations of structures, in fact sometimes
by asking "what if". One example of this point of view, that comes to my
mind, is an old friend and band mate of mine that came to a concert to
check out what I was up to these days. He did not know about the
Repeater and the EDP so he asked me after the gig how we created "those
looping sequences of the sound from our instruments". When I told him he
said: "Oh, so it's nothing new then. You're just doing what the old
generation of composers already did with pen, paper and some maths - but
you guys use the machines to carry out the calculations for you". I was
so amazed that he did not find it remarkable at all that we were doing
it live, in real-time! To him there were no instruments used on stage
except for guitar and saxophone. My point though, is that a person well
experienced in this craft of music theory and its application for a
personal artistic expression can walk into a wide open system with
billions of possibilities, like MSP or Reaktor, and use what he needs to
refine his own vision. For him it might make perfect sense to spend
years in the bath tub reading manuals without ever touching physical
instruments. And when he finally will begin to realize his ideas as
sound waves it might sound very mature. 

All the best