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Re: more is less


From: "loop.pool" <looppool@cruzio.com>
Subject: LESS IS MORE (was Constraint of Randomness)

He pointed out that not unlike a car engine that won't run with too much 
or too little gas in it's carburetor, the human brain seems to function 
between  the tolerances of too much information or too little information.
This of course, changes slightly for each human being.

He said, too much information (double binds psychologically, extreme
emotional and mental stress,  overwork, extreme anxiety, et. al.) and the
brain will secrete endorphins to 'cool' down (or physically depress) the
amount of information being taken in and thought about.


As a jazz musician, this makes perfect sense to me, and I've been teaching
students this for years.  Everything musical exists between the two poles:

'South': repetitive, same, unified, comforting, cohesive, boring.
'North': through-composed, different, original, inventive, random,
(insert red-state/blue state analogue here, Americans)
Note that many possible connotations exist for either.

This can be applied to discrete elements of music: pitch, rhythm, harmony,
meter, meldoy, intervals, phrase  lengths, timbre, song form...
Applications of this, when in various hands, have led both to ambient music
and light jazz, to name but one quadrant of the galaxy.

This is also why too many chord changes or shifts in modality will prevent 
song from being a radio object.  It used to be MacArthur Park (form), Burt
Bacharach (phrasing), Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (form), Deacon Blues
(harmony), and Bohemian Rhapsody (form).  Now it's... (I don't know, I
changed the channel, it was boring me.)

Also, check out Miles from '63-'74.

I also believe that listeners can learn to stretch their acceptance of
these, just as musicians can stretch their ability to create them.

(wank, etc)

Kevin Brunkhorst
Antigonish, Nova Scotia