New Concepts for Music And Sound – Part 3
It all seems like a labyrinth of questions and half-baked ideas, or the scintillation of a misled mind. So let me try to find the beginning of some threads, take them up and find my way through this maze like Theseus used Ariadne´s clew of yarn to find his way out of the Minotaur´s home. My Minotaur is my confusion and my uneasiness concerning my works with music and sound, and this time it´s not about using Ariadne´s thread to escape from the labyrinth, but to find the right way into it, find the Minotaur and kill him and stay in the cultural maze after having found at least some kind of comfort.
One of these threads - or better said: one of these beginnings, these first ends to take up – may be the question of randomness and chance in music, sound design and any kind of work with sonic phenomena.
Let´s realize what random and chance really are, what meaning they have in any kind of human productive activity. Random and chance are nothing else than the influence of the outside world, the world outside of my plan, outside of my compositional will, outside of my awake consciousness.
Opening a door to let random and chance in, to let them enter my musical composition, my process of designing a sound or making a piece of sonic art means letting the outside world taking part in my creative work, let them contribute to and having their share in my artful creations. When I derive the rhythm of a piece of music from the sequence of cars randomly driving by, then it´s the outside world, the technical and non-technical nature, the reality outside my studio that has stepped into my work demanding a seat in the theatre of my creative mind.
And it´s basically the same with random and chance in computer generated music and sound, as well as in music and sound made by modular synthesizer setups etc. Here it´s not the cars driving along the road in front of my house, or the number of people in the market square that are wearing red trousers etc. but the technical goings on in the computer or the modules which represent the world, the reality outside of and usually separated from my sonic works.
Letting randomness and chance in when composing, designing and sculpturing is an integrating process, means integrating the non-artful world in my artful creations, as well as reverse: making mundane and everyday goings on a piece of art.
The fundamental questions read: How much? How many? How often? It´s the relation of randomness and chance on one hand and planful compositional will on the other hand that I have to be aware of, that I have to adjust to the “right” (= consciously wanted) amount.
The software instrument “Ongaku” (by Giorgio Sancristoforo) seems a helpful tool to me. A helpful tool when working with different adjustments of this relation, while instantaneously creating new sounds (I´m writing an e-book – plus a lot of embedded videos – about working with Ongaku. You will find it in my bookshop when it´s finished.).
Another question, perhaps similarly basic, is: How can I limit the influence of randomness and chance once “the door is open”. It´s a strong temptation to just let things go their own random way, and call it !my random composition” then. This time it´s not my concern how to set the amount of influence “from outside” technically. No, this time I´m afraid about myself. How will I fight the mentioned temptation? Perhaps using old – but pioneering – tools and combining them with my high tech equipment my represent downlocks that prevent me from opening the door and then simply dreaming away. Combining the new and the old, combining the 1950s pioneers´ approaches and tools with my 2023 (hopefully also pioneering) approaches and tools may be a fruitful method.
… to be continued
Enjoy your day!
to part 1: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/503
to part 2: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/528
to part 4: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/542
to part 5: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/544