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Re: Teo Macero "Modulations" Interview online
I found this read to be enlightening in a bunch of ways.....
Most of the response has been negative, but as usual, there's another side
to that coin...
Three disclaimers on Teo:
1. I doubt that he "really" meant that samplers were "terrible". He's
a plain fool if he doesn't realize that those tools are improvements on
things he started with. I don't think he meant what he said. I don't
he laughs at the tool, he laughs at the way the tool is being used. ANYONE
with $$ can buy one.
2. I don't put Teo in genius category, but he did do a good job of
implementing Miles' ideas. No Miles, no Teo, IMHO.
3. We'd say he definitely had at least a little sour grapes on "We did
things this way, and THAT's the RIGHT way" tack, but I think he's got the
credits to make that point. We'll assume that he's a little more
open-minded than he puts across in a few pages of interviewing. Miles
wouldn't have kept him around otherwise.
So, i tried to look behind that while i read...
He makes a few good points to keep in mind... He's emphasizing that you
have a CONCEPT of what you wish to communicate before diving into a bunch
tools. He puts emphasis on creativity, imagination, ideas, and spontaneous
creation. I couldn't agree more.
A really good thing that he does point out, is that he has a hands-on
understanding on how many of today's toys were originally built. He was
THERE at a time of the creative beginnings of lots of the boxes that sit in
our racks. Oh BUDDHA, what i'd pay for that kind of experience! I'm
but once you put a few loops together via tape and razor blade, you've
learned a few things, a few "intangibles" that stay with you. Back then,
they had a concept of a sound they wanted to get at, found someone to build
something, tried it...etc. Tried again....and so on. Nothing can replace
that kind of experience. Knee-deep in blood and guts, trying to solve that
Today, we've got it backwards. We've got umpteen choices, reverb, loopage,
sampling, etc. etc. All you need is a little $$ and voila!, you're a
"musician". But WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO? WHAT do you want to express?
you've got that, the choice of "toys" becomes more intelligent, more
"environmental-sounding" in the context of what you're doing. And sorry,
that's the HARD part. Usually, i limit my listening to the "masters"
(Tranes,Monks,Dolphys,Hendrixs etc. of the world), but as a result of
listening to this list, I've been checking out lots of other stuff. That'd
be my #1 complaint of lots of the "other stuff", it doesn't grab me,
it doesn't have that FOCUS.
i think his basic slam is on people who buy a box, twiddle a few buttons,
something "good" pops out, they go on and use it and become a "big star",
otherwise the "box" ends up at Sweetwater.com. i couldn't agree with that
The other salient point that he made for me, was that "it all happens
live". In this era of the "bedroom musician", precious little
DesertIslandDisc stuff comes out of a single bedroom. For me, at least,
majik of music, comes from that spirited interplay between people. Its the
intensity of communication that creates the FOCUS that we mentioned
above... Technology is a TOOL to enhance the focus and the communication,
which all leads to something that someone else would wanna hear.
Thanks fer pointing the article out to me, i enjoyed it....
Andre LaFosse wrote:
> The full transcript of Iara Lee's interview with producer Teo Macero (a
> brief excerpt of which was featured in the documentary "Modulations")
> can be found at the ever-excellent Perfect Sound Forever site:
> Two reasons why this is important reading for those on the list:
> -- Macero makes several references to looping the playing of the
> musicians he worked with and then integrating those loops into the
> productions he oversaw.
> -- He also makes a somewhat alarmingly high number of critical comments
> about the modern electronic movement, and sample-based music in
> particular, chastising it for lacking musicality and emotion. My
> reaction was one of reading an old man lamenting the fact that "these
> kids today just don't do it the *right* way -- like *we* used to waaaaay
> back when."
> I highly recommend the interview to any and all, and would like to hear
> other reactions to in.