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RE: the diatonic-chromatic-noise paradigm

Another interesting letter, Kris. Although I love what I have heard of your stuff, your story  reminds me of how many other people's pieces intrigued me with their written descriptions and interviews with their composers, but when I heard the actual music, it did not resonate with me in the least. (No, I'm not talking about anybody on the list, guys and gals!) There's a lot of stuff that sounds good in theory only.
I have found this to be true with both pop and avant/loop musics.
One silver lining is that even if a certain piece turns out to be a total yawn, I often get inspiration from the interesting description of that piece and the process by which it was created, and I then try to create something that actually lives up to the promise.
Yours in Herbert Eimert (NOT BORING!),
----- Original Message -----
From: Hartung, Kris
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
Sent: 7/18/2005 7:21:15 AM
Subject: RE: the diatonic-chromatic-noise paradigm

I know, it's crazy how far, complex, and off the deep end one can go, yet still do something that might appeal to world.  I supposed I could learn how to play the guitar, but finger every single note up or down exactly 1/4 of a tone, just to keep busy for another 10 years, yet make music that has some popular appeal. 
You make me think of something someone once said to me about my music that made me step back and re-evaluate what I was doing artistically...and it applies to looping and improvisation.  It has to do with the "process" involved with creating music vs. the just the output by and in itself. It must be how peoples' brains work when they try to understand music, but I have met some people who are only interested in the nature of the final sonic output of a composition, and not "how" or the process by which it was created.  For example, one of us in this discussion group could create a totally improvised looping composition that has multiple layers and take several minutes to build, or someone else could possibly have created the same composition, or something very similar, by writing out all the parts in advance, scoring it out, and then recording it via traditional multi-tracking technology. In contrast, someone could use some compositional method to create a piece of music, one that involves some complex mathematics or playing approach, and someone else could possibly perform a similar piece off the top of their head with no methodology. These are extreme examples, of course, but for me, the process is very important, just as important as the emotion that arises from the final output, and has a lot to do with how I frame a piece of music and understand it.  Others are more interested in how the final output makes them feel....they are not interested in the non-tangible aspects of the final song and how it was created, as if that doesn't really add anything significant to the final output...that has to be added or tacked on  "conceptually" to the composition by the listener, and factored into the evaluation. I think that is really interesting -  how people combine inherent and non-inherent characteristics to define an object....it can get so wonderfully complicated and fuzzy, and generate all sorts of contradictory conceptions of things...I love contradictions, anything and everything that forces us to re-evaluate the so-called truth of the matter. 
In any event, if I recall my interaction with this reviewer correctly, I was raving about the process by which I created some tune of mine, and the other person basically didn't care...it was all about the final output...they didn't like it (how it made him/her feel), and no amount of information regarding "how" the composition was created would change his/her feelings. I don't think there is anything right or wrong with this way of thinking/feeling...it is just a facet of the diversity of human emotion and the thought (or lack thereof) that goes into liking music.  Again, I think it is just how peoples' brains are wired. I have to remind myself of this frequently when people try to understand or react to anything I compose that involves looping and improvisation. Some people just aren't concerned with the process of the composition, but the inherent properties of the composition itself. We can't force or obligate anyone include the non-intrinsic characteristics of a a piece of music in their emotional judgement of the music. And if you think about it, if someone, many years from now (or an alien from another world) were to find a CD that had a bunch of our looping music on it, but there was no literature that explained the process by which we created the music, all this being might be have to base their affinity or lack of affinity with the music IS the output itself and the raw, intrinsic characteristics of the music. We wouldn't have the luxury of them knowing how we created the music to appreciate the process and hard work involved in that facet of the composition.  So it appears to me that there are intrinsic and non-intrinsic characteristics that we can pack, or not pack into a concept that defines a piece of music....or any "thing" for that matter. Sometimes we grow so fond of the non-intrinsic characteristics of music, that we begin to believe ourselves that they are really intrinsic properties of the music... or at least we talk in a way that implies this; whereas philosophically, we can't really maintain this position. 
Thanks for providing the spring-board for me to wander, Monica. :)

From: Monica [mailto:coolintensity@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 4:06 AM
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
Subject: Re: the diatonic-chromatic-noise paradigm

,,,or get hip to some Slonimsky and start infra-inter-ultrapolating -
both symmetrically and asymmetrically! And don't forget to invert those
varied interval dodecaphonic progressions!

"loop.pool" <looppool@cruzio.com> wrote:
Kris Hartung wrote:

"Because I've grown weary of pretty....I've played diatonically for the
last 25 years as a guitarist.... part diatonic blended with "outside" in
the last 5, and now I'm pretty much thinking chromatically when I
improv....no key. It's just a personal quirk of mine at this point in
the game. Who knows, maybe in another 5 years, I'll be playing noise. :)"

Whatever floats your boat makes me happy for you Kris, but I do want to
point out that with over
a 1,000 Indian Rags and hundreds of exotic world music scales, let alone
just scales, microtonal scales,
and found scales, etc. there are a lot of different places to go out there
in the world of constrained melodic and harmonic systems.

I can't even keep up with the geniuses at the Music Theory tribe at
tribe.net with all their discussions of different
systems to investigate.

"pretty" only relates to a couple of the greek modes in western
harmony..................................lydian, for example, is far from
pretty. It is bittersweet
with a touch of melancholy to my ear and emotions......................add a
flat 7 to the scale and you are in a different and exotic emotional universe
altogether. It's just one of those Rags.

I guess I'm saying that there are other continuums to explore besides the
"diatonic-chromatic-noise" continuum which seems to me
to be a typical paradigmatic trap in western music.

with respect, Rick

Asgard Guitars
"guitar technology for the new emerging edge..."

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