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Old 03.31.2007, 03:50 PM   #1
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I was reading The Wire and reached my breaking point with these terms (used to describe music/musicians). In my mind, to call a musician a "sound sculptor" is the worst kind of insult. I understand why they find them useful, but the mere idea of "sound art" leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

????
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Old 03.31.2007, 04:17 PM   #2
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What about sound installations - architectural spaces and reproduced sound?


(This is noumenal).
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Old 03.31.2007, 04:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. PoppinFresh
What about sound installations - architectural spaces and reproduced sound?

Edit: Actually self, that's not what I'm referring to. I'm just talking about a certain way of making or composing music.
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Old 03.31.2007, 04:31 PM   #4
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I find using terms like this is (sometimes) so much more apt to the subject.
Someone like... errrrrrr.... Wolf Eyes. They're not just taking normal sounds and 'playing' them. They are creating new sounds and totally fucking them into submission, making something totally (I swill say "original," but it's not exactly what I mean) original and... unheard of. It's nothing short of sculpting the sound to the way they want it.
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Old 03.31.2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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Anyone who creates music is sculpting sound the way they want it. I just find that in cases where it seems appropriate to call someone a sound "sculptor" or "artist," their music seems to be missing something essential and defining about music. An interconnectedness in time is missing--it just comes off as juxtaposed static chunks.
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Old 03.31.2007, 09:37 PM   #6
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i think it has to do less with music than actual sounds in the sense. i definitely wouldn't consider some of the things i read about in the wire as music.
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Old 03.31.2007, 10:15 PM   #7
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Old 03.31.2007, 10:18 PM   #8
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Old 03.31.2007, 10:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noumenal
I was reading The Wire and reached my breaking point with these terms (used to describe music/musicians). In my mind, to call a musician a "sound sculptor" is the worst kind of insult. I understand why they find them useful, but the mere idea of "sound art" leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

????

to trivialise an artform that falls within a musical sphere but is not music just because you don't like the term is ludicrous. and just by saying "the mere idea of "sound art" leaves a bad taste in my mouth." would say to me you have never experienced an sound installation because you only seem to like music. i myself don't like the term sound sculptor but it is in no way an insult. the art of sound installation and seeing / hearing them in galleries is akin to looking at a painting and one can create new environments for people to experience through sound. perhaps you just need to learn how to listen and not simply hear.
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Old 03.31.2007, 10:55 PM   #10
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Sound sculpture is not the same as musicianship. Get a grip.
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Old 03.31.2007, 11:24 PM   #11
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Blah, you've missed my point. And the comment about my learning to listen and not simply hear deserves no response, but... I make a living out of listening to music and plan on doing so till I retire or die. It's laughable that you think you can preach to me.

I admit that I have a penchant for absolute music and that I'm not as big a fan of visual art, but that's beside the point.

So, my dislike of the terminology stems from a deep mistrust of the form and isn't a cause of anything. I don't actually mean to suggest that sound installations are uniformly bad (or bad at all); in fact, they're not really the issue. For the record, Prof. Poppinfresh is ME and I was bored. I thought everyone knew this, there was a big thread a while ago about me changing my name.

There's no reason that the music (and it is music - I have a wide umbrella in my mind) in sound installations can't be fabulous music and the whole a great work of art, and that's why it doesn't really factor into my point. A sound installation could have any kind of music good or bad. It's actually a musical problem that I have--the combination of music with other art forms is not the issue. The Prof. Poppinfresh aside was a red herring and a JOKE at that. Get it? Sound art?

Anyway, to make my point clearer, I don't like the terms because while they're useful (aptly describing a certain kind of music that undeniably exists), the terms imply that simply saying "music," "musician," "clarinetist," "drummer," "composer," or whatever doesn't suffice. The musician (usually electronic music it seems) is creating music, "sculpting" sound, in a way analogous to the way an artist works.

The term signals to me that I won't like the music very much, and that kind of terminology has indeed been used in the past to denigrate someone's music. Boulez described Messiaen's music this way, but he has since lightened up of course. I don't like the terms because I think they encourage this kind of music making. Just call them what they are: musicians making music.

So again, to recap: I'm actually referring only to music. Sound installations are beside the point, becuase the musical content can be anything. I'm sorry if the little Poppinfresh joke caused confusion. The music I'm talking about is frequently electronic, but doesn't have to be. The technique is usually some sort of juxtaposition or endless exposition with no consideration for musical rhetoric or logic. I am less likely to like this music. Calling a musician a "sound sculptor" is an insult. Calling music "sound art" is an insult. The use of these terms as simply descriptions annoys me. It's a personal preference, yes, but I hoped that this would blossom into a musical discussion, but all was side-tracked into the world of sound/art, rather than sound art (if you know what I mean), which wasn't what I was getting at, but it's my fault. I can't expect everyone to know about the Prof. Poppinfresh thing and to get my meaning in a couple sentences + a red herring.
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Old 04.01.2007, 12:02 AM   #12
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I guess if it's just a compositional technique, then my point kind of falls apart. But my feeling is that it's also a style/practice and not just a technique.
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Old 04.01.2007, 12:06 AM   #13
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Yeah sorry about that listening / hearing thing it was a bit harsh...

Can you post the wire article???

There is a great difference between music and sound art / design, however they exist in the same realm, and sound installation does not neccesarily have music, but sound and sound effects.
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Old 04.01.2007, 12:16 AM   #14
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It was several reviews that got me thinking. I'll try to go back and find them, so I can see what the original context was.
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Old 04.01.2007, 12:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swa(y)
sound art is a beautiful thing man. sound sculpture is hopefully the future of music.

In a lot of ways, music has always been about shaping and sculpting sound. Musicians just have so much control over every aspect of sound now and reproduction lets them use any sound they want. So, like I said, it's not about these new techniques or resources (which excite me too). A style has arisen in noise/electronic/etc. that I have problems with, though.
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Old 04.01.2007, 12:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swa(y)
just out of curiousity, how come you have a problem with noise? electronic music?

I don't. I find both very exciting and that's why I have strong feelings when it comes to stuff I think is going in the wrong direction.
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Old 04.01.2007, 12:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noumenal
In a lot of ways, music has always been about shaping and sculpting sound. Musicians just have so much control over every aspect of sound now and reproduction lets them use any sound they want. So, like I said, it's not about these new techniques or resources (which excite me too). A style has arisen in noise/electronic/etc. that I have problems with, though.

I can agree with this to an extent, but just because everyone has an idea of what they want to sound like does not necessarily mean they are completely focused on attaining it. The whole "sound sculpting" paradigm is based pretty much on completely losing the "music" aspect, and instead focusing on "sound." A perfect example is the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. They would search for perfect sounds (though untimately, end up creating a song, or sound effects), not using musical instruments, but found objects and mechanisms.
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Old 04.01.2007, 01:02 AM   #18
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Read my book when it comes out. But seriously, I'm too tired to address those questions right now. Maybe later. Maybe a new thread where people can lay out their aesthetic systems. What makes good music? I'm signing off now.
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Old 04.01.2007, 02:17 AM   #19
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"Sound Art" that sounds great:
http://waxidermy.com/2006/02/17/chro...jacques-lasry/
 
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Old 04.01.2007, 05:15 AM   #20
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yes, sound sculpture is a ridiculous term
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