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Brian Eno back catalogue

2003-12-29

I got a mail from Enoshop informing me that several Brian Eno CDs has been re-released at All Saints Records.

While at it I also checked out recent news at EnoWeb:
- Robert Fripp is bloging
- Eno and Fripp are currently collaborating on a new CD.
- There’s a lengthy Eno interview in David Whittakers memoir on the cybernetician Stafford Beer.
- Enos recent lecture for The Long Now Foundation is now available online.

Technique

2003-12-26

The development of music is more dependent than any other
art upon the development of its technique. A truly new idea – at least as musical
history reveals – is hardly imaginable without significant changes in musical
technique.

A. Schoenberg: Problems
of Harmony
. 1934

MIDI

2003-12-26

We no longer think of the history of cinema as a linear march toward a single
possible language or as a progression toward perfect verisimilitude. On the
contrary we have come to see its history as a succesion of distinct and equally
expressive languages each with its own aesthetic varables and each closing
off some of the possibilities of its predecessors.

Lev Manovich: The Language of New Media p.8.


During DEAF’03 I bought a 3
CD collection of early electronic music
. One of the recordings that really
astonished me was Clara Rockmore playing “Valse Sentimentale” by Tchaikovsky
on a Theremin. The expressive quality of this kind of performances has since
been more or less lost in the further development of electronic music.


There has not been a lot of attention drawn to the 20th anniversary
of the MIDI protocol in January 2003.000 Even
if the development of MIDI as a standard for communication between musical devices
has been one of the major inventions of electronic music ever it leaves a lot
to be desired. The MIDI protocol is modelled after one of the instruments that
offers the least interaction and expression the organ. The most basic information
of the MIDI protocol is “note on” and “note off” messages.
Once you’ve programmed the synth to use a certain sound the ability to further
interact with the sound during performance is minimal: When to start when to
stop and also how hard to hit the key. Once the key is down there’s no further
possiblities of changing or moulding the sound.


The MIDI protocol provides some additional messages for expressive
means (breath control after touch expression). The problem is that except
for a crude joystick controlling pitch bend and vibrato and a single fader
hardly any keyboard provides additional support for continuous controllers.
In addition manipulation of continuous controll data is physically detatched
from the keys used to trigger the notes. This is very different from the way
you are able to mould the sound for the total duration of the notes when playing
violin flutes or singing.


Audacity

2003-12-22

Discovered Audacity an ****** source sound editor available for Mac OSX Linux and Windows and spent some time checking out. The complete manual contain some tutorials that might provide quite useful for film producers as it also discuss how to do sound production for movies.

On the downside I’ve noticed:
- Audacity permits only one audio clip per track. It’s common that editors can only play back one audio clip per channel at a time but most of them permits several clips in sequence.
- VST plug-ins has to be copied to the Plug-ins folder. It would be neat if Audacity could check the Library/Audio/PlugIns/VST folder as well. Most programs supports this on OSX.

It still looks promissing and I’ll try it for a while.

4 days in Oslo

2003-12-19

Just back from 4 days in Oslo working with the theater ensemble Verdensteatret. We’re currently developing a new performance to be premiered at Black Box Oslo 3rd of March next year.

Rehearsals and development will go on more or less continously for three months December through February. Earlier this autumn we traveled to the west coast of Greenland to do research for the production and stayed for about 10 days in Illuliset in the Disco Bay area and then sailed southwards along the coast to Nuuk.

In September Verdensteatret did a workshop at BiT Teatergarasjen in Bergen as part of the Autunnale contemporary music festival. The workshop involved almost 40 artists and art students mainly members of Verdensteatret art students from the Academy of Fine Arts composition students from the Grieg Academy and artists connected to BEK. The workshop resulted in a two hours event. Two Tibetan monks creating a Mandala in the middle of the room became the point of gravity of the workshop and event. At the end of the event the Mandala was destroyed and the sand poured into the ocean.

Verdensteatret went on to perform Tsalal in Reykjarvik and Beograd and also did a workshop in Beograd. I did not take part on these two trips.

The different journeys and the workshops will become points of departures for the new production.

 
 
 

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