Innovation Music In Progress James Smith

11th January 2017 - Introduction to the subject and the type of projects each of us can take. We looked at a passage from the book Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music, the passage was about The Futurist movement and their theories on where it is music should go in the future, they were against all forms of conventional music and felt the commonly accepted standard of music should change to a form of noise, making the argument that when the standard of music was thought up, the creators listening abilities would have been weak compared to the listening abilities of a person in the present, they felt that since now people have been around machinery, since industry started and thus their ears are now capable of withstanding the harsh sounds that they emit, due to this they feel that music should change because of this and become more harsher and unconventional, become noise . Seeing the theories of The Futurists has made me consider what is music? is there something more to it, can anything be considered music. Once we finished discussing the passage as a class, we moved onto practical work, to try and bring The Futurists ideas to life, by making noise and recording it, whether that be the slamming of doors, stomping of feet, feedback of amps, it all plays into the idea that music can be anything.

15th January 2017 - Working outside of class we were tasked with reading two different passages from the same book, two different people with different ideas on what music could be. Looking at Acoustmatics first by Pierre Schaeffer who was the original founder of musical genre Music Concrete. Acoustmatics essentially is the of creating music from different sounds and manipulating them so that they sound like an actual instrument, so creating new instruments through different sounds, specifically sonorous objects. He envisioned that the music would just be pure listening, identifying it is they are actually hearing and can they tell the differences between the original and the manipulated version of sound, as well as creating another form of music, Pierre quite the eccentric bloke, his theory of what music should be is far more out there then that of The Futurists which wanted noise to become music, Pierre wants sounds manipulated, he wants who ever is listening to ask what it is they are hearing and can it be identified. The second passage that was looked at was The Liberation of Sound by Edgard Varese whos philosophies are similar to that of Russolo of The Futurists he wanted to create new music that uses noises as the instrument, feeling that noises today are still at a "primitive stage". He wanted to create a machine that produced sound and not reproduced sound, the machine would create it's own sound as it played. Of course he has faced criticism for his beliefs some accusing him of just wanting to cause the destruction of all instruments and performers, which would be more like something Russolo would want. He goes on to say that what we deem in the west to be music may not so in countries around the world, he praises the coming of electronic devices, although he understands that giving someone an electronic device it will not necessarily always create good music but gives the artist more freedom.

16th January 2017 - For my own creation I have decided to attempt a Soundscape album, I have already purchased a Zoom M1 microphone that I can carry around with me to record the environment, the plan is to record both sounds of the city/town in England and then go away to Japan and record the sounds of their cities and towns, aiming to see if there is a contrast or not between the two different countries. The trip to Japan is already booked beforehand and will be taking place in March so in mean time the recording of locations in England can be done. Not only have I got an idea for what i wish to do during this subject, but the recordings that we did last week of different noises that we recorded, I put something together than has turned out rather strange but different that something conventional.

18th January 2017 - Bring forward background/harsh sounds that were pushed away by the conventional music making methods, eradicating the traditional instruments due to human ears being now perceptive to harsher noises due to industry boom, which restrained humans ability to focus on one or two sounds at a time. The art of noises tries to bring back the natural ability of the human ear to assimilate background and harsh noises but through composition. Things that originally implied danger to the human ear

Ocisslators: They generate the sound from the synth

Envelope: is the shape of the sound wave

Amplifier: Is the volume/gain booster

Filters: Can cut out certain frequencies

Modulation: Like an effect, it can alter the shape of the sound wave

22nd January 2017 - Looking through the texts that we were given to read for next lesson, firstly looking at Electronic and Experimental Music by Thom Holmes which looks at the different types of electronic music that had emerged from europe, such as music concrete, originating from france created by Pierre Schaeffer who was not a musician but a radio engineer, he would then collaborate with Pierre Henry who was actually a classically trained musician, together they created music using natural sounds, electronic signals and instrumental sounds, this created more of an interest in the creation of electronic music thus creating electronic studios around the world.

Abraham Moles was one of these people that had an interest in Schaeffers work fascinated by electronic music, with the viewpoint of it being limitless. The both of them were responsible for creating one of the first handbooks dedicated for electronic music, it included catalogued sounds and how the tape was edited, what techniques they used to form the basis of Music Concrete. Meanwhile whilst the french were dabbling in Music Concrete the Germans were creating another type of electronic music, Elektronische Musik, who had seen Schaeffers work and decided to do their own thing with it, thus creating Serialism which like Music Concrete had its own set of rules that it must follow, it would be composed using a 12 stone system which meant the music lacked a tonal centre and avoided the use of familiar chords and melody structures, so it was highly organised process producing the music. All these different approaches to electronic music, spawned one of the early synthesisers the Melochord which functioned like one.

As time went on even Britain started to dabble in it's own form of experimental music through the BBC Radio Workshop, which was mainly used for the creation of music and sound effects for BBC programmes, fronted by Delia Derbyshire she would create pieces by simply drawing the waveform, one of her most famous pieces was provided the distinct sound for the Doctor Who theme. Another bit of reading, a passage once again from Audio Culture, this time the chapter Ambient Music by its pioneer Brian Eno, claiming the purpose of its creation was to have music that was surrounding and continuous creating a virtual acoustic space, something that would not exist in nature he wanted music to be a place to create an environment. One of his most famous records Music For Airports was influenced by him waiting in an airport listening to the sounds of the airport, which gave him the idea to create music that would represent the type of music that people would experience in an airport, being rather nihilistic he wished to make music that would prepare the listener for dying, granting them peace through the music.

Using the Microphone i bought for creating soundscapes, already I have done some recording towards my final piece by recording various sounds of traffic by sitting at a busy bus stop, such sounds are the squeals of brakes, hum of engines, the chatter of people.

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James Smith

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