Thursday, December 10, 2009

Music Works: Deconstructing the Record

One thing I've noticed about contemporary music, whether it be popular or more of the academic idiom, is that people have been searching for new ways to not only compose the music, but search for original ways to use instruments (or any other medium that is able to produce a sound).

In this article it speaks of how three particular musicians achieve this by using old record players and phonograph's to communicate their art. Vinyl has always been used to produce music, or play music that has already been produced. Than at some point in the latter half of this century people reinvented the way in which it was used. People began to use vinyl to scratch, in particular in the hip hop and club genres. It was a new sound that became very popular, and it kind of died out again.

The group "vinyl interventions" has taken this a whole step further. They not only scratch, they used broken records, they use different ways of producing sound from the records (i.e. using a sewing needle attached to a microphone inside of a paper cone).

After reading this article I went online to hear some of their music, and it was very surreal. The timbres they use, a hitting, scratching noise. I was impressed with this amount of creativity.

It also reminds me of some of the more popular music I already listen to, some bands that are more oriented in the genre of "noise rock", Artists like Chad Vangaalen and the band Holy F***.

Chad Vangaalen incorporates a lot of electronic noise, created by pitch bending, and using unuaual instruments in a new context. What I like so much about him using pitch bending is the unpredictability in that form of music production. He often takes childrens toys, and rewires some of the cicuits to create a short circuited loop or noise that he will construct a musical idea around.

The group Holy F*** are similar, although they have more control over the music they create. They use toy keyboards and other various things and run them through various effect pedals to base drumbeats around. The effect again is somewhat surreal and the timbres generated are totally unique and new.

There seems to be a movement towards more aleotoric processes of composition amongst a number of musicians and composers these days. Also, there is a lot of experimentation with new ways of generating sound with older mediums. In today's age, it's no surprise that people are resorting to these older things to find new uses for them, it's the recycling era after all.

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