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Re: [microsound] Re: an interesting monolake answer

I realized what bothered me about this whole line of argument: It's
the assumption that the visual and audio are opposed. In reality, in a
good musician the two things are complementary. Some of the lines of
argument people take seem to create a false dualism, where I don't
think there's any real opposition.


On 12/19/06, Eric Lyon <audiodidact@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Nice thread, thus Robert's provocative statement must be respected.

> Visual representation of sound is evil.

Perhaps aural representation of sound is *live* ? Only Miles could tell us
for sure.

A defining distinction between BR (before recording) music and PR (post
recording) music is that the former requires a visual representation for
propagation, the latter does not. How much do we still need a visual
representation to concretize the musical conceptions we conjure in our minds
(for those of us who still consider ourselves composers)? I want to argue,
really not much at all anymore. In this regard there is an important
distinction between visual representation and abstraction. The latter is
inevitable in music conception since any musical conception I know of,
whether a tonal fugue or the decision to listen intently to the sounds
outside your dwelling, involves abstraction; if nothing else, then by virtue
of attention to the processes of auditory cognition. Abstraction is
indispensible but visual representation is not. The musical conception of a
piece that is implemented with Live can precede the software in a way that
an 18th century piano sonata conception could not precede the limitations
and affordances of european music notation. (Did Mozart ever complain about
not being able to write 1/4 tones the way folks here are complaining about
Live's loop-bias doing their heads in?)

As a side note, I nominate the optional nature of PR music's visual
representation as a key reason why the wackiest looking music scores show up
in the 20th century. Once freed from necessity, some people get looser with
the tool, or start twirling it around over their heads.


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