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Music + Electricity = Electronic Music

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by

Roy Magnuson

on 9 February 2017

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Transcript of Music + Electricity = Electronic Music

Music, Technology, You, and Me!
World War II, and the insanity of Hitler, made all of this possible!
What is the difference between
Before tape was requisitioned from Germany, the Allies had records
but, to quote the immortal words of Dr. Ian Malcom in Jurassic Park...."life...finds a way."
Pierre Schaeffer 1910 – 1995
French composer, writer, broadcaster, engineer, musicologist and acoustician
In 1948, he composed the first piece of "music concrete"
that is, music composed entirely out of pre-recorded sounds.
In this case, it is entirely sounds of a train
without tape, Schaeffer had to create loops and layers by starting and stopping various record players and then mixing down the signal to a master disk.
etude aux chemins de fer
this brings up an important point
First, some historical context
what this music thing is...is being freely creative.

but what does that mean?
What is creativity?
Bringing something new into being.
How is creativity?

What do creative people do?

What are they like?
The great paradox of creativity.
Paradox?
Less is more.
Everything I say is a lie.
The paradox is:

You must limit yourself from creating
everything
in order to free yourself to create
anything
.
We imagine creativity as this open ended experience.

It is not.

Music is (to
me
) any sound or sounds that one perceives to be organized.
So, music and technology?

What creative limitations exist for
you
to make music?
ONE of the most important limitations (in a good way!) is
The good news is the industry is adapting to the changing world.
Another important limitation is:

What does one use? Where do you start?
You can make concrete (like the train piece!) with your phone and a laptop...and the internet.
Step 1: Record some sounds.


Step 1a: Record a BUNCH of sounds.
Families of sounds:

Wood sounds. Metal sounds. Glass sounds. Long sounds. Short sounds. Pitched sounds. Vocal sounds. Animal sounds.

etc.
Step 2: put these sounds on a computer and organize them!

This is so important! It will become...difficult to keep things straight if you don't!
Step 3: download some software!
Categories!

Wav/Sound editor: Audacity
External apps:

Paulstretch: Hyper-stretcher
Audio Hijack (mac only): record any app on your computer
IXI Quarks: granular synthesis program

Breaks up the sound into little bits and rearranges it on the fly!
Step 4: Play with your sounds in Audacity.

Like a kid.

Make bad choices.

Save your bad choices.

Repeat.
Step 5: Assemble your stuff in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation!)

Protools, Logic, Garage Band (kinda), Cakewalk SONAR are all "pro" DAWs.

Protools is available to rent (9.99 a month)

Logic is $199 (Mac only)

SONAR is somewhere between $50-$100.
This is where you can layer your sounds to create composite gestures: sounds on top of sounds on top of sounds.
Demo!?
You are not trying to make art.

You would not expect to give a concert on an instrument the first time you pick it up.

This is no different.
MuLab is a free one!
Soundtrap
is free AND has sounds included AND is browser based!
Questions? Thoughts?
Algorithmic Composition/Live Coding

Many programs - one of which is developed at U of I (Grace)
http://sonic-pi.net/
Full transcript