Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Those Who Make Sound

I have started this blog for a two main reasons. First, it will act as an open journal for all of the musical happenings in my life and career. Secondly it will serve as a vehicle to explore the philosophy of sound as art as a whole. I will use samples of my current and previous works as part of the discussion, and in doing so, will provide a deeper insight into my creative process.
I’d like to start by posing a few questions that have been on my mind lately:
When does sound become art?
Are all of those who make sound also making art?
Does sound need to be organized, edited, and polished for it to be counted as music?

Every day while living our lives, we all experience a constant barrage of sound:

Our alarm clock, our footsteps, the door, the water running, automobiles in traffic, the radio, a squirrel in the brush, those who say "good morning", the clacking of keyboards, the infinite wealth of music available to be streamed directly into our ear buds...sigh

In the vein of the last question listed above, I actually have another question that if addressed may help provide a little bit of insight. 

Does the time spent editing, refining, and polishing the sound directly correlate to the level of legitimacy of the art?

Here is an original idea. Using multi-track recording on Pro Tools, I tracked the original line on electric guitar, and added additional layers only after refining my performance before each take. 

This track is 3 minutes and 20 seconds long, and took me around 8 hours to complete from start to finish.

Here is the same original idea. This time (about 7 months later) I played the idea into a Loopy HD on my iPad, and developed the idea through live improvisation inspired by the guitar loop. Every sound on this recording was laid down in real time. I was able to instantly record, loop, and mix all the different sounds I felt inspired to make.

This track is 45 minutes and 25 seconds long, and took me around 47 minutes to complete if you count set up time. 

Because of the time I spent methodically assembling the first example, is very clean and precise. I enjoy listening to this piece of music a lot. The second example is not very clean or precise, but has a lot of very interesting moments that probably would not have happened if I had spent as much time redoing all the “bad takes”. I enjoy listening to this piece of music a lot too. 

Again I ask, does sound need to be organized, edited, and polished for it to be counted as music?

Please contribute to the discussion by leaving your comments (in time) directly on the SoundCloud players above.