Sunday, 2 January 2011

Do you have to feel?

I'm really enjoying my course at University. However...

A lot of the composing tasks entail composing Electronic Music.

Creative Music Technology.

The course title kind of suggests it really.

The thing is that I've never really listened to much electronic music. There are elements of it in the music that I do listen to, but it's very rarely a piece set within the Electronic Music genre. - So needless to say, I'm finding composing in that genre quite difficult.

I haven't yet found an Electronic piece of music which really makes me feel something...I enjoy Brian Eno's ambient music, but it's not a style that I'd like to compose in.

Last night I decided that I'd look around some Electronic Music forums, trying out recommended artists to find some inspiration. Whilst browsing I came across a thread with the title 'most emotional piece of electronic music ever?' - which appealed to me...so I clicked to enter.

A few people had posted suggestions which I listened to, and then I scrolled down a little more to find this...

'I don't really think of music as being emotional, but I like this piece...'

...and it made me think a bit. I've never thought of music as being separate from emotion. I like a piece because it makes me feel something. I don't have to identify that emotion to be able to like the piece. It's just a little something inside you that is ignited by a certain sound.

(I was wondering what people think about this...emotion not playing a part in defining your listening choices...)

So far, that little something inside of me hasn't been ignited by any piece of Electronic Music...and I think that's why I'm finding it difficult. Because I haven't been able to connect with any piece emotionally, I feel like I'm walking around without any sense of direction.

The fact that I'm pretty much a beginner with the equipment and compositional technologies doesn't help me much.

I guess that all I need to do is practise and keep listening...

I've been thinking of doing my more creative electronic stuff under a different name...and I was wondering - please would it be ok for you to help me find one?

Just as an idea, here are few electronic artist names are...

Chicane
ATB
Aphex Twin
Deadmau5

I don't know...what do you think?

xxxxx

29 comments:

Larry said...

Sounds like a plan, Holly. I am not capable of being much of a real music critic though.

One electronic piece that stands in my memory, and you might check out, is Daphnis et Chloé (Bolero) (1980) by the great Japanese electronic music composer Isao Tomita. The piece is not easy to forget, lol. Classical has always been an important part of my musical life at any rate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isao_Tomita

Yes, whatever feels right to you is probs a good plan. That feminine intuition is a hard thing to beat, lol. Good luck! :)

me said...

I love Popcorn by Hot Butter ~ brill ;-)
What about AITCH for a name ~ for a couple of reasons ~ lol!

Larry said...

The name is (imho) something that is personal and meaningful, therefore, I must digress, lol.

BTW, here is Tomita:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SgsQ4aiIfA

Larry said...

Oops! The link above is the wrong one. Should have been this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDKVX6_BCXY

Trevor said...

Hello Holly , your post seems to have arrived late but it's a lovely , intriguing post nevertheless :) Music without feeling , what's that ? A deliberate arrangement of sounds but to what purpose ? And what about lyrics ? Are they not to be an integral part of the experience we have when listening to some pieces ~~~ and yours' especially ? ' Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast ' ! Not if it's without feeling it doesn't ! Four minutes silence on a record does nothing for me and neither does electronically generated sound without meaning . It's nonsense !!!
Music has always had both meaning and purpose ; they are quintessential characteristics !
This is not to say that you shouldn't experiment of course --- that's an entirely different thing . As far as names are concerned , what about :

WightOn
Eclipse
Sunspot
HKM
BlackHole
Sizzler
BlackOnWight
Meaningless
Compost
BrookeLine
NameThatTune
ThisCantBeForReal

I have a feeling this one's going to run and run , Holly, don't you ? :)

Trevor said...

Here's another thought , Holly : if you feel you're walking around without a sense of direction , turn on the Compass App on your iPhone and where the arrow points to BS walk as quickly as you can in the opposite direction !

Trevor said...

Here's some more :

LunaLanding
MeteorShower
Moonshine
Cosmos
VioletLight
VioletMoon
Lady Starlight
Electronic Lady
TinkerBell
Wightiswright
Guinevere
Tinkerling
Victoriascomet
Keyboard Wizard
Saturnsrings
Braindead !

Trevor said...

Oh yes , I forgot : AITCHBOMB ! !

wolfgang said...

It's sooooo long ago. My first experiences with electronic music I had with these nice guys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y1x04hAUT4

I have been always ambivalent about electronical music. It's in my opinion often too 'pure', too sterile, too constructed, but I love the way how Anja Plaschg handles it, dirty and sometimes brutal:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXnQzrTD_rY

often combined with piano:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B75PGFrWvFo&feature=related

Names, names, names...

Viola Copperfield, Finely Wight, Struck and Stray 5, Luxurious Anger, Bride on the Bridge, Alpex07, Summerhill Jail, NeXttoY, Sussex Greenhouse Orchestra, Maze Odyssey, Limits to Oath, Van Diemen's Sparrow

wolfgang said...

Others:
Navis Aurea, Riddles reset, Lunatron,
Zeitzone Eins, Vertical Wave, Fluid Icon, Flashmob Industry, Tuned Deep, Moon Enveloped, Folia autumnalis, Axiom of Inverness,

Uncle Tim said...

I think you should go with whatever you feel happy doing (and calling yourself). Most of all, I don't feel that you should worry about it too much. If you enjoy it, or the challenge, great. But as far as your course goes, electronic music composition is surely only really important anyway if you plan to do something with it in the final year? You should perhaps focus on whatever you think you'll get most out of.

Sis said...

How about IV for a name?

As in Holly and Ivy? Or alternatively being plugged in to something life-sustaining? xxx

me said...

It's a shame that electronic music is compulsory and not a choice subject ~ just do your best ~ you'll get there in the end :)

Trevor said...

As usual , mum has it absolutely right !

Can't resist one more suggestion :what about , Tinker's Belle ?

David Ruben said...

Vangelis, whilst mostly known for instrumental works, has written highly emotive pieces - the most stunning, IMHO, is from his album Heaven and Hell with the uplifting quasi-religious experience I feel to "12 O´clock". His then wife Vana Veroutis leads on vocals
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6eFcCL-Ync&fmt=22

David Ruben said...

Sorry markedup wrongly - try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6eFcCL-Ync&fmt=22

xenonrush said...

Happy Christmas and New Year everyone. Better late than never. Been a bit busy and overlooked my blog viewing.
Never sure when I am asked whether I like electronic music I am being asked about the process or the product. Electronic music as I understand it is music that is made using electronic technology rather than electomechancial equipment.
My earliest recollection of true electronic music is the theme tune for Dr Who although Telstar by The Tornados which came out a year earlier sounds electronic I think it was a crossover between electronic and electromechanical. I remember we had a religious nutter teacher who got quite upset by Telstar because he said the organ shouldn’t be used for pop music. Sadly he was unaware that it was played on a clavioline.
As for the product, Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene was about the first large work of electronic music I heard and I really liked that and still do. A lot of music in films is electronic and used to great effect to stir the emotions but I don’t think much of that stands in its own right as ‘stuff to play on the iPod’. I listened to Larry’s track by Isao Tomita - Daphnis et Chloé and that sounds like film track music. If I didn’t watch the youtube video it left me cold. If I did watch the youtube video it reminded me of Love Story, the film where they should have handed out hankies for the ladies and sick bags for the men. In concert the only person I have seen doing true electronic music is Bill Bailey playing the Theremin. He’s quite clever with it.
I guess there’s a school of thought that thinks electronic music should be ‘music while you work’ for robots building cars.

As for a name for doing electronic music how about Sparky.

xenonrush said...

I think the main problem with electronic music for me is that most of it seems to be an end in itself whereas I like music as something that underlies a song. Preferably written by a talented singer songwriter.

Trevor said...

Hello Xeno ,nice to see you again. The concern I have with all of this is that there is either an over or quasi intellectualism in the air which makes people feel somewhat stupid or inadequate if they don't understand it. Many of course will say that they do, and that they think it's great , simply to avoid being seen as lacking the intellectual and spiritual capacity to be a part of an avant garde group whose very existence is predicated upon it's membership being limited to the self styled cognoscenti of the moment . The Emperor's New Clothes spring to mind as do the Tate Bricks and the intellectual nonsense of the author is dead stuff in literary criticism in the late '60' and '70's where you could come across such elegant sentence such as ' To what degree is the author a function of discourse ?'. Try and work that one out !
In all of these things there will , of course , be a kernel of truth , but it becomes elevated far beyond it's actual significance and / or buried beneath the dross of countless and useless PhD dissertations which no one but other aspiring PhD students will ever read .
Yours Sincerely , A Grumpy Old Man .

Trevor said...

PS I'm now going to listen to Holly singing Carrickfergus and Little One ( Holly's Lullaby ) to calm myself down .

xenonrush said...

Excellent Grumpy rant. It's great to be back.

wolfgang said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKs0fL2PwWk
The central question: Is art vitalizing or devitalizing? Nothing else matters.

wolfgang said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsnFvEQYJPU

Electronic music will not be able to surpass this!

wolfgang said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Rz1po-Oj0&feature=related

Uralt, aber immer noch schön.

ascom said...

"Wight On" (in two words) would be a fantastic name for Holly's electronic side project!! (Hats off to Trevor!)
The associations just keep rushing in the more I think about it :-).
(And it's not because it was the first (serious) suggestion being made, I've read through all of them.)

Now I have to listen through all the music samples before I can comment on the main subject of the post :-).

Larry said...

"Electric Violet(s)"

Graham E said...

Only if you call yourself ElectricHolly :)

Oh I don't know. Maybe we need to actually hear something experimental electric from you first to get a taste of what you have in mind. But then you're struggling to do that bit... Hmmmm

I'm still getting over your decision to go to uni instead of touring the country in a beat-up old car and travellin' from town to town cheering up the recession depressed souls of this land.

ElectricHolly? Maybe. Think of the lineage of electronic music [within the living memories of people who actually buy music]: Kraftwerk, ELO, Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, and that long haired bloke who lives in Camberley who's a Grumpy Old Man... and ask who's buying? Yes that's a marketing solution, but name anyone who doesn't have to make that choice - especially in a recession.

Somehow I don't think of electronic when I think of you. You conjure organic, violin, guitar... floaty light warm things, smiles, caring, original but respectful to tradition, yet complex and deep.

Electronic is... not really of this world, cold, without human emotion, deliberately other. However it tries, we always know there's no bow being drawn, no string vibrating and no hand worked wood reflecting.

The bagpipes can put a lump in my throat. Standing close to them is like going into battle - immune. The violin can make my mind soar like endless flight. A blackbird punctuates my summers with something timeless of England. A child's singing voice can bring a tear to my eye.

An electronic sound is possibly the kind of sound most likely to make me unhappy, other than the experimental jazz bloke I saw in 1985.

And anyone who says don't feel emotion when listening to music should definitely be studied by a few eminent mind specialists in the padded room of a secure unit... in my ever so humble opinion!

Graham E said...

Only if you call yourself ElectricHolly :)

Oh I don't know. Maybe we need to actually hear something experimental electric from you first to get a taste of what you have in mind. But then you're struggling to do that bit... Hmmmm

I'm still getting over your decision to go to uni instead of touring the country in a beat-up old car and travellin' from town to town cheering up the recession depressed souls of this land.

ElectricHolly? Maybe. Think of the lineage of electronic music [within the living memories of people who actually buy music]: Kraftwerk, ELO, Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, and that long haired bloke who lives in Camberley who's a Grumpy Old Man... and ask who's buying? Yes that's a marketing solution, but name anyone who doesn't have to make that choice - especially in a recession.

Somehow I don't think of electronic when I think of you. You conjure organic, violin, guitar... floaty light warm things, smiles, caring, original but respectful to tradition, yet complex and deep.

Electronic is... not really of this world, cold, without human emotion, deliberately other. However it tries, we always know there's no bow being drawn, no string vibrating and no hand worked wood reflecting.

The bagpipes can put a lump in my throat. Standing close to them is like going into battle - immune. The violin can make my mind soar like endless flight. A blackbird punctuates my summers with something timeless of England. A child's singing voice can bring a tear to my eye.

An electronic sound is possibly the kind of sound most likely to make me unhappy, other than the experimental jazz bloke I saw in 1985.

And anyone who says don't feel emotion when listening to music should definitely be studied by a few eminent mind specialists in the padded room of a secure unit... in my ever so humble opinion!

Bytes Back said...

Holly Said "...and it made me think a bit. I've never thought of music as being separate from emotion. I like a piece because it makes me feel something. I don't have to identify that emotion to be able to like the piece. It's just a little something inside you that is ignited by a certain sound."

Interesting you should say that, I dont see the point of a piece of music unless it stirs an emotion. It doesn't matter what the emotion is, whether happy, sad, or even angry, if it moves you, it will stay with you.

Now, you've heard about my daughter before ! I don't know what they teach in history now but she had never heard of the heroine of this song, but just listening to this almost Anthemic tune she knew she must have been someone special.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK5b5yB6M9o

I reccomend closing your eyes while listening to avoid having to look at the truly awful stage performance :)

I met Andy McCluskey at one of their concerts and he admitted at the time he felt uncomfortable on stage !