Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I Went To A Music Technology Symposium Part 3

Nino Auricchio and Paul Borg sat side by side with their modular synthesisers, twiddling knobs and sliding faders to produce gentle burblings, plinkings and bloopings from what Paul called the 'third era of electronic instruments'.
He told us that using computers to make digital music made him feel as though he was doing his accounts or his homework; he loves it that there is no screen attached to these old synthesisers. His oblique feelings were articulated almost poetically:'This takes me back to somewhere that I was, and that I've never been... we are creating performance rather than typing in performance data'. They have to do analogue things, like synchronising the clocks of the machines, keeping them at a constant temperature to stop them de-tuning, and closing their cases carefully so they don't jog the wires and make the sounds completely change.
I liked this.
The Orpheus Institute presented an almost metaphysical discussion in which they proposed a random trust in technology's ability to imagine through music. Just as I was imagining the wind blowing a voice away, they put up a slide saying that 'Music is literally inconceivable without technology'. It was an absorbing talk, but in my head I was arguing all the way through.
Anat Ben David said that the most sophisticated technology we have is our own body and our own brain; external technology creates a loop that makes us fold back on ourselves. This made me think about the way that everything that artists make is an attempt to create some sort of mirror that we talk to, while simultaneously trying to escape from our real reflection. Anat had  little box. I wish I knew what it was; she told us that everything she did came out of this little box, much like Pandora's.
Sadly, I had to leave before the end.
Here is Kris Halpin. Stay with this video; it's brilliant:

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