|Persona Digital |
Em4U Music for 21st Century
Under the title of Em4U, we are exploring electronic music production. The old category "Electronica" is really obsolete since all recorded music is electronic and performance instruments in all popular genres are now electronic. Progressive universities developed electronic music laboratories and computer geeks collaborated in new ways of music creation. We think that 21st century musicians should be schooled in acoustic physics, psychoacoustics, and studio technologies. 21st century musicians should be required to take an oath " I will never produce noise".
There were different schools of progressive music. Composers of symphonic works dabbled in new scales and dissonances; audiences expecting more Mozart and Beethoven were not pleased. Similar notions of scale experimentation emerged in modern jazz. Some performers left their audiences bewildered or offended mostly by long solos that wandered too long in the realm of dissonance and atonality. As synthesizers evolved along with computer composition (sequencers) all possibilities became possible. Algorithmic programs moved toward complexities that human performers could not match. Often, the innovations produced noise rather than music. An important distinction is easily forgotten: Noise is ugly and confusing. Music is informative and pleasing.
By now, very sophisticated digital workstations and computer programs provide an infinite palette for sound creation. The price of admission is not only the cost of equipment, but more important, the need for advanced understanding and skills. We would claim to have sophisticated understanding of sound production and of music theory. This advanced understanding does not translate easily into popular music, which is relatively primitive and repetitious. In this series we will revise old music theory and explore new possibilities for future music.
Transcend means to rise above and go beyond. The idea is that the music itself goes beyond preceding music and listening to this music helps you transcend whatever local concerns that might preoccupy you. I began to appreciate that the listener can be a very creative person in the mix of composer-performer-listener. The essence of healing music is not just a calming or soporific effect, but an opportunity for the listener to participate and create. This opportunity requires space between sounds, gradual transitions and nuanced understanding of the brain processing of sound.
Here are some examples.