inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #0 of 114: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 28 May 02 17:19
    
 Carl Stone builds his electronic music from natural sounds and 
 acoustic instruments, sometimes using fragments of familiar musical 
 pieces, electronically reproduced. He is a sonic purist who relies on 
 computer-based transformations to create a radical new way of 
 listening to what was once familiar.Stone and his Macintosh computer 
 operate the musical equipment in performances that are as interesting 
 to watch as to hear. Stone's works have been performed throughout the 
 world and his music can be found on C74, New Albion, CBS Sony, 
 Toshiba-EMI, EAM Discs, Trigram, New Tone, and other labels. A 
 catalog is available.
 
 'pict.soul' is a new CD on the almost equally new CD label, C74. A 
 duo-collaboration between Carl and Japanese composer and fellow 
 lap-top musician Tetsu Inoue, it was jointly realized while the 
 artists were on separate continents - ironically with Inoue in the 
 USA and Stone in Japan. Both artists specializing in sampling and DSP 
 intensive sounds, they sent materials back and forth by regular mail 
 and internet - the final product concatenated and released in CD form.

 Leading the discussion is Ed Ward, whose first piece for Rolling 
 Stone, back in 1968, dealt with electronic music (which he predicted 
 would play an increasing role in pop music -- pretty good, eh?), a 
 subject which has fascinated him since he saw Otto Leuning and Vladimir 
 Ussachevsky fail to get the huge Columbia-Princeton synthesizer to 
 produce a tone on live TV back in the 1950s. Although this was 
 practically the last time the pop press had any interest in his musings 
 on the subject, he's continued to pay attention, attending live concerts, 
 listening to records, and even riding in a float in Berlin's famous Love 
 Parade a couple of years ago. He lives and works in Berlin, where he 
 contributes to NPR's Fresh Air, the Wall Street Journal, and other 
 publications.

 Please join me in welcoming Carl and Ed to inkwell.vue!
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #1 of 114: Sanni Abacha (cstone) Tue 28 May 02 17:48
    

<tap-tap>

Is this mic working?
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #2 of 114: Berliner (captward) Wed 29 May 02 01:12
    
Hmmm, well, I can hear you anyway. 

Great to have you here, Carl. Of course, with you in Japan, me in
Berlin, and most of our readers in the U.S., "here" is sort of a weird
concept. 

But I've had the opportunity to play the new CD several times by now
and all I can say is, YOU CALL THAT NOISE MUSIC? 

No, no... But I, like most listeners, I suppose, am pretty curious
about how it all came about, and what it is we hear here. So a few
start-off questions. 

1) How did this collaboration come about? 
2) You said that Tetsu was in the US and you were in Japan when you
got going on this. Did you exchange files via e-mail? 
3) Then what? Who put the pieces together, and how? And on the CD,
where "are" you and where "is" he? Is it a simple channel-by-channel
breakdown? 
4) The label this came out on seems to exist mostly to promote the
software the company puts out, including Max/MSP, which you credit on
the back cover along with ProTools as your compositional tools here.
Could you explain what this software does, and if we can "hear" it
doing it on the CD?

That should get us started. 
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #3 of 114: Sanni Abacha (cstone) Wed 29 May 02 03:00
    

Nice to be here as well as there and everywhere. Kind of like making the
last album.

And nice to have you as my interrogator, Captain.

The collaboration came about after years of Tetsu and my saying "you know,
it would be great to work together sometime" to each other. Up until
recently, Tetsu didn't perform live much and I hardly record, so ity was
hard to find a platform. But when Cycling 74, the label, asked me to make a
CD for them, I decided to use the opportunity to rope Tetsu in to the
project.

This is the second time that I did a collaborative album with another
composer in which neither of the two parties ever met in the same studio at
the same time. The first was my CD MONOGATARI:AMINO ARGOT, which was with
Otomo Yoshihide. In both cases the means of file exchange was the time
honored system of snail mail. Although I had a snazzy T-1 line and was
itching to use it, Tetsu was stuck with 58K dial-up at his studio in New
York, and it just didn't sem practically giuven the file lengths we needed
to use.

MONOGATARI:AMINO ARGOT has a strict structure of exhange, where we passed a
according to a scheme and a schedule that was worked out in advance. With
'pict.soul' it was much more freewheeling. To start, Tetsu made
a piece using a sample of mine from a compilation CD put out in England,
adding some of his own ,materials, He sent this to me. I sampled from his
master, adding some materials from an earlier CD of HIS, and added my own
materials as well.

Tetsu took the lead most of the time in the first few weeks, as I was busy
relocating to Japan and had also broken my wrist. Later on I was able to
start more affirmitively. As to when to decide when a track was "done" I
would say it was pretty intuitive. We just knew.

There's no way to know which of us is which - even in our own heads
- because it was not a simple process like "I do a track, then you overdub a
part, and then I'll add something" We were constantly re-sampling, re-mixing
and reconstructing each others work. So it is not easy to say who is who,
and maybe not important anyway. Still some people have said that certain
sections or certain tracks have our individual imprimaturs, and I think this
is so. But you can't just tell by channel placement or any other technical
means.

And to answer the last part, Max/MSP is a programming language and not a
program per se, so it does not have a "sound" like some assembled software
packages might. It's interestingt, if you listen to each of the releases put
out by the company, all of whoich use Max/MSP, they all sound very
different. A testiment to its flexibility I think.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #4 of 114: Berliner (captward) Wed 29 May 02 09:54
    
Funny, because on the train to Amsterdam today, I read last month's
issue of Wired (which is the sort of thing train-travel is good for)
and the article there, "Songs in the Key of F12," has a pretty good
explanation of Max/MSP in it. Maybe someone will come up with a URL for
it if it's on line. 

So...why did you choose to work with samples? You started a while
back, ie, before sampling became as easy as it is today. What pulled
you in that direction?
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #5 of 114: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 29 May 02 10:22
    
Hi, Carl... just popping in with that url for "Songs in the Key of F12" by 
Erik Davis: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.05/laptop.html  Here's a 
quote:

"The hardcore, however, use more flexible applications that let them 
design their own instruments directly. The most legendary of these modular 
programming environments is Max/MSP, which got its start 20 years ago at 
Ircam, a highbrow music research lab in France. Max allows users to design 
data-flow networks that, among other things, can generate music. MSP is an 
extension to Max. It synthesizes and processes the sounds sluicing through 
those networks. Max/MSP creates these networks, called patches, mostly by 
drawing links between graphical objects that represent different 
processes. 'It's like a musical Erector set,' says Joshua Clayton, a Max 
programmer who records under the name Kit. 'From simple building blocks, 
you can build individualized musical machines.'"
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #6 of 114: Sanni Abacha (cstone) Wed 29 May 02 16:07
    

That's a pretty fair summary of Max/MSP, although some finicky historians
might quibble with the 20 year assertion - I think it's more like 17.
Anyway, I like Max because it allowed me once and for all to construct
music systems in software that did what I wanted musically, rather than
making me bend over backwards as I had been doing with other commercially
available tools.

Ed, you asked about sampling. It's true, my interest in using samples pre-
dates the availability of any commercially available samplers, or at least
ones afforable by mere mortals like me (the Fairlight and the Synclavier
were on the market, but many orders of magnitude beyond my budget). At
first I used tape recorders and radios in performance. LAter I developed a
performance system using a turntable, a stereo digital delay called a
Publison (made in France in the eighties) and a stack of LP records. Two
pieces of mine from that era ('Dong Il Jang' and 'Shibucho') have survived
in recorded form, although unavailble commercially for reasons of
copyright. If anyone is interested to hear them, I can make up a couple of
MP3s and post 'em on my website.

But I guess the answer to your question "why sampling?" lies in an anecdote
from my college days.

As an undergrad at CalArts, I had a work-study job in the Music Library,
which had many thousands of LP records in the circulating collection (this
was 1973). The collection included a lot of western classical music of
course but also a really comprehensive world music collection, avant-garde,
electronic music, jazz and more. Because the librarians were concerned that
the LPs, many of which were rare, would soon become unlistenable at the
hands of the students and faculty, my job was to take every disc and record
it onto cassette, a kind of back-up operation.

I was stationed in a windowless room in the basement with three turntables,
three cassette decks and a monitoring system that consisted of a mixer, amp
and speakers. My task was to just keep dubbing away, three LPs at a time.
This I dutifuly did, but along the way I discovered that I could monitor
the output of any of the recordings I was making and even mix them together
without disturbing the recordings.

So I began to experiment, making musical collages as I did my work, and
started to develop my habits of combining disparate musical materials to
serve as fodder for my own creative work. I did not think of it as
composing at the time, and I didn't even consider it particularly relevant
to the music I was making in the studios at CalArts (which was almost
exclusively 'pure' electronic music, not using any samples or recordings).
Only years later did I see the impact that work in the library had on my
own music.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #7 of 114: Berliner (captward) Thu 30 May 02 01:38
    
So as long as we're mining your past here, what was it that made you
want to be a composer, as opposed to, say, a rock or a jazz musician or
just a standard instrumentalist in the world of "classical" music? I
guess implicit in this question is the idea that there's a point in
your life that you have a general idea where you're headed and yours
was marked "making music." I realize this isn't something that some
people experience, but I always take it for granted, having figured I'd
be a writer from a very early age. 

Were you talented on an instrument? Were you caught by some piece or
pieces of music and thought "I've got to learn how to do that?" What
drew you to electronic music rather than composing for traditional
orchestral instruments or the piano? 
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #8 of 114: Sanni Abacha (cstone) Thu 30 May 02 04:51
    

I was not particularly talented on my first instrument, piano, and more to
the point I was unmotivated, at the age of five, to practice. Lessons were a
bore, but I jazzed them up by improvising the endings to the Bach and Mozart
pieces I was assigned to learn. My teacher finally got fed and told me "As a
pianist, your job is to play what's written. If you want to write your own
endings, you should become a composer." I didn't think much about that at
the time, but perhaps it sunk in at a subconscious level. I gave up on piano
a few years later and seemed to have more aptitude as a drummer as well as a
washboard player in a jugband. Still, in late high school I returned to the
keyboard, inspired by the likes of Michael Ratlidge, organist for the group
Soft Machine. I saw them open for Jimi Hendrix in 1967, Los Angeles and it
set me off in a new direction. I became interested iun electronics.
Synthesizers such as the Moog and the Buchla were just emerging. I went to
Cal Arts and it was then, at the age of eighteen or so that I considered the
idea of composing as an avocation.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #9 of 114: Berliner (captward) Thu 30 May 02 05:47
    
Avocation or vocation? The former means hobby...

Interesting, then, that your career seems to have grown up along with
contemporary electronic music: Moogs and Buchlas, and the availability
of machines like that to mere students. Were there a lot of electronics
to mess around with at Cal Arts? Did you have to learn tape editing?
And who were your early models in electronic music. You studied with
Tenney, but who were you listening to?
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #10 of 114: Sanni Abacha (cstone) Thu 30 May 02 17:35
    

Oops, right you are - I meant vocation.

CalArts was a kind of citadel for electronic music in those days. There were
three very well equipped electronic music studios in the music department,
plus rolling carts that were set up as mobile synthesizers. It was all under
the direction of Morton Subotnick, who was really my main teacher.  And yes,
good tape technique was part of the curriculum. Keep the razor blades sharp
was the motto at the time.. Barry Schrader taught the practical ins and outs
of using the equipment, and also taught a course on the history of
electronic music, which was very important for me. It was there that I first
heard Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier, Pierre Schaeffer, Max Mathews, Bernard
Parmentier and others.  We paid a lot of attention to Mort's music of
course, and I was also especially influenced by Lucier. His piece 'I am
Sitting in a Room' is a masterpiece in the way it unified form, content and
process.

There was so much music around CalArts western classical, African, Balinese,
Javanese, avant-garde, electronic; it was like heaven for a 17 year old kid
from the LA suburbs. Phil Glass came through with his ensemble around 1973 -
i had never heard of him before then - and I was completely knocked out by
the sound, the use of electronic instruments like Farfisa organs, the
repetition, the volume. And the great South Indian nardaswaram player Sheik
Chinna Moulana came through and gave an incredible concert in the main
gallery. That knocked me off my bonanza, as they say in Hollywood.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #11 of 114: Berliner (captward) Fri 31 May 02 01:32
    
So the question comes up, then, why cast your lot in the world of
"serious" music? Did you perceive this as the only way you could work
with electronics at this point? Did you have any thoughts of making a
living by doing it, or weren't those issues even on your radar at that
point? What did you see as long-term goals, if any, and how has that
perception changed since then? Do you think you've come a good ways
towards realizing those goals? 
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #12 of 114: (fom) Fri 31 May 02 12:28
    
I'm curious if electronic music is as nearly-all-male as it seems from 
the outside, and if so, do you have any ideas as to why that would be?
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #13 of 114: David Gans (tnf) Fri 31 May 02 14:01
    
is Suzanne Ciani still a factor?  I interviewed her in the mid-'80s, when she
was pretty happenin'.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #14 of 114: Sanni Abacha (cstone) Fri 31 May 02 16:59
    

I'm glad you put the term "serious music" in quotes, because I hate that
term. I considered what I was doing to be a furtherance of the experimental
avant-garde that was tied to and extended western classical music. Although
I devoured pop and rock in high school I was starting to lose interest by
1973 - partly due to my exposure to the many new forms when I went to
CalArts, but also because of the doldrums that pop music seemed to slip into
in the seventies. Anyway, "serious music" seemed to be the right place, and
in fact the only option, at the time. It was still a few years away from the
cross over break through of Phil Glass (And later Steve Reich).

I'm not sure what happened to Suzanne Ciani, she was active when I was
starting out but seems to have disappeared. I think she might be doing music
for film and television, but I'm not sure. Looks like a job for google. Yes,
the ratio of men to women in electronic music is still piss-poor, although
there are some stand-out exceptions (even not counting Walter/Wendy Carlos).
Maryanne Amarcher, Blechtum from Blechdom, Annea Lockwood, Ruth Anderson,
Joan La Barbara, Eliane Radigue, Laetitia Sonami, Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z,
Cindy Cox, Annie Gosfield come to mind immediately.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #15 of 114: Sanni Abacha (cstone) Sat 1 Jun 02 00:02
    

Not to mention Yuko Nexus6 and Sachiko M, both in Japan.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #16 of 114: Berliner (captward) Sat 1 Jun 02 06:06
    
I've done some searching of the want ads in my time, and I've never
seen a composer wanted ad. Which is by way of asking, once you got out
of college, how did you find work? Did you teach? How does an
experimental avant-garde composer get gigs? I know that back in the old
days, there were individual patrons, like Haydn had the Eszterhazys,
and then in our day, ensembles like chamber groups, string quartets
(Kronos being very big on this) and orchestras commission works. I
guess dance companies do, too. 

Also, once you graduated, I imagine most of your learning came
afterwards, simply because the hardware (and, later, software)
available for this sort of work improved exponentially -- I mean, just
compare a Mellotron with even an E-MU sampler for size and ease of
handling. Were you caught up in a big scramble to have access to the
sort of hardware you needed? How early did you adopt the computer as a
medium for composing? 

Maybe too many questions there, but have at it. 
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #17 of 114: David Gans (tnf) Sat 1 Jun 02 08:58
    


Off-WELL readers are invited to participate! Send questions or comments to
inkwell-hosts@well.com and we'll post 'em here.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #18 of 114: Linda Castellani (castle) Sat 1 Jun 02 14:46
    
E-mail from Brett Campbell:

Carl: I admire what music of yours I've heard, and one reason I do is
because it seems to try to get beyond the narrowly insider-defined genre of
"electronic music," which often seems to be more interested in geeky
techniques and sound textures than in musical communication. We have an
electronic music show on the public radio station here in eugene, oregon,
and it seems as though there's a split between this (mostly godawful) '70s
-synth stuff (see above) and the newer, dance-inspired stuff from '90s rave
culture, which seems to have broader appeal, although maybe originating
from the pop rather than -- Ed's term -- "serious" side. So my question is,
do you think the emergence of electronica and its various hydra headed
genres, including laptop pop (e.g. Bjork), signals an opportunity for
crossover success for composers, like you, from the classically trained
side of electronic music?
thanks,
brett
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #19 of 114: Sanni Abacha (cstone) Sat 1 Jun 02 19:48
    

Hey, thanks Brett. Well I think that on balance electronica is positive
insofar as it has expanded the musical vocabulary and the widened the limits
as to what kind of information and gesture people will call music. I also
think the emergence of what people call 'microsound'  - music that focuses
on the smallest detail and also uses error as material -  is positive.
Whether this augurs success for guys like me in the future remains to be
seen though. There's certainly a lot of hype behind folks like Moby these
days.

To take a stab at Ed's questions:
>how did you find work? Did you teach?

I decided early on that I didn't want to teach and I didn't want to do
commercial music (i.e. jingles or soundtracks). I also preferred to do
without a day job, if that's okay. So I got a P.O. box and waited for the
commissions to start coming in. A few weeks later a day job looked pretty
damn attractive, so I found myself driving a truck  for my Dad's company. I
quickly created Plan B: I would indeed deign to have a day job, but it would
be music related and outside of academia. It took a while, but I slid into
the role as first a staffer and then eventually the music director at KPFK,
the Pacifica station in Los Angeles. IN 1982 I left the job in order to
start up branch of the organization called Meet the Composer in California.
I ran it as a part-timer while building my own career as a composer. That
too eventually ended as my own creative work demanded more and more time.
Somehow I made it all work through a combination of touring, commissions and
grants, and I always felt proud that I was able to survive - sometimes just
barely - as an independent composer without any academic affiliation or
Hollywood soundtracks on my resume.

>Were you caught up in a big scramble to have access to the
> sort of hardware you needed? How early did you adopt the computer
>as a medium for composing?

Well, from 1982-85 or so I had a very specific set-up, namely a turntable
and a Publison, the French stereo digital delay that I had made 'my axe".
But in December of 1985 the Publison was stolen in an outrageous burglary at
my home in Los Angeles. I decided to use the insurance money to try
something new. MIDI had recently emerged as a technology, sampling
instruments like the EMU were affordable, and the Macintosh had arrived. I
decided to give things a whirl. I bought a Prophet 2002, a DX7, a Mac Plus
with wow! 256MB of RAM and went to work. FAced with a tour just a few weeks
away, getting my feet wet, staying up night after night and writing those
two hours of music was one of the most intense and rewarding experiences of
my life. Most of those pieces have been retired now, but Shing Kee, which
came out on my first CD "Four Pieces" and also was re-issued on "Moms" (from
New Albion) still gets played a fair bit on the radio and has been used by
several choreographers.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #20 of 114: Berliner (captward) Sun 2 Jun 02 03:30
    
Now, Brett's gone and opened a topic I wanted to get to here. The
world of electonic music these days is very amorphous. In a blindfold
test, it'd be hard to tell, a lot of the time, whether you're hearing a
"serious" composer or a "pop" performer. I've certainly seen you in
both contexts: a "serious" show in Nagoya, and a non-performing
situation with a pianist presenting a piece you'd composed, and then a
club all-nighter in Kyoto and the show with Min Xiao-Fen here in Berlin
at Die Insel. I've played your stuff for a club-hopping dance maniac
friend from London, and he whipped out his notebook and wrote down the
name of the record immediately (it was "Mom's"). I've also played it
for people with no background whatever in this sort of thing and it's
appealed to them. Isn't it possible that there's a new kind of audience
out there that doesn't care for the labels and is just attracted by
the music? Have you ever been approached by someone who wanted to do a
dance remix of one of your pieces? If not, how would you feel about
that. Come to that, what kind of a gig do you prefer, something like
the Nagoya sit-down, art-museum-auditorium kind or the kids standing
around with beers and digging the scene kind? Given the choice between
the two kinds on the same night with the same pay, which would you
choose? 
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #21 of 114: Sanni Abacha (cstone) Sun 2 Jun 02 18:16
    

Well, I think the fact that it's difficult to distinguish between 'serious"
and pop in electronic music shows the false distinctions. I think the new
audience really DOESN'T care and I think that's healthy.  But an interesting
problem sometime emerges, because the protocols and etiquette for listening
in dance venues vs sit-down concerts are usually different. For example - at
clubs in Europe and in the US, it is not considered particularly bad form to
converse while someone is performing (this is less true in Japan). So, if
the music has a wide dynamic range (as concert music is more likely to have)
then the soft parts can get drowned out in the hubbub. That is why, although
my music has found its way into both types of venues, I do not perform the
same pieces in both places. I like it when an audience listens attentively
without conversation, so concert venues have an edge for me. But my ideal
world is here in Japan, where the kids in clubs stand around with their
beers, quiet as church mice, until the last note is played and then they go
nuts.

I am told that some of pieces are used as fodder for DJs and remixers in
clubs. As far as I know, nobody has released any of my music in remixed
form.  Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner) asked me if he could remix one particular
piece of mine, which ironically was itself a remix, of a Eurotrash disco
tune.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #22 of 114: David Gans (tnf) Sun 2 Jun 02 22:27
    

Another from Brett Campbell:



Thanks for your answer to my first question, Carl. To follow up: has the
pop-inspired electronic music influenced your own creative direction?

 You're mentioning Japan and Europe; another good electronic music
composer, Jeff Stolet, also has a following in both places, probably more
than in the U.S. (I'll resist any synth jokes along the lines of Prophets
without honor in their homes....) I don't have the international experience
you and Ed do, so my question is: why do you think electronic music
composers like yourself are able to reach audiences outside the US more
easily than in the US? Is it something about the audiences there, or
something about the way music is distributed here? Or both?

Another question: despite our lamentations about the stultifying US record
biz, you seem to be able to make a living off  your avant garde music -- no
small thing these days. Is reaching an international audience one way to do
that? If so, what would you advise other composers about how to do so?
 I guess the underlying question here is, given globalization, the
internet, the changes in the marketing of music and so on, how has the
model for making it (for nonmainstream composers like you) changed, and how
do you expect to change your strategy (if not your music) to keep up with
it in the near future?
thanks,
brett
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #23 of 114: Richard Zvonar (zvonar) Mon 3 Jun 02 00:20
    
Carl wrote:
>As far as I know, nobody has released any of my music 
>in remixed form. 

I think I might have used one of your recordings in a  Cosmic Debris
performance once. 
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #24 of 114: Richard Zvonar (zvonar) Mon 3 Jun 02 00:57
    
Carl wrote:
>I'm not sure what happened to Suzanne Ciani

After a long career doing commercial music and sound effects in New
York she retired to Northern California and seems to be turning out one
CD per year, including orchestral work.

Ed wrote:
>I've done some searching of the want ads in my time, 
>and I've never seen a composer wanted ad. 

Bob Davis landed his gig as resident composer for the theater company
Soon3 by answering just  such a want ad.
  
inkwell.vue.151 : Carl Stone: pict.soul
permalink #25 of 114: Berliner (captward) Mon 3 Jun 02 05:36
    
I'm curious, anent your remark on the glitchmeisters, about how it is
you build your own compositions. For instance, the pieces on Mom's, the
first stuff I'd heard of yours (and likely pretty early stuff, too),
was pretty easily-tracked sample manipulation, but pict.soul and other
recent pieces are quite different. Also -- I guess this is a different
question, but maybe not -- I've seen you improvise, going head-to-head
with Otomo Yoshihide (folks, he was scared -- and who wouldn't be?),
doing a solo set on your Powerbook...how is this different from
composition? What, if anything, do you try to achieve with your
composed music? With your improvised music? (And apropos of this -- or
of nothing -- I throw in one of my Igor Stravinsky quotes: "Music, in
and of itself, is incapable of expressing anything at all." That's to
get you off a hook I suspect some people will want to hang you on). 
  

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