Sanni Abacha (cstone) Mon 3 Jun 02 07:57
Brett, as long as you can resist jokes about Prophets without honor, I can resist my old gag vis a vis the Walter -> Wendy Carlos transformation: "thesis, antithesis, synthesist!". About making a living, as I think I mentioned somewhere above, up until last year (when I sold out and took a part-time job in Japan) I've managed to eek out a living through a combination of touring, commissions and grants. The ratio of these things has changed annually. I was lucky in that I did a lot of work in Japan in the late eighties and early nineties, when their economy was still booming, albeit artificially, and the yen was strong. I was able to use accumulated savings to soothe me through the rough spots later on. But I won't bore you with the details. The answer is one seeks one's audiences wherever one can, and things like the internet have made this much easier. Ed: Indeed yes, most of my early pieces were each based on the exploitation of one piece of music or another (for example Hop Ken using Mussorsky's Fanfare from Pictures at an Exhibition, ort Shing Kee using a Schubert song, or Vim using Fun, Fun Fun. But later pieces are more complicated, they often mix and combines disparate materials and often they are so transformed only a dedicated train-spotter could make out the sources. This is certainly true in pict.soul. It's been said before, but I think it's true: improvising is composing in real-time. When I sit down to write a piece of music I might use graph paper, number charts, scribbles or whatever to guide me. In improvisation it's just pure intuition and reaction, no less noble. I wasn't scared to follow Otomo that night in Kyoto, but I did feel squeezed - I knew he was gonna start the volume at 11 and turn it up from there. A hard act to follow, from the standpoint of dynamics. But I'll leave it to Ed to offer whether I managed or not. I disagree with Stravinsky's remark, by the way. I think that music in and of itself expresses things that can't be expressed in words. Richard, thanks for the news about Suzanne Ciani. I'm curious about her orchestral work.
Berliner (captward) Mon 3 Jun 02 08:11
Yes, yes, selling out... If you were one of those Westerners who was doing work people back home don't know about, like those movie stars who make commercials in Japan, that'd be one thing. But you're teaching impressionable young minds, tomorrow's composers! As a fellow expat, I'd like to get into that somewhat. You've always seemed to be a Japanophile, and you mentioned to me that you've been studying the language for quite some while. What is it that attracts you to the place? Why do you think you have such a large and appreciative audience there? (Folks, he's got his own section in the racks at Tower Records in Shinjuku in Tokyo.) And why is it that Japan seems to be such a leading force in electronic music -- and has been since the '50s, as I remember?
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Mon 3 Jun 02 15:02
Well, I don't know about that last part - Japan has always had interesting, quirky electronic music, but 'leading force' seems to overstate it a bit. Hey, not just a bin at Tower Shinjuku - a whole wall display! That was a couple of years ago, and was totally unbeknownst to me until I stumbled in there by accident preparing to do a little shopping. There are several reasons why I like Japan - not counting the food. One is the seriousness and intense concentration from the audience, when they are listening and even when they are not. As I mentioned before, it is great to go to some smoky, overfilled basement club and have everyone ABSOLUTELY DEAD-DROP QUIET for an entire set. And I guess part of it is that Japan seems to like me, or at least my work. It has always been where my CDs sell best and where I have had the most opportunities to work, either on my own or inside various projects with choreographers, filmmakers, installation artists etc. But why is that? I dunno exactly. I talked to some Japanese about it a few years ago and the consensus was sort of that my music is thought of as warm, unlike some other computer music, rather imagistic and this appeals to the Japanese imagination. Plus, the way the market works, word of mouth is powerful. And then there's mass communication. Three minutes on television can make the next three years sweet. [alas, I suffer from this from the consumer side sometimes. There's a restaurant in my neighborhood that I had been meaning to check out since I moved in. Three weeks ago it got a short mention on an evening TV program as part of a Tokyo Guidebook kind of feature. Now every time I walk past, there is a long line snaking around the corner and I haven't been able to get in.
David Gans (tnf) Mon 3 Jun 02 15:04
> it is great to go to some smoky, overfilled basement club and have everyone > ABSOLUTELY DEAD-DROP QUIET for an entire set. Oh, yeah!
Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 3 Jun 02 15:28
Carl, are there any sound files online that we can listen to to get a better idea what your music is like?
David Gans (tnf) Mon 3 Jun 02 17:34
Carl, is "Shibucho" that piece I heard on KPFA in which you fed "My Girl" into the Publison? I loved that piece, and I play it on my own show once in a while. I have to add that some of the stuff ont his new record of yours made me think my speakers had blown up. I like that!!
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Tue 4 Jun 02 01:17
Yes indeed, Shibucho is one of those pieces I mentioned from the mid eighties, where I feed LPs into a Publison. 100% Motown, it starts with ther well-known guitar riff from 'My Girl' and goes on from there. I'll try to work up a few MP3s and post them online. I have a few other things on - yaaaah! - MP3. com. Try http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/139/carl_stone.html
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Tue 4 Jun 02 03:12
And to hear stuff, go to http://www.sukothai.com/CSMusic.html .
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 4 Jun 02 04:39
Wow, I went to your page at MP3.com and was accosted by a FLOATING COKE BOTTLE with a thumping riddim! Woke me up! Are those MP3s complete works? Or are they sections?
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Tue 4 Jun 02 06:54
Complete works, but part of a set (or a number of sets). And that Coke bottle is just one reason why I have come to hate MP3.com.
David Gans (tnf) Tue 4 Jun 02 09:20
I love "Shibucho." It reminds me of some of John Oswald's work, which brings up a question... I like to meszs around with music in my digital audio workstation, and one of my hobbies is taking tw pop records and shuffling them together like a deck of cards. "Shakedown Street" and "Just another Brick in the Wall" worked well, for example, and I have naother one in the worls that combines two major '80s rock hits. But I think f Oswald's plunderphonics almost as satire rather than as com- position, although I know John is a composer and des other things besides just "revised performances" based entirely on other people's recordings. How do the ever-tightening copyright laws affect your ability to do what you want to do with audio found objects?
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 4 Jun 02 15:58
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Can you tell I'm listening to Dong Il Jang? It reminds me of music I've played in my head before...
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Tue 4 Jun 02 18:03
Heh. I'd love to hear those pieces of yours sometimes, David. Actually, the parody defense is one of the most robust in the legal fight in defense of sampling, under the fair-use laws. So is the political and social commentary defense. Personally, I rely more on a separate doctrine in IP law called transformative use, where the greater the degree of transformation, the greater the likelihood that the use is fair. Parts of Shibucho might be on shaky ground, but the last part of Dong Il Jang, which is also based on a Motown piece (10 points for whoever guesses which one), seems pretty safe to me.
Gail Williams (gail) Tue 4 Jun 02 18:44
I liked that http://www.sukothai.com/Music/Shibucho.mp3 starts with echos of cricket, locust and frog before it starts dragging those broken fragments of a tuney frame out of the percussive ooze.
Gerry Feeney (gerry) Tue 4 Jun 02 19:04
Wow! I enjoyed that!
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 4 Jun 02 20:00
> but the last part of Dong Il Jang, which is also based on a > Motown piece (10 points for whoever guesses which one) I really wanted those ten points, but I can't guess. I will say, though, that I haven't listened to something so diligently since sitting in my dorm room playing Beatles albums backwards for proof that Paul was dead.
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Tue 4 Jun 02 20:55
The answer may occur to you suddenly as you are tuned to an oldies station.
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 4 Jun 02 22:11
We shall see!
David Gans (tnf) Tue 4 Jun 02 23:03
> I'd love to hear those pieces of yours sometimes, David. I'm leaving first thing in the morning for a short tour, but I'll put an MP3 of "Brickshake" up as soon as I get home.
Kosher Swan (shmo) Wed 5 Jun 02 00:10
Shifting into another aspect of Carl's life . . . Carl, I have this incredibly vivid memory of waking up one morning just after 6am, circa 1979 or so, and flipping on KPFK, during the Morning Concert program, and you were playing "Einstein On The Beach." I was so riveted I didn't get out of bed until it was over, which was close to 9am, if I recall correctly; I just lay there listening. I was late for my classes that day because of it. Hearing Einstein changed the way I listen to music and the way I think about form and repetition in all art (not just music), really a pivotal experience for me. I couldn't believe I was hearing it on the radio. I also loved the Tesseract and Imaginary Landscape programs as well during that time. That's when I was falling in love with KPFK, a place that ended up becoming a huge part of my life, first as a volunteer, then as host/producer of a music progam there for the past 7 years. I learned a lot about modern music during your tenure at the station. I hope your memories of the place aren't too horribly awful because you brought a lot of joy and insight to those of us who were out there listening and appreciating your adventurousness.
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Wed 5 Jun 02 04:32
Well, thanks <shmo>. Programming the Sunrise Concert on KPFK was a lot of fun and I learned quite a bit along the way. Early music and the contemporary avant-garde CAN work together, and can even be listenable in the early hours, if programmed with care. Still, I did get a few nasty calls after programming Einstein. The wierdest one was from a women who accused me of turning people off to new music. "I saw people walk out of a John Cage concert last week because of you!" she said. Along with administering the music department, between the morning show, which was Monday through Fridays, and Imaginary Landscape, which was two hours every Saturday night, I was responsible for 17 hours of music programming every week for those four or five years. And only a place like Pacifica would have let me do it. Shortly before I started the do a show on KPFK, I was given a chance the host "Morning Becomes Eclectic", the morning music program on KCRW when the previous host had become pregnant and indisposed. I lasted two weeks until program director Ruth Hirschman tossed me off for playing Steve Reich's Drumming (just an excerpt, mind you) at 8:30 in the morning. Tom Schnabel took over and the rest is history.
Berliner (captward) Wed 5 Jun 02 05:38
I´ll nail that Motown sample soon as I get back to my home machine, I bet, just like I did the Hendrix sample elsewhere (don´t worry, it´s out of print). But that brings up the question, to what extent do you want a sample to be recognized? Are there times when you do and times when you don´t? Have you ever gotten in trouble for using a sample? And, given the way technology is today, have you ever considered using another way of creating your source material? Indeed, why have you stayed with samples? Is there something special with this technique that you find particularly attractive?
mother of my eyelid (frako) Wed 5 Jun 02 12:01
"My Girl," of course!
mother of my eyelid (frako) Wed 5 Jun 02 12:04
Woops, you already mentioned that, sorry.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 5 Jun 02 14:06
I'm listening to Shibucho with two rambunctious boys in the next room playing Sonic the Hedgehog on a Game Cube; weird resonance... Carl, if you could write a new soundtrack for a film, what film would it be?
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