Sanni Abacha (cstone) Wed 5 Jun 02 17:29
There are certain pierces where the recognizability of the sample is part of the piece, because there is meant to be some ironic commentary. This is true in pieces like 'Shibucho', 'Hop Ken' (from my cd FOUR PIECES, and my several compositions based on the disco-trash hit 'Barbie Girl'. In other pieces, I hope that the listener will detect the style of music if not the actual title. And in some piece I don't care period. I've never been hassled for using a particular sample. In some cases - well only one actually - I have taken preventative measures by getting the sample cleared. I have held off releasing anything too obvious with major commercial artists like Michael Jackson or Miles. But that might still be overly cautious, as I think I'm still too far below the radar to be detected. Why have a stayed with samples? Many reasons. In part, I see my work as a furtherance of the traditions in Bach, Handel, Bartok, Britten Dvorak, Stravinsky and others, who quoted both from the public domain and from other composers liberally. Now in the digital age, as Roger Johnson has posited, Sampling actually destroys any practical distinction between an original and a copy, because any sample, however many generations removed from the original, is equal in value and quality. Its value lies not just in its reproducibility but also in its malleability and intangibility, like memory itself. So, the notion of appropriation as a compositional technique has deeper implications than in an analog world. Besides........I gotta start somewhere, and sometimes the easiest way is to abstract some material from my CD library and begin to work. Jon, that's a great question. As I run through films in my mind, as of now I've only come up with ones with soundtracks I love and wouldn't change. My all-time favorite is Takemitsu's score to Kwaidan . But give me a bit of time, I'll answer your question upon further contemplation.
Berliner (captward) Thu 6 Jun 02 06:42
Kwaidan!! Damn! My fave film in college, although the version that showed there came around with one episode missing and I've never seen the whole thing. I think it was Takemitsu whose "Music of the Stone" (no relation) I heard in junior high school days at the New York Avant-Garde Festival, and that's why I went to see Kwaidan in the first place. Is that soundtrack out on a CD?
excessively heterosexual (saiyuk) Thu 6 Jun 02 11:01
According to the IMDB, the part that was omitted from Kwaidan in the American release is the Woman of the Snow -- which is the part that (from later TV/video viewings) has always struck me as the most memorable.
Berliner (captward) Thu 6 Jun 02 11:48
Yup. Doesn't sound familiar. While Carl's contemplating, I'd like to bring up another part of his personality that some people may be totally unaware of: that of an appreciator of fine food. Of course, "fine" and "food" seem to need definition at times. Carl has managed to hook his friends, in my presence, into eating nutria (a gigantic rat that lives in the swamps of Louisiana and tastes like a gigantic rat that lives in the swamps of Louisiana) and duck tongues (like french-kissing Donald or Daisy, I guess...never been to Disneyland myself). He's also, just this past March, realized a lifetime ambition to visit Lockhart, Texas, and several other major stops on the Texas barbeque trail. His Japanese tour last fall, as I documented in my travel journal, was one fantastic (and usually inexpensive) meal after another; he uses as road-manager a guy with an extraordinary knowledge of Japanese regional cuisine, and I bet that's not a coincidence. What's this got to do with his music? Perhaps nothing, perhaps not. Is it a mere coincidence that a lot of the titles of his pieces (not the ones on pict.soul, however) are named after restaurants, favorite places to eat? That there's a large (and largely out-of-date) list of great places to eat in L.A. on his website? Food and music, two of my favorite things. Carl, are you the latter-day Rossini?
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Thu 6 Jun 02 17:15
Perhaps in terms of girth, but hopefully that's all, Rossini being one of my least favorite composers. The recent Texas trip that Ed mentioned is documented in quicktime and clips can be viewed from http://sukothai.com/texasqt.html .
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Thu 6 Jun 02 17:29
And, back to our original topic, pict.soul. Incursion.org, the self- described webzine of extraordinary sound, has written a nice review. http://incursion.org/features/c74.html
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 6 Jun 02 17:36
Pardon me if i missed it before, but it there a link to listen to cuts from pict.soul? I loved the My Girl monster thing.
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Thu 6 Jun 02 17:43
There are some samples on the C74 website, along with cuts from other titles in their catalig. http://www.cycling74.com/c74/music/index.html
Berliner (captward) Fri 7 Jun 02 01:56
Your music is often described as "electro-acoustic," and I'm wondering what the definition of that is. Of course it's electric, because you use electronic devices to make it, unlike, say, a string quartet, which uses acoustic instruments. I'm just a bit uncertain where the acoustic comes into the picture here: it's sound, and, thus, acoustic, but what's "electro-acoustic?"
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Sun 9 Jun 02 19:23
Sorry to have taken a bit of time to get back to this forum. Rough few days, made worse by catching a cold and suffering a flaky ADSL connection. Hey, is MacPoet the most brain-dead piece of crap software on the planet or what? Any advise about an alternative PPPtoE client for my powerbook would be greatly appreciated. AFAIK, the term electro-acoustic was coined by Iannis Xenakis, as meaning both music that combines electronic and acoustic (i.e. either raw or microphone-collected) sounds. In the early days of electronic music, there were two warring camps. Practitioners of 'pure' electronic music, where all the sounds had to be generated sui generis electronically, and practitioners of 'musique concrete', where all the sounds originated in the microphone so to speak. Amazing to think that few people could imagine a middle ground. This is one of the areas that Xenakis pioneered, and in coining the term electro-acoustic he also sought to distinguish himself from the musique concrete school, which was as much an aesthetic as a form. So, I find this term applied to my work because most of it originates in recordings of either natural sounds or appropriated music, and also because I actively adopted as the name of my publishing company Electro-Acoustic Music years ago. I wanted to say a couple more words in answer to Ed's question "why sampling?". I don't think I adequately emphasized the influence that visual and conceptual artists have had on me, including Duchamp, Rauschenberg, Warhol, Beuys and others. I like the idea of elevating the mundane, and of recontextualizing iconic signifiers in music. This is one of the reasons that I return again and again to certain musicians like Hendrix and Miles as fodder for my own work.
David Gans (tnf) Mon 10 Jun 02 07:11
From Katherine Knoff: > Artist's reflect their environment, from the symetry and order of Mozart, > to Beethoven's progressive unravelment, during the chaotic years of the > French revolution, and Napoleon, on to Andy Warhol immortalizing the mass > marketing of soup. You've talked about the influences of your youth, and > the urban landscape is prevalent in your music. What other environmental > factors have influenced your music. How has Japanese culture played an > important role?
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Tue 11 Jun 02 16:50
You make a good point about the confluence of cultural influences, Katherine. Mozart's music has always struck me as Newtonian, Beethoven's Darwinian, Cage's music existential (Sartrean?) . While I was influenced by the minimalist painters, I guess my music fits squarely inside the Western post-modern aesthetic. Maybe my interest about time makes me a Hawkingian composer? I live in Japan and have since long ago been fascinated by (and have used) the urban soundscapes of Tokyo as musical fodder. I have also collaborated with a varietuy of Japanese musicians, both traditional and western. But I can't put my finger on anything precise in Japanese culture that I can cite as manifest influence - it's all rather intangible. Strangely though, numerous times people in the States have proposed that soame of my music sounds Asian. Perhaps this is becauase I sometimes use extended time scales as well as space or 'ma' between sounds. Still, in Japan I am told I have an American sound.
Berliner (captward) Wed 12 Jun 02 01:08
Carl, how would you suggest people listen to your music? Or approach music like yours? I'm thinking that there may be criteria that differ from regular instrumental or orchestral music that people need to keep in mind when hearing this stuff. For instance, maybe forgetting the concept of melody might be a good idea.
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Wed 12 Jun 02 04:18
Yes, it's better not to listen with the traditional expectations of melody or harmony, although that's not to say that some kind of melody or harmony can never be found inside. It's sometimes there, if perhaps a bit under the skin. At the moment, I am working with a group of young Japanese students at the university where I teach who have had little or no exposure to contemporary music or any contemporary art at all, and I am trying to teach how to listen in new ways. We've done some listening exercises which I call 'ear cleaning', trying to open them up to new approaches not only to sound, but also to TIME. The first thing is to try to break the expectation for traditional musical grammars and drama. After that things fall into place.
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 12 Jun 02 22:27
E-mail from Katherine Knoff: Excellent answer, Carl, although I often see Beethoven as tortured, rather than scientific, but, I love the Cage/Sartre connection. Actually, Camus, another great existentialist, would fit with Cage. One of the great quotes from "The Stranger", was "the benign indifference of the universe". I could see Cage agreeing with that. One possible Japanese connection, with your music, could be process. Take for example, a Japanese garden, as opposed to our American version of the English Garden, which seems pretty prevalent. Americans tend to be fairly improvisatory, with color and arrangement, whereas the Japanese often have bonsai, and topiary, which is a formal process. How much of a role does improv and chance play in your music, and how much a formal process, even if you conceive it.
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 12 Jun 02 22:28
Also, captward, did you listen to that link? Were you able to identify the Motown song? If not, I'm hoping that Carl will tell us...
Berliner (captward) Thu 13 Jun 02 01:04
Nope, haven't gotten there yet; I'm on the road. Carl, a friend of mine, a sound designer who thinks of Max quite differently than you but loves it, is working on ring tone technology, and that made me wonder if there was a kind of commission you've never had but would like to explore. Film soundtrack? Computer game? Big-ass symphony with choir? Work you'd definitely turn down?
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Fri 14 Jun 02 02:07
I agree with Katherine about Cage and the Camus quote. Very zen actually. I'm not so ready to buy the English/Japanese improvised/formal garden theory however. My music has always had improvisation as an aspect, usually within a pre-defined form. As time goes on, improvisation is playing a greater role. Now in JApan, I'm performing more often with other musicans, rather than my standard solo work. This typically involves a LOT of improvisation.ãIn fact, last wekk a played in a jazz club with two musicians (Gene Coleman and Ko Ishikawa) and the whole show was 100% improvised, I had even met Ko until a short time before the gig. That would have been unthinkable for me a few years ago. Chance has always been a factor too, as I usually build some sort of randomness into my computer music programs, to keep me on my toes when I perform. There,s a whole range of randomness of course, from a very scaled and controlled use on one side and chaos on the other. I have used the whole range, but tned towrds things more towards the scaled back end of the spectrum. Ed, if Sony came to me with a propsal to compose Carl Stone ring tones I think I,d jump at the chance, I figure if they're asking me, they're ready for something out of the ordinary. I've done music for TV and radio commercials in Japan, but that's because they came to me and basically told me I could do whatever I wanted. One radio commercial job was almost too good to be true. 2 minutes of my music - nothing else, whatever I wanted to compose - followed by a tag line "Music by Carl Stone, Beer by Heineken". They never let me do that in L.A.
Berliner (captward) Fri 14 Jun 02 13:44
Wow, even Phil Glass' whiskey ads you didn't get to *hear* his stuff! Dunno how much more time we have left here, but I'm stil lhoping some of my friends come along with some with some questions. Meanwhile, what are you listening to now? Do you have any truck with pop music these days? What up-and-coming composers would you recommend to our readers here?
(fom) Fri 14 Jun 02 14:39
If I'm not mistaken, you have as much time as you want. After the "official" two weeks is over, the interview can continue for years if the interviewer and interviewee are willing.
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 14 Jun 02 16:14
That's my cue! Thanks to Carl and to Ed for a great discussion. As fom said, you are welcome to continue for as long as you like. As for me, I hope that's at least until Ed weighs in the subject of the Motown song! Thanks again, you guys, and to everyone who participated.
Sanni Abacha (cstone) Fri 14 Jun 02 20:30
Thank you too Linda! I'm more than happy to continue on here for as long as others want to talk. And to answer Ed, recently I've been listening to a variety of things that Henry Kaiser turned me on to when he was recently in Tokyo - he passed what was on his iPod to mine and I have been enjoying many of his selections every since. Lots of guitar, as one might imagine, including Zappa, Beefheart, d'Gary (great musician from Madagascar) and some Korean court music that, by coincidence, I had on MY iPod. I am currently enthusiastic about a very young composer here in Japan named Takamasa Aoki, who sometimes goes under the name Silicom. He hasn't quite broken through yet, but it won't be long. He has a very nice sensibiity.
Berliner (captward) Sat 15 Jun 02 07:29
Okay, my best guess at the moment for Dong Il Jang's Motown sample is Martha and the Vandellas' "Nowhere to Run," based on a tiny vocal trick I heard. I'm almost positive the group being sampled is right -- it's not the Supremes, and I don't *think* it's the Marvelettes -- but I'm not as confident about the song. I'm downloading it, although I've never yet successfully downloaded and played back an MP3. I can always ask one of the neighbor kids if I can't make it work, though. Great piece, although you've come a long ways since then. But then, this is listed as a) being live and b) being from the '80s. The technology for live performance has really come a long ways since then, and so has your technique in terms of using it. Still, I recommend those two pieces to anyone. While we're waiting to see if there are any further questions, the trick I always play at the end of an interview: Carl, are there any questions I didn't ask you that you think are important? Do you have any issues you want to address that I've missed?
excessively heterosexual (saiyuk) Sat 15 Jun 02 09:12
Is there only *one* Motown song in the final three minutes of Dong Il Jang? I'm next to certain I heard bits of Tears of a Clown in there, but I thought I heard other stuff too.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 15 Jun 02 09:18
> One radio commercial job was almost too good to be true. 2 minutes of my > music - nothing else, whatever I wanted to compose - followed by a tag line > "Music by Carl Stone, Beer by Heineken". They never let me do that in L.A. Man, that is great.
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