[music-dsp] a little about myself

Ross Bencina rossb-lists at audiomulch.com
Sun Feb 26 09:48:57 EST 2012

On 27/02/2012 1:22 AM, Brad Garton wrote:
> I would like to agree with you, because I also value all these things
> (and am pretty much a dilettante in all four).  But I see an analog
> with the "is a DJ*really*  a [computer music]  composer?" question
> that floats around (or in an earlier generation, "is a collage
> artist...").

Other analogous questions include "Should the artist be a programmer?", 
"Must creative engagement with computers involve programming?"

Then there is the whole schtick of composer as Auteur directing the 
technical minions to do the programming for him/her. A variant might be 
Composer buying pre-made tools to use to make their music.

I liked Andy's reference to "second order culture" earlier. This is one 
way of looking at software reuse by composers. Another is the 
instrument-builder <-> instrument <-> composer-performer relation.

> Most DJ things I find just annoying, but lately I've
> heard a few that are quite interesting, and also operating
> independent of the categories 1-4 above that I know and love.

Of course you don't need all the aforementioned computer skills to use a 
computer to make *music*, and I wouldn't dare to ascribe relative value 
to the different areas of musical engagement with computers. Great music 
is being made in all sorts of different ways -- and a computer is 
sometimes part of that. But I think it's when the composer engages with 
the computer *as a computer* (whatever that means, but I think it 
involves programming, or algorithmic processes, or some uniquely digital 
manipulation methods, not as a virtual "real" thing) that it becomes 
computer music composition in the specialised sense meant here.

> I guess it's the "in the context of this discussion" qualifier that
> makes the difference here.

Yeah. There is such a thing as specialised "computer music" composition 
that takes in all those disciplines -- and in my view, the limits of the 
tools we are discussing are especially relevant within that context.

If you come at it from a "found object" perspective, the tools have 
certain affordances -- they're good at certain things. My impression is 
that Richard has suggested that "what they are good at" and "what they 
are intended for" is the same thing.. but I'm not convinced.


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