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How to use experimental music - even if you don't like it!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by damonsmith, May 3, 2021 at 3:07 PM.


  1. I have really enjoyed this podcast, and I love what Oliver is doing:

    However, he talks a lot about experimenting and then names the most conservative sources (except Garcia- Fons who is a true innovator!)! I mean, he is from a country where Barre Phillips & Joëlle Léandre live!!!!
    Like, there is a whole area of music that since the 1950s is JUST about experimenting. It is a huge loss that more musicians interested in tonal music don't consult this area for things they could use - a huge difference from music you would like.
    For just one example, if you want to figure out percussive ideas with the bow, French in particular, Barry Guy has been researching just that for 40 years:

    ANY of these techniques could be used in in tonal context or in time. We (experimental musicians) tend to leave things where they lay, as they tend to force new ways of interacting when presented to our fellow musicians in the moment. Still, the work can be used for anything you want to do.
    The basics are that we are trying to see what the instrument can do and then see how that can change how we connect with other musicians. However, any of these ideas can be used anyway you want.

    In Olvier's case it is like this area of music is so "taboo" he has spent years reinventing the wheel instead of consulting direct sources and getting on with it in a few weeks.
    Nobody has to like experimental music, that is not the point, but people should know it can serve as a massive body of research about sound and interaction.
    In Oliver's case specifically, he is devoting a huge part of his own work to an area that has been thoroughly researched since the 1950s, starting with Turetzky. It isn't a criticism of him, but of the whole attitude that ultimately holds back the music.

    I've always maintained that any great free jazz bassist can tell you all about the great straight jazz bassists but it is very, very rare to see it the other way around.

    So, the way you use the music, is when you are thinking about a musical or technical issue, ask and search around about the work done in that area. It may not be the sound you are after, but that just means you have your own work to do, but you can start further ahead.

    We've all played bass methods that are less than our ideal sound, you can spare a couple of hours on recordings you may not like but that may save you years of reinventing the wheel!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021 at 3:43 PM
  2. Thanks Damon I appreciate this post very much.
     
    damonsmith and VictorW126 like this.
  3. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    I've heard Lynn Seaton say more than once, that "he is a collector of sounds" and he has a free-jazz tune named after his son. I think it works particularly well for him because it provides him more creative material when he's playing very inside the harmony. Thanks for posting!
     
  4. He is a great musician - very open. His solo album is a must hear. He is incredibly creative. It is a pretty out record!
     
    dhm and Tom Lane like this.
  5. And to plug Katie's podcast again, Lynn's episode was great (as was Oliver's, he is a fantastic player!)
     
  6. PaulCannon

    PaulCannon

    Jan 24, 2002
    Frankfurt, Germany
    NS Design Endorsing Artist
    A lot of extended techniques sound harsh to most ears, and they're usually only used in an "experimental" context. It's not so easy for people to see a weird, harsh-sounding technique and think "oh, I could totally use that in a straight-forward context".

    And if you're generally turned off by harsh or chaotic music, that makes it very difficult to take the time to explore those techniques. You need someone who enjoys both and can show off the more practical things in a traditional context.
     
    damonsmith likes this.
  7. I think Scodanibbio really took on that role, even though most of his ideas came from Grillo, he presented them in a more focused and even beautiful way.
    Grillo:

    Scodanibbio:

    And his beautiful duo with Terry Riley:

    I still would say that if you can come to an understanding of the difference between research and personal taste in your listening, you can come to a quicker understanding of what you are trying to do.
     
    Anthony White likes this.
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 9, 2021

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