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Achim Szepanski

The label Mille Plateaux focuses on concepts like virtuality, noise, machinism and digitality. In the most simple case, digital music simulates something that does not exist as a reality; it generates something new. It is the result of the teamwork of numerous authorities such as the « musician », the programmer and the authority of the program. If today digital music is screen music, i.e. sounds become visible and images audible, one often forgets that there is no mutual correspondence, but they mean the program which operates secretly and point towards the significant performance of the programmer. He creates the relations between image and sound. On the other hand, with an increasing complexity of the programs, the programmer loses the insight into the internal communication structures, i.e. complex programs are full of errors and even act on their own initiative. Programmers and musicians which navigate through the system today function as designers. But it is less a question of design of the operation surfaces but of the programming of software and the navigation by its logic. One has to discuss the medial conditions of digital music, the more user-friendly the software, the less transparent is the medium itself; i.e. the more transparent the functions of the computer or the sythesizers (i.e. with the use of preset sounds), the stronger the medium proves as non-transparent. Digital music is more about opening up the given program structures; the internal ramifications and program hierarchies are to be discovered. The field of possibilities of the digital is to be discovered, because as such it is a medium that exclusively produces possibilities and not evidences. On the other hand, the character of the unchanging is produced by the mere application of programs and the field of possibilities is eliminated; i.e. the standards CAN AND MUST be transformed. In new digital music, the sequencer standards become more and more obsolete. A delinear kind of working develops, all recorded pieces of music will be left to the operative intervention. Even though every noise can be coded in the digital channel and digital music today actually works along certain standards, one has to show with the productions themselves how a potential machinism produces features in music which are more than mere translation of binary codes. Elements of expression which only a programmer could have imagined. Sound machines which are more than computers produce musical effects when they are driven by proto subjectivities. As a navigator, one knows that selection, construction and reduction of sounds go together. The producer sets on potentials, effects and impulses. The unessential emerges. Clicks, glitches, so called mistakes become sound. Sound events which are made audible by arrangement. The cut-copy-paste-funk of the actually most irrelevant sounds, the clicks, emerges; the movement of zero and one made audible. Clicks are a value, the money, law, communication and sound of the medial itself. They are the introduction into the minimalism of the 21st century, a tool for the next millenium.




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