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Are we "performers?"
Last post Sat, May 12 2018 by jsg, 64 replies.
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Posted on Thu, Apr 05 2018 21:51
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5045

"Samples for me are only a mock-up (sorry gents) because they are well, samples, of real instruments. The infusion of feeling from musicians will only enhance your composition" - mh7635

But there is feeling in the samples.  You don't hear that? 

"There is also a restriction creatively at present with samples that hinder more advanced instrumental techniques and scoring, thus limiting creativity for those of us who can't or may never get a live performance."  mh7635

So the point you are making is you have exhausted the possibilities of the articulations recorded so far?   

"As a result, I find it hard to take samples seriously as a means of expression in their own right " - mh7635

I totally disagree and now have the same reaction Ive had before to people who come on this Forum - paradoxically - to state that samples are inferior or can't be taken "seriously."   Inferior to what?  A high school band?  The New York Philharmonic?  VSL samples are superior to orchestral sounds that 99% of composers have available to them. 

Posted on Thu, Apr 05 2018 22:03
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5045

I guess I should address  the idea of mh7635 that sample performance is nothing but  a "mockup" which means a temporary unsatisfactory substitute for live performances -

I had a song-cycle performed by the Reno Chamber Orchestra which is a well regarded American orchestra, very difficult to get your music played by them (I probably can't now with their new conductor) and it was recorded with a very high quality live recording.  But I would never release that recording because the performance is nowhere near as good as the VSL performance I later did with the same soloist -

Earth and Paradise   

So I wonder how that fits into the simple distinction of "live" vs. "mockup" with "mockup" always being just a substitute and never acceptable as a "SERIOUS" version of some music. In this case the sampled version was superior in every way.  But it is still not 'SERIOUS" because it used samples ? 

Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 01:49
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 312

Originally Posted by: William Go to Quoted Post

I guess I should address  the idea of mh7635 that sample performance is nothing but  a "mockup" which means a temporary unsatisfactory substitute for live performances -

I had a song-cycle performed by the Reno Chamber Orchestra which is a well regarded American orchestra, very difficult to get your music played by them (I probably can't now with their new conductor) and it was recorded with a very high quality live recording.  But I would never release that recording because the performance is nowhere near as good as the VSL performance I later did with the same soloist -

Earth and Paradise   

So I wonder how that fits into the simple distinction of "live" vs. "mockup" with "mockup" always being just a substitute and never acceptable as a "SERIOUS" version of some music. In this case the sampled version was superior in every way.  But it is still not 'SERIOUS" because it used samples ? 

I love "Earth and Paradise" and did so from the first time I heard it. And I even bought the CD. It would be hard to argue that the quality of "Earth and Paradise" is diminished by the use of samples. I can't imagine it being better performed live. 

For me, I would really love to have a live performance of my work, and I create scores and parts just in case that happens. I am in the process of putting my music on IMSLP and also on JW MyScore in the hopes that some orchestra might perform it.

But I am so glad we have samples, so I can hear my music now, while I'm alive. Silly perhaps, but still I think that is why most of us use samples to create music. Some like William and Guy are so good that their midi-performance is better than what most live orchestras can achieve.

Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 02:29
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1008

I would say that we are something between performers and conductors; architects of performances with a greater degree of influence over such than a conductor, who will orally attempt to elicit from performers his  conception of a work, whereas we shape the actual sound electronically. On the other hand, a conductor is able to radically alter the performance of an instrumentalist (or family group) through his instruction, when we are only able to tweak already performed samples. Perhaps the term that would best describe our post facto manipulations of sans-context performed samples into meaningful interpretations of a work, is 'Meta-Performers'.

The closest we could come to compare the two modes of interpretation I believe would be through solo instrumental music. For example, how different we'd view our own physical performance of our new -say- piano suite, to our programming the same using samples.

And then of course it is all down to talent and ability. A computer orchestral simulation is by design an agglomeration of discreet samples (much as any object is an agglomeration of molecules), as opposed to a continuous musical edifice as created by a real orchestra. The art lies in masking the fragmented nature of  computer aided realization through DAW wizardry. How much will it sound like a unified performance, or how much will it sound like aural Lego.

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 02:54
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5045

Thanks Paul, and I think that is true Errikos,  but speaking of aural Lego, the performance of various middling string players who hide behind large numbers in their section and play grossly out of tune or devoid of expression as they recite in nearly comatose fashion for the 900th time Beethoven's Eroica viola part - for example - could be just as well described as aural Lego. 

I have heard that kind of playing, in fact, because I sat quite near the viola section in many orchestral performances. Not to single out violas, an instrument I love, but they are representative.   Everyone thinks live performance is the Holy Grail and they are just slogging away in the dregs of music with samples - that is grossly wrong.  Especially right now with VSL which has crossed a line into complexity of expression that makes it capable of almost any music.   Right now I am working on a feature film score using Dimension strings and am constantly excited by the total control over expressive sound this phenomenal library has created. 

Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 09:23
by mh-7635
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Posts 173

William,

But there is feeling in the samples.  You don't hear that? ...WK

Jeez William of course I hear feeling in samples, I'm not deaf you know...  I wouldn't mind, but if you re-read my post you will see that I even acknowledge they can be expressive and realistic!!!!!!!!

"So the point you are making is you have exhausted the possibilities of the articulations recorded so far?"  

No. 

"As a result, I find it hard to take samples seriously as a means of expression in their own right " - mh7635

I totally disagree and now have the same reaction Ive had before to people who come on this Forum - paradoxically - to state that samples are inferior or can't be taken "seriously."   Inferior to what?  A high school band?  The New York Philharmonic?  VSL samples are superior to orchestral sounds that 99% of composers have available to them...WK

Another assumption I'm afraid. I am NOT questioning VSLs' quality - I deem their philosophy and product to be the best tool out there  especially for trained composers - rather, just the perceived concept that samples in general are better than the thing they are mimicking. For me, the fact that they are only a snapshot of real instruments is also their weakness when it comes to comparison with real fluid, moment to moment players and performances. Do I really, really, really have to say that samples are inferior to the NY Phil?...oh I just did. I don't think the guys at VSL will mind that!

So I wonder how that fits into the simple distinction of "live" vs. "mockup" with "mockup" always being just a substitute and never acceptable as a "SERIOUS" version of some music. In this case the sampled version was superior in every way.  But it is still not 'SERIOUS" because it used samples ? ..WK

OK, so you had a bad performance, it happens. Equally it could have been a great performance and recording, would you have still preferred a mock-up?  Perhaps I haven't made a particular distinction clear here as William seems to putting words into my mouth, so I will try again. I said..."in their own right".....and the reason is because they are aping something else, they have no individual aural identity like say a synth, they are as Errikos describes rather well, an aural lego brick, a building block and just like lego, although you can build in different colours and subtlety, the finished edifice is not  mistaken for the real thing.  OK, calm down, apologies, I used Errikos' analogy to fire a cheap shot, because, yes, samples can sound realistic - I repeat that I find no irony in this because of what is missing. There is realistic and then there is the real thing.

That said, I realise I am impinging on some deeply held beliefs in the validity of DAW/Notation software rendering and what having a performance/recording means to composers  (remember I am one of you too!) , but it seems as though some folks have lost a sense of what I perceive as the main goal. Just because we can't get performances of our work, does not necessarily mean to say we should accept facsimilies as the ideal. 'Write to and for the highest standards' might be a motto to employ in this regard and that means the NY Phil even if such an ideal is unattainable. That is my philosophy anyway, I know others will disagree and so be it. They too can write to the highest etc. and I am certainly not dismissing their creativity at all, in fact there is one composer who has posted in this forum, whose philosophy is almost entirely at odds with what I am advocating - Jerry Gerber - when I listen to his music, I am moved at times which does tend to contradict what I say.  Perhaps i should have said "I find it hard at times to take samples seriously......etc. "  But it is a fact that my ultimate view on this is coloured by my professional experience of real players along with my training and study and a keen awareness of what samples cannot provide.

Guy and Paul have touched on what really matters in all of this.  So perhaps now you may understand where I am coming from, It is not that (say) your piece William is not "serious", (and I might add, when I do listen to yours or any others work, I judge my reaction via the music, not the medium/recording) it is the fact that the rendering in my view, is doomed to fall short when one realises what is missing - the collective human dynamism, the sonic beauty of linear, individual and in-concert expression, fluid and ever changing real timbre, the natural bloom from a string section and even interpretation beyond the thinking of the composer - these traits are where the music and the art is (as well as the notes themselves) and where the composers expression is magnified, writ large to seduce any receptive listener.

Phew.

Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 15:32
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5045

I am not arguing any more with you but you need to understand not everyone here is a yokel who just recorded some MIDI on his Casio keyboard.  I won't recite my experience, you can figure it out for yourself.

Since you feel samples are so inferior to live performers why are you here?  You must be slumming among the dregs of music, and would probably feel much more at home among the other peerless professionals you are used to, playing perfectly every note of your masterpieces with absolute musical expression which comes to them naturally and instantly as it does to every real  and SERIOUS musician, unlike scum like me who drudge away programming MIDI merely "aping'"actual music.  

Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 16:32
by CarlKingdom
Joined on Fri, Nov 27 2015, Los Angeles, CA, Posts 10

Just a brief thought. Someone said: "solo painter or novelist creates his own work."

I like that. 

As a "Midi Composer" I have often considered myself simliar to a digital sculptor or animator. I've done some animation work and it feels like it uses a very similar brain process... going over a small detail repeatedly, smoothing it out, and trying to get the gesture / motion totally right. 

-Carl. 

Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 16:34
by mh-7635
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Posts 173
Ok William, you are in need of help.
I doubt anybody else could read into my post what you have. Some here will know I respect and admire their work ( even you , you idiot) and if you come on to me again in this manner I will happily get banned from here in ad hominem fury. Back off and respect differences of opinion, or at the very least provide a cogent rejoinder.
Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 18:27
by Synetos
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, St. Paul, MN USA, Posts 94

Getting back to the original question... 

A performer is defined by the dictionary as "someone who entertains an audience." Getting to a common definition of the word perform is the logical starting point.

The definition doesnt say by what methods or means one entertains. If you suck and noone is entertained, did you really perform, or were you a fake performer?

At some point in history, all instuments did not exist. Except one could argue that drums were probably the first instrument to accompany a human voice.

Let's say, pounding on a hollow log was the first drum, for sake of arguement. Was it a fake drum when someone came up with the idea of putting rawhide on the log to make it louder? Was it fake if they hollowed out a log using tools instead of finding one that way in the woods? How about modern day drums? Are they "fake" drums? Is it fake to use a wooden stick and not the femur of an animal as a mallet?

I beleive we are performing every second we are creating and playing our DAW. Our VST's and keyboard/mouse/computers are our instruments. They happen to make all kinds of sounds when we organize them in to patterns so others are entertained. Maybe we dont do that in realtime, but the performance still happened. It was just captured to media so the audience could continue to be entertained. 

All musicains are technical experts on the instrument of choice. They are manipulating, with aquired skill, the capabilites of that instrument to create a sonic experience for the entertainment of others. How is that any different than someone manipulating the technical abilites of a DAW and VST's to create a sonic picture?

It boils down to the purest of definition for the term "performance". Until we agree on that, there will be no agreement on what it means to be a performer.

Having said all that, I beleive yes, we are always performing if someone eventually hears our work. That someone might just be you alone, listening to the music you created. So, even if it is to an imaginary audience during the initial performance...that later becomes real by any medium we choose to offer our work though...it is a performance...and therefore we are by definition, performers.

DAW = Cubase Pro 9.5 & WaveLab 9.5
VEP Master = Windows 10 Pro - i7-6950x - 64GB Ram
VEP Slave1 = Windows 10 Pro - i7-5960x - 64GB Ram
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Audio Interfaces = DigiGrid IOS & IOX
Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 19:20
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1931

Originally Posted by: Synetos Go to Quoted Post

 

The definition doesnt say by what methods or means one entertains. If you suck and noone is entertained, did you really perform, or were you a fake performer?

 

That would also depend on the culture. Maybe in Japan a standup comic might kill and the audience will go crazy, and the same act in America might have little response.

However, coming back to the initial question, performing deals with the physical presence in front of an audience, the equivalent in our cases would be to bring around 50 computers and midi keyboards on the stage and have the players perform the piece live in front of a public. So by definition we don't perform, what we do is all about interpretation of what we create or mockups, like a home conductor. 

Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 19:45
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1325

Here's a simple test:

Take a piece of music, any piece it doesen't matter whether it's an original or somebody else's, now do whatever it is you do to make that piece come alive from playing/entering MIDI notes to the final mastered end result.  Then record it and hide it somewhere resisting the urge to listen to it.

Now delete the entire file and basically start all over again with the same piece.  MIDI, to final polished end result.  Now pull out that first recording out and do a comparison. 

I can garuantee that you will here two different performances.

Much like an instrumentalist will perform the same piece of music differently every time he or she performs it, we will do what we do best differently every time we perfomr a piece of music with samples.  (BTW I don't think VSL gets as much credit as it deserves by allowing us to perform with the brilliant tools they've developed). 

I come from a Pop background and creating music with samples has made me discover why it is I much prefer a recorded Pop song to a live one.  With a recorded song you hear the creative input of not just the band but also the producer, sound engineer, mastering engineer, etc.  Most orchestrated music is written with a live perfomrance in mind so what you hear on stage is pretty much what you hear in your earphones.  Smaples is changing that perspective too. 

Also regarding the comment about percusionists.  The drum player in Pop music sets the tempo of the song which is why he is told to play the piece as close as possible to the timeing of the rest of the band.  However, thanks to digital technology, producers now have the ability to "fix" timing errors while playing.  In fact, some will even compare the live recording to MIDI drums fixing the "earlys" and "lates." 

The same goes for the rest of the band.  It used to be "you only have to get it right once."  Now it's just "get it as close as you can and will fix it later."   So if they can't get it right the first time during a performance or the technology has made them lazy does that mean they are NOTperformers because they're stuff has to be corrected by the computer?

Is a model not a model if you have to Photoshop the little love handles or crow's feet away?


If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it.
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 21:58
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5045

"Let's say, pounding on a hollow log was the first drum, for sake of arguement. Was it a fake drum when someone came up with the idea of putting rawhide on the log to make it louder? Was it fake if they hollowed out a log using tools instead of finding one that way in the woods? How about modern day drums? Are they "fake" drums? Is it fake to use a wooden stick and not the femur of an animal as a mallet?

I beleive we are performing every second we are creating and playing our DAW. Our VST's and keyboard/mouse/computers are our instruments. They happen to make all kinds of sounds when we organize them in to patterns so others are entertained. Maybe we dont do that in realtime, but the performance still happened." - synetos

I love that!  That is the essence of it.  You are creating something and it is good to do that, no matter what.  

Posted on Fri, Apr 06 2018 22:22
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5045

I am not speaking to the person who made the following flowery description, but merely addressing the commonplace conception inherent within it, which is nothing but a lot of generalizations all of which can be realized in a good sample performance --- 

"when one realises what is missing - the collective human dynamism, the sonic beauty of linear, individual and in-concert expression, fluid and ever changing real timbre, the natural bloom from a string section and even interpretation beyond the thinking of the composer - these traits are where the music and the art is (as well as the notes themselves) and where the composers expression is magnified, writ large to seduce any receptive listener." - mh7635

What I said about the composer's point of view, rather than the always-heard performer's point of view, was ignored. 

When I think of a sound of trombones for example, I do not think of a particular performer happening to play a line beautifully.  I think of a pure tone divorced from any performance, and it has a quality and certain feel to it.  This corrresponds EXACTLY to what VSL does in capturing samples.  These samples can often more accurately and purely reflect a composer's original thoughts than live performance. 

But no one ever thnks about it from a composer's standpoint, it is always the performer who matters more - what he is doing in real time as everyone looks at him on stage.  That is not where I am coming from at all, even though it may be nice to have a good enough performance, and music should be played live if possible.  But with orchestral music (as opposed to jazz for one alternative) the purest aspect is a creation in the mind of a composer, NOT a mere perfomance which reproduces what the composer already created.  Samples are often the closest thing to this original imagined musical entity, not live performances which vary constantly based upon the abilities or whims of the performer.  

Posted on Sat, Apr 07 2018 03:29
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5045

"Ok William, you are in need of help.
I doubt anybody else could read into my post what you have. Some here will know I respect and admire their work ( even you , you idiot) and if you come on to me again in this manner I will happily get banned from here in ad hominem fury. Back off and respect differences of opinion, or at the very least provide a cogent rejoinder." - mh7365

You are the one who needs a little respect for differences of opinion.  Don't call me an idiot, and as far as your threat is concerned - go ahead, knock yourself out.  Get yourself banned.  That will be entertaining.  

Posted on Sat, Apr 07 2018 10:35
by mh-7635
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Posts 173

These samples can often more accurately and purely reflect a composer's original thoughts than live performance.

 Maybe they can at times, but I wonder if you think the same way if you were successful and being recorded and performed on a regular basis by pro live players. A lot of the greats from film to concert have spoken about writing with musicians they respect in mind and how that imagined sound infuses their work, so I suppose your mental state is similar, but your attitude to live performance and musicians is seriously askance, seemingly because of bad experience.

But no one ever thnks (sic) about it from a composer's standpoint, it is always the performer who matters more - what he is doing in real time as everyone looks at him on stage.  That is not where I am coming from at all, even though it may be nice to have a good enough performance, and music should be played live if possible.  But with orchestral music (as opposed to jazz for one alternative) the purest aspect is a creation in the mind of a composer, NOT a mere perfomance which reproduces what the composer already created.  Samples are often the closest thing to this original imagined musical entity, not live performances which vary constantly based upon the abilities or whims of the performer. 

I get that samples could be viewed as some sort of Platonic ideal. As I'm sure you are aware, Forms are not based in reality, they are an idealised, pure, untainted version of their lesser earthly counterparts. Ok then so you might say, well it  seems to me that reality, ironically in this case, is surely the purest, highest, attainable Form, because your idealised VSL sound is the paler reflection. This is no condemnation of VSL so put your muzzle back on, it is surely a factual comment.

It seems we have different paradigms here. Yours is a 0s and 1s ivory tower where the dictator reigns supreme over his work, bruised and discouraged by a few encounters with mortals not up to the visionary task and determined to deny yourself any more aesthetic input other than a midi keyboard. I'd like to think mine is not so self denying.

This was way more civil than you deserve after your outrageous and bitter assumptions above. 

Posted on Sat, Apr 07 2018 18:26
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1008

Heeeh... I always find it entertaining and distracting to monitor and participate in heated arguments between proper musicians and ignorami. When however the argument is between educated, intelligent fellow composers I find it less so, especially when I believe that they really do agree on the salient aspects of a discussion. 

So, with Zemlinski's String Quintet coming through my headphones, I'd like to submit my thoughts on this.

First, the short version:

There is no argument between the quality and artistry of a great soloist's or ensemble's rendition of a quality work, to that of the greatest programmer's with the best samples and technology on the planet. Were it not the case, Williams, Morricone, Shore, even HANS with his ultra-MECHANICAL, intentionally bereft of any emotive characteristic in his music, they would all hire programmers to record their soundtracks, instead of engaging orchestras to do so. Further, all great conductors would collaborate with the same programmers for that one perfect performance of each and every work in the classical canon.

Now, for the extended version:

Thirty years ago, those of us that were around -if pretty young- we all marvelled at the great achievements and quality orchestral simulations of the Synclavier, PPG, and Kurzweil. Some of us, more fortunate, also got their hands on some of these machines. Younger composers here can still investigate the quality of those (and other engines') outputs on YouTube, but it would be hard to imagine the awe we felt back then, our feeling of how close those technological marvels had come to perfectly simulate live instruments in an unprecedented way, because young people's ears have been spoiled by today's sample libraries' higher standards.

Similarly, thirty years from now, I anticipate an equal advancement in the quest for the Holy Grail of realism, and I can imagine composers in 2048 looking back at VSL's and other libraries' achievements during the last 10-15 years and appreciating those companies' accomplishments, but outright refusing to work professionally on today's platforms in favour of what they'd have at their disposal in their own time (how many of you still work with the Performance Tool? And don't tell me you didn't think it was a miraculous tool in its time). By then, there could be algorithms to perform a trombone line like Lindberg, or a flute line like Rampal etc. - like an evolved version of Logic Pro's Drummers feature. Who knows...

Orchestras on the other hand, they do mutate and evolve but in a different way. In fact, there are many music critics that prefer the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics of old to today's. It's not worth getting into that huge discussion here, but what I am proposing is that those orchestras will sound - comparatiely to samples - pretty much the same thirty years from now, as they did thirty years ago (comparatively!).

It is my contention that composers of that time will still prefer, not just the NY Phils and the Concertgebouws, but any professional ensemble that will put the requisite amount of time and effort in the performance of their works, than their computer simulations, even with all the anticipated improvements thrown in.

I forget and am lazy to check who mentioned Pollini's playing having changed, and it is a great argument supporting the animistic quality of music compared to the other -static- arts. That is one of the qualities that separates 'Music' from them. A manuscript is only the DNA code of a work. It definitely prescribes an inevitable, but only general musical outcome, where the details are ever protean. Otherwise, it would only be necessary to record every symphonic work once with any competent conductor, or an instrumental work with any competent soloist.

Thus, a sample-simulated performance of a work provided by the composer (IF he is a competent programmer) can be considered a performance map of his work (maybe there is a PhD in this...), and of his particular vision and intentions, much like Stravinsky's own recordings are invaluable to a serious student of his music. I have never heard anyone however averring that those are the best recordings of that composer's works. Same with those of Rakhmaninov. They are a starting point and that's it. His performances are barely considered more authoritative than Hoffmann's, Richter's, Gilel's, or Horowitz's. And that is the limit of the artistic merit of a sampled performance at best, in my opinion.

I view samples as an invaluable tool for composition, as others view the arpeggiator and pattern generators. But mostly I view them as the Godsend of getting decent (or any) performances of my works. They are perfect in tempo and intonation, as they are inhuman and "dimensionless" when compared to a live ensemble (even a bad one).

They have to be so. A violin sustained sample for example MUST be perfectly bowed and perfectly neutral in execution and emotion, so as to be useful in the simulation of every and all symphonic works of the last 250 years, and all movements, fast or slow, serene or intense, requiring that articulation. A competent human's performance of the same note MUST be similarly perfectly bowed, but also must be richly endowed with context emanating from the work's meta-data if you will (composer, style, period), and structure (what came before, what comes after, import of phrase, meaning, spirit, etc.), and all this can effect the performance of that single note, and changes that will all occur within the performance of that one note. Even with all the 'Humanizing' features and articulation drawings in a DAW, I have yet to encounter the suppleness of human playing.

In conclusion, I don't see how there has to be a debate between orchestras vs. samples, as a) one doesn't preclude the existence and usefulness of the other, b) they each bring their own unique great attributes to the compositional table. Let us rejoice and give thanks for our access to at least one of them, always aspiring to even more and better access to the other (both actually).

Happy Easter (belated to the non-Orthodox).

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Sun, Apr 08 2018 11:34
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Hall One, Posts 698

Everything you argued is absolutly understandable and right imho especially when it comes to the large possible variety of way how music might convince one or another and does this aswell frrom the perspective of the creator/producer of music as for the perspective of the listener always in a very subjective way. (It is very healthy to keep that in mind for further esthteical discussions here )

But.....

imho there is something (and I think today even pretty much) objective, which makes the context for all of us as musicians in the same age.

1) We all draw with often very good reasons our mesure to judge and decide about good music more or less from our (always indivual) history ( Since music is the Art of repetision in time you only can experience a ´relation between any few notes as soon as you understand them by remembering that they match anything in your experience)

2) The context of the music which made our musical expierence and measurement is nearly ccompletly different to the context of music today.:

"Performance" has been for many centuries of classical music the main and most times the only way of expireincing music at all. Therefore the performer was the decisive 'transmitter' of musical Ideas. It is an very important fact, that this is nowaday completly different. I expect that 99% of our musical "comunication" comes through any kind of wire and/or Dataformat. The Problems to solve for communicating Music as a perfomer are substantially different to those for coimunicating music in Form of Data. And who if not we, should know especially that aspect better?

Again I confess it is my strong believe, that the current technical possibilities are by far superior over those of the past. And performing music on a wooden instrument might be easier to stay exactly in the limits of a historical performance, but with someone who uses the current technology with deep musical understanding and strong musical intentions, the modern digital means give him powerful tools to shape his musical ideas and yes compared to this power I do still  comiserate those who are still trying to convince with their musical intentions using wooden instruments of the past in a kind of performance of the past with all the shortcoming of this wooden instruments and circumstances of the performance. Must I really list all problems a conventional performance has compared to what we are able to controle quite handsome digitally. Just think how difficult it is for a chambermusic ensemble. to controle the overall sound what we are doing with some settings in the mixer or/and the shape of the acoustic reflections.  It is very common to praise "handplayed" instruments as "authentic". Sorry but technically they are pretty cumbersome compared what to is easyly available digitally and often enough conventional interprets are already celebrated for handle those wooden instruments a bit less cumbersome as expected.. Sorry but this historic problem to let some woden instruments sound nice and elegant is imho basicly more or less overcome there is no necessity to play with fast fingers on keys or strings. And the better the samplelibraires cover every single aspect of tonevariety of traditional instruments this becomes more true for every aspect of musical expression. Better use your time to develop a fast and precise thinking for the musical details than preacticing skales, arpeggios and Octaves.  

But since it is true that the audience is like the most of us in the musical understanding still determined in the way music was practiced and performed in the past and (often still today), it will take presumably some time till the standards will be adapted to our technical reality. (However this is not enough reason for me to stuck on outdated ways of musical production and comunication.) But this decision is for each and all of us of course subjective and therefor very different. And therfore it is great to discuss those subjects here espcially as wee as it seem to me are in this question defintily very near the "frontline" of the technicle development of musicproduction.

http://klassik-resampled.de
To be serious: Is there any greater resource of sample-based recordings of classical music out there?
Posted on Sun, Apr 08 2018 12:56
by mh-7635
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Posts 173

Fahl, I fear you and your ears are lost and will mourn for you and your music..... Have you had much experience of your own music being played live and well? It may be a bit crass, but if you feel so inclined, listen to my Partita Concordia on my site and tell me you could programme that better. Or for that matter something by a reputable composer. If you do listen, pick up on the nuances in the playing that lends the whole expressivity. Samples cannot do this to the intricacy needed to be convincing.

 I could go on and on, suffice to say samples are nowhere near being able to replace the real thing (yet). You and others are missing out on key aspects of music and composing. Even without performance prospects, these subtleties should be infusing your work pre and post manuscript to give them more significance.

If however, you are saying you don't need these crucial parameters for your performance, then fine, I'll say an extra prayer..

Errikos...right on

Posted on Sun, Apr 08 2018 15:00
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Hall One, Posts 698

Hi mh,

no need to mourn at all. I will never dispute any well done interpretation at all. of course we have had in history in many centuries impressing musicians who knew to convince with exactly those musical means and instruments which were available for them and made most impressing music as well as interpretations as far we can still listen already in pretty much recordings we nevertheless hear to day for 99% through any kind of loadspeaker.

And of course I would enjoy as much a good performance with what instrument ever as soon it is convincing. The only imho "misbelieve" I try to put a bit in question is the assumption, that historic instruments are in any way per se superior. No for me they are not and there is a pretty simple reason, it is the musician and not the instrument who makes the music.  It is the musical intenttion which searches for nuances not the wood or specific data who does that at any kind in any instrument for the musician.

It is true, that we presumably all learned to speak the language music with traditional instruments and our tradition is rich enough to teach us very very much impressing, important and deep things about music.

But guess what imho you even can learn, that there is from all th centuries of our tradition scarcly any greater Composer or musician still known who was not interested in exploreing and using the most modern instruments of his time, so if we would like to follow their great example we should learn to speak their language with our own words with all means available in our time just as they did in their time.

the questions about the significance of the life performance could Imho be consideredd more and more  like the significance of the storyteller in the centuries after Gutenberg has introduced the printing press. Yes get  a fairy tale toldby your grandpa or grandma still might have its own irreplaceable attraction. But sorry, you can't comunicate with how many however loveable grandmas and grandpas all the knöwledge and intellectual creativity good libraries have transmitted since they could be printed on paper.

Would I disregard or  even want replace the lecture (in music - the performance ) therfore in any way. No of course not. But wake up the reality is, that the performance of a composition has already now not much more quantitative relevance compared to the amount of music which is heard through loudspeaker and the more orless digital way to get in it as the fairytale telling grandma for the litareature we know (oh I forget even she uses for lang times books she just read it loud instead of giving their version of the "authentic" aural transmission) and why did even she use this less "authentic" modern cultural technic? simply because it is more powerful and more precise and so our reading grandma is always sure their version is not less convincing told than the Version how the Brother Grimm printed it. 

Yes to travel by foot is pretty good to keep an eye for all details of your travel, but the USA would scarcly ever had become the most plural and powerful nation if all ancesters of those who live ther today had remaind with traveling by foot only because this is regarded as the only  traditional  "authentic" technic to use. Come on guys, stay a bit more confindent about the great instruments especially VSL provides and we all use with great pleasure. They  are new and yes they can be used to make good music. That is at least my strong personal opinion. And yes I confess I still comiserate those who are not open to use all the powerful means and technics  which are available today to unfold their Ideas and express themself.

http://klassik-resampled.de
To be serious: Is there any greater resource of sample-based recordings of classical music out there?
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