Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Beginning to listen all over again

The time has come to begin my musical education all over again. I go through stages where I spend a lot of time researching and listening to particular periods, composers, bands, etc. It seems I have missed some very important watershed moments and people. You can only go down so many forking paths, and I just happen to missed some of this all together.

It started, where I think it does for many people who end up here, with Soft Machine and Robert Wyatt. Soft Machine's 1 and 2 have become a sort of cradle for me, where I have just begun my first associations with the world around me. Then it was Gong, and this was like starting to differentiate colors, and then Can and Faust, and this was like taking my first unsteady steps. And now here I am, a toddler, having just discovered Steve Reich and what is before me now feels like really having to grow up a bit.

Strangely, I realize that part of this growing is going to involve paring down, unlearning what I thought I knew about what music could really do. I have always said that I need a little noise with my pop and a little pop with my noise, but now I am interested in the ways in which pop can be disseminated into bits sometimes beyond recognition. Like this for example. Or like this.

So where do I go from here? The drone? The crackle box? The toy piano?

I'll be sure to let you know what I find, and post some mp3s and suggestions along the way.

If you are an experimental/ avant garde musician and you would like me to write about your work, please drop me a note (peter.bebergal at gmail.com).

And by the way, to better accommodate this curriculum, I am going to be building a tube amp and some other audio gear to bring it all back to the most basic category sound.

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