|Title||Deliberate Practice and Unintended Consequences in Music Production as Practice and Pedagogy|
By their nature, pitch quantisers snap incoming notes to the closest reference pitch. With modular synthesizers they can make pitch order from random outputs, such as sample and hold generators or shift registers (Boon 2021a). In a DAW they can have various uses such as conforming incoming midi note data to a pre-determined key or scale. This latter application is usually promoted as useful for those who have little confidence or experience in knowing which notes are ‘correct’. Yet, correctness is also an odd notion in creative [teaching] contexts (Boon 2022b), especially where the goal is new music or new sound.
For this presentation, I consider quantisers from a tangential, less familiar and under explored perspective. I present novel applications of quantisers as a creative process capable of materialising a sonic elsewhere from incoming streams of [raw] data. The argument from my practice, and theoretical perspective, is that quantisers offer the user an opportunity to self-organise musical material in the design and development of new work (Boon 2021b; Boon 2022a).
The approach outlined in my presentation contributes to areas of research which have drawn attention to various intentional, unintentional and subverting activities as necessary for the development of many musical approaches and practices. Thėberge identifies these as “specific uses, abuses, or the explicit rejection of various technologies are thus instrumental in defining a particular ‘sound’” (Thėberge, 2001, p. 4). Therefore, my presentation demonstrates the rejection of the utilitarian application of quantisers as a corrective tool and, instead, highlights their use as part of a discovery process (Cascone, 2000, p. 13). Robin James suggests that these sorts of subverting approaches can be thought of as a form of deregulation where “potential irregularities can be fed back into the system without unduly disturbing it” (James 2014, p. 143). My presentation will show that there is not necessarily a grammar nor a distinct set of rules in respect of what should/could be done or what sorts of tools are better/or less suited to processes of subversion. It need not be a destructive process, despite the language implications used by Thėberge, nor mean that music is somehow not musical. Ultimately, ‘you’re not supposed to do that’ becomes a re-articulation of making practices as an essential component for DAW production teaching, where the subversion of conventional tool use is a critical necessity in the development of new music and new production processes.
Boon, H. (2021a). Improvising Songwriting and Composition Within A Hybrid Modular Synthesis System. in: Hepworth-Sawyer, R., Paterson, J. and Toulson, R. (ed.) Innovation in Music Future Opportunities Focal Press.
Boon, H. (2021b). Using DAWs as modelling tools for learning design sound-based applications in education. Journal of Music, Technology & Education. 13 (2-3), pp. 305-322.
Boon, H. (2022a). Learning and Designing Sound Based Music: Enhancing Music Production Pedagogy in HE. Equalise. The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, London 08 Sep 2022.
Boon, H. (2022b). Student and Tutor Life Worlds and Impossible Standards in Higher Popular Music Education, in Powell, B. and Smith, G. D. eds. The Places and Purposes of Popular Music Education, Bristol: Intellect Publishing.
Cascone, K. (2000). The Aesthetics of Failure: “Post-Digital” Tendencies in Contemporary Computer Music. Computer Music Journal, 24:4, 12–18. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3681551
James, R. (2014). Neoliberal noise: Attali, Foucault, and the biopolitics of uncool. Cultural Theory and Critique, 55(2), 138–158.
Théberge, P. (2001). “'Plugged In': Technology and Popular Music”. In The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock, edited by S. Frith, W. Straw, and J. Street, pp. 1–25. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
|Keywords||digital audio workstation|
|Year||01 Jul 2023|
|Conference||Innovation In Music Conference 2023|
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)