Tuesday, December 27, 2005

music is the opposite of death

Only living entities, from computers to crickets, can make music. It's a known fact, attested to by all living and dead composers. Music is a production caused by a life form in motion, vibration, or other frenzy.

What's "noise" and "chaos" to one generation is a sedate sleep-soundtrack to the next.

But to make music, there must be animation, life, movement.

The wind, an alive creature with a mind of its own and a great propensity for self-replication and general hell-raising, whistles through trees.

The moon moves the tides and makes splashing sounds on the shore.

NASA space probes and satellites pick up radio wave signals from passing comets, asteroids, and planets.

Everything is making noise. By virtue of containing a thumping heart, you have a beat. The sound of silence is loud, the internal noise of the human endosphere, as John Cage discovered to his delight.

Music is everywhere, and it doesn't always conform to human musicological theory. Iannis Xenakis, a great electronic and glissando composer from Greece, invented the theory of "stochastic music" to explain and imitate the seemingly steady yet random patterns of rain striking a tin roof.

How do the crickets, cicadas, and other chirping, clicking creatures harmonize at night in a concert performance that rivals such gentle noise bands as Soviet France and Lt. Caramel?

I'm tired of this topic now, but that's how CompuMusik was born. I throw a whole bunch of sporadic sounds and temerous tones together, sometimes with a hard beat, a techno drive mechanism to go forward fast.

CompuMusik is a continuation of the desire to record, imitate, and utilize all sounds in the universe: from amoeba splitting to galaxies colliding. Not there yet, but getting closer every nanosecond.

It seems, according to my discovery a couple days ago of Aaron Spectre ragga jungle dubstep breakcore mix mashups, my music has a lot of affinity with some forms of current NYC, London, Berlin dj club sets, as far as random noises mixing in perfectly with broken bass beats and glitch repetitions.

My CompuMusik is not quite as fast and jerky as this A.S. drumcorps music, having a more techno and ambient orientation.

FREE copy of my new CD:

send me your land address. I'm getting ready to mail the next batch. You might as well climb aboard my delivery list.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



zafu said...


As if the Bad Brains´"Pay to C*m" weren't psycho enough... your boyr Aaron Spectre really freakin' takes it out to the stratosphere.


steven edward streight said...


Thanks. I was feeling lonely, sitting here with 4 dl CDs by Aaron Spectre and Drumcorps, with no one to complain to.

I complain, "Why didn't I hear of this type of psycho mashup, when my old band's lead singer is a mashuper in Hollywood, on Kill Radio internet broadcast, his shoe "The Chill Room" which is mashing and mixing.

But Bennett speaks of mashing a Kate Bush song with Sleep Chamber and Merzbow.

Talk about lilting violent noise, yet not as convoluted as Aaron Spectre?

Aaron Spectre vs. Squarepusher would be the ultimate acid jazz jungle dubstep ragga breakcore glitch rep concert.

zafu said...

It´s mashup, is it? That´s a good word for it. As for Kate Bush, who must be an incarnation of several goddesses or possessed by spirits from another dimension, I´d say her music definitely lends itself to experiments, full of emotion and metaphysical choreography as they are. There is plenty of "meat" in any "Running Up That Hill" or "Hounds of Love" for another tune to slide up against and mashup on.

Man I really feel like I expressed that in lousy English, yet I said just what I wanted to say.

zafu said...

Man, we must be high...

steven edward streight said...

"Mash Ups" is what they call them.

Like "mashing" songs into each other, which Bennett and Gary and I know comes conceptually from early 20th century New England composer Charles Ives, Edgard Varese, and other avant gardists in the classical music realm, who would play two concert or symphonic fragments in conflict or bleeding in and out of each other, with "quotes" of other "melodies" of other composers mixing into the whole mess.

Mashing is just the pop music world catching up with the pioneers of the 1910-1948 era of experimental non-conformity.

The trained musician says: don't do that, it's not done, it's against tradition, my training disallows that.

The experimentalist composer says: let's try this, see how it sounds, how can it be incorporated, to what degree and frequency, with what evolutions or sudden changes?

The total effect is what's important. Anybody with an audio editor can mix any number of songs together, add panning, cross fades, etc.

What matters, what's hard, is to know exactly when to kill or mutilate a specific sound.