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On technicality

On technicality
June 16, 2009, 04:54:36 AM
Quote
The way most people think: X piece has Y musical attributes, therefore those are what makes it great.

How it seems to me: X piece is created to express a certain experience and change in outlook as a result, and for this reason music is created, using Y musical attributes as techniques to achieve an effect; what makes the piece great is this transfer of experience, and the technicality is not fully incidental but comes after the genesis of what makes the piece great.

I think most people see great pieces, and emulate the technical aspects, because they can handle those intellectually even if they're afraid or alienated by the artistic impetus behind them.

As with all things, modern people have it backwards. We are the imitators of greatness who in callowness serve only our temporal wants.

Re: On technicality
June 16, 2009, 05:37:35 AM
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I think most people see great pieces, and emulate the technical aspects, because they can handle those intellectually even if they're afraid or alienated by the artistic impetus behind them.

Or, as in most cases, never grasped that impetus in the first place.  There's plenty of fear in the world...but a lot more simple ignorance.

Re: On technicality
June 16, 2009, 07:26:31 PM
Quote
The way most people think: X piece has Y musical attributes, therefore those are what makes it great.

How it seems to me: X piece is created to express a certain experience and change in outlook as a result, and for this reason music is created, using Y musical attributes as techniques to achieve an effect; what makes the piece great is this transfer of experience, and the technicality is not fully incidental but comes after the genesis of what makes the piece great.

I think most people see great pieces, and emulate the technical aspects, because they can handle those intellectually even if they're afraid or alienated by the artistic impetus behind them.


As with all things, modern people have it backwards. We are the imitators of greatness who in callowness serve only our temporal wants.



An example from the wiki entry on a currently influential band:

"Origin's music is characterized by almost exclusive use of several specific, difficult playing techniques: blast beats on the drum kit, multiple death-growled vocals, and arpeggios on both the guitars and the bass guitar. Their songs often have uneven, shifting time signatures."

Re: On technicality
June 17, 2009, 10:27:58 AM
"Origin's music is characterized by almost exclusive use of several specific, difficult playing techniques: blast beats on the drum kit, multiple death-growled vocals, and arpeggios on both the guitars and the bass guitar. Their songs often have uneven, shifting time signatures."

Holy shit, "blast beats on the drum kit"? Yeah, that's a really specific, difficult playing technique =)

Anyway, what's interesting here is to pin down exactly what it is that differentiates bands/songs that display technicality for technicality's sake (e.g. Origin, Necrophagist) from actual genuineness. I believe most of us have that unscientific "feel" that usually allows one to listen to half a song of a newly discovered band and then dismiss the band entirely, but there should be something more to this, innit?

I also think this should be considered without taking external stuff like the the public persona's of the band members into account.

Re: On technicality
June 17, 2009, 12:01:04 PM
The best way to do that would be to undertake some kind of comparitive listening project in order to pinpoint what makes bands like Morbid Angel and Atheist different from abdns like Origin and Necrophagist.

Re: On technicality
June 17, 2009, 12:46:02 PM
I think what's most important about music is that it flows naturally - both from the artist's instrument and into the listener's ears.

Autopsy didn't have great instrumental skills and weren't concerned about how their music would be accepted - they just got together and did what they thought was right to do.

When I listen to Origin or Beneath the Massacre, I imagine these straight A+ Berklee graduates going into the studio and thinking about how to make the hardest-to-play songs ever.

This is kind of what Chuck Schuldiner did with his progressive albums - "Yeah, like, let's, like, make something PROGRESSIVE!" Why? "To be progressive and musical, unlike those death metal savages!"

So what are you proving? That metal could be technical and complex? Trying to appeal to the snobbish classical/jazz audience?! What's the point? Being a star?! Fuck stars! I thought an artist's biggest goal was to create something true, something inspiring, something which could one day change somebody's life...

...oh, wait, these people aren't artists. They're rockstars, showing off how cool they are, how progressive and thoughtful they are.

But, at the end of the day, Discharge's three chord punk is more progressive than instrumental wankers like Dream Theater.

Fuck rockstars.

Re: On technicality
June 17, 2009, 05:06:53 PM
But, at the end of the day, Discharge's three chord punk is more progressive than instrumental wankers like Dream Theater.

Artists and maniacs with limited technique at their disposal are forced into a great awareness of issues in communicating the theme, atmosphere, mood and pure content of the piece which manifests then in varying the structure, building intensive micro-riffs and the like. With Ildjarn/Beherit technique you can't play "random music" without paying attention to imagery, feel and the buildup of the song because it would sound just that, random. But with Dream Theater, later Emperor, etc. repertoire of production and playing it's easy to just jam endlessly and it's full of events but the events mean nothing, I don't think anyone can answer the question "what was this song about?".

Re: On technicality
June 17, 2009, 08:39:25 PM
This subject goes in hand with my recording technique. I limit the technology so that I may  use more of my artistic abilities to produce my emotions, images, and moods. It is also interesting at the point personally how I never pick up my instruments with the thought of creating something, as all of us here know, brootal, or elit or super techie. I just do and the joy is just endless....

Re: On technicality
June 18, 2009, 08:01:32 AM
This subject goes in hand with my recording technique. I limit the technology so that I may  use more of my artistic abilities to produce my emotions, images, and moods. It is also interesting at the point personally how I never pick up my instruments with the thought of creating something, as all of us here know, brootal, or elit or super techie. I just do and the joy is just endless....

I believe this is also what the progenitors of any metal movement (later to be imitated) do; i.e. they don't think in terms of "Now I'm going to create a new genre with specific limitations on song structure, melodic scales and lyrics" but rather just aspire to create something really awesome. This is not to be confused with the "randomness" approach, where you just, sort of, cut & paste bits and pieces from genres all over the place (Opeth i.e. O-peth, Ephel Duath, Farmakon).

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Autopsy didn't have great instrumental skills and weren't concerned about how their music would be accepted - they just got together and did what they thought was right to do.

When I listen to Origin or Beneath the Massacre, I imagine these straight A+ Berklee graduates going into the studio and thinking about how to make the hardest-to-play songs ever.

I'm pretty much with you on this sentiment, but really, aren't you merely creating problems for a solution you already have decided upon?

Re: On technicality
June 23, 2009, 04:59:55 AM
The best way to do that would be to undertake some kind of comparitive listening project in order to pinpoint what makes bands like Morbid Angel and Atheist different from abdns like Origin and Necrophagist.

I think this important: we need to define what is quality music, and the relationship between musicality and art.

Re: On technicality
June 25, 2009, 03:47:07 PM
I believe this is also what the progenitors of any metal movement (later to be imitated) do; i.e. they don't think in terms of "Now I'm going to create a new genre with specific limitations on song structure, melodic scales and lyrics" but rather just aspire to create something really awesome.

They're thinking backward then. You want to come up with an idea for a song in the abstract, like an emotion or experience (or ideally, emotion told through experience) and then figure out what techniques are needed. Finding the technique first is the kind of "outside looking in" that people are talking about.

Origin is just plain goofy. That music makes me laugh out loud. It is technical, for sure... but what is it? It sounds like a radio jingle in a high speed collision with a fusion band on meth.

Re: On technicality
June 25, 2009, 06:21:43 PM
Technicality for technicality's sake, or ignorant imitation, reminds me of just about anything else that a human being can be 'talented' at doing. The world's best juggler, the world's smartest skyscraper engineer, the world's fastest man -- they're all quantity-based. They're circus performers.

The difference is that, for some strange reason, society hasn't granted the unthinking the permission to craft top 5 favorite jugglers lists on the Internet.

Re: On technicality
June 28, 2009, 01:05:44 AM
Again, it's a cause/effects confusion.

Is Beethoven's music excellent because it's technical, or technical because it's excellent -- and thus required headier techniques to express?

Cynic, Opeth, Origin, Meshuggah and Necrophagist are the worst faux-technical players out there. First, songwriting is random. Next, they're good with a few techniques, but never go beyond that, and all of what they do is remarkably similar in tempo and phrase. Should tell us all something.

Demilich on the other hand... is very similar in parts, but has a goal other than the music itself.

I guess that's life in a nutshell: your goal cannot be the thing in itself, but the gestalt and experience of the whole.

After all, you don't live for your body -- it's a means to an end.