01235813 wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:23 am
I really respect what you have done for the synth community. I enjoy your content, wit and ability to present and will continue to do so.
That said, I disagree with your statement. Quite frankly I don't care what Don's intention was. I'd like to believe that his intention was to make an open, flexible instrument that caters to individual needs whilst producing a one of a kind sound. I do believe his goal was to lead away from traditional music and help open new doors to musical perception. I have seen videos of Joel Davel perfectly tracking a 200e, look at the work of Richard Lainhart or Alessandro Cortini. Tell them that syncing gear wasn't Don's intention.
What about the easel command, it's all about syncing to external gear is it not?
Thank you, and I appreciate what you've said.
Ultimately, though... Don's intention for decades was to create electronic compositional tools that embraced the Electronic Music aesthetic... and by "Electronic Music," I do not mean pop music for dancing made entirely with synthesizers, I mean the compositional style that rose to popularity between 1900 and the late 1950s that was an attempt to embrace the timbral and compositional benefits that come from manipulating electrons to generate any timbre arranged in whatever form that the composer saw fit.
Early 20th Century composers were done with the outcome of several centuries of musical practice that we would now call the "Western Tradition." They sought to use the power afforded by the electron to create NEW timbres in NEW musical styles. Making sure that the 12-note Western scale was served was absolutely NOT part of that.
In the early 2000s when Don created a new context for his 200-series designs employing digital benefits, his goal WAS NOT AT ALL to create traditional tonal music. His goal was to realize the dream of early Electronic Music composers using the newest tools.
Let me be clear... I am a tonal musician... and as much as I appreciate traditional Electronic Music, I still embrace that ridiculous 19th Century compositional style, and I myself prefer the ability to use electronic tools to compose traditional music with. But that was NOT Don's goal. If you want to use Don's great tools in whatever way you want, that's totally cool. Luckily for people like me, you literally CAN. I have composed a lot of traditional music with Don's work. But, it's not easy. Because that is NOT what it was designed for. So, the onus is on the musician who is trying to adapt these Electronic Music tools in a Traditional Music way.
And, many have... including the incomparable Suzanne Ciani, Steve H., and even Alessandro. No one would argue that their work isn't a great application of this technology. But no one SHOULD argue that their application supersedes the design intentions of Don.
The ability for the Easel, and especially the modern 208c and Easel Command, to be adapted to modern music is the attempt of Buchla to adapt to modern implementation. And yes, all of them can be played quite tonally. But that is a modern adaptation, and should not dismiss Don's original intent.
So, ultimately... I say... yeah! Use Don's designs in any way that you see fit. They can be applied to such a wide range of musical and expressive applications! But those who suggest that Don's vision submit to modern popular synthesizer-based music... well, that I disagree with. Those who suggest that it's some kind of outrage that Don's grand tradition of aligning with the great work of Electronic composers should be bent to align with modern consumer desires... welllll, that I don't agree with.
"Now, don't misquote me and say I'm against keyboards. I've been misquoted on that one enough. A keyboard is a useful input structure if what you want is rapid simultaneous access to a large number of sounds of fixed pitch, but it's much less useful for controlling some other aspects of sound."