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A History of Noise
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Synth Noise  
Author A History of Noise
Roycie Roller
Heya All,
i thought it might be fun to have a thread dedicated to a history of noise in music. 'Noise' meaning really anything you can imagine that might fall under such a title. It might be industrial, no-fi, avant-garde, power electronics, etc, etc...Whatever you want! It'd be cool to get a brief description so that in some ways this thread might resemble a family tree, if you like.
I can imagine there's been all kinds of weird stuff happening right back in time, but it's particularly interesting how when synths became widely available, industrial music took off in many parts of the world, simultaneously. For example, at the same time as Throbbing Gristle were starting up in the UK, Greame Revell had formed SPK in Australia. When Greame took a bunch of LP's to England to sell out of a suitcase in the late 70's, that's where the two became aware of each other's existence. Severed Head's were another OZ band operating at the same time. As a sidenote, i've read in the original liner notes of Whitehouse's debut LP 'BirthDeath Experience' that they thought T.G. were a buncha pussies & wanted to be separate from the 'Industrial' tag. Typical Whitehouse.
So if anyone'd like to add any history at all, it'd make for a great read i reckon (plus a good reference point for anyone wanting to delve into the area!). Cheers!
Let us not forget Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music.
one of the originators of noise was luigi russolo. check out his bio on wikipedia. sadly few, if any, of his instruments still exist.
Chuck E. Jesus
Rough Music

Thompson defines rough music as "noise, lampoons, [and] obscenities," "noisy, masked demonstrations with effigies and obscene verses," and "noise and ridicule." To generate the noise, all kinds of instruments (musical and otherwise) were used: pots and pans, marrowbones and cleavers, tongs, tambourines, kits, crouds, humstrums, chains, ram's horns, empty or stone-filled kettles, whistles, rattles, bells, guns and, of course, the human voice, which can be used to yell, scream, howl, grunt, hiss, boo, chant, etc. etc.
A very good book came out last year:
Noise/Music: A History ef=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215800452&sr=1-10

I will type something up on my knowledge of the history this weekend.
Somewhere in the history of it all, Xenakis's electro-acoustic/concrete work stands out, paving the way for amplified intensity and sheer heaviness. Pieces like Bohor, Persepolis and Legend of Er really dished out a variety of creative approaches that many (harsh or not-so-harsh) noise folks work with today.
Warren Burt records from 1973
Pauline Oliveros...yes pauline oliveros!
David Tudor
Sun RA check Oblique Paralax live minimoog ouns like a spaceship micked up
I am happy to report I own about 150 Merzbow CDs and they are all different and great!

my fav David Tudor :-)

but it really depends what you call noise..I cant stand pop music I call that noise
Roycie Roller wrote:
I can imagine there's been all kinds of weird stuff happening right back in time, but it's particularly interesting how when synths became widely available, industrial music took off in many parts of the world, simultaneously.

I doubt that the often made connection of synths and early industrial is justified. Most early protagonist used synths (if at all!) amongst other instruments which were often more important to their overall sound.

If it is possible to boil it to one predominant instrument it rather would be the tape, I think. Feedback (mic/guitar + amp) woud be another aspirant for the title.

However, I think it interesting that early jap. noise is - to my best knowledge - closer related to the jap. free jazz than any possible foreign influence.
i've said it before and i'll say it again, the last track "an electric storm in hell" from the white noise debut album "an electric storm", 1968, as raw as anything whitehouse have ever released.
it is impossible to begin talking about a history of Noise without including Merzbow, aka Mr. Masami Akita. Working with synths/metal noise and fucked up stuff and creating a path on his own that many would follow before most of us here where ever born.
Babaluma wrote:
as raw as anything whitehouse have ever released.

Desmond Leslie's music from the 1950's rereleased as Music of the Future on Trunk has some sounds which actually seemed to have been copied by Whitehouse.

All early industrial bands were well aware of experiments from the 1960s by Alvin Lucier, John Cage (W'house); Krautrock, musique concrète (NWW); etc

I'm sure Masami Akita was familiar with Toshi Ichiyanagi and Joji Yuasa's early tape work and several western composers as well off course.

Thus I think the various "roots" of late 1970s ind. are not the speading of a "new" instrument (synth) but rather knowledge of some of their noisy predecessors.
thanks for the tip on the book

just bought it
thanks! grabbed the book also! only $21 on ebay shipped (US) hardcover... oops, didn't see the cheaper paperback on Amazon. Oh well...
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