Saturday, January 07, 2012

Aesthetic Distortion

It may be an apocryphal statement, but I have heard it said more than once that Dr. Bob Moog believed that the electronic synthesizer should not sound like any other instrument.  Recently one of Dr. Moog's former students confirmed to me that this was true.

Synthetic sounds have unique qualities. They may create entirely novel combinations of tone, or reproduce certain obvious characteristics of specific instruments. In both cases these sounds can be manipulated to produce effects that reach the ear in striking ways.

The results may sound merely imitative, an echo of aspects of familiar musical works, or they may combine in more interesting synthetic forms, as Dr. Moog conceived them, to move in diverse or strange directions.

A sound that seems ancient and modern at once is particularly appealing to me, especially when it moves through time organically and unpredictably, and I often seek to attain it when organizing compositions.  The digital studio and synthesizer make a potent combination in bringing such sounds to life through innumerable means that were not possible mere decades ago.

It is no longer possible for me to think of music as being limited to particular forms, but rather as auditory images evolving in other ways altogether.

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