36 Toop

Toop opens his essay with a comparison of Jae-eun Choi's Japanese paper experiment and the musical mediums of CD's and Vinyls. I thought it was very interesting because he said that Choi's paper and vinyls can evolve over time, while CD's are a static, "dead thing" whose image remains the same no matter how it is used or abused.

After comparing changing and static mediums, he goes on to discuss generative music. He opens by acknowledging some of the first generative instruments such as wind chimes and aeolian harps which take the input of the environment and the rules and laws of physics to generate sound. Then, he describes "Sound Drifting" which was presented in the late 90's and networked various forms of communication via the internet to create music. He then goes into talking about Eno and Reich and their works and opinions on generative music. I found Eno's quote on the subject very interesting "Generative music is like trying to create a seed, as opposed to classical composition which is like trying to engineer a tree."

In his next section he talks about creating music which has no beginning or end, but is just a state of being, a structure. A quote by Evan Parker says "What happens when you work with the longest elements? Maybe you're not improvising anymore, you're just remembering." The rest of the essay goes on to describe this "change of conciousness" from an engineering mindset to a "biological and evolutionary paradigm." I really enjoyed Toop's perspective and overview of the state of generative music.


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