Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

a hidden musical culture

If you don't subscribe to Robin Sloan's P R I M E S newsletter, you should. In the most recent edition he talks about this video:



Robin says this video is "wonderful for its evolving sound and also for its inscrutability. I mean, how is he making those noises? How has he learned to play that monstrous instrument?? It's amazing."

Leave that video playing in a tab. It's really nice. It's also quite strange, because it exists. I get the sense, observing this hobby from afar, that most of these slow-building basement performances are ephemeral or, if recorded, never shared. This is a music culture almost totally orthogonal to iTunes and Spotify and even SoundCloud.

I love the vision of a modular synthesizer enthusiast -- ideally 51 years old, a tax accountant with two children -- padding down into the basement where the music machine waits to spend an hour pulling cables and twirling knobs, listening and tweaking, building an analog soundscape, thick and warm like a blanket, and, in that moment, theirs alone.

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