Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad/Brain Hunger

Today is my dad's birthday. All I really need to say is that my dad rules, but I'll elaborate. Not only does he do everything for us (driving, cooking, etc.), but he is also the reason I play music. I am forever in his debt just for that.

Thanks Dad, Happy Birthday.

I decided to make two cards today, one for him and one for my mom's un-birthday. I'm sure that she will post pictures in her blog, but basically I just drew Neil Gaiman. This is all I've learned after 20 years of knowing my mother - you just have to draw Neil Gaiman. Or make a song about him for Christmas.

I'm still continuing with this 8AM on the dot wake-up call. It backfired on me the first day, but I'm starting to get used to it. I spent most of the morning traveling to the Sound of Market to pick up some gifts of the aural persuasion. Sound of Market is one of the last good record stores in Philadelphia, besides AKA Music. As long as those two places don't go out of business, I'll be a happy man. My duct-tape wallet will continue to be unhappy though.

I'll finish this post with a rant of sorts.
On the way home I was ruminating on the future of musical composition. This topic seems to preoccupy my walks into town, regardless of whether or not I am actually listening to music. Perhaps I'm not worried about the future of composition as much as I'm worried about our voices and our instruments becoming obsolete. As for the musician playing the instrument, the muscles can only develop so much for the purpose of excessive speed and accuracy.

Quite useful, but mostly unnecessary.

Our musical vocabulary is vast but more limited than the vocabulary we use on a daily basis. For example, we have twenty six letters, but we only have twelve tones. Of course, there are many rhythms that have been untouched. But what is the purpose of creating the most unimaginable and complex rhythm? Having a definitive and clear musical statement is of utmost importance, and I'm not sure that complexity is the key to clarity.
This leads me to the big mystery. I'm trying to figure out what the next evolutionary step is, but it always begs the question: What hasn't been done yet? The only way to know is by absorbing as much music as possible. I was able to satiate my starving brain with that conclusion when suddenly...

I thought about all of the articles which discuss the "best new music of (insert year here)".

The "best new music" seems to mend many adventurous, sometimes absurd, and previously unwanted musical ideas (read: the acknowledgement of free jazz in popular music). The once outlandish ideas are then regurgitated into a pop song format, which in turn makes it accessible to a wide commercial audience. There are interesting results, but how is the art progressing? Especially when we are using the same elements that have been available for hundreds of years? Some say we are at the end of the creative rope. I say we search for a reasonable compromise!
Calling myself a postmodernist is a cop out, so I'll just have to keep thinking about it until I'm satisfied. That'll happen. Hah!
I should get some sleep, and then wake up at 8AM. Maybe my thoughts will be clear when I'm not thinking about how delicious the birthday pound cake was.

Eric Slick


Ramiro Rodriguez said...

Food for thought, indeed.
Even though I'm a visual artist much of my inspiration comes from my biggest love which is music. Having heard so much music (good and bad) in my life has only caused me to search out those musicians that have walked out to the edge and brought something beautiful and strange back. I love the "difficult" music as much as a power pop song as much as some tuvan throat singing. I'm just glad there are people out there that create great sounds.

C Afiado said...

Darn that appendix! Hope you're feeling better soon.


Daryl Darko said...

The contemplation of the future of musical composition is a fascinating topic for discussion. I unconsciously tapped into this idea in comments I made in a review I wrote about a retro-prog album ( I am glad that this is important to you and that you are young and on the frontline of the musical frontier. Go for it man. Find those new sounds!