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Experimental Electronic Music

I will be working on experimental electronic music for this project as it communicates “emotions” to my audiences as well as it is able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting. Taking my audience on a journey by telling a story. The common trait in recent experimental electronic music is a concern with whether sound, in itself, bears meaning.

Experimental music refers, in the English-language literature, to a compositional tradition which arose in the mid-20th century, applied particularly in North America to music composed in such a way that its outcome is unforeseeable. More loosely, the term “experimental” is used in conjunction with genre names to describe music within specific genres that pushes against their boundaries or definitions, or else whose approach is a hybrid of disparate styles (Wikipedia)

 

4′33″

One of the most famous and influential exponent of experimental music  was John Cage  who was best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″. It was performed in the absence of deliberate sound; musicians who present the work do nothing aside from being present for the duration specified by the title. 

 

This is John Cage  4’33’ music score sheet. Pretty much experimental. 

The score comprises six lines of typed instructions indicating 3 movements, or parts as Cage refers to them, and each movement carries the simple musical direction ‘TACET’ written in uppercase. It is clear, bold and precise. The word ‘tacet’ is the conventional music term meaning ‘silence’ or more particularly ‘make no sound’. This instruction does not mean ‘do nothing’ and here lies one of the common misconceptions of the piece. It is often reported, sometimes by eminent music critics, that a performance of this work requires the performer to do nothing. But this is not the case. The performer is at least required to indicate the beginnings and endings of the movements and as our realisation is for radio we decided to use the familiar pips of the Greenwich Time Signal as our indicators – the short one for the beginning of a movement, the long one for the end.

Lets look at the other projects…

Chance

 

I Ching divination involves obtaining a hexagram by random generation (such as tossing coins), then reading the chapter associated with that hexagram.

Chart system was also used (along with nested proportions) for the large piano work Music of Changes (1951), only here material would be selected from the charts by using the I Ching. All of Cage’s music since 1951 was composed using chance procedures, most commonly using the I Ching. For example, works from Music For Piano were based on paper imperfections: the imperfections themselves provided pitches, and the I Ching was used to determine the methods of sound production, or the rhythms, etc.  A whole series of works was created by applying chance operations

His first mature visual project, Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel, dates from 1969. The work comprises two lithographs and a group of what Cage called plexigrams: silk screen printing on plexiglass panels. The panels and the lithographs all consist of bits and pieces of words in different typefaces, all governed by chance operations

 

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