Thursday, August 09, 2007

before low-fi and free jazz...

dubuffet

"of course i had no experience whatever with the tape-recorder. it was only later that i became aware of the imperfections of my recordings, made directly on my amateur's machine, in comparison with those made by professionals. but, paradoxical as it may seem, i am not convinced of the superiority of the latter, in the same way that i often prefer poorly-crafted amateur's photographs to those of specialists. later, when i was in contact with technicians, i felt that all their precautions and installations counterbalanced certain advantages with a deplorable inhibitory effect and also that the recordings thus obtained, however much clearer they may be to the ear, however much freer from flaws and minor mishaps, do not speak louder to the spirit as a result. i believe that in all areas art has everything to gain by simplifying the techniques it is obliged to use... such an incredible number of extremely diverse effects can be obtained from the first instrument to come to hand alone that one wonders if it is really worth searching for others. where practical experience and good methodical knowledge of how to play the instruments used is concerned, i am evidently seriously lacking and the benefits of acquiring this knowledge are clear to me. it may be however, that in doing this there is also a risk of losing an advantage: that afforded by the improvised use of an instrument whose proper handling is not known, with the unexpected discoveries that this can bring about. having said all this, the records collected here are not presented in the spirit works with any pretentions of their own, but rather as the first experimentations of someone venturing into an area about which he knows practically nothing and it is in this spirit that i ask musicians to accept them."

jean dubuffet, musical experiences, 1961

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2 Comments:

Anonymous robert w. said...

Hey Steve,
Just stumbled across your blog while trying to avoid work. Looks like you're posting every day? Yikes! There's too much here. It's making my head spin a little. I'll be checking back later (I have much work and life to avoid).
I may be wrong, but wasn't 1961 pretty much concurrent with free jazz? I am sure though, that '61 was before the half bat...

11:41 PM  
Blogger sroden said...

hi robert, i'm glad i can lend a hand to avoiding other things like work and life - works the same for me... digging something out of the mess here out every morning assures me of a little joy and something to think about for the rest of the day. indeed it would be amazing if dubuffet's music and free jazz were birthed at the same moment - lending creedence to the 'something in the air' theory of how/why such things begin. honestly i have no idea. my free jazz history is weaker than my spelling.

7:28 AM  

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