more future

so i was discussing this whole 'sound of the future' thing with bec and it appears i probably should clarify what i exactly meant by that. i think it basically means anything that is new and not-before-heard. of course, once it's created, it's no longer of the future but the point is, no-one seems to be really actively trying to make actual sounds that have not been heard before anymore. so, when i say, making the sounds of the future, i don't mean trying to predict what might happen in the future. rather i mean making things that aren't buried under the weight of the past.

i've also been thinking that the reason for it being largely absent in the last 10 years is that the technology of sound generation hasn't actually progressed in the last 10 years. during the 90s (and, i guess the 80s, but that was before my musical times), new ways of actually creating sounds were being developed really quickly. new forms of synthesis were invented, so whole new actual sound worlds came into existence very very regularly for artists to use that didn't previously exist. which made it very easy for artists to sound like nothing that had come before and, therefore, making their music easily 'futuristic'. but that technology hasn't changed much since then. processing power has definitely increased (exponentially) but not the actual sounds. so artists can't really rely on their technology to make the future anymore. so it has to come from somewhere else.

bec and i have been watching ken burn's 12 part history of jazz documentary over the last few weeks. one of the things that has most struck me is that all of the progression was based on using the same instruments in new ways. and the plotted path of jazz's development is basically just jumping from one innovator of an instrument to another. the technology doesn't change, but you can hear how each progressive style would sound alien to the people immediately before it, even though the instruments are identical. i think that is where some of our keys might lie. i'm actually quite excited at the prospect of mixing some very un-rock and un-electronic instruments (squeezeboxes, ukulele et al) with very electronic rhythms. and i'm also toying with some jazz inspired ideas of rhythmic progression which abandons the rock/electronic mode of a solid, stable rhythmic pulse. that's where my musical head is at. this week, at least.


Bec said...

Phew! Adrian, that clears up everything. I've spent the last two weeks trying to imagine what people will be listening to in their flying cars and have come up with absolutely diddly! :P

Bec said...

Another thought. I think Bjork and Sufjan have found the future by this definition. Although, I think the future in this light is merely a step right or left out of the mainstream. I'm quite happy to step sideways - crowds make me claustrophobic.

steve said...

Have you seen 30 Century Man?


Its a documentary on Scott Walker and his last albums Tilt and The Drift - the atmosphere these albums create is immense and frightening (using giant wooden boxes and slabs of meat as instruments alongside orchestral arrangements, and he's got a big voice).

I've been listening to Matthew Herbert, who's good for recording all sorts of things and making albums out of the results - One Pig is an example.