Are Robots My True Partners?/The Role Of MIDI In Creation
Lately I have been relying more and more on my original MIDI track to generate all, and I mean ALL, the other tracks in the stretch. BTW, when I use the word "stretch" I mean the improvised piano part I begin most of my stuff with. It's a word I learned from Connie Crothers and is apropos to a length of music and "stretching" oneself musically beyond what went before. Anyway, it is the antithesis of a composed piece, which makes it germaine to this discussion.
So, I find myself "creating" and recording music for three minutes, say. If I think it worth it I might add a second stretch of four minutes ( it just happens, no particular plan) Now I have an audio track of seven minutes of piano and a canvas of midi info. Time to call in my collaborators. Lately, for example, Mr. Tardy Grain (always delayed for rehearsals) that Bohemian, Beat Hawk, and that master synthesist up on charges of sexual harassment, SynthMaster Player.
The boys all light up and plug in. We are immediately rocking. But it's quite the cacophony. So I take charge. If not me these guys sure won't do it. So,I say, ok, Tar, baby, you come in at the beginning at this volume and pipe down on the eighth bar, I'll tell you when I need you next. Now you, Mr. Beat... please put down that blunt and give me a nice smoky horn swell at 2:20. And finally, S&M Player, can you put down the porn and pick up your arpeggiator at the crescendo. Working with fringe elements always gives me a thrill!
And so on and so forth, until out of the two stretches I have created a fourteen minute epic that came from @michael knows where. This process is so fundamentally different from how I created music for fifty years that I must ask myself... what the hell am I doing? So I have thought about it and this is what I think....
It is all legit, IMO. In fact, more than legit. Chance always plays a part in discovery. The burrs sticking on Mr. Velcro's sleeve, the chocolate bar in Mr. Microwave's pocket. Randomizers, Riffers, Chord creators, Arpeggiators, the saxophone. All invented as tools for the musician. Even the iPad itself can have a live orchestral accompaniment.
At least it is legit here. On a more "Serious" forum... these ideas would be soundly 😬rejected. But it seems like they would reject a shovel cause scratching in the dirt is more... earthy. For me these talented little robots are more than welcome. In fact, they are often more imaginative than I could ever be. They need guidance but who doesn't? They lack... no, they sometimes even have a sense of humor. But where does this all lead? In the future these binary partners will be able to do what? and how much better than I ever could? At what point do we call a music making program an actual artist? There was a thread about a commercial music generating program that is currently utilized which needs no musical input from the user ( as I remember) just type in candy bar music, please.
So, your thoughts? What is the the true face of midi before it was born? When you meet the Midi down the street, should you kill it? And what is the sound of one midi input clapping? ( I have heard that sound quite often from my wife).
And lastly, if you were to advise a newbie to the iOS or desktop platform, what would you impart about the role of MIDI?