Music from the Internet: A Compilation by St Celfer and Tom Moody

Music from the Internet: A Compilation by St Celfer and Tom Moody
[Note: embedded players -- which I basically hate -- are replaced with links when they move off the blog front page]

Am pleased to announce this new Bandcamp release on my collaboration page with St Celfer.
The compilation features music by:

East Sulphur Industries jollo.org/LNT/home/fanfare/
Travis Hallenbeck www.possiblebitmaps.com
peef ffog.sdf.org wrasse.pw/
Sa Cha soundcloud.com/sa-cha-516928585/
spudoogle spudoogle.blog www.youtube.com/user/ptato0
vonneumann von-neumann.bandcamp.com
wet dog wetd0g.bandcamp.com
Wet Hands dourrecords.bandcamp.com

"Liner notes" for the release:

This LP presents a selection of music that mostly ignores the human element – for example, where buskers sing songs, people hum them, an agent hears them humming, then hustles the busker into a recording studio.

Rather, the songs are fabricated, mostly with digital/electronic means, some with live instruments, then posted to the internet, and listened to (or not) by internet users. In a sense this is Robert Moog’s nightmare of "music made alone to be listened to by people alone."

Or maybe it’s not a nightmare but a true expression of more or less instantaneous peer-to-peer sharing of musical ideas, without costly tours, cigar-chomping agents, and dumb music videos of bands pretending to play their instruments.

Some of the songs come from here on Bandcamp, one of the better "low bar to entry" platforms. Some are self-published and self-hosted. Others are soundtracks to YouTube videos. A few have label or netlabel support.

In making the selection we strived for a balance between noisy and tuneful, melancholy and fun. Between beats and no beats. Between electronic drums and real drums. Between found and created. Between classical electronic and pop electronic. Between sampled and synthesized. Mostly “instrumental” but with a few sampled or sung vocals filtering in.

We hope you enjoy this snapshot of what can be found online.

A discussion between St Celfer and Tom Moody about the music on this compilation, in PDF form, is included as a bonus item for this release

earcon Sampler: Tom Moody Edit (new Bandcamp release)

earcon Sampler: Tom Moody Edit by St Celfer and Tom Moody

[Note: embedded players -- which I basically hate -- are replaced with links when they move off the blog front page]

This release appears on St Celfer and Tom Moody, a collaborative project page for St Celfer (stcelfer.bandcamp.com) and yrs truly.
Liner notes for the release:

earcon was an earlier alias of St Celfer (aka John Parker). For this sampler I chose tracks from earcon's catalog and edited them into the above mix. The songs are discrete, not faded together, offering what I hope is a cohesive "take" on earcon's music.

The earcon project is discussed a bit in our interview at www.tommoody.us/archives/2020/12/04/on-breaking-the-square-a-conversation-between-john-parker-and-tom-moody/.
Parker made the songs over a several year period with the Elektron Monomachine instrument, then saved the individual "stubs" (tracks within the song) as .wav files and further edited them in a home computer.

For this selection I've narrowed the range of the work to short-ish songs with straightforward beats and melodies to try to give the flavor of what can be done with a sophisticated beatbox.
At the same time this is very much a collaborative project, where I have imposed my taste and preferences on John''s music, shortening and occasionally layering tracks, DJ-remix-style.

The releases I culled for this mix (over 50 songs in all) came from four earcon CDs: Party Lion, Funkiller, Funkiller 2, and Funkiller 3-4.
One additional track came from this earcon EP on Bandcamp:
stcelfer.bandcamp.com/album/earcon-with-tom-moody-vs-st-celfer. John's own compilation of earcon material can be found at stcelfer.bandcamp.com/album/best-blips-the-funkiller-years
Only three songs overlap in our two retrospectives!

st celfer on zoom

St Celfer (aka John Parker) discusses his recent art and music via Zoom:

stcelferscreenshot1

Methods of Negotiation - Closing Reception - St Celfer from Art Music Lit Space on Vimeo.

Art Music Lit Space is a post-post-internet virtual community seeking to "probe the chasm together so suddenly imposed by social distancing measures" by providing a "locus for artists, curators, writers, lookers, listeners, feelers and thinkers to show, share, and connect despite the nearly global closure of physical exhibition spaces such as studios, galleries, basements, museums, schools, art fairs, fields, etc."

The performance of St Celfer's musical piece "March of the Covids" (featured on our recent collaboration and on St Celfer's Bandcamp page) was realized (or rather, virtualized) by Art Music Lit Space as an embedded sound clip on a blog page; the Vimeo above is more in the nature of post-show documentation.

When the music was performed last week in Austin (described in an earlier post) it was displayed as a YouTube video with an abstract video component (and encoded bonus content for YouTube users), on multiple large screen monitors with speakers behind each screen.

"Post-post-internet" is a joke, of course. "Post-internet" was a brief, curator-driven quasi-movement that dealt with art-with-internet-content being shown in galleries. It was a bizarre name because of course the internet never ended and in fact most gallery activity didn't exist in people's consciousnesses until it appeared there. Covid simply takes the gallery out of the loop. Yet, as we saw in Austin, some physical spaces still exist (and in Austin they had about twenty mask-wearing visitors). Once I have documentation of people walking around the room while the video plays, I'll post it, and that will be the so-called post-internet manifestation. [Update: Some documentation of the event is here.]

St Celfer and Tom Moody, "eleven tracks" (collaborative LP) released on Bandcamp

In connection with our interview posted earlier this week, and our video/performance in Austin yesterday, St Celfer (aka John Parker) and I are pleased to announce the release of our new LP, "eleven tracks":

eleven tracks by St Celfer and Tom Moody

[Note: embedded players -- which I basically hate -- are replaced with links when they move off the blog front page]

The release is available for purchase as a CD, or as a download. Liner notes:

St Celfer and Tom Moody have been collaborating off and on since 2004. In this release "eleven tracks," each artist chooses several recent songs by the other and discusses them.

[You can] click or tap the individual songs to read commentary about them.

"On Breaking the Square," a 10-page dialogue between the two musicians about their work, philosophies, and "how they got where they got" in the past 16 years accompanies the digital version of this release as a bonus item (PDF).

Cover: Tom Moody, made with "Epson Print CD" and incorporating a detail from a video realization of his track "Melding Principle (Three Nebulaes)," employing John Romero's encoding/decoding program Pitahaya. See http://www.tommoody.us/archives/2020/11/18/melding-principle-three-nebulaes-bonus-pitahaya-release/

the necessity of a musical score

Michael Schell discusses a duo performance of Cecil Taylor and Pauline Oliveros and questions why Oliveros is classified as a classical composer and Taylor is not, when they are working in the same conceptual tradition:

"At the same time, though, this coupling highlights a prejudice that continues to haunt conventional narratives of Western art music. Of these two musicians -- both of similar age and similar stature among musicians, and both clearly capable of articulating a shared musical language in a public space -- only Oliveros is consistently mentioned in textbooks and retrospectives on contemporary classical music (see, for example, the otherwise admirable surveys by Paul Griffiths, Jennie Gottschalk, and Tim Rutherford-Johnson). The omission reflects the idea that art music requires a score, that it must be 'fixed in some sort of notation for a performer or creator to interpret or execute' (Rutherford-Johnson) to be authentic. This was a legitimate premise prior to the 20th century, but it has become obsolete in the age of audio recording, radio, and digital media. Nowadays the record, not the score, is the real 'text,' and the persistent conception of classical music as an exclusively literate tradition has pushed the music of Taylor, and his fellow improvising avant-gardists (many of whose backgrounds were impediments to the academy), to the margins of the canon.

"Ironically, Oliveros also emphasized improvisation in her work, and almost all of her published scores use verbal instructions rather than musical notation. But she was still invariably described as a 'composer,' and was able to achieve success in the milieu of universities, concert venues and foundations, whereas Taylor was always a 'jazz musician' who mainly performed at night clubs and festivals. And so his eminence languishes in the domain of jazz history, jazz radio, and jazz CD bins. Despite today’s well-publicized efforts to improve diversity in musical opportunity and programming, it seems that the segregation borne of professional biases can be just as intractable as the cruder chauvinism of social bigotry. Taylor’s music, so powerful and innovative, deserves recognition that transcends these boundaries."