/ Bricoleur and Engineer in Computer Music
composer takes his starting point in his own listening to other music and transforms his impressions to new music. The initial perspective is directed towards music which is already there. In the context of computer music, the bricoleur composer especially relies on digital sampling and editing, combined to some extent with DSP techniques. Unlike composers from earlier days, such as Charles Ives who worked according to similar principles, he is not limited to composing on paper, but can use recorded sounds and music directly in creating new music. This allows for the incorporation of timbre, which has been an important factor in 20th century music in the West, as a referent to other music. Re-interpretations of musical instruments have been known since John Cage first used radios and record players in some of his early works. The use of reproduction equipment for production purposes is embodied in the digital sampler which allows for recording as well as for digital manipulation and playback of pre-recorded material. The sampler, with its various sound manipulation facilities, could be seen as the bricoleur instrument par excellence. When considering style and genre, bricolage can be most obviously related to experimental music, such as that of John Cage and his followers, and to a crossing of electronic music with performance and installation art. The DJ scene and its techno music which relies heavily on the use of recorded material, could also be a candidate for inclusion in the bricoleur category. The musical engineer The musical engineer could be said to represent a centuries- if not millennia-old tradition in Western music. The skilful, almost obsessive, use of abstract constructive elements, which cannot be perceived by the listener, was conspicuous already in 15th century composers such as Ockeghem and Obrecht. This tradition has continued in different guises up until the present day. Recently, it was prominent in the total serialism of the 1950's and 1960's in which the pre-compositional construction of all the musical 'parameters' according to series of numbers played an import part of the compositional process. However, the tradition of emphasizing mathematical relations behind the sonorous music can be traced back to antiquity, as in Pythagoras' concept of 'music of the spheres'. In this philosophical tradition, musical sound is understood as a sensuous representation of some larger universal harmony. The perceptive phenomena are subordinate to their assumed cosmological implications. It should not be forgotten that through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, music was considered part of the "quadrivium" of natural sciences, and musical philosophy was still based on these antique concepts. Even today, in computer music, this philosophy has its advocates, e.g. Xenakis who evokes the "ancient civilizations" in his descriptions of a new "sonic art" (Xenakis 1971:178). The importance of numbers in music has once again come to the fore in the guise of digital representation. No doubt this ancient philosophy is an undercurrent in the dominance of technological and mathematical perspective in journals such as Computer Music Journal and conferences such as this one. The musical engineer bases his work on the tradition of emphasizing numbers and abstract structure in Western art music history. Computer music composers in the engineer category are eager to devise new technological tools to facilitate the formation of new kinds of sound material. In this respect, the composition process becomes a research process as well, a research into the nature of digital sounds, of instruments, of spatialization and so on. An 'engineer composer' in computer music works with sound as an abstract physical entity rather than a cultural artifact, and he will often want to create nie erhdrte Kldnge using sophisticated synthesis methods. CONCLUSION We would like to emphasize that the attempt to evaluate the analytical material in terms of the bricoleur/engineer construction should by no means be understood as an absolute categorization, but only serve to clarify the aesthetic differences we have been discussing. Like L6vi-Strauss, who uses the terms bricoleur and engineer as equally valid creative modes, we do not imply any preference of the one to the other. When considering our analytical examples, it was clear that the pieces by Saariaho and Truax came closer to the engineer end of the spectrum, whereas the pieces by Pizzicato Five and Oswald were leaning towards the bricoleur end. Both Saariaho and Truax used specialized software to explore the sound, putting it under a 'timbral microscope'. In both cases, this exploration into the micro-structure of the timbre was an important key to the composition. Saariaho adds an external story, while Truax sets out to investigate how to use timbre to determine the musical form. Although they both incorporate concrete sound material, the pieces remain largely abstract in nature. The two composers' development and use of specialized software in the exploration of material and method justifies the
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