Insight article

Hear it, to believe in it

Technology has played an enormous role in allowing artists of new generations to create new sounds and experiences for listeners worldwide. Sounds we never thought were possible have been created in real time using electronic machines —  far removed from the classical structure of a beautiful piano piece.

In the 1950s, Karlheinz Stockhausen first started experimenting with electronic music which was key in forming the era of 1980’s synth music and inevitably was an influence on experimental electronic music in the early years of this century.

In a beautiful tribute to these electronic music tracks, some classically trained musicians started recreating these movements with their own instruments. Take for example, Acid Brass, a collaboration between Turner-Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller and the Williams Fairey Brass Band, who recreated the sounds of pioneering Detroit Techno through their (very analogue) brass instruments to verbatim perfection!

So what’s the purpose of this exercise?

My theory is that you have to hear or see something on a completely different wavelength to give yourself the belief that it’s something you could achieve yourself. To quote one of my favourite Podcasts, Radiolab, co-host Jad Abumrad talks about surfers getting involved in jet skis to make it onto the really big waves then realising they can actually do this all with great effort on regular surfboards. This can also be applied to beatboxers who mimic fast paced electronically produced beats and even someone like Chuck Close whose work is clearly based on digital image manipulation a la Photoshop, yet the manual process of his work has a much more far reaching impact than simply a few clicks on the mouse.

So on that note, I’m going to enjoy my weekend trying to recreate some Heston Blumenthal burgers!

Nailia Tasseel