Section I – Studio of Sounds

Just as for Goethe there was no such thing as an unpoetical subject,

so for the post Schoenbergians there is no such thing as a non-musical instrument.

Nor is there any such thing as a purely musical one.

Everything is a musical instrument (Schueller 1977, p 405).

In 1985 Jean-Claude Resset, after twenty years of involvement with computer music experimentation, envisioned a continual expansion of computer music far beyond the confines of research laboratories (Resset 1985, p. 18). Now in 2013, the opportunity for musical experimentation and exploration is a reality within the home studio, particularly since the increased availability of digital recording technology from the mid to late 1990s (Kelly 2009, p. 7). The home studio arms the computer-musician with a weapon of mass-creation. Paul M. Craner describes it is as common for musicians to approach the computer with basic needs only to discover a new universe of possibilities (Craner 1991, p. 304). Exploring this universe helped me break free from a lot of my own limited pre-conceived ideas of music composition.

Brian Eno, while producing My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, “… observed the recording studio was now a compositional tool” (Eno 1980, cited in Byrne 2012, loc. 2318). Early dubmaster Osbourne Ruddock experimented with in-studio techniques and effects to strip back and rebuild layers of sounds (Davis 2008, p. 63). Layers in the digital studio act like a multitude of guitar strings that can be individually plucked or strummed in real time. The ‘strings’ can also be configured into precise arpeggio sequences or random arrangements. Within each string the artist can assign numerous sounds, samples, loops and effects.