Zappa.com

The Official Frank Zappa Messageboards
It is currently Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:13 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 118 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:38 am
Posts: 233
Location: The Land of the Ice & Snow
I myself feel that FZ's synclavier work (particularly (1994) Civilization Phaze III and certain parts of (2011) Feeding the Monkies at Ma Maison) is the closest he ever came to - forgive me for my use of such a silly term - "cosmic music." I understand if (m)any disagree with me, but I suppose this is just my own personal feeling on the matter. It gives me the impression that he had a much larger overall idea (or ideas, probably) of how he wanted to progress with those kinds of sounds, ideas that were ultimately never fully developed.

_________________
Oh No! I don't believe it...
You say that you think you know the meaning of love...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:35 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: Ohio
Jaminbenb wrote:
Sorry....no matter what notes are played....anything on a "computer" is cold and lifeless! Dismal, depressing, PATHETIC!


I don't know -- there's some electronic music that I feel is achingly beautiful and emotional (Tim Hecker, Stars of the Lid, Fennesz, Robert Henke).
And FZ's Synclavier pieces often make me smile and tap my foot, so there's definitely some life in there. Our mileage varies, I guess :mrgreen:

_________________
Good writing is clear writing.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:58 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:03 pm
Posts: 5920
Location: Pouting for you? Punky Meadows, pouting for you?!!
downer mydnyte wrote:
Jaminbenb wrote:
Anything on a Synclavier is cold, dismal,
... less human, but no less valid. Although it rarely hits the spot for me.
The G-spot?

Just because someone can't hear what FZ put in there, or appreciate it, and he put in a lot more than just notes, doesn't mean it's not there. For starters, the Jazz From Hell G-spot has samples of voices and the effects they create are virtually impossible to recreate just with human manipulation of traditional instruments. FZ also took a lot of trouble to program a variety of nuances. The vitality of some of that stuff for me is much more than just the accuracy of the fast notes, which don't impress me that much.

Think about Varèse and his taped stuff. He didn't do that just because he was avoiding human error, it's a whole new dimension of composition and it is after all made by a human.

I really like the the JFH Night School and G-Spot and having someone repeatedly insist it's cold and dismal is not going to convince me otherwise. On the other hand, as much as I find a lot of CivP3 quite brilliant, I find equally as much of it sounds unfinished to me.

... fzzt ... brrt ... must ... return ... to ... rnnt ... work ... now ... bzzt ...

_________________
The way I see it Barry, this should be a very dynamite show.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 2358
polydigm wrote:
The G-spot?

G Spot Tornado is pretty cool. I wish 80s synclavier bass had better tone. That bass line is killer. Ensemble Modern's version does not have the crazed energy of the JFH version. It doesn't have that high pitched, synth sounding line that rips right out of the gate on JFH. The horns can't capture it. They're playing their asses off, though.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:37 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 3:55 am
Posts: 193
I really like the synclavier stuff, for the most part, have and am enjoying gleaning an appreciation of Frank's development in using it, with time and/or across releases, and certainly can understand/appreciate why Frank, a composer of strong vision and desire for control over his output, embraced it (this in itself would interest me, even I didn't like the material/sound).

It has a certain, general character, I suppose- that some seem to find cold and clinical, in a negative sense-, but I have just found it another valid and satisfactory inflection of Frank's sound, and have very much enjoyed what he's delivered via it, (that's been released) to date. :smoke:

Hopefully, the concerned title will see the light of day this year. 8)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:55 pm
Posts: 215
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
I find it hard to call music like that which ends CivIII "cold and distant". I think it packs more of an emotional punch then most of the Zappa catalogue.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 3:55 am
Posts: 193
I was a tad reserved in my previous post but, no, personally, I don't really find the synclavier material cold or distant, either; it has a certain, distinguishable character, for me, for the most part, that I can see others not liking- there's a certain artificial quality, is possibly how I can best capture it- but, to me, the music is still very much Zappa, and I dig it pretty hugely, finding this character just another interesting and valid inflection/expression of Frank's music, as I previously said (I listened to FTMAMM for, maybe, the 4th time since I relatively recently acquired it, yesterday, and it was possibly the real breakthrough listen for me; dug the shit out of it :smoke:).

I certainly agree that by CPIII, at least, there was some real tone, texture and emotional warmth brought to his use of this instrument. Having said that, maybe it was the other elements used in conjunction with the synclavier, on that works, that brought that more traditional warmth to it i.e. the sampling of human spoken word and/or of old orchestral performance/s? I'd have to listen a bit more, myself, to ascertain and/or differentiate such, but, for me, the standard character of (Frank's use of) the synclavier is still appealing, if somewhat different to his band work. 8)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 11:23 am
Posts: 129
Location: Hershey, PA
polydigm wrote:
downer mydnyte wrote:
Jaminbenb wrote:
Anything on a Synclavier is cold, dismal,
... less human, but no less valid. Although it rarely hits the spot for me.
The G-spot?

Just because someone can't hear what FZ put in there, or appreciate it, and he put in a lot more than just notes, doesn't mean it's not there. For starters, the Jazz From Hell G-spot has samples of voices and the effects they create are virtually impossible to recreate just with human manipulation of traditional instruments. FZ also took a lot of trouble to program a variety of nuances. The vitality of some of that stuff for me is much more than just the accuracy of the fast notes, which don't impress me that much.

Think about Varèse and his taped stuff. He didn't do that just because he was avoiding human error, it's a whole new dimension of composition and it is after all made by a human.

I really like the the JFH Night School and G-Spot and having someone repeatedly insist it's cold and dismal is not going to convince me otherwise. On the other hand, as much as I find a lot of CivP3 quite brilliant, I find equally as much of it sounds unfinished to me.

... fzzt ... brrt ... must ... return ... to ... rnnt ... work ... now ... bzzt ...



But Varèse used his taped stuff along WITH live musicians...The Synclavier was used on stage as a "5th" musician live, and that was cool 'at times'... but the recorded works, again IMHO, to me are just cold and lifeless.... as a "writing tool" I think it was effective, as an "enhancement" I think it was great instrument, but as a stand alone item? Not so much.

I just can't get excited for another Synclavier album....


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:57 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 102
Location: czech-o-slovakia
Jaminbenb wrote:

Let's get some music played by actual HUMANS, not typed into an outdated computer....regardless of whom did the typing!


Synclavier music actually is played by actual humans. Synclavier is musical instrument. Human can play the instrument by typing notes into it.
If electronic music sounds cold and lifeless, it is because human used the instrument that way.
Lot of music on CPIII or Feeding The Monkies... sounds to me more lively and less artificial, compared to some of FZ's live bands (no kidding)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:35 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: Ohio
brunofulax wrote:
Jaminbenb wrote:

Let's get some music played by actual HUMANS, not typed into an outdated computer....regardless of whom did the typing!


Synclavier music actually is played by actual humans. Synclavier is musical instrument. Human can play the instrument by typing notes into it.
If electronic music sounds cold and lifeless, it is because human used the instrument that way.
Lot of music on CPIII or Feeding The Monkies... sounds to me more lively and less artificial, compared to some of FZ's live bands (no kidding)


"The linkage between the Synclavier guitar controller and the system doesn't work for me. Other people use it and are happy with it. I wasn't and so I didn't buy it. There are several ways of inputting information: you can play it on a keyboard, play it in on a Roland Octapad, and you can type it in on the G-page in the music printing mode or a computer line called Script. So there are a lot of different ways to put it in." -- FZ, 1987

Patrick O'Hearn also mentioned in a Keyboard interview that FZ often drummed complex figures on the Octapad in order to input them to the Synclavier with the right rhythms and feel. He would then add/change the note values on the G-page.

_________________
Good writing is clear writing.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:23 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 3:55 am
Posts: 193
FalseDichotomy wrote:
brunofulax wrote:
Jaminbenb wrote:

Let's get some music played by actual HUMANS, not typed into an outdated computer....regardless of whom did the typing!


Synclavier music actually is played by actual humans. Synclavier is musical instrument. Human can play the instrument by typing notes into it.
If electronic music sounds cold and lifeless, it is because human used the instrument that way.
Lot of music on CPIII or Feeding The Monkies... sounds to me more lively and less artificial, compared to some of FZ's live bands (no kidding)


"The linkage between the Synclavier guitar controller and the system doesn't work for me. Other people use it and are happy with it. I wasn't and so I didn't buy it. There are several ways of inputting information: you can play it on a keyboard, play it in on a Roland Octapad, and you can type it in on the G-page in the music printing mode or a computer line called Script. So there are a lot of different ways to put it in." -- FZ, 1987

Patrick O'Hearn also mentioned in a Keyboard interview that FZ often drummed complex figures on the Octapad in order to input them to the Synclavier with the right rhythms and feel. He would then add/change the note values on the G-page.


Interesting insight, thanks for sharing. 8)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:53 pm
Posts: 627
Location: ger-money
Image

_________________
god, what a cheap bubble machine!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:13 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:41 am
Posts: 442
Location: Centerville, Norway
Good job, ursinator 8)

Satltsadw is arguably Zappa's last great album cover, and this picks up nicely from that. I also get an association with an album of synthesizer pieces for contemporary dance by Bruce Gilbert (of Wire). Well done!

On so-called electronic music... Of course it can be soulful, just listen to early Popol Vuh. But even Florian Fricke's music became more clinical when he started working on the synclavier.

But everything we listen to apart from acoustic live settings without amplification is technically electronic music anyway.

The difference is mostly in our heads, and acquired taste.

_________________
If I'm not alone... How long have I been asleep?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:07 am
Posts: 1582
Quote:
But everything we listen to apart from acoustic live settings without amplification is technically electronic music anyway.


Well, while all amplified instruments contain electronics, some are electric and electro-mechanical, rather than really electronic. Electric guitars as well as, say Fender Rhodes electric piano fall to the former category. Electronic music is made when you use electronic oscillators as the sound source. Which is why Silver Apples can be considered more electronic than any band from the same era that used guitars, bass or even Hammond or Wurlitzer/Rhodes pianos.

_________________
Lies are like quicksand, soft and comfortable, but they will swallow us. Truth is like bedrock, hard and uncomfortable, but we can always stand on it


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:56 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 102
Location: czech-o-slovakia
DC Boogie wrote:
Good job, ursinator 8)

Satltsadw is arguably Zappa's last great album cover


The Man from Utopia


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:41 pm
Posts: 13756
Location: Billy, the mountain...
Very nice, ursi...

_________________
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true Art and Science. - Albert Einstein

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 11:37 am
Posts: 513
Frank's guitar solos were "speach influenced" weren't they?
The rhythmic quality of "talking" gave him a lot of his inspiration for
perhaps the complex poly rhythms and such in his compositions.

Maybe in all his works there is a "conversation" taking place.
Maybe the music is a "code" for a specific conversation.
Maybe the fact that there is a "conceptual continuity" to it all
means he was "writing a novel" with music.

When I listen to his synclavior works I hear notes going everywhere like
two or more people talking to each other.
Maybe Frank writes out a piece of prose and creates the exact musical equivelant with notes.

Maybe he WAS a genius?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:04 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 3:55 am
Posts: 193
jeddy wrote:
Frank's guitar solos were "speach influenced" weren't they?
The rhythmic quality of "talking" gave him a lot of his inspiration for
perhaps the complex poly rhythms and such in his compositions.

Maybe in all his works there is a "conversation" taking place.
Maybe the music is a "code" for a specific conversation.
Maybe the fact that there is a "conceptual continuity" to it all
means he was "writing a novel" with music.

When I listen to his synclavior works I hear notes going everywhere like
two or more people talking to each other.
Maybe Frank writes out a piece of prose and creates the exact musical equivelant with notes.

Maybe he WAS a genius?


Interesting consideration. 8)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:13 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2002 10:51 pm
Posts: 2346
Location: Europe
I don't find Zappa's synclavier music "cold", but very much work in progress that never came to fruition. The technology was still quite young when he used it, and I just don't think he managed to produce anything on par with his orchestral work. Too much of it is just boring to me. As for CPIII, he screwed that up with all the stupid talking. It worked on Lumpy Gravy, but sounds like a tired joke on CPIII. So as an album it is way down on my personal list. Honestly, my favorite "track" is Waffenspiel. (Ok, Amnerica is beautiful).

_________________
"Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, and don't kid yourself" - FZ
http://www.myspace.com/kirnehness


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:06 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:35 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: Ohio
HJ wrote:
I don't find Zappa's synclavier music "cold", but very much work in progress that never came to fruition. The technology was still quite young when he used it, and I just don't think he managed to produce anything on par with his orchestral work. Too much of it is just boring to me. As for CPIII, he screwed that up with all the stupid talking. It worked on Lumpy Gravy, but sounds like a tired joke on CPIII. So as an album it is way down on my personal list. Honestly, my favorite "track" is Waffenspiel. (Ok, Amnerica is beautiful).


I like the Lumpy Gravy dialogue on disc one of CPIII, but I hate the new dialogue on disc two -- I skip those sections always.

_________________
Good writing is clear writing.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 11:23 am
Posts: 129
Location: Hershey, PA
Jaminbenb wrote:


But Varèse used his taped stuff along WITH live musicians...The Synclavier was used on stage as a "5th" musician live, and that was cool 'at times'... but the recorded works, again IMHO, to me are just cold and lifeless.... as a "writing tool" I think it was effective, as an "enhancement" I think it was great instrument, but as a stand alone item? Not so much.

I just can't get excited for another Synclavier album....



Bingo, that's the gist!

Yeah, I get it that it's a "tool", can be used as a "5th" musician, and all that...Yeah I get it that at some point someone "typed/played" it in...but from a performance aspect...cold and lifeless...

The fact that the Ensemble Modern actually PLAYED some of it is more impressive than the fact that someone typed/played it in!

But...it's a tool...nothing more! I appreciate LIVE musicians playing LIVE music..in fact, knowing what it takes to make a studio album, I get a tad disillusioned by that process at times....

Maybe that's why a good amount of my collection (both foreign and domestic) is comprised of LIVE "tapes"...and the fact that I listen to "Jam On" on Sirius/XM is another...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 6:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 10:33 pm
Posts: 61
Can someone answer this question... Unlike Feeding The Monkies at Ma Maison, which had the title track as something
that circulated on cassette under a different name (?) and some extended cuts from CPIII and Worms From Hell,
is Dance Me This completely new material that none of us regular folks have heard before?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 6:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 10:33 pm
Posts: 61
Also:
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 185
Release DMT! That's how dreams are made.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:30 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 102
Location: czech-o-slovakia
Zappa Time wrote:
Can someone answer this question... Unlike Feeding The Monkies at Ma Maison, which had the title track as something
that circulated on cassette under a different name (?) and some extended cuts from CPIII and Worms From Hell,
is Dance Me This completely new material that none of us regular folks have heard before?


Most likely yes. The cassette you are talking about, is called Resolver+Brutality, and FZ created it around 1985. The material on DMT was probably created around 1991-1993.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 118 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group