Man and Machine

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Monday, November 15, 2010

As I've said before, electronics, from recording technology to the theremin to looping pedals to Max/MSP, have had the largest and widest-spanning impact on music since polyphony.

When I was a kid in the '80's, the general attitude of the classical musicians around whom I spent most of my time was "synthesizers are poor replacements for musicians." In this environment, general MIDI orchestral hits and faux-trumpet fanfares were met with tongue-clucking and disdain. And for good reason! Why fake a viola when a real one's available. However! As technology expanded and grew, and as ideas about how and where to use it evolved simultaneously, this powerful tool revealed its amazing flexibility and raw possibility.

I must admit my attitude was heavily influenced by that of the adults around me, and while now I revel in Wendy Carlos and Bucla anything, I'm pretty sure an early encounter with the synthesized score to The NeverEnding Story scared me away from analogue synths for a solid decade.

This week, we are going to explore the humanization of electronic music and the "electrification," if you will, of acoustic playing. Electronics have profoundly effected the way we perceive, recieve, process, create, critique and rehearse music. We'll listen to artists manipulating electronics to sound unbelievably fragile and human, and composers creating wind textures that sound like sawtooth waves.

As electronic instruments and technologies evolved, and as composers and performers experimented with using machines in different ways, the very music being created began to change.

Has technology effected your life in an unexpected way? Do you write differently as a result of typing, or read differently as a result of computers? Does technology simply aid us, or actually guide in creation?

Hosted by:

Nadia Sirota

Comments [5]


Hi Nadia !

Thanks for your good response ! Very good stuff. I was wandering if the audio of your show was also available for downloading.

Thanks, thanks and thanks !

Nov. 16 2010 09:17 PM
Martha Garvey

Wow. Am listening riveted to Fordlandia. What a find your show is.

Nov. 16 2010 02:09 PM
Steve from Providence

Just wanted to say I love the show! I have found so many great pieces by listening to this show, that I never would have known of otherwise.

Are the Monday shows no longer available to stream after the fact? I liked that feature!

Nov. 16 2010 01:39 PM

Hey David! You can get playlist info by clicking the playlist tab at the top of this page, or following this link:

Nov. 16 2010 01:29 PM
David Goulet from Quebec

Hi !

Your show is just absolutely amazing !

Wow !

The only thing that makes me sad is that it seems that there is no way we can see the musical playlists of your show (on every Q2 or WQXR it seems like the same problem).

Could you help me ?

Thanks A LOT

Best regards

Nov. 16 2010 12:18 AM

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