Technology Supports Creativity

As I worked with the WX5 midi wind instrument this week, I was reflecting on the powerful change and impact that has occurred in the Arts with the use of technology. This impact includes professionals, amateurs and students.

I will date myself here, but I clearly remember those early pieces of music software – Deluxe Music Construction Set for the Commodore computers, Calkwalk for DOS in the early PC days, the Atari notator software …. Those programs were innovative and ahead of their time in many respects, but certainly light years away from where we are at now with online music stores, web based publishing, music videos,  satellite radio, mp3 players, powerful software available to home studios and education settings and of course, many professional level packages too. 

Use of traditional music skills is fully embraced with the new technologies, but one of the powerful changes that this technology has provided is bringing music creation to ‘the masses’ in a new way. Music is much easier to create and manipulate, whether you can read music or not. Graphical representations of music are sufficient to manipulate music on the fly. Loop based technologies used as the building blocks of your own creation allow you to work with no barriers in your way. Once familiar with a particular software package, you are off and running with your creative adventure. You can hear instantly what your creation sounds like, and start to manipulate it to your liking. In addition to music creation, these new powerful tools lend themselves nicely to teaching some of the formal aspects of music including form, structure, texture and balance to name a few. 

Earlier this year, I became aware of the work of Zoe Keating which I shared with my Facebook friends at the time. Upon further reflection though, I thought is was appropriate to mention Zoe’s work here, as she really uses technology to facilitate her creative processes and resulting performances and recordings. Zoe is a cellist, classically training, who creates music through a live recording and multi tracking session. The new age music created is stunning in many ways. I was really struck by the role technology plays in the creative and live performance process. Powerful to say the least. 

The links below will connect you to Zoe and her amazing creative process.
Avant-garde Cellist Zoe Keating (commentary and music)
Performance of Tetrishead
Performance of Escape Artist
Zoe Keating’s Website

Enjoy the creativity!

~ Mark

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