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prolific versus artistic and coexistence of the two

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  • prolific versus artistic and coexistence of the two

    Here's an interesting question for you guys. Does someone being very prolific cheapen the art that they produce? I ask this as a conversation starter and because, in my own personal experience of talking to people who feel that a lot of ambient music "doesn't do anything", when I mention that an artist has released so many releases over a couple of months, the response I get is "that's dumb" or "doesn't that cheapen your art when you release so much so fast?" or I get the "You need to slow down" line or the latest one "throw something together and put it on the net, that's not are". I'm interested in your thoughts and comments on this topic if you have any. thanks for your replies.

  • #2
    Interesting question.
    Some people just work faster than others - maybe they're more decisive, maybe they're better musicians and only need one 'take', maybe they're super-confident, or maybe they just don't care whether it's the best possible performance or not, because the moment of creation is the most important thing. The whole 'is it Art?' question can't be answered by measuring the rate at which it was produced.
    My new album is available now, here: https://thoughtexperiment.bandcamp.c.../supersymmetry
    Check out my (hopelessly out-of-date) SoundCloud page: https://soundcloud.com/thought_experiment

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    • #3
      "Artistic quality" and "production efficiency" are totally different aspects of artistic work. I don't see any strict relation between them.

      If we take generative methods under consideration then time factor becomes even more irrelevant - I can program some generative tools
      spending weeks of time on this - but after that it is possible that my setup becomes a very efficient "track thrower".

      Listeners' reaction is a much different thing, too. Some of my "quick & dirty" tracks were evaluated very high (judging from number of likes and reposts)
      and some of my tracks seem to be "overdone" - weeks of clockwork design and reaction was - let's say - moderate ;)
      SoundCloud // FreeSound // Twitter
      Get exposure for your electronic music through WEATNU.COM independent promotion network.
      "Shortwave" - collaboration album with Ager Sonus

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      • #4
        I totally agree with what the guys have said here..and my own take on this is there is nothing to discuss really..art is art..and those who throw such questions at you usually are not artists..or simply just don't understand what it takes to make ambient music. Most are used to chart music or mainstream genres..and then look at ambient music and try to gauge it by using those other styles as templates..in which case, Ambient will always fall far short of their expectations.

        In short..they just don't get what ambient music is all about..and basically, to them, if it doesn't have a "drop" then why the hell is it called music?

        At the same time, I find it funny these same people will go into a deep conversation about some movie they saw and how good it was..all the while oblivious to the fact that perhaps 40% to 50% of just what made it such a good movie was the sound design and ambiance in general..so, basically, they are saying they like ambient music even though they don't seem to be aware of the face!

        I'm sure MetaDronos has run into this at some time..or at the very least heard it said..that anyone who uses generative software to make ambient isn't making ambient at all..the software is..which is complete and utter crap! Again, such people don't really know what they're talking about..and more than likely also think anything run through PaulStretch is an ambient classic in it's own right..which again, is not true. In both cases, what you get out of such programs is merely the foundation of a track upon which the ambient artist builds. A track produced using generative software is just as valid an ambient track as one produced completely from founds sounds recorded personally by the artist, which they have then mangled and sampled.

        Lastly..and for what it's worth..if I were you, I would just ignore such people and not get into a debate on the subject..as the old adage goes, "Where ignorance is bliss, it's folly to be wise". They will never get what you're saying and they will always think what you do is crap..no matter how fast or how slow it takes you to produce..or how much you produce.. or how little. There really is no way to please all of the people all of the time. :biggrin:

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        • #5
          I am appreciating a parallel here with painting. Some folks might think that only the finished painting is 'art', while brief sketches are just drafts, and are not art themselves. If they think so, they should just try to purchase one of Picasso's sketches!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ambient Mechanics View Post
            I'm sure MetaDronos has run into this at some time..or at the very least heard it said..that anyone who uses generative software to make ambient isn't making ambient at all..the software is..which is complete and utter crap! Again, such people don't really know what they're talking about..and more than likely also think anything run through PaulStretch is an ambient classic in it's own right..which again, is not true. In both cases, what you get out of such programs is merely the foundation of a track upon which the ambient artist builds. A track produced using generative software is just as valid an ambient track as one produced completely from founds sounds recorded personally by the artist, which they have then mangled and sampled.
            There was interesting discussion here at AO about generative methods in ambient context: http://www.ambientonline.org/forum/s...sic-a-good-fit
            SoundCloud // FreeSound // Twitter
            Get exposure for your electronic music through WEATNU.COM independent promotion network.
            "Shortwave" - collaboration album with Ager Sonus

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MetaDronos View Post
              Originally posted by Ambient Mechanics View Post
              I'm sure MetaDronos has run into this at some time..or at the very least heard it said..that anyone who uses generative software to make ambient isn't making ambient at all..the software is..which is complete and utter crap! Again, such people don't really know what they're talking about..and more than likely also think anything run through PaulStretch is an ambient classic in it's own right..which again, is not true. In both cases, what you get out of such programs is merely the foundation of a track upon which the ambient artist builds. A track produced using generative software is just as valid an ambient track as one produced completely from founds sounds recorded personally by the artist, which they have then mangled and sampled.
              There was interesting discussion here at AO about generative methods in ambient context: http://www.ambientonline.org/forum/s...sic-a-good-fit

              Yeah..I remember reading that a while back.

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              • #8
                I just happen to work for the Ministry of Ambient Weights and Measures.

                We have a scale that is handy to determine if you are creating art or just grinding ambient sausage. It is based upon averages over time. I think I heard we got this from a crumpled post-it note out of Brian Eno's trashbin.

                Over a 10 day period:

                Too Much: 10 Albums, or 140 pounds of ambient, whichever is larger.
                Not enough: 0 Albums, and still reading forums.

                Over a 30 day period:

                Too Much: 24 albums, or 780 pounds of ambient, whichever is smaller.
                Not enough: 3 attempted mixes, and 2 posts to an "Analog v/s Digital" thread.

                The above measures are considered invalid if you are recording one really really long single piece, lasting at least 85% of the time spans total.
                Last edited by aoVI; 10-08-2014, 11:56 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by aoVI View Post
                  I just happen to work for the Ministry of Ambient Weights and Measures.

                  We have a scale that is handy to determine if you are creating art or just grinding ambient sausage. It is based upon averages over time. I think I heard we got this from a crumpled post-it note out of Brian Eno's trashbin.

                  Over a 10 day period:

                  Too Much: 10 Albums, or 140 pounds of ambient, whichever is larger.
                  Not enough: 0 Albums, and still reading forums.

                  Over a 30 day period:

                  Too Much: 24 albums, or 780 pounds of ambient, whichever is smaller.
                  Not enough: 3 attempted mixes, and 2 posts to an "Analog v/s Digital" thread.

                  The above measures are considered invalid if you are recording one really really long single piece, lasting at least 85% of the time spans total.
                  :highfive: Words to live by....
                  My new album is available now, here: https://thoughtexperiment.bandcamp.c.../supersymmetry
                  Check out my (hopelessly out-of-date) SoundCloud page: https://soundcloud.com/thought_experiment

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                  • #10
                    Good comments. I work rather quickly, i.e. I don't bugger around. I never start with a plan or idea; I start with a sound and if I like it I build it up from there. I can bash out a couple of tunes a day if I so wished (haven't got the time though). Like MetaDronos I've noticed the pieces I do quickly (say in 3 or 4 hours) seem to get more likes and plays than the stuff I spend days on. Odd. Perhaps the off-the-cuff spontaneous pieces are more "honest" than those I think - or overthink - long and hard about. Dunno.
                    https://soundcloud.com/ian-haygreen
                    https://ianhaygreen.bandcamp.com/

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                    • #11
                      As you might suspect, I am a staunch advocate of recording and releasing as much music as possible. As a full-time wage slave, part-time music journo and father of two young kids, I have virtually no free time. Thus, I am highly motivated to write and record at speed - I simply have no time for endless tweaking.

                      Syllix sent me an interesting article when we were making our joint Harmony album. I think it sums up my approach well.

                      http://therecordingrevolution.com/20...nd-performing/

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                      • #12
                        My personal goal is to create completely new art everytime. That doesn't mean I don't have styles or habits that resurface. My music is not based on anyone else, previous artists or influences. The influences still exist, as art is not created in a vacuum. The artists labels art and not the listener. The listener qualifies the art as to whether it is "good art" or "bad art".

                        I release very little, because I am not trying to set the world on fire or conquer inner demons, but trying to establish my little corner in the music world. If I don't like my own work, I doubt others will. So there is a lot of crap on my hard drive

                        If you are promoting yourself, keeping your name fresh in the minds of your listeners is important, but ...

                        The noise floor on the internet is huge. To really be heard as an artists you have to create a sound that rises above the din and not get lost in the millions and millions of those with similar aspirations.

                        I don't have time to listen to everything. Ambient music is only a small part of my musical world. Too make yourself heard by me, you have to take risks, work hard and make an effort to rise above the noise floor.

                        Keep in mind, my work/listening habits are mine. They are not judgements of others.

                        EDIT: I don't have enough material for a single album after 4 years of work. I am not worried as I never intended to make an album or sell any music. Just to create unique little moments in time.
                        Last edited by Codehead; 10-09-2014, 10:28 AM.

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                        • #13
                          From my limited experience to date, the tracks which write themselves and appear magically, as if from nowhere, are usually immensely satisfying to me personally. Possibly because they involved relatively little sweat/toil during their construction, so I feel (perhaps partially subconsciously) that the time spent working on them is rewarding in its result/effort quotient. These tracks generally, although not exclusively, seem to be more popular, based upon play count.

                          The tracks which involve lots of work, chopping and changing, decision and indecision, etc., might be less satisfying from an aesthetic viewpoint, but are invariably the tracks where the useful knowledge is acquired, and ultimately prove to be the most rewarding. Without the experience gained from these difficult pieces, the "easy" tracks just wouldn't appear, so I see them as both sides of the same coin.

                          It's the same for me whether I'm making music, at the 9 to 5, or dealing with problems in general.

                          m2c
                          Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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                          • #14
                            This question is so dependent on the outlook of the artist and outlook of the listener, would be amazed if any consensus was found.

                            I think I generally agree with Jaspos comments; you can't let the audience dictate what you create or else you may as well just go on the X Factor if that kind of attention is what you crave. I know a local guy who decided a couple of years ago that he wanted to make music (in his forties) so bought a copy of Ableton, took some online courses and just pumps out tunes like there's no tomorrow. All of them (imho) very generic 'club' music. He hit the social networks hard too, convinced he could make a living from it. Good for him I say but not great art from my perspective. Sure he'd feel I'm wasting my time with the decidedly uncommercial noises I make. But then I don't have any urge to get stuff out there and have people listen to it for the sake of it, not saying everything I do is carefully considered and great but there's always a level of acceptance on my part with the material.

                            Then there are truly detestable people who just bash stuff out and it's always pretty great (hi ASB! ;))
                            Latest release: never to be repeated

                            Hearthis | Soundcloud

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                            • #15
                              nice reading... btw I belief this is my first post here:

                              But about the topic... is it bad be prolivic or to release to much??
                              In my case ... I do not care. I just create and record everything. It is the moment that I want to catch and share. I do not belief in working on an album many months or even years and adding or removing little parts to get something what original has emotion. Technically it all can be good, but the soul is often turned into stone, because the original reason, or emotion, is gone.

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