11 thoughts on “Andy McCluskey (OMD) Has Two Words For Critics Of Electronic Bands

  1. He should have vocoded his comment for a more drastic effect 😉

    He's totally wrong though. I mean; fire up Reason 4 and then hit play, see what happens? Instant music! ;-))

    Seriously; full agree here. Its true that electronic music is often perceived as "easy" by a lot of people. And I've also given the "why" a thought every now and then. Its happened to me as well a few times. Now; I'm only into this on a hobby basis and not for so long now (1/2 year) but still..

    My theory is that because its (relatively) easy to produce grand sounds on a synth workstation (for example I pick up 2 midi tracks, pull in a grand piano & string esemble and voila) people often conclude that if that part was easy so is the rest.

    If you can play a tune on your piano (1 track) its "nice" because well, you displayed to have achieved something. If you do the same thing on a synth (also 1 track) its often "so so" because that could have sounded so much grander.

    Oh well, as long as there are people there will be bias 🙂

  2. Maybe they don't mean it. But the purists frequently come off sounding like no one should bother making music if they are going to suck. Which is silly, Everyone has to suck. Moreover, the purist attitude discounts anyone who merely wants to play music for personal joy. Makes me wonder if the complainers are simply bored with music due to an over zealous outlook.

  3. OMD are still going, and they weren’t / aren’t a purely electronic band. Architecture & Morality has lots of lovely Mellotron, and then there’s Dazzle Ships, which defies categorization. That piece with all the speaking clocks still gives me the heebie-jeebies ..!

  4. All crying, old fashioned guy need to reach the following level of consciousness: it is evolution. That's the way things are, old stuff transforms, new stuff comes in. Nowadays you can be more expressive with the use of electronically generated sounds. I love Vivaldi and he made something very unique beauty, but it is the 21th century and we live in at this time. Do you want to develop? Keep abreast of the times. Simple like a brick. 😉
    I think it doesnt matter what you play, the matter is how. Do we want to compare creativity with skills and practice? We need all of them. And I think, that many outstanding, fine electronic music need way more creativity than to make a sounding well, "full of emotion", well-tried live instrument stuff.
    We need new sounds and articulations.

  5. That raises an interesting question that occurs over and over again: What is creativity, or – to be precise – what's not creative? Composing music requires some degree of knowledge of rules (even if you've never had a composition class at school and do not know how to read a score, you will through hearing other peoples works and experimenting find out about the do's and dont's of composing). A traditional opinion is that creativity is the breaking of such rules. Intuitively we often associate creativity with something "new" or "sufficiently different from what we already know" ("It's got a nice twist", "Hey, this bit was interesting", and so on). It's nothing much to do with forced evolution (if it were we would all listen to Schönberg, Webern, Stockhausen, Ligeti, etc. and compose in serial style ever seeking for new sounds and mathematical models just for the heck of it (and I don't mean fun)). Beauty is also in the eye, or rather ear, of the beholder: Vivaldi is one of the most boring composers of all times, very little creativity there (and that's even relative to his own time).

    However, comparing composition with performance is an absolute no-go. There's more than two competing modesls: "Composer composes using his divine creativity and performers play the thing like trained monkeys whose skill is very impressive, but not heart warming in any way." vs. "Composer enters something into a sequencer and lets some technology perform everything". Inventing new articulations and sounds is the job of a composer, and while sounds can be sequenced by a computer there is no substitute for a human player when it comes to really bringing out the intention behind a newly invented technique/style of playing.

    I wonder if the OMD guys still play their instruments by hand or use sequencers exclusively nowadays.

  6. I think Andy is talking about the early years of their career where they could not afford sequencers.They started with equipment bought from a catalog ,very simple stuff.
    But even today where you can build a whole song with a Notebook and Music Software its the Human writing the Song and inventing Melodies

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