Sunday Synth Jam: This video captures a live electroacoustic performance by Alex Rigaud of Between the Stomach and the Heart.
Here’s what Rigaud has to say about the performance:
I play with a soprano saxophone (with fx) and some synthesizers: Elektron Analog Keys, Moog Minitaur and Korg Volca Beats.
There is no laptop in this setup. I wanted to see how far I could go using only hardware (even if I do use computers a lot when producing tracks) I hope you will enjoy.
8 thoughts on “Electroacoustic Performance With Synthesizers, Saxophone & Electronics”
I don’t understand how this performance is called “electroacoustic”.
???? Did you watch the video?
You are correct, but you might have elaborated a little bit. Neither the playing of a synth nor the playing of an amplified acoustic instrument is “electroacoustic.” Electroacoustic is basically another term for “musique concrete”, created by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry in France in the 1940s. Their creations, by definition, had to be recorded first, then manipulated somehow (in their case it was usually tape splicing).
Now if Alex Rigaud had recorded his sax first then played it sliced and diced through an Elektron Octatrack for example, that would be electroacoustic music. The above performance is an electronic AND acoustic performance – not electroacoustic, by any definition of the term from which I am familiar.
By the way, Pierre Schaeffer’s book “In Search of a Concrete Music” is a wonderful recounting of the developing electronic music scene in the 1940s and 1950s.
You’re both confusing ‘electroacoustic music’ with ‘tape music’ or musique concrete.
Electroacoustic music is music in the western ‘art music’ tradition that incorporates electronics.
– musique concrete, which explores composing with recorded or sampled sounds;
– tape music, which explores composition for audio speakers; and
– classical electronic music, which is a catch-all for ‘art music’ compositions that include electronic elements.
For example, here are the types of compositions included in a ‘call for works’ for a 2014 electroacoustic music festival (http://www.composerssite.com/content/new-york-city-electroacoustic-music-festival-call-works):
– Works for recorded media alone with up to eight channels
– Works involving live electronics, including computer processing and laptop orchestras
– Works combining musical instruments or voices with recorded media or live electronics
– Video and multimedia works
– Installations involving music or video
If you wanted to take issue with the video being characterized as electroacoustic music, you should be questioning it from the angle of whether this really falls into the western ‘art music’ tradition or not.
Regardless of the definition, I am not very impressed by this “art music”. *shrug
And ‘art music’ composers are not impressed with your criticism.
See Milton Babbit’s “Who Cares If You Listen’:
As both a sax and keyboard player, I find his performance on both lackluster. Simply putting a long delay on your sax and playing a bunch of random patterns is not music. When playing with the synth he isn’t even paying attention to the tempo of the bass loop. These aren’t polyrhythms, this is random noodling while a loop plays in the background at a different tempo…
I’d rather watch a good keyboard player or a good sax player than someone who is mediocre at best with both.
“I wanted to see how far I could go using only hardware…” so let call it as experimental music and everybody will be happy.