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Thread: Astroturf Noise

  1. #26

    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    It's what we call a ' cacophony '

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  2. #27
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    I'm enjoying them, I'd say. As is often the case, I feel like some of the more "outside" stuff would probably be easier to get into there in the moment rather than listening to a recording, but the more premeditated parts are fun too. One thing I find interesting is that a lot of people in the avant-garde/free improv field go to great lengths to try and be non-idiomatic, and it can feel a little contrived. But these guys are quite happy to use elements and stylistic nods from the styles they presumably have a background in.

  3. #28
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    Back in my youth I listened to Frank Zappa and my favorite of his was Lumpy Gravy which was an album length composed piece influenced by modern composers. Zappa Especially liked Edgard Varese so I acquired some of his music. I have always been open to the outer fringes of music not that I listen for relaxation or am interested in ever playing it. I don’t know these musicians but they are actually skilled on their instruments.

    that doesn’t mean that everyone should like their music of course.
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  4. #29
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    Sorry, but definitely not for me. My musical mind runs on a more simplistic path. If I can't grasp the melody, the timing, etc it just doesn't click with me. It would be interesting to know the backgrounds of the musicians. Are they highly trained musicians who got bored staying between the lines?
    It reminds me of trying to listen to jazz for the first time. If your first listen is something from Miles Davis or John Coltrane back in their discordant times you (certainly me) might quickly say I got nothing from it. And yet they are considered musical genius within their genre.
    Nothing wrong with pushing the boundaries, but .......
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  5. #30
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    For those interested, an interview with Sam Day Harley: https://www.unratedmag.com/astroturf...e-then-a-name/
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  7. #31
    Ted Heinonen
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    I like it when someone tries a different colour in the box of musical crayons and dares to colour outside the lines so to speak. In someways Astroturf Noise reminds me of John Cage. The Mother's of Invention were a favorite in my art college days in the early 70's. Andy Statman's Abstractions is an example of musical exploration. So many possible notes on the fretboard...
    why not play all of them?

  8. #32
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    Pushing the envelope often means pushing some buttons. I loved Frank Zappa back in the day, in part because he was a curmudgeon sticking it in our face.

    I have tried mightily and in many different ways but have never succeeded in enjoying Edgard Varese.

    Whatever one thinks, the existence of Astroturf does not threaten other musics, it does not take any other music off the table. There is room for everyone as music is weightless and takes up no space. Well you know what I mean.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    Quote Originally Posted by theinone View Post
    So many possible notes on the fretboard... why not play all of them?
    Why not play them pleasantly? Or in some sense, orderly, coherently, beautifully?

    This leaves me cold on every level. But yes, sure, everybody can do whatever they want, and following your inspiration and trying to realize it so others can hear what you imagine inside your mind is indeed a worthy endeavor. I believe that is what drives just about every musician who plays for an audience. I understand I'm not their target audience, and I'm fine with that.
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  10. #34

    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    It's unusual to find an acoustic mandolin in the field of free improvisation/avant jazz. Sam DH, and others cited, obviously feel the instrument has efficacy in this form. If nothing else, an evolutionary step for the instrument.

    As to, "why free improvisation?" Wiki has a concise introduction: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_improvisation

    For some of Sam's mandolin playing in a more traditional setting, check out the aforementioned Shtetlblasters - not that downtown, punk, electronic, no wave is traditional, but for outre players like Zorn, Feldman, Ribot, Friedlander et al. the Masada, Bar Kokhba and Circlemaker ensembles were very traditional.

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  12. #35
    Registered User Paul Cowham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    This reminds me of an experience I had about 20 years ago. A friend who is a pro classical violinist was playing a concert at an experimental music eve in the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester which I went to. He was playing in a string quartet, and they did a piece by a modern composer, I can't remember the composer's name, but do recall that the music was atonal with no real sense of rhythm and was challenging for the listener and the performer.

    There was another band on the bill called BARK! who play improvised music with no sense of rhythm/harmony/structure, at least that I could identify. I didn't appreciate their music in the conventional sense, but did find them entertaining to watch, the percussion player in particular was very charismatic and seemed to be getting off on doing completely random things with his drums.

    Here is a youtube video of them, this also only has three "thumbs up" (possibly the same 3 people who did this for the astroturf video!? )



    One difference between this and the astroturf clip is that Sam clearly has brilliant mandolin chops. I haven't got any idea whether the guitarist in BARK! can play the guitar in any conventional sense from either this clip or their half hour or so performance that I saw. There were also identifiable references to bluegrass material in the astroturf video which is at least some kind of touchstone.

    It's no surprise that many folks don't enjoy this music, I certainly don't enjoy it in the way that I enjoy most music, but I do find this whole idiom curiously fascinating. There are obviously serious musicians who pursue this, and I'm glad that they do. I also think that reading this type of music which has been composed, like my friend did, must be a difficult and potentially thankless task, but I can understand the attraction to pure free form improvisation.

    I also remember talking to Mike McGoldrick, the virtuoso Irish flute player, at a session at around the same time. He was speaking about a gig that he had played with Ornette Coleman in Belfast. Ornette had wanted a traditional Irish musician on the gig, and their agents put them together. Apparently Ornette said to Mike "just play anything" before the gig, which was the extent of their rehearsal. Anyhow, Mike wrote a tune about the experience, although this is much less free form than an Ornette Coleman piece.

    Last edited by Paul Cowham; Oct-23-2021 at 6:54pm.

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  14. #36
    Registered User Paul Cowham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    PS improvised free form music perhaps isn't that alien to the mando world, e.g. towards the end of this David Grisman piece there is a free form section...

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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hanson View Post
    It's what we call a ' cacophony '

    Dave H
    I like the word "cacophony"...it's a polite way of describing a collection of screeching, grating and unnerving sounds mixed together with no sense of harmony.

  16. #38

    Default Re: Astroturf Noise



    ..

  17. #39
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    I particularly like the harmony parts when the bridge section begins.

  18. #40
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    Default Re: Astroturf Noise

    What the heck, a lot of my playing sounds just like this. Only difference is I am not doing it on purpose. My respect to these folks for their abilities but it doesn't move me the way Sam or Sierra does.

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