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Author Topic: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation  (Read 12480 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #15 on: February 29, 2004, 09:14:37 PM »
Lots of meat indeed. While I find myself leaning towards the note for note school when first approaching a tune, at some point I guess I move away from that and start doing my own thing. I'm no pro though.

Lots of crappy music has been made in the name of creative interpretation. There are great new versions of tunes and painful failures everwhere you listen.

Re. recreation, one of the first people that comes to mind is Ari Eisinger. He is recreating the music he plays and works on to such an authentic degree that it becomes a transcendent experience listening to him play it in front of you. There are others who do their own thing with the music and the effect is just as exhilarating. I think it really depends on the performer and the context.

ethan

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2004, 09:42:47 PM »
Rev. Gary DAVIS:
Quote
My motto's always been to bring out something somebody else hadn't heard before. I always loved to do things different than anybody else did

Pertinent quotation, but none of us are Gary Davis, at least not me.

Excellent discussion. People have touched on some really illuminating analogies of acquiring musical expression. Music, child development, and language are all very close to the heart, alive; therefore, share a lot in common.

I retreat into a guitar world that is controlled, vacuum-like. Like a lab, I have equipped myself with many tools, namely a DVD player, Johnm DVDs, Transcribe!software, microphone, etc.? With these tools I can capture and dissect music in a unprecedented 21st Century way, and thusly am able to RE-create to my surpise MJH, Blind Blake, uncanningly .
Technology has enabled us musicians, especially now that enough time has passed since the great artists of early recordings for enthusused retrospection, to RE-create extraordinarily accurate versions of music that only exists in grooves of our CD discs, the digital processing of our PCs.?
UNprecedented, right.? Or did Blind Boy Fuller copy Davis exactly when they would sit down and play together, and then later was able to play so excellently?

So How does technology factor into this RE-creation discussion?


? ?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 10:58:51 PM by Johnm »

Offline orvillej

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2004, 10:15:27 PM »
when i think about technology and how it figures into country blues i remember when i was first learning to play the only "technology" i had was a record player. i dropped the needle thousands of times on certain records and i did have one of those little box shaped record players that had a 16 rpm (16, 33, 45, 78) speed that slowed things down an octave. between that and going to concerts, wheedling my way into the front, watching everything and then rushing home and trying to play what i had seen and heard and learning from anyone who would show me something i managed to learn to play.

one thing that helped me go beyond copying was the fact that i seldom learned a piece all the way thru. i'd learn the parts i liked best and kind of fill in the rest. thru doing that i learned a lot of the vocabulary of guitar but made up some of my own things to fill in the spaces and have actually gone back in more recent years and relearned some things i'd played for years just to get closer to the originals only because i've gained even more admiration for some of these artists over the years and found those bits that didn't grab me back then were of more interest now. funny how that works.

i think it's easier for people to make exact imitations now because there are so many resources that figure it all out for you and hand you the tab, the play-along video, etc. i'm not so sure that's a good thing. i still really like the old-fashioned way of two people sitting together and showing how to do it. i guess that's why i still enjoy teaching at workshops like PT. that said, i have made teaching videos myself so i'm not absolutely against them!? ?

"I don't really think that there is a distinct "point" when you "go beyond" imitation.? How could a person be drawn to imitate something if they didn't first see something that related to them
in some way?? If you already recognized yourself in something, you wouldn't need to "inject
yourself", you'd already be there, finding new ways to express yourself through it."

fair enough. i guess i meant that the point at which you need to concern yourself with "am i making this music my own" is when you leave your room and wish to play for other people. it's like when i copied the van gogh painting for art class, if all i want to do is develop my technical painting skills then copying is fine but if i ever want to show my work in a gallery they're not going to hang my imitations of van gogh. i'll have to do something that expresses my own soul.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 11:01:01 PM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2004, 10:16:28 PM »
Rev. Gary DAVIS:
Quote
My motto?s always been to bring out something somebody else hadn?t heard before. I always loved to do things different than anybody else did

Pertinent quotation, but none of us are Gary Davis, at least not me.

None of us are Rev. Davis, but even he learned tunes and styles from other people.? Of course he put his stamp on them - to some degree we all do, regardless of the amount of effort we (claim to) put into re-creating/re-hashing/re-gurgitating...? if we all had the same amount of talent, technical command, dedication and personal vision, any one of us might develop a style as unique and powerful.? For better or worse, we have those things in whatever measure and make of them what we can...? fine by me!

So How does technology factor into this RE-creation discussion?

Well, it certainly does... and probably has ever since the 78rpm record.? Players from the 30s sound to me as if they learned more from records, although it's likely that the players in the latter part of the 20s learned some tunes from records as well.? There are definitely a lot of interesting tools at one's disposal these days, especially if a computer is handy.? One thing is interesting, though - no matter how much you slow stuff down or tab stuff out, there's no substitute for just listening, carefully.

Repeat as necessary.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 11:03:21 PM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2004, 10:32:16 PM »
Re. recreation, one of the first people that comes to mind is Ari Eisinger. He is recreating the music he plays and works on to such an authentic degree that it becomes a transcendent experience listening to him play it in front of you.

One the things that freaks me out most about Ari is his ability to play a Blind Blake tune, ferinstance, and play licks in it that Blind Blake wouldn't *ever* have played...  but make it sound like a perfect Blind Blake lick.  He doesn't just cop the tune - he cops the whole style!

Just kinda makes you wanna push him down the stairs. <g>

Offline waxwing

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2004, 12:00:01 AM »
So we seem to be talking more about performing now, something I seem to be getting to do a little more of lately. First let me make an analogy to acting, where a playwright has written a script and actors are asked to interpret that script, to make the characters their "own" and to breathe life into them. I have had a lot more experience in this area. Some actors are quick to change an expression or turn of phrase to something that is more comfortable to them, something they might say in their own daily life. I always found that seeking a way to to be comfortable saying it exactly the way the playwright wrote it would often take me to a deeper place with the character. It might take longer, more rehearsal, but the reward was worth it, to me. I have experienced a respected touring country blues player recently who would announce the song and it's heritage, yet performed everything in a very similar style. I really found it hard to differentiate from one song to the next, altho' he had a very open honest delivery. Another player I've seen on several occasions pays clear homage to the original arrangement, perhaps with a signature lick or chordal progression, yet has the technical ability to launch from there into a statement entirely his own. Yet another has the ability to do highly detailed re-creations of songs I am familiar with, but at the same time I feel the depth of his personal commitment, his feelings, through his playing and vocals. I, personally, am more drawn to some of these performers and less to others, yet all of these performers are warmly recieved by audiences who are clearly moved by their performances. The point is, 50% or more of all art occurs in the heart and mind of the beholder, something you have no control over. And most audience members do not have the technical and historical awareness that most of us fanatics persue (you know, that critical voice that makes it hard for us to really give ourselves over to another's performance, even tho' we strive to). Perhaps they want to be dazzled by technical virtuosity or maybe they want to be moved to feelings they don't normally experience, or maybe they just want to feel the vibrations. In theatre, which I don't think is so different from music, both temporal performing arts, we use the safety of rehearsal, first, to create an honest, organic form, based on a script, like a musical arrangement, and then, to ritualize that form so that we may perform it in front of a room full of strangers, no easy task. But the most important aspect of each performance is to fill that form with the sheer joy of performing, because if you don't, that audience will know you are not enjoying your part of the transaction and it will be difficult for them to experience it fully and enjoy it themselves. So whether a player chooses to change a song to his own style or re-create an arrangement closely, or anything in between, the important thing is to enjoy what you are doing.
All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2004, 12:22:34 AM by waxwing »
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Offline uncle bud

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2004, 07:19:59 AM »
Re. recreation, one of the first people that comes to mind is Ari Eisinger. He is recreating the music he plays and works on to such an authentic degree that it becomes a transcendent experience listening to him play it in front of you.

One the things that freaks me out most about Ari is his ability to play a Blind Blake tune, ferinstance, and play licks in it that Blind Blake wouldn't *ever* have played...  but make it sound like a perfect Blind Blake lick.  He doesn't just cop the tune - he cops the whole style!

It's mind-boggling. This is a good point too. Puts a new spin on creation.

Quote
Just kinda makes you wanna push him down the stairs. <g>

That'll wipe that damn smirk off his face...  :D

Offline Eldergreene

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2004, 08:22:32 AM »
Emulation to get the vocabulary - after that, do what you will; the importance of jamming for learning to express your musical self seems to me worth a little more emphasis - it can make you "reach" that bit more than you might otherwise do;  v interesting thread..

Offline Rivers

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2004, 08:31:51 AM »
Good topic. What I'm looking to absorb from the old music is three things, time on the job, breadth and historical context.

By time on the job I mean I don't get to play out very much, have to pack my playing into evenings and weekends.

By historical context I refer to my not hanging around the corner of Fourth and Beale, drinking white lightning or playing speakeasys. Neether do I ride the rods...

Breadth comes from being able to study all the players I admire. In this respect we have a huge advantage today.

When I get something 'down', at least to my own satisfaction, my own musical personality invariably seeps into it. Having got, say, a nifty little Charley Jordan E lick into my preconscious I'm then free to project it through my own groove sensibilities, make little changes to it, throw it into other songs. This is the colour that, I kid myself, makes it mine.

As for writing original tunes, I don't do it. Somebody said "If you want to become a writer, just write". Time is the problem, and there's no real incentive since I just play for the fun, cameraderie, interest and relaxation of it all.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2004, 09:37:29 AM »
Hi all,
Just a brief point:  Frank and Uncle Bud's point about Ari's ability to internalize players' syles to the point where he can speak the language while playing things the original player never played is dead on, and shows a degree of immersion in the music on his part that goes light years beyond "imitation", "re-creation" or any of these other terms we have been bandying about.  Ari is his own man, musically, and brings so much to the table in terms of nifty variations of his own added to whatever piece he may be playing that I always find it a treat to hear him.  I think he's great.
The piece comparing Theater and Music is really facinating, John C., nice to get those insights from an insider.
All best,
John   

Offline Slack

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2004, 09:48:16 AM »
Gotta love the different tangents this thread takes.

Re: Technology.? Anyone think that using all this technology might be a hindrance to developing ones 'own style'?, a hindrance to making a 'song your own'?? Orville you described how songs used to be learned, and while you did not quite say the above, it seems like that was the direction you were going (without trashing your teaching video? ;) ).? It used to be (20's and 30's) that many more people played musical instruments and presumably many more opportunities to learn the old school way.? Maybe videos and DVD's have just filled the vacuum.

A couple of quotes from the Quote Oracle:
"I never could hardly learn no music by nobody trying to show me..." - Fred McDowell? (and thus a new style is born)

"Lightnin' is the best Lightnin' and Skip is the best Skip" - Lightnin' Hopkins

Which to me seems to sumarize/represent the pinnacle of being a CB player.? So I agree with OMPicker that being a creator is the more worthy endeavor and almost the most difficult!? And I agree with UB (I think it was) that said Alvin Hart is one of the best modern examples of this.

Quote
Slack, He's a student, and in fact started out as a music student at a college that had a pretty sophisticated guitar program.? This semester he has switched and become a History major ("They only wanted to teach me what [/i]their idea of jazz guitar was.").?

Ha!?OMPicker, does that ever sound familiar.? My History graduate is back in school (on his own dime) getting some more practical skills in graphic desgin.? ;)

cheers,
slack?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 11:07:30 PM by Johnm »

Offline orvillej

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2004, 10:10:13 AM »
"It used to be (20's and 30's) that many more people played musical instruments and presumably many more opportunities to learn the old school way."

i don't have any stats but i kind of wonder about that. tho there was no TV to eat up people's time back then it seems to me that there must be more guitars sold today than at any time in the history of the world. the fact that there are so many custom makers and also a volume of cheap guitars that actually sound pretty good makes me think that an unprecedented amount of people at least own a musical instrument.
 but i also think with modern sampling, turntable, computer, etc. ways of making music that young people regard as perfectly valid and normal ways of constructing music (technology again) there is a change in learning methodology. i'm not one to say "the old ways are better" or any old fogey kind of malarkey but i will say that i have? a lot more fun interacting with a human as opposed to a video or a computer.?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 11:09:13 PM by Johnm »

Offline Slack

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2004, 10:37:58 AM »
Quote
"It used to be (20's and 30's) that many more people played musical instruments and presumably many more opportunities to learn the old school way."

i don't have any stats but i kind of wonder about that. tho there was no TV to eat up people's time back then it seems to me that there must be more guitars sold today than at any time in the history of the world. the fact that there are so many custom makers and also a volume of cheap guitars that actually sound pretty good makes me think that an unprecedented amount of people at least own a musical instrument.

Well, I don;t have any stats either and I'm not sure where I get that impression - surely I've read it somewhere! ;)  ...and I'm talking about a percentage of the population playing eg the poulation was much smaller at the turn of the centruy, no baby boomers, no radio, no TV etc - just seems like more folks would play.  Maybe a little research is in order.

cheers,
slack

Offline waxwing

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2004, 04:33:18 PM »
Well, certainly Oscar Schmidt and others like him were cranking out parlor guitars as there was a huge craze across the country. But something else that made a huge difference, at least before the advent of mass marketing by records and radio, was that an individual performer was judged in a much smaller pool. If you were the best guitar player in your county, you were the best guitar player anyone in your county ever heard. Nowadays, to be considered good you have to be compared to the best in the world. So I think the heights seemed more scaleable, an individual might recieve more positive feedback along the way. A young boy who could thump out a beat with a little lick now and then might be greatly appreciated by the local folks who just wanted to dance on the back porch. Today if you walk into a cafe and do a few nicely fingerpicked tunes, someone walks up and says, "Hey, did you see Rory Block at the Freight last week? Man, she's great." Know what I mean? And the current lore seems to be that one must struggle in obscurity for years to "get a break". Attempting to avoid the current Folk vs Pop furor brought on by Elijah Wald, I do think that at the turn of the century there may have been a more supportive atmosphere for anyone, no matter their economic level, to take up a musical instrument for their own enjoyment and that of their neighbors. Art, in general, but particularly music, was more appreciated by the masses on a far less commercial level. My partner, Gre, who is an Orff teacher, works to bring just such a feeling to young children today, and places like Centrum are also struggling to do this kind of work, but commercialism seems to work against it. I hope this ramble doesn't seem too disjointed as I've been back and forth between the computer and our second flood clean up effort of the year. "To cure these blues gonna take a long, long time."
All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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ethan

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Re: Recreation v. Creation or Interpretation
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2004, 08:17:11 PM »
Quote
Re: Technology.  Anyone think that using all this technology might be a hindrance to developing ones 'own style'?, a hindrance to making a 'song your own'?

Opinions?

I am at the point of really digging into videos, gaining an awesome amount of knowledge and technique that I could only gain if I had real lessons from masters (but actual lessons are better of course). 

 ???
Being young, I want to translate the country blues to my early 20s friends.  I need my own style.  How do technology, videos influence that? ::) ::) ::)

 :)
I like the input on jamming and performing (re: Acting and Painting).  When you actually share your music, there needs to be originality, a personal touch in some form, in order to connect with your audience.  My interpretation from previous posts, thanks for the insights.   :)

 


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