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   Chip philosophy


I just wanted to share and maybe get feedback on two principles or reasons for anyone to make chip music that i’ve come to think of. Please feel free to share any views and additions.

I believe in the following principles:

1) Creativity by limitations
2) Peacocking by abnormality

1. Creativity by limitation

I believe it is a fact that the world essentially consist of potential and possibilities (rather than objects and attributes) and that all possibilities exist because of boundaries. The totality of human experience is for an example a result of the boundaries of form or matter.

All creative or artistic contexts are frameworks (self-evidently). It is my belief that all these contexts, like the musical one, is in fact social contexts comparable to the “real life” we experience daily with the people in our surroundings. By creative means we constantly create personas by which we objectify our values within any of these contexts. Be it musically or just having a barbecue with friends.

Perhaps it is because of the essential freedom within us that we strive to stretch all these boundaries (e g being creative). The longing of experiencing the whole world within us, as it is.

The strength of chip music lies in its relatively strong and clear boundaries, and its accessability. This provides a rather comfortable scene where to create and experience ourselves (making a persona and objectifying values). Chip music is thereby an excellent context where to constantly developing “maturity” and experience when it comes to expressing oneself.

This is one of the potentials of music and art in general.

2. Peacocking by abnormality

(Peacocking, evolutionary term: to display strength by voluntarily creating a disadvantage for oneself. All creativity is peacocking, because of its limitations)

I suspect that modern music becomes more and more artificial. Many characteristic sounds of the last decades are very unnatural and most of the times strange effects are used when producing music. Flanger, phaser, compressor, gating et c creates sounds that would never be found in nature. I think of the snare that was often used in the 80s (e g phil collins) with a lot reverb but very fast decay (gating), creating a snappy sound. Or of the filter sweeps used in trance music. These are very unnatural sounds, and i believe this is why they can also be very attractive. They are, essentially, abnorm.

Things that are 'different' attract people. Why? Because evolution makes us want new impressions, and thereby guides the human collective to new culture. Differences catches our awareness. We are nodes in a network of cultural evolution and being 'unique' is therefor an advantage for any individual when it comes to affecting other people. What is unique and unnatural, if not chip music? =)

I feel the problem with chip music is that some aspects are too abnormal. The whole soundscape unfortunately doesn’t come close to regular pop music - the norm. To reach out to anyone you have to be unique, but still sufficiently within the norm for people to able to adapt. It would therefor be interesting to develop techniques on how to produce a music style with the strengths of chip music but a more normal soundscape. I don’t think any attempts have been really successful so far.
[00:40] [11-01-2008] [joule]
Good post, joule. It’s good to have principles, and not only in art, I mean. If they are good principles, they make us better beings.
[21:26] [15-01-2008] [yozfitz]
This is a point of view and, this is a (nice) way of thinking. Nonetheless, I personnaly think that you can create without being limited. In other words, you do not need limitations to create. You can take it as a challenge (imposing limitations to yourself).

In a second hand, you ought to know that each single human living on the planet tends to be unique. (What would make me different from the mass?)
Creativity is one of the way to express your “self”.
Concerning music, (but this can be extended to other arts), we were born with a cultural background and with prejudges.

For example (is it a convention?), major chords are said to sound happy while minor chords are said to sound sad. This is what you feel as a european, but not as a part of another cultural background.

Moreover, you are bathed with commercial shit musics (whose aim is just making music) all day and night long!! Even if you don’t listen, your mind absorbs it unconsciously and can lessen creativity.
A french artist said: “I talked music to my music compagny and they talked money to me!"
I didn’t say that everything on the radio is bad... Some true but rare artists find their way, but most of the songs sound the same!

That’s all I had to say for now... :)
I will probably write more later on if there are some reactions to my post.



[08:43] [16-01-2008] [Okeanos]
Interesting thoughts...
Limitations in options makes it easier to concentrate on what’s important.
Also it makes it easier to conclude: you are done with something.
That may not apply for everyone, it surely does for me.
When I first came in contact with PC trackers I was overwhelmed by the possibilities of gazillions of voices, Instrument editing possibilities etc.
So I started by taking 4 voices as I knew from Amiga and taking it from there. Time after time I tried more voices, but I never really felt comfortable using more than say 6 or 8.
When you got an idea in your head that you wanna track down to remember, knowing you only have so much voices is an advantage, it let’s you forget about the 'big universe' and as you develop the tracks and fill them with your ideas you have a structured way of thinking.
You must fit your impulses to add notes and edit mixing into the pattern of ...well, the pattern! :)

I think blurring the border between tracked and popular music will never really work, apart from such cases as Timbaland who takes samples of tracked music and integrates them (sometimes without knowledge of the creator ;)into something different like R.N.B. as tracked music reflects a wish for unperfection which is contrary to the glimmer glammer world of i.e. EmptyV.
[21:26] [07-12-2009] [Shinobi]
This is a wonderful view on the deeper, meaningful aspects of chipmusic (beyond the music). I too share a similar belief.

I would also like to offer another prominent aspect and that is the resourcefulness of chipmusic. There is something distinctly primal about chipmusic in that it doesn’t waste any effort on complacency or apathy. The limitations of chipmusic are turned on their head and through surreal ingenuity and constructive imagination as they appear to be advantages. When one uses a 30+ channel DAW so much is wasted and unused, it feels wrong and immoral to simplify such advanced and intelligent virtual orchestras. But when one uses a 3/4 channel homebrew tracker and crafts euphoric melodies, pushing this simple software and hardware beyond it’s perceived 'limitations' the psychological currency of such an act is vastly more satisfying in comparison to the hollow feeling of insecurity one feels when wasting the capacity of modern wares.
It’s as if ones music can only exist and survive if all parameters are maxed out and every channel runs 4 instruments every 16 steps. It is a thirst, an eternal quest to further the limitations and advantages of all the mediums and means which lead to chipmusic, to prove to ourselves and our fellows that we need not create more imperfect technologies
and code but we must perfect the humble obsolete technologies and small, infinitely effective code of our forefathers. We will live long with 20th century hardware at our hands and >Kilobytes worth of code in our minds.
[03:37] [10-01-2010] [Vytantus]
 
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