Intuitive Music

Glitch :: Failure is Correct
Contributed by Koldo Barroso



The new electronic currents are marked by technology, therefore the musician's creative attitude is dictated by the influence of their tools more than any other moment in history. Electronic music is supposed to spin around electronic technology as well as most of the experimental electronic music from the 80's and 90's was focused to the exploration of new creative and production tools -such us sampler and different kinds of synthesis. The new computer tools let the musician work in an environment where information is the star.

The consequence of this capability of working in a multi-disciplinary and multi-directional way is the coming of new post-digital currents, such as Glitch, or the microscopic music (granular synthesis).The capability of working in a fast and easy way and the drastic transformation and the communication of this information has changed the whole map of musical creativity.

Glitch (aesthetic based in the "failure" and digital detritus) has been brought to the attention of a number of artists in Madrid who are investigating, such as CJitter -Coeval-, Paul Webb, and Cnoi. This is a group of artists whose musical approach is not academic, but self-taught. The use of software which allows digital creation in an instinctive way -Max, AudioSculpt or SMS- built this new aesthetic far from the academic concepts of the so called "contemporary music" which are like absolute control of the creative medium. On the contrary, the attitude of the Glitch scene is based upon the "failure" as a consequence of the lack of absolute control of the man over the technology and the exploration of these boundaries.

This musical approach around "failure" started originally in the 50's by the hand of composers such as John Cage and Oskar Fischinger and later was taken by artists like Pansonic, Oval, Noto, Taylor Powered by Joomla! Generated: 10 December, 2005, 16:52

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Deupree, and Kim Cascone. Kim Cascone is one of the most important explorers of this sound aesthetic, having produced numerous works, given conferences, and written reviews focused in Glitch. As he says: "The medium is no longer the message in glitch music: the tool has become the message. The technique of exposing the minutiae of DSP errors and artefacts for their own sonic value has helped further blur the boundaries of what is to be considered music, but it has also forced us to also to examine our preconceptions of failure and detritus more carefully."

Part of the Glitch�s working attitude is based upon the de-constructive principle of reducing the quantity of information to the minimum, in a process more subtractive than additive. This is able due to the modern digital tools where all the information (sounds) are reduced to numbers, so the slightest alteration of this information may provoke the most drastic and unexpected changes as a result. Furthermore, the quantity of parameters which the artist uses in this discipline is so huge that he is practically forced to take either instinctive or random decisions.


Following this spirit where the process is as important as the result, the Coeval duo has created an interactive project on the internet that, under the name of The Infinity Project, looks for the permanent transformation of Digital Sound Residualism through the interaction of multiple users. Each user can process this stuff continually and the product from every process is published again, keeping a loop of everending creativity. The interest of Coeval for architecture and digital art has lead them to parallel projects, like the design of future multi-disciplinar installations of contemporary art, or the creation and design of computer software around Max/Msp programming to generate free use software to process digital sound.

Another of the artists involved in the Glitch scene is the British computer technician Paul Webb. Webb, resident in Madrid, has worked in the digital sound and interactive art field since 1991, and -through his company Robot Software- is concentrated in the use of programming techniques and algorithms, digital aesthetics, and interactive strategies for generative art. Paul has shown his work in renowned international conferences such as the "Sonic Art Network Conferences" in the UK, and taken part in numerous collective exhibitions of digital Powered by Joomla! Generated: 10 December, 2005, 16:52

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