sound, artists and words?

This has been a question for me ever since I thought to start a “blog” (I hate this word. What ever happened to journals?). I’m rather curious to find other artists working with sound (either as primary or secondary media) who are interested to discuss their work in ways that don’t revolve around self promotion, technical wizardry or circular references to this or that “scene”. While promotion is needed to sustain some level of public activity it need not be the sole reason for one’s presence on the web. If you produce content of some value, then there must be something you can say about it. I’m sorry to say but hype will eat itself in ways faster than consumers will chew up and spit out your music if it gets thrown into the refuse bins of fads or lifestyle trends. That’s fine for some who like to rise as fast as they can fall. As for others, the ones who consider it and art form (why call it sound “art” then?), its something that sustains meaning, creative activity and maybe even a way of life. For these people, I’m sure they would like to see this form of expression grow in depth, diversity and richness of expression and not just popularity.

So what then is my concern or what am I advocating? As stated in the intro of my essay Before and After Silence, sound art is not so much a genre or style of music so much as it is a practice, a means to give form to tangible reality through sound. In the long run, this practice gives shape or form to the “noise” of life whether you see it as harmonic or not. And for some it it even a mode for connecting or relating to others. This I know because of the people near and far from me who make up the widespread network of artists working directly with sound or listeners who find pleasure in listening to what I create (mostly through compositions for CD). But as many “sound artists” know, it can still be a lonely road, no matter how many albums you publish, exhibitions you have, festivals you perform at or tours you make. It is from this somewhat healthy culture of sound activity I hope to see a parallel culture of dialogue and discussion develop, both formally and informally.

I have found a few good blogs around, some are linked here on the right column. While I understand “sound art” may not be the subject of daily attention, I still would be curious to see occasional postings of stories about recording adventures, studio sessions and artist meetings. On the technical and conceptual side there should be plenty to write about on constructed instruments or installation ideas, composition methods, or recording techniques. If you happen to trade or buy CDs, it never hurts to offer your own constructive reviews or comments on a fellow artists work.

For those who don’t know, the winters in Estonia are long, cold and quiet. When things warm up its time to run around outside, not hang on the net. With that said I hope to keep things up when times are more busy in the spring and summer. But if these ideas are inspiring to you, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

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