Entertainment Magazine

Captured Viewpoint Part I: What Would Beethoven Do?

Posted on the 19 August 2012 by Alreadydidit

My life, my awareness as a part of universe,
Thus awareness of the universe itself,
Is no more than a bypassing state. 

My art is more alive than I am,
More alive than my thoughts,
More alive than my awareness as a being.

I’m already dead in the eyes of the world.
In fact we all are dead in the moment we are born.
Alone in our thoughts.

Art, my art, is a state of reality bundled together.

As a captured viewpoint.
My art is more alive than I am,
Since you at the very moment
re affected by these exact vibrations in your eardrum.

As you experience these vibrations,
I’m indirectly more alive than I was at the moment I created this experience.
Thus my art is more alive than I am, or ever will be. 

My friend, in the eyes of the universe you are already dead,
You are no more than a bypassing state.

And so am I

Captured Viewpoint (2001)
[undisclosed] / Just Another Superstar

What would Beethoven do?

Above are the lyrics for my song “Captured Viewpoint”, I composed in 2001, and which is now used to demonstrate how minute details add to the overall tone of any piece of music – hopefully evident in the video, which is just a simple capture of the original way this particular song was composed, and how it looks from a pragmatic perspective as a musician who has to put these beats, sounds and progressions into action through a restricted, but in right hands a powerful tool [1]

[1] Captured Viewpoint was originally made with (now obsolete) Impulse Tracker, and thought Renoise (software used in the video) was a good alternative to show how most of my projects before 2002 looked when producing. The video is not completely truthful take, as the post-processing work for individual tracks had often much bigger role to get to a specific sound.

It can be also said that in the early modern years of computerized composing and rapid exchange of knowledge due to rise of Internet (especially in late 1990′s), the rudimentary and limited tools dictated more than often the kind of music you could and would make, acting at the same time as a catalyst to find more and more outlandish sound seemingly not possible with given instruments at a first glance.

The subject of using modern tools for electronic music like a contemporary composer who does not bow to any doctrines, however, in its extensiveness, will be a scope of another article altogether in the future, which will dissect in detail, a song or two I have made in the past. Now this piece (out of about 1000) just sheds a bit more light on how limitations make us try harder to exceed the set standards on any field.

To shift this week’s essay (which is split to two parts I should mention) to proper focus and kick in a high gear, below is one quote from a short, but an insightful post – The flickering moments of greatness.

[When] the artist sees a vision and is compelled to communicate it, he becomes a conduit of an experience that metamorphoses with the viewer, [while] the viewer may see a completely different experience from that of the artist. - amonikabyanyuvva

So much truth in above words… The spectator ultimately decides what the given piece means to them, but I would go even further and make a statement that ideas and creations that truly surface and become a part of our cultural heritage, may be seen to manifest themselves to be in some way even more alive through other people who are inspired and affected by the said creations, than the person at the moment they created the experience.

One can make a counter-argument though that when you go through a process of creating with passionate fervor, those are the moments you feel to be the most alive, while the outcome in at instant is just a possibility of an idea or experience that may or may not live through the audience it touches.

At the same time immediately one has produced something unique, then that something becomes an object even to the artist, which turns from creator to spectator in a repeating cycle throughout the creative process, which ends after any particular piece or even part of it has been finished.

Whether you paint with your life, your voice or your words, after every brush stroke, the painter turns momentarily into a spectator – and a  very critical one in the most cases.

I guess that inevitable ending of the creative process, the final rush to finish a piece of work to feel for a moment that you have once again reached the height you can reach, makes us at the same time almost immediately feel empty inside – with this questions in front of us: What now? The very same feeling most high caliber athletes often go through after breaking a record or winning a major event.

So artists are at the same time part of the audience to their own work and even that view, as close it is, may be skewed and the more people start constructing a common theme around artist’s work, franchise or a piece of culture, the more the commonly accepted idea of what it is supposed to mean, becomes the norm, regardless of what the original intent by the creator was.

This goes on to say that audience as a whole decides through their actions, thoughts and derivative works how anything we create is interpreted or adapted. Art and music in particular can be seen as a captured viewpoint, a limited window for a particular mind trying to understand and organize the reality in them and around them to not only free themselves, but to let others see what they saw, just from a different perspective.

Captured Viewpoint Part I: What would Beethoven do?

What would Beethoven do?

My question to all artists out there is to choose from the following two extreme scenarios:

Would you want every single spectator to experience your creative work, performance or art in the exactly same fashion and the level of understanding you originally intended, but never with new eyes? In effect they would see exactly what you see.

Or, would you rather have those same people each have a unique, subjective experience dictated by their life and level of awareness, like we do, but never exactly the way you intended? In effect you would never be completely understood.

While the answer might be obvious and the latter scenario is almost a caricature of the current reality everyone lives in, whether we consider ourselves artists or not, I would say that the opposite is actually true what comes to the understanding part.

The more spectators there are and the more popular and visible a work, franchise or a person grows, the clearer the perception and the original intent of the raw talent behind the works becomes, despite how everything is adapted or recycled. A few correlations from the history: Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi can be seen as rock-stars of their time and their music was considered modern, maybe even radical at the time. Only after hundreds of years, their masterpieces have grown to be part of the culture as much as they have, due to digital cultural revolution. And while the minds that created these works are long gone, their work lives on with a renewed life.

Here is a little thought play for you: What you think, for example Beethoven would have had to say about how his music is used these days?

As much as copyright laws are important, even with their current ebbs and flows especially within music industry, the rise of digital era has enabled art and entertainment evolve the way it has with almost endless possibilities. Mass is needed to build a basic foundation for something greater than the sum of its parts. Same time due to easy way to copy, re-create and adapt any digital content (and soon even real products with 3D printing) the creators, artists and music makers of our generation face for the first time in human history the same pains every parent has had to endure since the dawn of time – letting go of their children when they grow up. [2]

[2] Much later I might dig deeper onto those growing pains of talented creators fighting in the sidelines scraping by and how consumers may in the future benefit directly from the success they help to create. (Just a little teaser what goes by)

Meaning that while creators have automatically the copyright for their work, we have literally no saying what people do with our works and this is exemplified the more popular artist becomes, apparent in the countless parodies, remixes, mashups and and so forth. Mass culture and viral media, as it is today, grants all people or ideas similar chances to get exposure and to be heard and logically best one’s should rise more easily to the top. This is obviously not the case always, but even the mock competition and cries to have more followers, real or not, makes us try even harder, which in effect at its best, makes a civilization also try harder to survive, evolve and expand.

This is a bit of a stretch, but from time to time somewhere, out of the blue, someone comes and says, “We can do things better than this”. Even though, the most we seem produce to enrich “culture”, is bland, boring, predictable and plain garbage. But hey, you can think it this way too – to cultivate that cream of the crop you need some dung too [pun intended].

To quote myself, I pointed out in my post “Without a surface there is no depth…“

To an outsider it often looks redundant, even counter-intuitive for productivity, to finesse certain piece […] ten hours straight […] then scrapping it one instant, because it was not good enough.

[…] what really happened, is that he essentially trained his own mind to be more attuned to the details. […] And then this artist goes on and creates afterwards a masterpiece from scratch in five minutes. 

And in my first post “All good things start from somewhere“

Still, to me it has always been about constantly raising the bar in every way what comes to quality, not about quantity for the sake of it, but to get to the level where creativity is as easy as breathing you have to produce, produce, produce.

Above thoughts can be adapted to mean also our society, culture, sub-cultures and cliques within society. Without mass there cannot be contrast between ordinary and extraordinary that leads to greatness, for which without an evolutionary spirit of a civilization would drift apart.

This leads to a thought that great feats and outdoing yourself, no matter how irrational they might seem at first, serve some purpose like climbing to a mountain – why? – Because it is there. In this regard, Jackasses of this world has their place in culture as much as or high arts, high-art trash (for the record, I liked this film) or completely out of this world.

- Just Another Superstar

Captured Viewpoint Part I: What would Beethoven do?

Continue to Part II: Paris Hilton is a philosopher of Happiness, and Plato just spilled in his lucky pants

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