跟上Renick Bell的音樂節奏! - 前衛電子舞曲之創作 | DigiLog 聲響實驗室




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跟上Renick Bell的音樂節奏! - 前衛電子舞曲之創作



by 網癮少女 | 2016.08.02 | 精選文章 |

"Photo Info: Renick Bell(live-coding sound), Atsushi Tadokoro(live-coding graphics), VRDG+H, April 30, 2016 "

在東京的一場聲響表演”64 No.1”是來自德州的Renick Bell所舉辦的活動,同是電腦音樂的創作者的他,在現場除了Sound check自己的表演之外,還得忙著協助與安排其他的表演者。同期他也一手策劃Algorave系列表演活動:於香港、東京和名古屋一帶,邀請日本當地、長居於日本的外國聲音藝術家、甚至台灣及英國的藝術家前往參與活動。Bell已經活耀於電腦音樂界多年,今年年底,他親自操刀,將會在多家音樂廠牌像是 UIQ, Halcyon Veil, Beatgatherers, and Quantum Natives釋出他的音樂創作。

 

 

 

初聽 Bell的音樂如同初嘗異國料理,因為缺乏類似的味覺經驗,食之,仍無法分析或是評斷,待到累積一些經驗時,屆時才能給出一些想法。經觀賞幾場Bell表演之後,筆者方才理解,漸漸地欣賞其音樂。舉例來說,在一首歌中,他會呈現多變元的風格,作曲豐富且變動快速,這樣的特殊創作方式,讓人在第一時之間無法歸類其音樂種類,甚至一不留神便拋諸於外,回神之間早已切換到另一世界觀。

 

 

 

來台灣吧!

Bell:當時想認真的發展音樂與找到一份好工作,但是德州在音樂方面的視野太小了,也很難有機會發展音樂,因此於1999年,跟朋友一同前往紐約,但立刻就被忙碌的生活掩埋。我在當時新成立的網路公司上班,一星期必須工作長達60小時,下班之後還得去夜店、酒吧或是音樂會表演,隔天又緊接著上班,這樣的生活之下,音樂的發展十分有限。2001年,網際網路泡沫化造成紐約多家公司關閉,數千人跟我一樣,一時之間失去了工作,然而在台灣的朋友告訴我:「你可以來台灣找工作看看,你可以教英文!」。在搬到台灣之前,我到過台灣與日本,也曾在香港待過個月,我很意外,因為我認為亞洲的發展甚至比美國更好,就這樣在台灣生活了幾年,同時,也取得工作與創作的平衡。

 

Live-Coding的音樂創作

Bell:以前,我玩兩種音樂-Drum & Bass曲風的音樂與電子音樂,Drum & Bass曲風是一種很生硬的舞曲,我製作很多這樣的作品,並寄給唱片公司,希望能有出版的機會,但每次都差臨門一腳,最後落空收場;然而,我與Jason Landers共同在網路上經營音樂廠牌,電子音樂方面的創作都放在這個自營的廠牌上了。

Bell: 2005年時,我想在音樂創作與經營事業之間,作出一個選擇,我無法兩方面掌握,當然我最後選了音樂,因此在網路上就讀印美國第安納大學(Indiana University)碩士學程音樂科技學系,同時我也自己學習很多電腦音樂的知識。我也玩喜歡硬派的龐克樂團,音樂非常具有侵略性,但這就是音樂的現場!當我接觸電腦音樂時,所有的事情都在聲音工作室或是電腦上處理,但我還是想要現場的音樂,因為我想要表演,我喜歡表演的氛圍,這也是我接觸SuperCollider的原因。我也曾用Csound以及Pure Data,但都不是我想要的結果,我也開始寫自己的GUI[1],你知道的,只用一個滑鼠點擊,忽然之間只剩下一隻手指在操控界面,當我玩吉他時,起碼有六隻手指頭在運作,如果想要的話,十指都能用上,相較之下,只剩下一隻手指玩音樂的感覺真的太糟了,在Live-coding時,能用上十指,而且我非常擅長打字,在SuperCollider上能用上這能力,現在我也用Haskell,但更重要的是-Live-coding是使用字、符號(Symbol),吉他或是鼓是使用手勢(Gesture),非常物理的動態去創造聲音,在Live-Coding是一些在螢幕上呈現的程式碼,當我寫上一些符碼,將可以控制非常多的事情,這對我來說是重要的。2007年,我從GUI軟體的創作轉移到SuperCollider上,直到現在也將近十年了,2011年開始使用Haskell,也使用SuperCollider的合成器,而多數的程式碼是在用Haskell程式語言寫的 。

 

 

在日本的音樂發展

Bell:後來我的太太想搬回日本居住,所以這也是我到日本的原因。在日本,我開始攻讀博士學位,剛開始在東京電機大學(Tokyo Denki University)就讀,但途中轉移到東京的多摩美術大學(Tama Art University)。基本上,技術上的研究並沒有因此改變太多,但是在論文中增加了許多美學與哲學上的探討,這有好有壞,一方面用藝術的方向去思考Live-Coding,一方面也失去了一些專研技術上的時間。在多摩美術大學讀博士的期間,我在國際上有很多表演的機會,在日本表演的機會卻非常少,或許是因為沒找到對的人,多數人也並不知道我的音樂。現在情況已經好轉了,獲得了很多在日本演出的機會。早先我想從創作跟事業間做出選擇,後來選擇了音樂,但很遺憾的是,我需要活下去,所以我還在經營自己的事業,仍然無法單靠著音樂存活下去,或許有一天行得通,但是目前仍然無法做到。

Bell:現在的音樂風格融合Drum & Bass曲風,我想沒必要將Drum & Bass和電子音樂分開。從高中時,我便非常喜歡Hiphop,Hiphop 的DJ總是快速的切換音樂,他們會撥約30秒樂曲,便藉由刷碟或任一技巧轉換音樂,有時也就混合了兩、三首音樂。雖然我不是做嘻哈音樂,但我很喜歡這種音樂的特質。

 

 

筆者曾詢問過Bell,若觀眾沒有寫程式的經驗,該如何欣賞Live-Coding的表演?他提出一種參考的欣賞方式,那便是透過觀察的行為進行欣賞,一邊仔細看表演者增加一段程式碼或修改了某行程式的數值,一邊聆聽聲音上的變化,便能漸漸的尋出創作者的想法。現在Bell有豐富的表演經驗與程式技能,他開始放入一些語言上訊息與觀眾對話,增添了許多Live-Coding有趣的面相。

 

 

[1] GUI (Graphical User Interface ),圖形化使用者介面

 

個人網站: http://www.renickbell.net/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/renick

 

***

 

Catching up with Renick Bell's Rhythm! Avant-Garde Electronic Dance Music Production

 

In Tokyo, a sound performance called "64 No.1" was organized by Renick Bell, a computer music creator, from Texas. As both a performer and the organizer, he was busy with sound checks before the concert, and further, he was helping other performers prepare for their sets. He recently orchestrated a series of Algoraves in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Nagoya, inviting local Japanese artists and even artists from Taiwan and the United Kingdom to participate. In fact, Bell has been active in computer music for many years. He will have releases coming out on various labels later this year: UIQ, Halcyon Veil, Beatgatherers, and Quantum Natives.

 

Bell's music is like exotic food. That's because when we lack the experience of having tasted something similar, it's not possible to analyze or judge it until we have accumulated some experience. When the time comes, a few ways of thinking about it appear. I could only undersand after watching several of Bell's performances, and gradually I began to enjoy his music. For example, in one song, he shows a multivariate style, composing rich and rapid changes in an unusual way. There's no way to classify such music at first. If you do not pay attention carefully, you suddenly find yourself in a separate world of music.

 

He's lived in Taiwan!

Bell: I was thinking seriously about making my music and finding a good job. In Texas there weren't so many opportunities to develop my music, so in 1999 I moved to New York City with friends. However, I was immediately buried with work. I worked for an internet start-up and had to put in up to 60 hours a week. After work, I'd go to nightclubs, bars, and concerts until late, and I had to go back to work the next day. Under such conditions, it was hard to develop my music. In 2001, the bursting of the dot-com bubble caused many companies in New York to fold or downsize, and maybe thousands of people like me lost their jobs. A friend in Taiwan told me that I could find work teaching English in Taiwan. I had been to Taiwan earlier in the year and was surprised because I found that Asia was more developed than the US. So I lived in Taiwan for a few years and found a better balance between work and creative activities.

 

Live Coding Music

Bell: Previously, I was making both drum and bass and more abstract electronic music. Drum and bass is a somewhat rigid dance music genre. I made a lot of these tracks and sent them to record companies with the hopes of putting out records. All of my efforts failed in the end, though. At the same time, I was putting out my electronic music on my own netlabel, which I run with Jason Landers.

Bell: In 2005, I was seriously considering whether to pursue business or music. I felt I couldn't do both seriously at the same time, so I chose music. Then I started an online masters program in music technology at Indiana University, and I was studying a lot of things about computer music on my own. I used to play in hardcore punk bands doing really aggressive music, and it was live. When I got into computer music, I could do a lot of things in the studio or through processing sound on the computer, but I still wanted to do live music because I like the atmosphere of live performances. So I started using SuperCollider. I had used Csound and Pure Data, but I couldn't get the results I wanted. I began to write my own GUI-based software, but I was suddenly restricted to just clicking the mouse with one finger to control the software. When I played guitar, at least I had five fingers and a pick to control the sound. Compared to that, being able to use only one finger felt awful. In live coding, I can use all of my fingers. I'm pretty good at typing, so I could use that in SuperCollider before and now in Haskell. What's more important is that live coding uses words and symbols, but instruments like guitars and drums use gestures, or physical movements, to create sounds. In live coding, being able to control a lot of things using those symbols and presenting that code on the screen is important. In 2007 I moved from making GUI-based software to live coding in SuperCollider and then Haskell in 2011. It's been nearly 10 years now. I still use the SuperCollider synthesizer, but most of my coding is in the Haskell language. It's been that way for the past five years.

 

Developing Music in Japan

Bell: My wife wanted to move back to Japan, so that's why I moved to Japan. In Japan, I started a PhD first at Tokyo Denki University, but in the middle of that I transferred to Tama Art University in Tokyo. Basically, I was researching software, and that didn't change much when I transferred, but I started to do more research in aesthetics and philosophy to write my dissertation. It was good and bad. On the one hand, it helped me to think about live coding as art, but on the other hand I lost some time for technical work developing the software. While I was doing my PhD research at Tama Art University, I had a lot of opportunities to perform my music internationally, but I had few opportunities in Japan, maybe because I hadn't met the right people and not many people knew my music. Now the situation is better, and I get a lot of chances to perform in Japan. In the past I had wanted to choose the path of a musician over a business career, but unfortunately I still need to eat, so I ended up running my own business. I still can't survive on music alone, but maybe one day I will.

Bell: Now I feel there's no need to keep apart drum and bass and electronic music; I'm putting them together. From high school, I listened to hiphop. In hiphop, DJs are often mixing really quickly, playing like 30 seconds of one song and then mixing to another, and sometimes DJs are playing several tracks together. I'm not doing hiphop music, but I like this kind of sound.

 

I had asked Bell how an audience that doesn't program can enjoy a live coding performance.

He provides a possible way to enjoy it: by carefully watching a performer add lines of code or modify existing code and at the same time listening to how the sound changes, they can gradually come to understand to some degree how the music is being made. Now Bell has extensive experience performing through programming, and he has begun to put some words in the editor to have more of a dialogue with the audience. This gives live coding an interesting or funny aspect.


 

Thanks to Renick for help with the English version of this article.

 

Website: http://www.renickbell.net/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/renick

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