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Complexity and enjoyment

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octopus-4 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 10:01
A complex good song for me has to have a good balance between predictability and unpredictability. The listener needs to be surprised but not always. Our brain can anticipate what comes next once a structure is perceived, but if it happens throughout all the song you are listening to the quack-quack-dance. On the other side, with absolutely no structure the risk is that one gets tired and loose interest before the song ends. 
Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 14:58
Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

...
On the other side, with absolutely no structure the risk is that one gets tired and loose interest before the song ends....
 
 
Which is incorrect for me, btw ...when there is absolutely no structure and/or design, it is left for the "here and now" to enjoy and appreciate.  There is nothing to get tired of, since ... you are looking at something that is not specifying to you, any kind of anything that you might know, and your mind is likely to want to take the challenge and see if they can find something with it.
 
This is the hard point for structure/nostructure issues ... since when you have structure, you are much more likely to get bored, since you already know what is going to happen ... but if the musician is a good "psychic" you will be surprised all the way to the end ... and enjoy it!
 
But rock fans, and pop music fans, are not exatcly known for appreciating the lack of structure, btw ... so your comment is suggesting that no structure is more boring than a structure ... and there is nothing more boring than the repetition of a structure or already knowing what is coming ... guess what "progressive" was about? ... throw the damn structures away! ... as for it being complex or not ... that's a joke!
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, instead of paying for a guru or church or social program!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 15:11
Originally posted by HarbouringTheSoul HarbouringTheSoul wrote:

I would like to give an in-depth answer to your post, but quite frankly I'm not sure if I correctly understood a single word you said. A little, uh, coherence would be appreciated. So let me just say this: When I say "song", I mean it colloquially, in the broadest possible (and admittedly inaccurate) sense. The definition of a "song" requires that it have vocals, but like many other people I incorrectly refer to all types of compositions in rock music as "songs". A bad habit, if you will. By the way, this also disproves your claim that a song is a simplistic form of music: It's not a form at all. Any composition with vocals is a song, regardless of its content or complexity.

What I meant with "as long as it still makes sense in the context of the song" is that complexity should always be in service of the composition. Subverting expectations is good as long as the composition still follows an internal logic. A bunch of non-sequiturs make for a very complex composition, but also a very incoherent one. I'm not saying that something is only complex when it's enjoyable. I'm saying that complexity is only good when it's enjoyable. Complexity is not a virtue by itself, it is a tool like any other that can be employed to good or bad effect.

And that rock music reversed or set back the development of music is an odd thing to say in a progressive rock forum. If that is indeed so, the music we all enjoy must be a futile exercise is developing a genre that is degenerated and useless to begin with.

 
Actually, you I would like to suggest that you are not reading my post. I, at least, made an effort to appreciate your comments and ideas, which you are not affording me, and not even asking!
 
Regardless of your personal definition of "song", a "song" is ONE of the simplest forms of music EVER created. As such, deciding that it should or should not have a relationship to "complext" or "simple" structures which define/aid your enjoyment, is a bit ... nuts! It goes in all directions ... sort of like the sun, and it doesn't matter if you are on its equator, or above it ... you're still gonna feel the energy and the power ... regardless of the complexity or simplicity of its physics!
 
It is also an issue, when someone got up, took a fart, played it backwards and used it in a song ... and you thought that it was far out and added to the complexity of the piece ... because it's timing and placement were supreme ... and in the end, the joke is on you ... and NOT what most artists really worry about when they create a piece of music, a painting, or write a story!
 
You're making a supposition that goes like this ... write a story ... subvert and change portions of the story to create suspense ... turn it weird over there on page 13 to make it stranger ... turn page 48 upside down to make it ... complex ... and when you look at it in its entirety and frame it ... it's complex, because you can not figure out a structure that is 1) logical and 2) fits your idea of logic and 3) accepted by academic standards that give you a degree!
 
The great thing about "progressive" from its inception, was its FREEDOM ... and even Rick Wakeman is finally using that term ... and you are stating, it seems, that this freedom can not be free form, has to have a structure (not a freedom anymore!) and must comform to something or other ... and that is wrong ... complexity is an "after the fact" issue ... and has nothing to do with most creativity ... go see the krautrock special and pay attention to Edgar Froese's words ... go hear Rick Wakeman talk in that awards thing ... go read Florian's words in that interview ... it's not about "complex" ... sometimes it is about ... just doing it, and you do not know what you did until after it was done ... and that "moment" has NOTHING on "enjoyment" ... it has to do with here and now ... not then, before or after!
 
Enjoyment has nothing to do with either ... you enjoy sleeping with a nice warm blanket ... that's enjoyment ... not complexity ... and music does the same for you ... and if it does not give you that warmth, it is not music that you like ... and of course, your argument for complext, idiotic, or simple, goes out the door, I suppose?
 
 
 
 
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, instead of paying for a guru or church or social program!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 15:21
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

...
On the other side, with absolutely no structure the risk is that one gets tired and loose interest before the song ends....
 
 
Which is incorrect for me, btw ...when there is absolutely no structure and/or design, it is left for the "here and now" to enjoy and appreciate.  There is nothing to get tired of, since ... you are looking at something that is not specifying to you, any kind of anything that you might know, and your mind is likely to want to take the challenge and see if they can find something with it.
 
This is the hard point for structure/nostructure issues ... since when you have structure, you are much more likely to get bored, since you already know what is going to happen ... but if the musician is a good "psychic" you will be surprised all the way to the end ... and enjoy it!
 
But rock fans, and pop music fans, are not exatcly known for appreciating the lack of structure, btw ... so your comment is suggesting that no structure is more boring than a structure ... and there is nothing more boring than the repetition of a structure or already knowing what is coming ... guess what "progressive" was about? ... throw the damn structures away! ... as for it being complex or not ... that's a joke!
To clarify: I think you can find a sort of structure even in the longest atonal drone of Phrozenlight. I don't mean "structure" in the sense of a song with a chorus every 16 beats. structure can be the recurring of a sequence of sounds, something that even if not predictable is at least "recognisable". Let me draw a couple of examples: the central noisy movement of A Saucerful of Secrets is extremely structured but not very predictable. Some of the Senmuth's worst songs are predictable, especially if you know his music, but totally unstructured, with unneeded changes of pitch and passages which seem to be wanting to seem "unusual" but are totally disconnected from the rest of the track. A number of unpredictable passages with no connection one to each other are not avantgarde or experimental. They are just patchworks. This is what I mean with "no structure". Halfway there is Oldfield's Tubular Bells. It's an unstructured patchwork of structured and somewhat predictable short movements. 

All what I have written is a simplification, of course. The same sequence of notes played by different instruments can have various effects on the listener. There's a huge difference between "Drafted" played by Mel Collins at the sax on Nude and the same notes played live by Latimer on guitar on The Single Factor. Still on Camel the low pitched vocals of  Chris Rainbow on the studio version of Fingertips sounds light years better than the high pitched vocals of Colin Bass, and I love Colin's voice. Nothing to do with structure, maybe about predictability.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HarbouringTheSoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 16:29
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Actually, you I would like to suggest that you are not reading my post. I, at least, made an effort to appreciate your comments and ideas, which you are not affording me, and not even asking!

I did read your post. But it was so incoherent that I wasn't able to make any sense of it. Same with this post. If you want to participate in a discussion, you have to communicate in such a way that the other side understands what you're saying.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 16:48
^ So, I'm definitely not alone on this one. Pedro, stop smoking pot.

Edited by Dayvenkirq - October 29 2012 at 16:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 20:40
^ I got what he was saying it just wasn't worded as well as it could have been. No big. I'm the king of ambiguity anyway, so I shouldn't talk. Worst part is that I don't even smoke pot. Just do acid. Lol. Anyway, for music to be complex is completely subjective I think in most areas. We can yammer on about structure and composition or even definitions of sounds, but the fact remains that what sounds simple to you could sound ridiculously complex to someone else. I choose not to fight this battle with others. Not being a cop out or anything I just feel its too subjective. Complex is too complex in this regard.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 21:54
I don't usually read moshkito's posts.  They are too complex.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 22:00
^^^Guys, English is Pedro's third language or something.  He does the best he can to get his point across with a limited knowledge of the language, so there's no need to get on his back about not being coherent.
In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 22:20
^ I gathered that. Anyway, I understood what he was driving at and he has created a very thoughtful and intellegent form. Thank you PEDRO!! Consider my mind blown!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2012 at 23:54
OK, I take back what I said. Sorry, Pedro - my bad.

Edited by Dayvenkirq - October 30 2012 at 00:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2012 at 05:45
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:


OK, I take back what I said. Sorry, Pedro - my bad.


Wow. You are nicer these days. I wonder what's been put in your cool aid these days? I like it. Very sportsman like.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2012 at 06:43
Some different angles of complexity.......
Anglagard (damn, I can't get 'accents' to work...) are complex rhythmically and melodically, sonically - obviously.  Hawkwind are complex - but in a more layered, arranged way.  The amount of detailed sounds and sonic colours added to their simple 2 or 3 chord jams makes their music dense and somewhat complex.  The Beatles play (mostly) Pop music, but even there some of their arrangements are complex (yeah, I too wish Tomorrow Never Knows was about 10 mins long....)
Bruce Springsteen is NOT complex - Born in The U.S.A. is, well, insipid.........apologies if any readers here enjoy that one but I can't......... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progger7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2012 at 09:44
odd time signatures give me an erection.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2012 at 10:29
Oh, god, not this again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2012 at 10:36
[
Bruce Springsteen is NOT complex - Born in The U.S.A. is, well, insipid.........apologies if any readers here enjoy that one but I can't......... 
[/QUOTE]

Finally. Somebody hears and sees it like I do. Can't stand Springsteen as well man. He's voice is comical to me. It's Adam Sandlers fault from SNL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2012 at 14:35
Originally posted by progbethyname progbethyname wrote:

^ I gathered that. Anyway, I understood what he was driving at and he has created a very thoughtful and intellegent form. Thank you PEDRO!! Consider my mind blown!!
 
I try ... sometimes it doesn't help that for me all this stuff is a VISUAL experience, and it is harder to define those as they tend to have their own language ... and a public board can be tough, but all in all, I try hard to understand what is being said, and would not post something if I did not feel it helped the argument ... and it is not "personal", because in this place, the number of outstanding folks writing and working with this stuff is far above and beyond ... what one could possibly ask or want.
 
It's also something that comes with the TIME and the PLACE ... since the late 60's and early 70's were a GOD-send for experimental music and what not ... that today is NOT possible ... and today's folks, as well meaning as they are about the music discussion, are not very good at discussing these moments, most of which  ... are ... personal ... in the first place.
 
To give you an even further idea ... Daevid Allen and Robert Wyatt and Gilly Smith, are by far the best/only beat poets left ... and this is from the Burroughs, Ginsburg, Syd farm ... so we say that some of this stuff is really complex ... and they are just flying on words regardless of any meaning whatsoever ... they can read a phone book and make you cry! ... what is complex is how they did it, which they might not be able to describe ... not anything else ... but we might tape it ... and all of a sudden listen to Ginsburg do his anti-war poem in "Tonite We All Love in London" ... and all of a sudden what was live, without memorex, is insanely visual, clear ... and excellent.
 
We have to be careful when asking this ... because we're making it look like its something that is inherant in the piece ... and it might not have been at all! We're not the composers or the creators ... we're the listeners, and as such our opinions might, or might not, have anything to do with the original reality ... and this is the part that we are getting lost on in the discussion.
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, instead of paying for a guru or church or social program!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ytse_Jam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2012 at 15:10
I have to say I often enjoy complex compositions (both technical difficulty and complexity of the arrangement) even when they are clearly complex for the sake of complexity, but it's not my only meter when it comes to music. I like when the artist uses complexity to create something new and interesting. Also I think nobody could really decide when complexity is useless or not. If someone likes it, it's not useless. BTW, I enjoy a lot of different stuff, even the most simple. Some of my favourite artists never made a song that it's not in 4/4.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2012 at 19:45
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:


Originally posted by progbethyname progbethyname wrote:

^ I gathered that. Anyway, I understood what he was driving at and he has created a very thoughtful and intellegent form. Thank you PEDRO!! Consider my mind blown!!

 
I try ... sometimes it doesn't help that for me all this stuff is a VISUAL experience, and it is harder to define those as they tend to have their own language ... and a public board can be tough, but all in all, I try hard to understand what is being said, and would not post something if I did not feel it helped the argument ... and it is not "personal", because in this place, the number of outstanding folks writing and working with this stuff is far above and beyond ... what one could possibly ask or want.
 
It's also something that comes with the TIME and the PLACE ... since the late 60's and early 70's were a GOD-send for experimental music and what not ... that today is NOT possible ... and today's folks, as well meaning as they are about the music discussion, are not very good at discussing these moments, most of which  ... are ... personal ... in the first place.
 
To give you an even further idea ... Daevid Allen and Robert Wyatt and Gilly Smith, are by far the best/only beat poets left ... and this is from the Burroughs, Ginsburg, Syd farm ... so we say that some of this stuff is really complex ... and they are just flying on words regardless of any meaning whatsoever ... they can read a phone book and make you cry! ... what is complex is how they did it, which they might not be able to describe ... not anything else ... but we might tape it ... and all of a sudden listen to Ginsburg do his anti-war poem in "Tonite We All Love in London" ... and all of a sudden what was live, without memorex, is insanely visual, clear ... and excellent.
 
We have to be careful when asking this ... because we're making it look like its something that is inherant in the piece ... and it might not have been at all! We're not the composers or the creators ... we're the listeners, and as such our opinions might, or might not, have anything to do with the original reality ... and this is the part that we are getting lost on in the discussion.


You are clearly a cut above ROSETTA STONE my friend, which is a pretty awesome TOOL song by the way. I think I will listten to it in your honor dear sir. Keep on proggin prog brother.
If you have sensitive and analytical sound equipment quality after market audio interconnects/cables make a HUGE difference in overall sound quality...Wider soundstage, reduced microphonics etc etc..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote prog4evr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 31 2012 at 00:37
Originally posted by progbethyname progbethyname wrote:

[Bruce Springsteen is NOT complex - Born in The U.S.A. is, well, insipid.........apologies if any readers here enjoy that one but I can't......... 

Finally. Somebody hears and sees it like I do. Can't stand Springsteen as well man. He's voice is comical to me. It's Adam Sandlers fault from SNL [/QUOTE]
Reminds me of when I was living in LA as a teenager in the mid-1970s, totally into early- and mid-70s prog at the time.  The LA Times music reviewer (I forget his name - and I am glad!) pontificated wildly about how inane progressive rock groups were; they did not even have a personal identity.  Then, came Springsteen in 1975 (thanks to a lot of contrived media hype - especially appearing on the cover of Time magazine) and this LA Times reviewer waxes eloquently about how refreshing Springsteen is, and so new; even with a personal identity - "Bruce Springsteen" - that everyone could relate to.  Needless to say, I lost total respect for the LA Times music reviews, and never - to this day - stand to listen to anything ever recorded by that propped-up poster-boy Springsteen...
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