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MP3 Jerry Gerber - Waves

New and unusual music that integrates a modern tonal classical aesthetic with electronic instrumentation.

9 MP3 Songs in this album (49:28) !
Related styles: ELECTRONIC: Virtual Orchestra, CLASSICAL: Contemporary

I’m up till 2 a.m. again, grabbing notes in the staff view and placing them, one at a time, in a mousy little way, onto my computer screen. I repeat this process thousands of times until a composition is developed and my brain has integrated composing and sequencing into a single act of creation. I’m wondering again how to humanize these complex machines; how to infuse them with expression, imagination and aesthetic passion; to transcend the silicon, rubber, plastic and metal, and realize a musical instrument.

I was walking in the forest with a friend last summer and he asked me, "What is art music"? I said to him that complexity hidden as simplicity, or visa versa, along with abstraction, structural depth, development of ideas, and the inducement of a rarer type of feeling are the markers which often distinguish art music from popular music or entertainment. I said that art is a door to the infinite, sometimes giving people a strange sense of it through the emotion of ecstasy. Mass media is besieged with idiotic entertainment and propaganda, yet I am not entertained by churlish imbeciles nor am I culturally informed by the lies and fantasies of the ruling class. America has its big cars, bigger warships and even bigger delusions, but, like ancient Rome, America is more in pursuit of boundless wealth, power and militarism than in creating a consciousness driven by desire for truth and spiritual and intellectual enlightenment. Humor and play belong in music and in life, but when I turn to music I know I am also turning toward something profound, sacred and cosmic. I am turning to both the silence within music and the music within silence. Music is proof enough for me that the universe is friendly, for harmony is the language of a transcendent reality, and it is our habit of barbarism which keeps us unaware and insensitive to that truth.

Alone again in my studio, I’m composing, sequencing, mixing, editing and re-editing until, like a sculptor, I’ve chipped away at the superfluous material and slowly discover the form from which my music can emerge. The computer is a superb musical instrument. It never goes out of tune, yet it can be tuned in any number of ways. It has a library of timbres that is larger than the largest orchestra on the planet and yet it can play sweetly the simplest phrase with one humble sound. It can be programmed to play perfectly on the beat or it can swing, syncopate and groove with all the vitality and spontaneity that gives music its charm, warmth and character. Living in the 21st century has advantages. The computer as a relatively new member in the family of musical instruments is one of them.

This is an intense and dynamic time to be alive, with widespread cross-fertilization of cultures and ideas from not only across the planet, but across time. Greater access doesn’t prevent the wrong application, misunderstanding or dilution of ideas, but it does give people the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding if they seek it. There are many new possibilities and new worlds to explore. At the same time, any intelligent person cannot but doubt whether the excessive commercialization of modern existence is not without its pitfalls, namely the danger of confusing, misrepresenting and corrupting the best that human culture has to offer. Perhaps these parallel worlds have always existed, but now more striking in contrast due to our advancing technologies and greater interdependency upon shared information. The local and the global are firmly intertwined, as are the excellent and the mediocre, all unified by the marketplace and the technology it spawns.

Another night has passed and it’s a warm, glorious, sunny day in San Francisco. While walking in the park today, I experienced the feeling that there’s an underlying unity and miraculousness that is within reach of our experience. The infinite and eternal are as much a part of every moment as oxygen is a part of every breath. This moment, the now, is the same moment that has always existed and will always exist. To realize this, we must transform our consciousness into something more human and less barbaric; we have to be still. No easy task to be sure, but if we want to survive and prosper, what other choice do we have?

San Francisco, California
November 2008

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