Curating The Week: David Lewiston, Noise In Analog Music, Improvisation


An article about world music recordist David Lewiston (1929-2017).

“His tireless search for undiluted indigenous music became more difficult with time and the incursion of electronic instruments. ‘Oh yes, a Tibetan nun and a synthesizer,’ he lamented to Roots World. ‘When I go to the Himalayas, which is an annual jaunt for me, I have to be very careful to remind the musicians: Please! No film music from Bombay!’”

An article (from a book) about the aesthetics of noise in analog music.

“I for one find myself clicking through a good deal of digital music. If it’s online or on my computer, I skip around—I preview tracks, hearing a bit here, a bit there. My digital listening is to signal alone. I hear the notes but not the space between, or the depth below. It’s listening to the surface without the noise.”

An article (from a book) about the value of improvisation.

“Anyone who has played improvisational music with others is familiar with the virtuoso who has great skill and expertise but bad social sensitivity. In performance, he tears into melodic acrobatics, but never listens enough to know when to stop, or hand it over to another player, or modify and adapt to the aural environment. His narcissism undoes his own musicality. And it can go the other way too, since the overly shy improviser never gets courage enough to assert his musical ideas. A psychological balance of humility and hubris facilitate good improvisation, not just in music but in art, science and business.”

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