alternate title: the value of being a novice
this idea was spurred as a possibly interesting contrast to the flight hours thread, which talked about the values and processes around fully learning and understanding limited sets of musical tools. I wanted to talk about the value, processes, and psychology behind musical tools that are inscrutable.
it strikes me that many of us seek out intentionally opaque interfaces for musical creation. the grid certainly lives up to that description. Peter Blasser’s instruments are also a clear example. based on discussions I’ve seen on other sites around Mannequins modules included manuals, I would say that many find them fairly unpenetrable. all of these tools are often mystifying at first use, but all of them also have the capacity to become deeply intuitive for creative use, even if total understanding never fully develops.
if this resonates with anyone, I’m curious where this desire comes from for you.
for me, I remember first getting into music production and finding everything, even the very accessible interfaces in Reason, totally baffling. at the time, I had access to my school’s decrepit music studio, which featured a neglected original Serge modular. I slowly began to understand the tools I had at my disposal and to develop my own flow through those tools, but in using that Serge I often couldn’t even tell if it was working or broken, just that sound was (mostly) coming out of it.
somehow this was thrilling.
it seems like the feeling of being truly under water in comprehension but forging ahead anyway can yield very interesting musical results. I wonder if people have perspectives around how they seek this in their process. Also very curious to hear from anyone who makes tools and instruments with this in mind.