Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dissonance is the New Harmony

Listen to audio Here

By Orlando Campbell, Youth Radio

What’s the new What? In the underground scene of Athens, Georgia, Dissonance……is the new Harmony.

That’s right…It’s happening here...the birthplace of REM….

(MUSIC: REM, It’s the end of the world…)

They pushed the boundaries of lyricism…Now musicians are pushing the boundaries of sound….…in a growing noise music scene.

(MUSIC: Better People)

Doug Patterson: I dare you to enjoy it b/c it’s anti-music and qualifies as unlistenable.

It might be unlistenable, but it’s got a huge following. Doug Patterson makes noise music under the name “Better People.”

(MUSIC: Better People)

Doug uses tape manipulation, effects petals, and computer software in his creations. 21 year-old Tyler Rosebush is a fan.

Tyler Rosebush: Since its so on the spot, it’s not rerehearsed it’s not prerecorded. The final product reflects the entire process and you’re intimately acquainted with every step of the way this music is created and you know now a days with digital music and iPods and stuff like that it’s easy to get caught up and just lost in this sea of just like stuff that is the end and not the means.

This isn’t about being weird, it’s about going into another state of mind. Pop music doesn’t exactly make you think with lyrics like: “get you drunk off my hump…my lovely little lumps”

(MUSIC: Black Eyed Peas)

Douglas Patterson: That’s what my music is – it’s a rejection of pop, a rejection of rock and roll…b/c it’s harsh and abrasive and it’s not a pretty thing – it’s coming from a pretty angry place.

Noise performers are challenging the notion of what music is and who qualifies as a musician. Rob Peterson is a graduate student in Art at the University of Georgia. He experiments in sound sculpture, and performs at live shows:

(MUSIC: Noise Music Performance)

Robert Peterson: A lot of these shows – there’s no stage. It’s just the floor of a house. A lot of times all you can’t see the artist because they are on the floor – are you can do is hear b/c people are hovering. There is no barrier between audience and the performer. So it is this kind of mutual self expression.

But if you give music by artists like Doug Patterson a chance:

Douglas Patterson: There’s an intention behind it and I’m trying to tell you something. If you take the time to get into it, the rewards will be so much more than listening to something that’s already been laid out for you.

I do want to be challenged…and for me, that’s the main difference between pop music and noise music. Without comfortable lyrics or a predictable grove, your mind works a little harder. And I like it that way.

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