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herbert

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musician/sound artist matthew herbert's (aka herbert, doctor rockit, mh bigband, radioboy) doesn't quite fit in the same categories as many of his contemporaries. though his music is often considered "electronic," it's quite undefineable, often using no electronics at all, and is steeped heavily in his jazz background. his approach to his craft, compositional methods, work and personal ethics, and ultimately his creative output are singularily different, and are worth a closer look, whether or not you are familiar with his recordings.  you can read essays, track notes, manifestos, biographies, and political rhetoric on his site for hours...
take a look at his website, magic and accident.

to download the free album mechanics of destruction, a critical look at multinational corporations and the effect they have on society, released by radioboy, one of herberts many monikers, click here.

herbert in allmusic guide.

also quite interesting apart from the music he creates is matthew herbert's compositional manifesto:
PERSONAL CONTRACT FOR THE COMPOSITION OF MUSIC, a strict guide for writing his music, which forbids the use of drum machines, factory presets, the sampling of others work, and requires that all sounds and equipment used must be notated and made available to the public (among other things).
 



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_Very_ cool stuff. I was just listening to 'bodily functions' last night.. I had a chance to see him a couple of times when he was in Detroit, once as 'Herbert' the other as 'Radioboy'. Both were fantastic shows -- he manipulates sounds live and near flawlessly. The 'Radioboy' gig was definietly geared more towards showmanship, but I mean..how often do you get to watch someone sample a BigMac and Soda, and break video cassettes on stage? Cool stuff. Also, I highly recommend taking a look at the 'Personal Contract for the Composition of Music'. I looked over that about a year ago, and there are some pretty interesting questions that he poses about eletronic music. [Why does the board not like my html line breaks?]8/17/2004 2:09:39 PM
name not provided
Anyone familiar with Hrvatski? He is a similar artist who had a recent interview in TapeOp magazine (Okay, maybe it was sometime last year). He has a recording entirely composed from samples and modulations of his washer and drier.</p>It's also fun to contrast Herbert's "Bodily Functions"with Matmos' "A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure," composed of surgical noises.8/18/2004 7:08:16 AM
stargrazer
Oh man! You guys are getting me so excited to move to San Francisco now.. Hrvatski was in SF a couple of weeks ago, like maybe the week I left last month, I think. Yet another show that is _entirely_ worth seeing. I saw two different sets from him, as well. He did this ambient thing at a home in Ann Arbor with Greg Davis, a label-mate, I believe. They took a bunch of childrens toys, whistles, bowls and other assorted things and sampled them while you watched. Then, mucking around in Max/MSP they made these really nifty soundscapes. Totally a chill and interesting evening. The day after that, he was playing as 'Hrvatski' and not..Keith Fullerton Whitman (I think?). What a wild show that was. If anybody has seen Kid 606, think really wacky cut-up music with samples flying everywhere, but somehow..I dunno, more spastic. Still solid rhythms though. A bit less-dancable than Kid 606, almost to the point of 'listening' music. Again though, like Herbert, some interesting theories, and a pretty nice guy. Matmos, I've heard, is an interesting live act. And, coincidentally, they seem to have a pretty tight relationship with <a href="http://www.sfai.edu/">San Francisco Art Institute</a>, where I will be next year.8/18/2004 2:19:55 PM
name not provided
the idea of a compositional manifesto is quite interesting, but perhaps it will go along the same route as the Dogme guidelines in cinema over the last few years - it will serve to rejuvenate the form for a while, then the 'authors' will sense its limitations and will resist being restricted in any way. I often think that, while these restrictions serve their purpose for a time, they often become tiresome, and should certainly not be set in stone.8/23/2004 10:52:54 AM
another
I agree. It's good to pose limitations and then run creatively amok within their framework. But there comes a time when the limitations that initially spurred creativity become a "formula" that results in repetition. Painters know this from limiting their palette. Most musical genres have a "manifesto" already (i.e. 12-bar blues). I think the important thing is to impose your own limitations as a creative being. Don't be so all over the map that your work lacks focus, but don't adhere to form so tightly that your work lacks developmental interest. Write or adopt a manifesto, push it as far as you can, then write a new one.8/24/2004 2:03:35 PM
stargrazer
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