ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context : PhilsMusic

BeatBlog was a weblog of beats. Random daily doodling, mainly with FruityLoops, which were sometimes interesting.

BeatBlog moved around a bit, from Blogger, to an OddMuse wiki, to etc. These days the nearest thing I have to BeatBlog is my SoundCloud account where I do post random sketches and work in progress.

Transcluded from AboutBeatBlog

Huh? BeatBlog-(ging)? What's that?

Ordinary blogging pulverises writing down to its constituent atoms of meaning. (OnWeblogs) Individual fragments can be linked, quoted and criticised. Because its so small and so easy, there's a huge proliferation of these atoms. And the whole, woven together, becomes greater than the sum of the parts.

But could the same be done with music? Surely music demands a larger scale structure? Traditionally, that's so. But what would happen if a culture did try to blog music, to create little fragments of rhythm and melody, to hyperlink through them?

Something like this happens already in the dance music scene. One group of people create sounds and loops. A second group assemble these cellular components into tracks. A third group, DJs, assemble the tracks into a mix for radio or a night's dancing. (Three scales, three ShearingLayers?)

And, like blogging, the activity is timely. Relentlessly fashion driven, musicians and DJs are always looking for the new sounds and the new feels. Last week's information is no longer fresh. Though last decade's can become a template and source of inspiration for the next wave.

With this three level division of labour, this timeliness, a genre of music dependent on repeated cells, and sampling technology that allows almost any sound, colour or feel of music to be imported (linked) into this world; dance music has undergone a Cambrian explosion in the past 20 years.

But even so, there are still barriers to participation. Although you have the software technology on your machine, unless you are a musician or a DJ, you don't have an audience, a forum to participate. Now the weblogging community provides a solution and shows how a new public forum can rapidly emerge.

Blogged music, may start from desktop dance music. Programs such as FruityLoops and ACID are easy to use starting points. But it won't evolve under the same selective presssure. It won't necessarily remain music to dance to, it can become more personal, more intimate, more aphoristic. Or it might become mood enhancement for working, for web surfing.

Can we blog music? Undoubtedly? The real excitement is where will it take us?

Obviously a lot of what I imagined for BeatBlogging did become mainstream as musicians used SoundCloud and other social media to regularly release short sketches and work in progress. And a full ecosystem evolved with YouTubers selling drum / sample / loop packs to beat-makers who sell them on to rappers / artists to make songs out of.

As usual with predictions, it didn't happen in quite the way I imagined it, but in retrospect you (or I, at least) can sort of see the similarities.

Good collection of traditional african rhythms on SongTrellis :

CategoryMusic, CategoryWeblogs