This guy gets it

Narek from Group C wrote about the validity of Math Rock in last week’s lecture. Very well versed, and gives good references. Check it out:


Narek Asadorian wrote @ October 14th, 2007 at 7:43 pm

This week’s guest lecture by Gil and the math rock demo by The Ruins further excited my interests in pursuing a technological music approach for my project ideas in this class. I can still hear the shocking operatic moans, dissonant guitar riffs and frantic fragmented drumming of Yoshida resounding in my head.

As a long time fan of American math rock and metal groups I was not as surprised by The Ruins’ sound as, many of my classmates may have been. As a guitar player myself, I always have had the utmost respect for the sheer technical ability of the guitarists in bands such as Meshuggah, Dillinger Escape Plan, and The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza. These extreme metal groups seem to show an obsession with breaking the public’s view of what music is and can be. While most consider 4/4 to be a normal time signature, math groups bring about the question that perhaps their compound polyrhythmic time signatures are more natural than anything else. Their chaotic and constantly changing rhythms bring a more human, stream-of-consciousness feel to the music. The rhythms in their songs are influenced by the very fractals that make nature and are the keys to the design of the world around us. Dillinger Escape Plan, once being known for rolling multiple dice when choosing time signatures, let randomness and statistics decide where the music goes. Their frequent use of dissonant chords and chromatic pseudo-jazz guitar lines makes it clear to the listener that they have no interest whatsoever in applying the already established and often cliché-sounding melodic system that humans have created.

Yoshida, when asked about the meaning of his music, replied in English “no meaning”. With the same idea, the Dillinger Escape Plan named one of their albums Calculating Infinity, which is impossible to do, showing that nothing is to be made of their music. In essence, math rock is art for the sake of art. The idea of what is art and what is not can be judged by the listener. Now, where does science play into all of this? By definition, science is an attempt by humans whether through imaginative thought or experimentation to understand the workings of the world around us. These math rock artists create a brand of music which reflects the ambiguity and fragmented behavior of nature and human thought. These interpretations make math rock groups scientists in their own field.


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