Review of MUME Selections

Sunday, 1 December 2013

There was a review of Miquel Parera’s “MUME Selections” posted at the Albert Trapezoid blog:

Here’s what they had to say:

I find both the sound of and concept behind this release to be pretty intriguing. Also described as “Automatic Music for Musical Metacreation Weekend,” Miquel created these four pieces as part of the 2nd International Workshop on Musical Metacreation (or MUME2013).

Let’s start with discussing “musical metacreation.” A simple description is that it’s a creative activity where people develop software that autonomously generates compositions. The machine, if you will, is endowed with creative behaviors and produces original sound. As you can likely gather, this whole endeavor involves the overlap of many fields including art, science, technology and philosophy. (You can find out more about this world at the website.)

I’ve heard of musical metacreation being done in different contexts and with various styles of music; some attempt to adapt the style of certain artists, while others attempt to strip away the ego of the creator. In this case, Miquel worked on the software and “MUME Selections” is the result. In comments on the Vuzh site, he says: “Contrary to what we had expected, stylistic coherence has emerged (or so I think). When I try to reach the ultimate motivation to make noise, I realize that this is a sort of challenge: to what extent I am able to eliminate me myself. It may seem simple, but it is very difficult…”

So what of the end result presented in “MUME Selections?” Overall let’s say it’s ideal for fans of more abstract electronic music. You’ll hear lots of buzzes, glitches, drones and pops – electricity! I’d recommend listening with headphones. The titles for each piece are somewhat generic and functional (“nxMUME01,” “nxMUME02,” etc.) and provide no clues. As Miquel did, perhaps it’s best for the listener to try to put aside his or her own self and accept the sound on its own terms.

Vuzh Music was started in 1990 by C. Reider to distribute his own music to the underground home-taping network. It has evolved to its present manifestation where it continues as a distribution point for projects by C. Reider, but it also re-releases select work from the cassette underground and new music by other artists. Click around the site; there is lots of compelling stuff to be found.
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