Experimental 60s album sounds like a 80's video arcade


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Tranquil. Peaceful. Pastoral. Only these words can capture such lovely composition.


“60s music sounds like a 80’s video arcade”

I realize that style guides disagree on the use of apostrophes when forming plurals of numbers (I side with Chicago and the don’t-use-them rule), but whichever boat you find yourself in, at least go for consistency.


The alll-knowing, all-seeing trash heap also knows about pietro:


To me, the more interesting point is what it says about how our understanding of synthesizers was developing. Between 1967 and 1980 they hadn’t graduated from the beeps and squelches you get from single wave generators?

Now granted the problem with early video games is they didn’t have the power to do any fancy audio processing, but you’d think they’d have come up with some clever tricks in the meantime… similar to what artists can do today with NES hardware.

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In 15 years you saw a change from “experimental composition techniques on hard-to-obtain hardware” to “overheard in the mall.”

That’s a clever trick all on its own.

here’s some more from Pietro Grossi (the first is from the same Olivetti album):


Fair enough… the technology became cheap but the technique hadn’t developed yet.

I guess it required cheap technology for synthesis to take off because boy did it ever!

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It’s amazing on how much this sounds like an 1980s arcade. I was expecting a vague similarity at best but this is so similar that you could easily use it in a radio play as background sound effects for a scene set in an arcade!


Thank you. I was high.

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1960s: cutting edge art made with machines the size of fridges
1980s: commodity chip the size of a caterpillar

The very controversial part is the suggestion that art only really gets moving when the technology to make it gets cheap.


You’re so charitable Rob, you must still be high. I, being an angry drunk, will say, "You want perfect sentence structure, usage and punctuation in a blog? Go read f*cking Grammar Girl ( http://www.quickanddirtytips.com ).

Visual and musical artists in the 1950s and 1960s anticipated the development of digital art. I went to high school in Manhattan, so I dropped into the Museum of Modern Art and a few galleries now and then in the late 1960s and saw and heard a lot of the stuff people were doing and trying to do. Years later, at various SigGraphs in the 1990s I’d see and hear various exhibits and feel a profound sense of deja vu. That tonality was done before, maybe faked with analog, but it was done. That visual look was explored. It was kind of eerie.

I was at Experience Music in Seattle and saw a great exhibit of early electric guitars. Replace the vacuum tubes with transistors and you have the Commodore PET sound generator. Later, the circuits got more sophisticated, but the idea of the sound was there.

There was a similar effect in the visual arts with various explorations of theme and variation, visible structure and synthetic sight being explored in the decades of radar, commercial arts and xerox machines. Think of it as the spirit of the times.

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Not only that, but the composition moved from elite composers (that’s not a critique) to game programmers (not that they really existed before). An elite crowd, perhaps, but not one that spent decades studying musicology.

I was thinking the same thing too, then realize it could also probably work as background sound for a casino too.

As the barriers to entry drop, more people can express their creativity with less effort. Not seeing what’s contro about that.

2002- Everyone with a blog is a journo.

2008- Everyone on twitter is a comedian.

200?- Everyone with ms_paint.exe is a cartoonist.

2010- Everyone with a smartphone is a photojourno.

2001- Everyone is now “that person” who writes letters to the editor. It’s called “the comments section.” :slight_smile:

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