Lowercase music is the tiniest, weirdest experimental music (feat. Philosophy Tube)

by birtanpublished on July 2, 2020

do you love Molly and keg stands and

laser shows on huge drops and light beer

then you're going to be wicked bummed by

lower-case music I'm sorry when you've

got friends over picking the right music

to set the tone of the evening can be

quite stressful do you want to be laid

back with Bone Thugs maybe high octane

with the new Slayer which rips or

perhaps you are just looking for a

difficult and unsettling night with

Steve Road

Rodan is the pioneering mind behind

lowercase music a very specific form of

experimental music in which ambient

sounds are digitally amplified in order

to create new strange sound scapes

the first piece of lowercase music was

called forms of paper 54 minutes of Road

in handling books in different ways that

was commissioned by the Los Angeles

Public Library other lowercase

recordings have involved helium balloons

bouncing on the ceiling an anthill tape

is lowercase music might sound like a

lot of experimental music when it's

broken up into chunks for a YouTube

video like this one and it's not doing

it any justice but there is something

very unique and fascinating at play here

most experimental music still has its

roots in the traditional even John

Cage's pioneering 433 has a score that

instructs musicians not to play you may

recall my own brilliant four minute and

33 seconds silent performance in a

classic this exists episode now please

enjoy my performance of John Cage's

433 truly classic genres like free jazz

and drone still connect in some way to

regular old people jazz and rock and

roll it's difficult to imagine someone

getting wasted in a parking lot tumors

Bhau and Boris but if you close your

ears super tight you can kind of picture


but lowercase music could only exist in

this moment with relatively easy access

to high-quality microphones and powerful

computers you can amplify the ambient

sounds of public transit and distort it

and turn it into something totally new

and that's why lowercase music so

specifically belongs to this moment in

electronic music the tools that artists

like Steve wrote and use are the same

tools that artists like Diplo and

Skrillex are using even the techniques

where you take an everyday sound and try

to mold it into something new they're

the same they're intrinsically modern

just opposites Skrillex is kind of just

uppercase music

a lot of people might ask is lowercase

music music and I'm sure some of you

have the same doubts about skrillex and


and that is a big question and so I'm

calling in the big guns

Ollie from philosophy – hi Sam the big

philosophical question that we're

bumping up against here is what is the

definition of music and it wouldn't be

an area of philosophical inquiry if that

wasn't a very difficult question to

answer but one of the recurring themes

that keeps coming up whenever

philosophers attempt to define music is

that music is organized sound and that's

a pretty ok start it enables us to

distinguish between the organized sound

of a song which most people would say if

music and the disorganized sound of

somebody coughing say which most people

would say isn't music but if you're very

clever you'll already have spotted that

that definition is lacking a certain

something because we encounter the

poetry problem I stand amid the roar of

a surf tormented shore and i hold with

in my hand grains of the golden sand how

few yet how they creep through my

fingers to the deep while i weep while i

we ah beautiful and it's organized sound

but it isn't music and so the quest to

define music gets into greater and

greater detail Andrew carnea defines

music as any event intentionally

produced or organized to be heard and

either to have some musical features

like pitch or rhythm or to be listened


for such features so for carnea the

important thing is the intention of the

artist that's what determines whether

something is music or isn't and I'm

afraid that on his definition lowercase

music wouldn't count because it isn't

intended to be listened to for its

musical features incidentally his

definition also rules out 433 because

that too isn't intended to be listened

to for its traditional musical features

he would say that 433 and presumably

our case music as well isn't music it's

non musical sound art now Kearney is

definition is not the only one and I

think it could have a big problem

because he never offers a definitive

list of what the musical features are he

offers rhythm and pictures examples but

if we're going to be ruling some things

out as not music on the grounds that

they lack these traditional musical

features then we're going to need that

for lists which means Kearney is going

to need to supply some way of finding

out what should be on it and that could

be the sticking point because his method

of determining what musical features are

can't presuppose which pieces we can

examine for those features and which

pieces we can't if his method of

determining musical features itself

presupposes some definition of music

then his definition is going to end up

being circular so although carnea and

perhaps lots of other philosophers of

music would say that lowercase music

doesn't really count as is often the

case in philosophy there is a lot more

that we could say here I don't know

about you but I am about ready to clear

my brain with some straightforward


it's just music what do you think is

lowercase music just art Skrillex is it

even music let me know what you think in

the comments and definitely head over to

philosophy tube where oli is tackling

the big question of what music is I'm

also in his video and all of his videos

are good I'm not in all of them but they

are all good so you should definitely

subscribe to his channel and subscribe

to this channel for new episodes every

week be excellent to each other


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