Settling the Score

The new documentary Sisters with Transistors — currently playing at Syndicated in Brooklyn — poses a sharp complication to, well, basically the entire premise of this piece

In it, I explore the undefined — and undefinable? — demarcation between what’s considered part of the sound design and what’s considered part of the score in electronic soundscapes. 

But Sisters with Transistors seems to suggests that *all* electronic sounds can be classified under the umbrella of electronic music, even if the collection of sounds don’t bear the hallmarks we associate with music, namely: melodies, harmonies, conventional rhythm, etc.

Even further, Sisters with Transistors posits that anyone who insists on defining electronic sounds as “not music” — guilty as charged in this case! — are no better than the “get off my lawn” regressives who label any burgeoning musical genre as nothing but a cacophonous racket, AKA “just noise, not music.” My grandparents did it to rock music, my parents did it to electronic music, and now I’m doing it to electronic scores.

No more, says I! Thanks to the Sisters for putting me in my rightful place of being wrong.

Let me assure you: it’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last.

I happily stand corrected!

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