Music, Mind, and Invention (Creativity at the Intersection of Music and Computation = what sounds music with calculation)

questions from:
The Schools of the Arts & Communication, Science, and Engineering
at The College of New Jersey
answers by: Mathius Shadow-Sky

Creativity across Disciplines of Science and Music

When I read the following questions about science and music, I felt that it is essential to answer to these questions that testify an anxiety about Mankind's creativity. This questionnaire touches also to the largest social phenomenon: that one about our global mediocracy, and in arts and knowledge, through its media coverage and standardization. Seeking the “enhancement of importance” (= a valorization of what it is scorned) of what seems to be significantly lost: but how is it? These questions are the beginning of a testimony that losts the sense of what was done and created by human beings. I will try to answer simply to each question with my French culture speaking English to show another point of thinking about Mankind's madness or the voidless sense of the loss.

- In what ways can musicians and scientists contribute to each other’s disciplines?

Music and science are two opposite disciplines. Science observes and deduct without being involved in what science considers its object of study. Scientist put itself outside of what s/he studies with tools between the real and its conditioned projection. Music acts within vibrations using the insignificant or without sense language of what we call: sonority of sound sensation. La science est une activité schizophrénique, car l'objet de son étude est en dehors de soi, représenté par l'imagerie de l'écriture et la schématisation calculée. L'objet du scientifique est de comprendre le réel sans impliquer sa personne, mais l'objet de la musique est de prendre en compte le réel audible par s'impliquer soi-même dans ce champ vibratoire pour jouir sa propre existence. The scientist works for an hypothetical future (by intrusion with ideological models), the musician works in the present (inside the real by sympathy with adaptative project to create music to avoid unnecessary hostility). The composer as a writer (with a pen and paper) has the scientist attitude: s/he figures what it is possible: not what it is real. Science works with possibilities, music acts with vibrated instantaneous facts; which some are audible. Musicians who pretend being scientists is not a musicians, but a scientist which his object of study is music.

There is a gap of incompatibility between these two attitudes and disciplines. They are far away in space and time by its basic idea of their activity and will. Microscopes and telescopes, and today's computer (a calculator) are imaging tools for sciences, musical instrument are tools for music: one figures, the second vibrates. Science is an activity of imagination of imaging projection, with its summit discipline: the mathematics, to calculate “to make the illusion, real”. Music is an activity of playing in instant with present vibrations (playing with absent vibrations does not work). No needs to calculate to play music. Calculation is too slow for music, not a real time (like to learn music by reading; not by hearing). The culture of classical score music starts with the industry of publishing.

Science can destroy World, music cannot. Science became our new Religion of Truth. But there is no one truth in Mankind life: just different activities in several tendencies. Science becomes today dangerous, because of its certainty monopoly: the ideas of truth where our Western contemporary disaster started in the First World War with massive destruction chemical weapons following by atomic bombs and today's “augmented reality” with nanotechnologies to control human kind, all wished by science and made by engineering. Science is an irresponsible discipline that produces dangerous toys (to reshape the real).

It is a self lie to talk about contribution between musicians and scientists (in our social organization based on capitalistic model by stocks blackmail where scientists are the servants of the political domination). Musicians do not have the same power like scientists in our society (0,1% of them live in psychological misery, and 99,9% in effective poverty), they just act as guinea-pigs for “study possibilities of being mass controlled”: un objet d'étude. The free act of music is non understandable in our society of calculation for prediction blackmailed by business warriors. The calculation is only used for prediction, nothing really else. Science is a discipline of prediction: in other word: a materialistic divination. And prediction/divination serves only political domination. Music has nothing to do with prediction and domination. Nicolas Copernicus made his discovery not for knowledge of astronomy, but for easier calculation for astrological theme, for prediction. Written music, is also a prediction, not music (yet?): a scientist attitude for prediction for domination. Written music (seen music) was invented by a political wish in the 8th century to homogenize the language in the Charlemagne Empire through religious song (by singing the same songs all over the Empire). Nowadays, less and less composers are musicians, and more and more become “computer sound designer” to illustrate pictures (sic).

- Can listening to or creating music help us find more imaginative and effective solutions to scientific and computational problems?

How is it possible to create a link between two different activities? “Effective solutions” is a behaviour of Anglophone culture. Being efficient, is the goal of any Anglophone activities. Being efficient has nothing to do with listening or creating music: it is a cultural attitude. French, for example do not care about “efficiency”, French culture care more about pleasure. To ask this kind of question means that science meets problems of lack of "imaginative and effective solutions". Music is not a medicine to enhance the efficiency.

Listening to computational problems could be efficient to increase creativity in music? Is the form of your question.

- Can scientific methods help musicians to be more effective?

How musician can be more effective, and for what? Again: “effective” is a cultural Anglophone obsession. The major quality of what human can do in Anglophone culture: “being effective”. But just Anglophone not other culture. Music is not an activity of being “efficient”. “Effectiveness”, “efficiency” make think to “productivity”, in other words: the industrialization of art, and its mediocratic disaster of “selling's generalization”. “Effective” is for competition: an inside activities to improve your capabilities through given rules: through authoritarian rules forbidden to disobey. Music does not compit. Just through the war that the US declare to the world. But the industry of Mankind obedience does not work with original music. With to much differences (originalities), competition is impossible, you need similarities to be evaluated. Competition makes war: “I will beat you” because “we are the best”. War exists for invasion/intrusion (to steal richnesses from others); like today's globalization by the United States of America Empire. Being efficient? For what? To help American musicians to be better soldiers to destroy other musical cultures? Computer music allows competition, because it sounds all similar. “The world cup for world normalization” is a death of creativity for all the arts, including music.

- How to foster and evaluate different types of creativity and creative outcomes?

To foster, to evaluate? Sounds like a formation of soldier-musicians' efficiency ready to fight against the world! A program for annihilation of non American music in the world: and it is already what it is. The music industry (with cinema industry) on the planet is mostly American. “Efficient outcomes” is a military way of speaking where the major weapon is the aggression with a gentle face of entertainment (= military strategy of diversion): the strategy of hypocrisy to not share fame with other artists from "barbaric" nations. Used by today's business war to reduce non American population to starve. American culture must be very frustrated to act like that. Do you really think that different types of creativity can be cultivated in a laboratory?

- Can musical concepts or ways of thinking influence and improve other pursuits?

This is my hope. Music is not a science as an “effective quantifiable mechanical predictable tool-weapon”. Music spends time to live to feel among vibrations. Vibrations are every where every time, inside outside. It is another way of non quantitative instantaneous “thinking-perception” of life.

We are still, 2500 years after, in the Antic conflict of Realism against Idealism, where realism think being in reality in opposite of idealism that became today's dreamers in pejorative meaning of being unrealistic: the artists. It is why scientists dominate artists with no contribution. An example: the budget for science in the CNES is near 2 billions euros, the CNES budget for artists is 10 thousands euros. Idealism was stand up by philosophy with Socrates, Plato, Descartes, John Lock, George Berkeley, Emmanuel Kant, etc., and a conceptual musician like John Cage. Realism is stand up by the idea (yes an idea) that everything we perceive is the reality: a practical necessary idea to study measurable things, followed by Aristotle, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, etc., and a quantifiable musician like Pierre Boulez. But who are really the dreamers?

- Definitions and types of creativity [?], how creativity can be measured [?], and whether it is possible to enhance creativity through musical activities and musical thinking? [?]

Creativity cannot be enhance like muscle! To ask this kind of question, testify: lost creativity. Creativity has nothing to do with competition. Or war. Sport is an invention of Anglophone culture to go further or beyond “what I can do with myself” with: outdoor exercises. War and aggression is also an outdoor exercise. Measurement of creativity is a non-sense, like scientists can think to measure music. Classification is a testimony of lack of understanding. We classify, we measure because we do not understand: we classify for racial segregation to torture foreign people. To enhance creativity there is a simple thing: defy the rules. Le rôle de l'artiste (en tout cas le mien) est de re:pousser en permanence le seuil des interdits pour élargir son champ de création. But “defy the rules” today is a crime. It makes any (real) artist a terrorist. Being a (real) artist today (not sold as false artists to obey of what has to be art and music financed by politics), is a dangerous life, artists have to be careful to not being injured by human societies.


• Ways of thinking about Music -

- Synergistic relationships between music and computation/AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Imaging: making images of Western frustration.

- Robotics as a platform for modeling and simulating human musical behaviors so as to better understand them. - Music as embodied computation. Computational descriptions for musical gestures and movement. Theoretical frameworks and conceptual models of musical cognition, gesture, and expression.

The automation of human behaviour is just to control human behaviour, nothing else. Like creating a bomb is for destruction, not to “simulate” human behaviors. In music, there is no simulation possible: it is unnecessary and useless. You play, or you don't.


• Music as a Medium for Improvement

Why is music capable of motivating and increasing mental focus and physical stamina?

Military songs help to believe in stupid things you have to do. It is not music that help, but your will with the help of an audible song, a signal to obey, to obey stupid order (stupider are obeyed orders, stronger exists the obedience and the domination). Hymns are politicized songs, songs sung in choir transformed as a signal to obey. Music does not signal. Music has nothing to do with signalisation.

- Music’s effects on psychomotor processes and emotion.

Music is not magic. “Psychomotor processes and emotion” are conditioning cultural behaviours educated by our social necessity to live together: a communication (an auto-reaction to our human phenomenon of feeling alive). The conditioning of obedience. There is no music effect, just a memory infected by affects allocated, projected and linked by education to audible patterns. If a song is felt sad, it is because you were taught to understand this song being sad, not because the song itself is sad. Music itself has no emotions, as Stravinsky said, emotions are added after.

- Music as an effective technique and therapy for brain and speech disorders.

If it exist any “brain or speech disorders”, it is not a musical technique problem but an “order” problem of what is considered ordered and disordered: a socio-moral problem. Music (outside XIX and some XX century classical music) is not authoritarian. The meeting of “brain or speech disorders” and non authoritarian music will certainly help. See the work of Fernand Deligny (1903 – 1996) with autistic children.

- Healing and motivational functions of music.

Science cannot measure the healing of music on “tribal” illness. Music is not magic. Music is a role and a part of human conditioning driven by believes. The believes makes music, not music makes believes. There is no abstraction possible (quantification) of curing with music, because the conditioning depends of the cultural condition of what it is believed ans what it is not.

- Recent brain research in music.

Poor scanned brain. The false argument to cure, to allow imaging.

Mathius Shadow-Sky
thinking musician

Toulouse, the January 13, 2012

I invite you to read my book in progress in French: Dans le Ciel, le Bruit de l'Ombre (In the Sky, the Noise of the Shadow) at,lebruitdel'ombre.html