[专栏] 入耳 In My Ears #12: 采样大师 Carl Stone

[专栏] 入耳 In My Ears #12: 采样大师 Carl Stone


关于国内独立音乐人的介绍侧写或者是演出回顾,大家其实也都经常看到,但是来自于一个活跃于北京地下音乐圈多年的资深老外的观点一定显得更加特别。Josh Feola(赵识)住在北京,他既以乐手身份参与及组织摇滚乐和实验音乐演出,同时也是一位优秀的撰稿人,独立运营着音乐网站 pangbianr.com

在每周的专栏[入耳 In My Ears]里,Josh 会以他的独特视角,讲述独立音乐场景中的种种故事,也许还会展示出音乐人、厂牌或是演出场地更加不为人知的一面。


For English Please Scroll Down.


CarlStone - “Sukhothai (1977)”


2016年的最后,我想带来我这一年最喜欢的一张:Carl Stone 的《Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties(70-80年代电子音乐作品集)》。就像题目所写,其中收录了7首Carl Stone的早期作品,他在70年代初期在加州艺术学院师从先锋派前辈莫顿·萨伯尼克。Carl的作品主要是为现场演出创作并要在现场体验,很难收集,这些作品结合了新兴的技术与不断的即兴(并逃避了简单的分类),在他的整个生涯中已发生了很大的变化。





而这些录音则是 Carl 最早的探索,用新形式进行声音制作与重组的早期实验。Carl 的作品以采样闻名,这种手法是经由 hip-hop 的 beat 制作而进入主流视野的。在这套3LP的第二首,1986年的《Shing Kee》,是一小段人声的采样,好像是从歌剧录音里采的,不到一秒钟的循环缓慢重复,远远超出一般采样在hip-hop中的使用——这首有15分钟长。1984年的《Shibucho》解构了摩城名曲《My Girl》的采样片段,成为一首缓缓展开极简主义作品,不逊色于Steve Reich或Terry Riley。相对于原作,它们听起来更熟悉舒适,同时也有着不安的怪异。







音乐总是有一种特别的魔力可以像这样超越时光。《The Wire》的 Julian Cowley 这样说Carl Stone的方式:“Grandmaster Flash和 Africa Bambaataa 在hip-hop中狂推采样,John Oswald公开炫耀掠夺采样拼贴,而Carl Stone则在声音的拼凑中发展出他自己的怪异。”对我来说,Carl使用采样使其本身成为一种新的声源,这是一种介于当代商业hip-hop与基于采样的单调富于规律性的先锋音乐(如具象音乐)之间的东西。






Carl Stone -Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties》(试听):


Carl Stone -Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties》(豆瓣音乐):






Josh Feola 是一位音乐人/撰稿人,现居北京。自2010年起,他通过自己的平台“旁边儿”(pangbianr)组织音乐、艺术、电影活动,并先后担任 D-22 与 XP 的演出经理。他的长期项目有撒丽不跳舞实验音乐节(Sally Can't Dance)与北京电子乐偶遇(BEME)。他为以下出版机构撰写过关于音乐、艺术的文章:The Wire,Leap 艺术界,Sixth Tone,Tiny Mix Tapes,他也是纽约观察者报 Gulou View观点专栏的共同作者之一。作为音乐人,他曾在北京乐队吹万担任鼓手,参与首张专辑《白夜》的录音与巡演;目前他是乐队 Subs、迷走神经的鼓手,也化名 Charm 录音、演出。



IN MY EARS #12: Carl Stone, Sample Master


CarlStone - “Sukhothai (1977)”


I’ll end the year with one of my favorites from 2016: Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties by Carl Stone. As the name suggests, Electronic Music is an archival release of seven early works by Stone, a composer who began his formal study at the California Institute of the Arts with avant-garde pioneer Morton Subotnick in the early 1970s. Since Stone’s work is primarily written for and experienced in a live setting, it’s been hard to collect his compositions, which combine emerging technology with constant improvisation and thus have evolved dramatically (and escaped easy categorization) throughout his career.


Stone has come through China several times before: first in 2008, when he was invited to perform at the Shanghai eArts Festival by Taiwanese sound art academic Yao Dajuin. I saw him play on his most recent pass through — at Dada in Beijing last year — and really enjoyed how he transformed a room usually primed for sustained dancing into a zone of deep and immersive listening.



But these recordings are Carl’s earliest explorations, his earliest experiments with new modes of sound production and deconstruction. He’s best known for his work with sampling, a format that long ago entered the mainstream through the intermediary format of hip-hop beat production. The second recording on this 3LP box set, “Shing Kee” from 1986, is a short vocal sample taken from what sounds like an opera recording, which begins as a loop of less than a second and slowly — over more than 15 minutes — expands to about the length of a sample typically used in a hip-hop track. “Shibucho” from 1984 collages micro-samples from the popular Motown hit “My Girl” into a gently unfolding Minimalist score that wouldn’t sound out of place alongside contemporary works by Steve Reich or Terry Riley. It sounds both more comfortably familiar and more disturbingly alien due to the nature of its source material.


Stone’s awkward position between “pop” and pure avant-garde is evident everywhere on this collection of recordings. My personal favorite is the opener, “Sukhothai” from 1977, which Stone made not long after graduating from CalArts. In it he samples a harpsichord performance of a piece by English composer Henry Purcell, which begins as a series of Baroque trills, and ends, after a process of digital delaying and layering that was groundbreaking for its time, as a cacophonous mess of broad harmonics. To me, it sounds like “music” amplified to its loudest and logically most extreme state, like how a short snippet of a song that sticks in your head “sounds” after bouncing around the vacuum tube of memory for far too long.


I suppose I like “Sukhothai” in particular because it is an old piece of music (Purcell was composing in the 17th century) subjected to technologies that were radically new for 1977. The compositions on Electronic Music were made for Macintosh computer, Publison digital signal processor, Buchla synthesizer, and turntable — all tools that were either brand new or not considered “instruments” at the time. I’m astonished at how new this music sounds in 2016, when synths, DSPs, Apple computers and turntables are all ubiquitous facets of popular culture.



There is a special magic to music that can travel through time this way. The Wire’s Julian Cowley says of Stone’s method: “While Grandmaster Flash and Africa Bambaataa were flamboyantly promoting sample based hiphop, and John Oswald was openly flaunting the art of plunderphonics, Carl Stone developed his own idiosyncratic take on sonic bricoloage.” For me, Stone’s use of the sample as a new sound source in itself is something special, an ideal middle ground between the commerciality of contemporary hip-hop and the monotonous regularity of other sample-based avant-garde tributaries, like musique concrete.


Even if it’s not your thing, I recommend that you put “Sukhothai” in your ears and let it play to the end. It sounds different every time.


Associated pages


Carl Stone - “Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties” (streaming): https://unseenworlds.bandcamp.com/album/electronic-music-from-the-seventies-and-eighties

Carl Stone - “Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties”  (Douban Music): https://music.douban.com/subject/26865332/


About the author



Josh Feola is a writer and musician based in Beijing. He’s organized music, art, and film events in the city since 2010, via his label pangbianr and as booking manager of live music venues D-22 and XP. His ongoing event series include the Sally Can’t Dance experimental music festival and the Beijing Electronic Music Encounter (BEME). He has written about music and art for publications including The Wire, LEAP, Sixth Tone, and Tiny Mix Tapes. He also co-authors the Gulou View opinion column for the New York Observer. As a musician, he formerly played drums in Beijing band Chui Wan, recording on and touring behind their debut album, White Night. He currently plays drums in SUBS and Vagus Nerve, and also records and performs under the name Charm.