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The Function Aesthetic; Volume 1 (2012)

by Onyx Ashanti

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about

From the 2011 beatjazz system crowdfunding campaign:

"The EP for my last campaign was based on aspects that were sonicically distinctive with that controller. this EP will be the same. it will exemplify sonic characteristics that are special about this system at this stage."

I have seen a truth.  I knew this truth already but i had not given it a name.  it was an invisible guiding principle that slowly revealed itself as the unseen force that governed progress.  Function.  Function, or rather focusing the attention in this project, to function over any aesthetic consideration.  the logic; imagining something has a finite range, but by parameteririzing what you think you want, it builds a bridge to what you really want, but didnt know how to put into form, mentally.  to build a construct around the idea so it can express itself.

Function itself is an aesthetic.  the idea of making a design that is perfect for the task at hand.  so by creating a system of pure function, all possible states are within a graspable range of expression vectors.  and when the idea of function becomes a guiding principle for not just the hardware design, but the software, the musical concept and the movements, an aesthetic creates itself from those variables.  this function aesthetic is now fully an all encompassing goal.

if all of the sounds become functions-meaning that an "element" can cover all utterances of the common phenomena (like a hit or a scrape or air turbulence like a horn ), then the way they are assembled becomes more varied, giving voice to the mind that does not speak with words. function wires the ideas directly into your nervous system, especially considering the use of sensors.  what it is becoming has outstripped my ability to guide it by imagining future sonic outcomes.  I cant imagine what i am playing TODAY. 3 months from now may as well be 1000 years.  so by becoming a sort of "function engineer", i can work to create the best iteration of a function and learn to operate that function over time, then repeat.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been creating music from a more function-focused perspective of investigating some new capability like the timestretching and pitchshifting, in a methodical way, in performance and i have found that once the mind knows where things are, it can consturct its own statements without having to try too much.  so by focusing on things like, timestretching and pitchshifting in a controllable manner, repositioning the accelrometers just a few degrees for a more natural hand position, and even adding a small robot made of servos i had lying around, and using it as a parameter feedback system, i enhance the function, even if i dont understand how this enhancement will manifest itself.  the results have yielded a few recordings that i consider to be the new me based on these criteria.  my sound wont be able to go back from this place.  the "function aesthetic" is Beatjazz v3.0(beta).

And, it is the EP that i can finally send to all of the contributors of my now year old crowdfunding campaign.  I just couldnt do it unless it was representative of something different than the last one.  The sound is very different to anything i've done before, in really interesting ways.  for instance, now, nothing is a mistake because i can "transform" it into something else, endlessly.  and the current sounds work well together.  they are mostly gesturally active, with 2 or 3 fully gesturally programmable.  so the "thoughts" end up in some strange places but can be resolved easily at any time, in multiple ways. 

the album is three parts; the introduction and 2 "thoughts" which can be thought of a complete musical expression vector.  not quite a song or a mix or a track or agroove.  a bit of all that, but something else. I split them at the point in the "transform" where the idea had shifted from one to the next, definitively.  so there is a lot of interesting stuff at the end of the tracks as they transition from one to the next. 

the first "thought" is free to download for everyone, but the album is $5 because that was the contribution amount that contributors gave for this album.

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released November 19, 2012

Onyx Ashanti-interpretation of information into expression
Information source-Internet

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Onyx Ashanti Berlin, Germany

"If Tony Stark played jazz and had a more creative superhero name, he would be Onyx Ashanti."- WeAreReplicants.wordpress.com

Beatjazz is what you get when you cross a sci-fi obsessed electronic jazz artist with a futurologist instrument inventor. Onyx Ashanti creates all aspects of his self-created style, live, from scratch...nothing pre-recorded or pre-concieved.
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