It's been a couple of months since I last posted here. There are a large number of reasons that has been the case. Some of them, you might find out soon, while others not. Having moved to Los Angeles about a month ago, I have been exploring avenues and possible paths of a future career in music technology or video games or interactive media or if possible, all three. I recently started doing an internship in Sound Design at Native Instruments and it has been quite the wonderful journey so far, full of broad learning curves, dynamically shifting perspective and one filled with opening up of new horizons for me.
Having just concluded with my master's course at Berklee Valencia in film scoring, Most people would call it a drastic jump to shift into a music technology company. I wouldn't call it so, primarily because in some ways, I always felt affinity towards music technology and how it fuels creativity was always a part of how I think about music. Even though I may or may not see myself composing and creating music in the more traditional vein music composers and orchestrators usually approach such fields, I believe that at heart if you've ever been a creator, you always stay one.
Methods change, approaches differ. There is conflict in how you perceive art and music with perhaps someone else, but I believe that's the beauty of art, music and life in general. Harmony in dissonance. Often walking down the street at Hollywood Boulevard on a warm weekday morning, I hear the distant honk of a car or the morning chatter of high school kids discussing there weekend adventures. and I tell myself 'ah, that sounds like music'. How, you may ask. If you're reading, you may already know the answer.
We all maybe artists, or accountants. Engineers or software whiz-kids. But in certain ways, we're all echoing off each other. Some artists, take what they have - the raw material. Throw it down on a canvas. Jumbled colours, an abstract idea. Software engineers? They use native data types and already existing functions to shape their ideas. Not sounding that different any more, I hope?
A flash of an idea late at night, or a sudden spark at lunch. That's usually how it always begins. A grand idea for the next path-breaking album or the next software revolution that could shift perceptions. We're all curators. Taking the idea off that graffiti wall we saw on our way to work or maybe using that flute solo we heard on an old Indian devotional song. You never know where it's gonna come from. And that excitement about the creative process is what always excites me. The inspiration, the journey. Rather than just the destination.
But that might not be what this blog post maybe about. It's about something a bit more subtle and something a lot less prominent in the normal daily life of an individual. Elementary mathematics. Technological process has been steady and slowly accelerating. A lot more in the last twenty years than the last hundred. But do we really see the process? How a new computer has seemingly faster speeds and more memory than the last one? What could have possibly made that a reality? Of course it's all coming out of mathematics. The universe creates problems and barriers, and creators find clever ways around it.
I have found myself wondering more and more about the mathematical nature of problems and how their solutions can sometimes seem to be counter-intuitive at first, but as the solution is developed in parts, the way the parts are then later combined to interact with each other can also prove to be quite mind-boggling. I would call it much like playing a game of chess. You might have absolutely no idea what's going to happen five moves later, but you make your best move and adapt your solution as the pieces change. It's all very dynamic and unpredictable. This brings me to the idea that perhaps programmatically devising and creating music as solutions to particular mathematical problems could bring about interesting kinds of musical experiences to the forefront. Perhaps, it's already being done as I write this. But I'll end with a question.
Are mathematical studies and music really all that different?