A New Sound

The name says it all! Discuss Steve's studios, your studios and gear set-ups, amps and effects here. This is not for discussing guitars (Steve's or otherwise).
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:08 pm


Would love for people that have direct access to Mr. Vai to present these ideas to him. This is not a joke. As you can read from the text below. As there's no more chance to contact directly through e-mail, I use this forum.

Been to a Vai show and loved it! Here's a few music ideas that can produce new "music-kosmos" - would love to (if I can be bold) see Mr. Vai implement and pave the way for this "new sound".

In short, it's this:

A New Sound

We haven't yet considered how the bible is full of possibilities within music.
Bible = book of different sounds.

Example: Imagine "The Flight of the Bumble Bee" with an actual bee sound =
"a new instrument".

We can mix our instruments with new and unexplored sounds. We have the technology.

Example: Jesus' voice is that of many waters. Our voice + the sound of a waterfall = "a new singing voice".

Example: A guitar sounding like a lion or a bear = "a new fuzz".

There's no limits to this. The bible, nature, Nasa Space Sounds, etc, is our guidebook/source of inspiration. Let's start creating music that we've never heard before. New genres can come about through this concept.

Example of one of these limitless "worlds" of new sound:

Under the ocean: Use your imagination on this one - a band, or an orchestra, use only the sounds coming from creatures below the surface of the sea. A whale. Think of it; a guitar sounding like a whale? That's crazy! Yes! And no normal thinking has ever moved the world forward. Only thinking outside the box.

I've got many other ideas. As mentioned, this is only the short version.

Thank you for reading it!

Werner Skaug

User avatar
Posts: 1269
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:55 pm

Here's the problem with that line of thinking - it assumes that music is mearly timbre based; that is, musical expression is primarily drawn from the 'sound' of the instrument, which is not so.

Music can be diotonic, atonal, or a mixture of the two. If you introduce the sound of a bumblebee for Flight of the Bumblebee it will be an atonal humming sound. Technically, you could sample the sound of a bumblebee to produce a quasi instrument, but it would be severely limited in terms of expression because you would have the same velocity sample and the same timbral texture for every pitch. Plus it would render the piece meaningless, as the whole artistic statement is centred around the emulation of a bumblebees flight artistically interpreted in an abstract way.

The reason a guitar or similar stringed instrument is so expressive - arguably moreso than, say, a piano - is because of the myriad of ways the human body can subtley interact with it in order to coax the required timbre from the note (the note choice of the harmony and melody being just as important). Because of the harmonic complexity and the way the amp reacts organically with the fingers' touch it has become the instrument of choice for musicians of the 20th century (and in to the 21st).

Don't get me wrong, timbre based music is interesting, and it is out there in large quantities. This genre of music is called "Ambient" music or New Age and it is based around soundcapes and timbral textures as opposed to harmony, melody and rhythm. An extreme case of timbre based music can be heard in the Japanese "Osaka noise artists" who use sounds from nature to produce music, much as you describe.

As a music student I went through many phases of musical Avante Garde, but eventually found my heart returning to rock instrumental and progressive fusion music.

I find harmony and melody a lot more expressive and appealing to my ears as a form of entertainment and art than simple ambient textures, though a blending of the two 'worlds' can sometimes be beautiful.
Posts: 1535
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:18 am

I've read the Bible- I've never heard Jesus' voice
Post Reply