Posted: Jan 10, 2016 4:09 pm
by John Platko
THWOTH wrote:OK, let's try it this way.

  1. What is musical authenticity?
  2. What constitutes an Authentic Blues?

Those questions somehow remind me of a video I posted earlier in the thread which I find a good starting point for answering such questions. chruck Berry schooling Keith Richards

I would say in that case, what Chuck is looking for is "Authenticity of performance" defined here to be:

With performance arts such as music and theater, both the composer or playwright and the performers are involved in creating an instance of the work. There are some who consider that a performance is only truly authentic if it approximates as closely as possible what the original author would have expected to see and hear. In a historically informed performance, the actors or musicians will make every effort to achieve this effect by using replicas of historical instruments, studying historical guides to acting and so on.

:scratch: although Berry seems cool with Richards using a Strat. :scratch:

And as that article points out, Berry's quest for authenticity of performance interferes with Richards' "authenticity of expression".

Dutton's concept of expressive authenticity is based on the Oxford English Dictionary alternative definition of "possessing original or inherent authority". In this sense, authenticity is a measure of the degree to which the artist's work is a committed, personal expression rather than derived from other work. It includes concepts of originality, honesty and integrity. In the case of a musical performance, authenticity of expression may conflict with authenticity of performance. The player is true to their personal musical sense and does not imitate someone else's method of playing. Their performance may thus differ significantly from that of a player attempting to follow the style common at the time the musical work was composed.

:scratch: So which is the authentic authentic?

And reading further :coffee:

Expressive authenticity is related to the technical term authenticity as used in existential philosophy. It has always been thought right to know oneself and to act accordingly, and in existential psychology this form of authenticity is seen as central to mental health.[33] Prominent artists such as the Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, and Willem de Kooning have been understood in existentialist terms, as have filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard and Ingmar Bergman.[34] The greater popularity of performer-based music as opposed to composition-based music is relatively recent. It seems to reflect a growing interest in expressive authenticity, and thus in musicians who have a unique and charismatic style.[35]

The question of whether an artistic work is an authentic expression depends on the artist's background, beliefs and ideals. Andrew Potter cites the example of Avril Lavigne, a teenage singer from Napanee, Ontario who burst onto the pop music scene in 2002. She claimed to be a small-town skateboarder, with her background providing the subjects of her songs, and said these songs were her own compositions. These claims of authenticity of expression and of provenance were both challenged. However, her work could have been authentic in expression even if Lavigne had not written it, or authentic in provenance if she had written it but not authentic in expression if the carefully cultivated skater-girl image were false.[36]

Authenticity of expression may thus be linked with authenticity of style or tradition. Many feel it is not permissible for someone to speak in the voice of another culture or racial background, and that such an expression cannot be authentic.[36] For example, hip hop was originally an art form through which underprivileged minorities in the United States protested against their condition. As it has become less of an underground culture, there is debate over whether the spirit of hip hop can survive in a marketable integrated version.[37] In "Authenticity Within Hip Hop and Other Cultures Threatened with Assimilation," Kembrew McLeod argues that hip hop culture is threatened with assimilation by a larger, mainstream culture, and that authenticity of expression in this genre is being lost.

Which sounds to me like the usual nonsense that is dished out when the gate keepers arrive on scene. I assume you mean something very different than all that.

But getting back to Chuck and Keith, while it's understandable why Chuck would want his music to be authentic to his vision of it, would Keith's version be any less authentic to most people? If it's authentic enough for Keith, wouldn't that be authentic enough for most? And what about this conflict of authenticity, the sacrifice of Keith's personal artistic expression for Chuck's vision of what should be? Maybe the whole thing would have really been more authentic if Chuck just let Keith play it his way, after all, it's never going to be like the original version if Keith is in the picture.

Relating these ideas of authenticity to what I'm doing in this thread, I consciously worked out a paradigm that embodied how blues ideas evolved over time. The notion of starting with a "founder" set of licks and then mutating and adding to them, creating something new after learning a bit about what's be done before - that's authentic blues tradition and culture. And coming up with ways to describe those licks and how they play off each other, using metaphors like sweet vs sour, etc. that's authentic blues tradition and culture. I'm just changing the old metaphors to new metaphors that use numbers. And while it may be more authentic blues culture to not get too technical about the music ( although there were/are some very technical blues players), it's standard operating procedure for Jazz musicians to be very technical about the music. So, I would say that so far, I'm finding LickMaker to be authentically bluesy. And by and large, the licks that it has produced so far are viable variations of traditional blues licks and sometimes something that seems a bit new (at least to me) and still bluesy.

I have no truck with:

White men Computers can't play the blues.

What do you think is required for authentic music and authentic blues?