Avant-Garde » Sound Art » Sound Art
When you feel it's not really music anymore, it's probably sound art. The expression refers to an esthetic approach in which the artist considers sound -- noise or "sound events," as opposed to notes -- as a prime material to create a work of art. Sound art can be the wailing of a tub with strings (Stephen Froyleks), the recordings of the variations in the bioelectrical fields of plants (Michael Prime), the sound of a microphone "writing" on a metal book (Pierre-André Arcand), or abstract sound paintings. It can be of acoustical or electronic nature, but in general the source sounds have been treated through studio manipulation (without resorting to musique concrète techniques) or emanate from one-of-a-kind instruments. The accessibility of electronic instruments and computers in the 1980s and 1990s stemmed more and more cross-pollination between electronica and musique concrète, the resulting music often falling in the "sound art" category in lack of a better term.