Old Tricks New media : Schillinger Techniques are Relevant to All Kinds of Contemporary Music Irrespective of Style
Music associated with the Concrète tradition, dependent on synthesis and sampling, is frequently rhythmically complex and highly unpredictable. The timbres associated with this genre may be dense and, in terms of information theory, feature a very low rate of redundancy. This article describes how Schillinger techniques can be used to structure the medium- and large-scale form of electroacoustic music, determining the onset and relative weighting of complex spectromophologically conceived sounds. The same procedures are also highly useful in live electroacoustic performances and music that involves improvisation. Against this background the author describes how Schillinger techniques play a part in his own composition practice and feed into his electroacoustic music, helping him to maintain a degree of control when composing with complex and unusual sounds, noise-based timbres and intricate textures, the very things that test the threshold of our mental capacities.