Love Letters
The Xenome Diaries
Music Becomes a Lover

Music Becomes a Lover

Xenome 802

Dear Diary

Someone posted a quote from Stockhausen in a Facebook group I follow:

And as soon as it becomes just a means for ambiance, as we say, environment, or for being used for certain purposes, then music becomes a whore, and one should not allow that really; one should not serve any existing demands or in particular not commercial values. That would be terrible: that is selling out the music.

I get the impression that Stockhausen was a pretty insufferable academic, but beyond that, this whole idea of the purpose of music keeps coming up for me. Even my mentor recently recommended that I think about how my music could be best used.

I mean the majority of recorded music is purposely crafted to be commercially viable and useful for dancing, studying, meditation, keeping workers energized, or enhancing visual content. There’s this whole angry paradox under capitalism that not making a living from your art makes you an amateur, while making art that will sell means you’re selling out.

As is often the case with my non-binary neurodivergent existence, I find my philosophy deviates pretty far from the norm. I am much more concerned with what making music does for me as an artist rather than the impact or usefulness of the music I create through that process. I’m more interested in the artistic process than the resulting artifacts.

Music is a lover. I touch her strings and tickle her keys and she whispers sweet mysteries into my ears. The true jazz cats get this. The church choir gets it. Stockhausen? I don’t think he got it. But maybe he understood in some way that you have to make music for yourself first.

If I’m concerned at all with making an impression, it is on other artists or aspiring ones, not the general entertainment-hungry masses. I’m a prophet, not a pimp. I can’t necessarily make you feel the way I feel when I make the music, but maybe if you see what a great time I’m having, you’ll give it a go for yourself.


About the track

The blues kind of snuck in on this one, which is alright with me. Something about the minor 7th interval does that to me.

I brought TATAT back in to the mix on this one to drive the piano coming from Module Pro. I also brought in Fractal Bits (running through Other Desert Cities and Reels) to double up the noisy rhythmic stuff coming from Ting, both driven by Beat Scholar. Alchemy is playing the factory preset Lost Souls.

Tools and stuff

Licensed audio samples from Glitchmachines.

Gear: Strandberg Boden NX 7, M-Audio Air 192/14, iPad Pro M2, iPad Air

Pedals: Gamechanger Audio Plus, Gamechanger Audio Plasma Pedal, SSS SRV, Strymon Deco, electro-harmonix Ravish, t.c. electronic SubnUp


Alexander Zolotov: Fractal Bits

Arthur Kerns: midiLFOs

Audio Damage: Other Desert Cities

AudioThing: Mantis, Noises, Reels, Speakers, Springs, Texture

BLEASS: Granulizer, Reverb

Camel Audio: Alchemy Pro

Erik Sigth: Frekvens

Jam Origin: MIDI Guitar 2

K-Devices: TATAT

Klevgrand: Pads, Ting

Korg: Module Pro

Kymatica: AUM, AudioShare, AU3FX:Push, AU3FX:Space

Modalics: Beat Scholar

Sugar Bytes: Looperator

[Redacted]: 2

Xenome 802

This is another 2-note xenome, better known as the minor seventh interval. If nothing else, this is a great way to comprehensively learn where all the notes and intervals are on your instrument.

C-802 scale diagrams

6-String Guitar
Magic Square

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Love Letters
The Xenome Diaries
My journey through uncharted harmonic realms via improvised musical meditations.
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