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  • The most original musician of all time is....

    Lee Flier wrote (in another forum): "I guess everybody has someplace they draw the line in terms of what "original" means, but you know... unless you personally invented all the musical instruments you use and the scales you compose in, everything is built on the back of something else"

    The only composer/musician I know of that invented both his own scales and his own instruments is Harry Partch. By now there may be another experimental musican who has done the same, but they probably got the idea from Harry, so they can't top him.
    "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

    My music: http://www.oranjproductions.com

    The first website dedicated to the the baritone guitar: http://www.thebaritoneguitar.com

  • #2
    Lee Flier wrote (in another forum): "I guess everybody has someplace they draw the line in terms of what "original" means, but you know... unless you personally invented all the musical instruments you use and the scales you compose in, everything is built on the back of something else"

    The only composer/musician I know of that invented both his own scales and his own instruments is Harry Partch. By now there may be another experimental musican who has done the same, but they probably got the idea from Harry, so they can't top him.


    Me??
    He's Coming,Make Music Be Happy
    The Lord Is My Provider And My Boss, So Don't Even Think You Are The Man
    Too Many Songs To Learn, So little Time!!

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    • #3
      Now that's a really difficult one. It might be someone who melds two or more different kinds of music into one thing that just utterly defies anything else ever heard. But yeah, that's really really difficult, and I don't hear about things like this very often (if ever - maybe I'm forgetting someone).

      The knee-jerk thing, of course, is within Western music, to say that it's Jimi Hendrix or Michael Hedges or whoever, who are within the guitar/Western music framework, very gifted and very original artists.

      And in Western music, maybe people like the RCA people who invented the first synthesizer or Pierre Schaeffer or Donald Buchla or Bob Moog or Leon Theremin or some of the avant-garde people who translate electric impulses from plants or Q.R. Ghazala might be among the more original.

      Aphex Twin almost qualifies because he does make his own equipment. But if you were to hear it and not know that he made his own equipment, you'd probably think, "Well, okay, that sounds fairly original..." but still think that it was essentially synthesizer-based music. So while he does make his own equipment, it's not quite there, in my opinion.

      There are some other people - I have a compilation of this but am too lazy to get up to look at the name of it - in which people have invented their own musical equipment, such as the guy who has made a keyboard that makes car horns honk, and other things like that, but they still sort of sound like previously existing things.

      As you can tell, I'm fascinated by this. I've often thought, "How can I create something that no one has ever heard before (and is optimistically really ear-pleasing)?" And I haven't been able to think up something like that. People always say, "Wow, your Eleven Shadows music is so original! I've never heard anything like this before!!" which is really great, but if they only knew HOW original I wanted to sound...
      Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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      • #4
        John Cage

        George Martin

        Frank Zappa
        AMATEUR HACK/BAND NERD

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        • #5
          Miles Davis...Everyone else imitated him.
          Elson TrinidadSinger, Songwriter, Keyboardist, BassistElson and the Soul BarkadaWeb: www.elsongs.comMySpace: www.myspace.com/elsongsFacebook: Facebook PageTwitter: twitter.com/elsongs

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          • #6


            Grok here started it all.
            My Space

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            • #7
              I'm going with Les Paul. He not only invented a ton of stuff that made modern day recording possible, but he's a sh*t hot guitarist to boot.
              -David

              (the artist formally known as DC before the move to HC)

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              • #8
                Laurie Anderson. What an amazing career she's had. Just calling her a musician would be an injustice... she's one of the most diverse and original artists of our time. She's invented many instruments that she's used. My favorite album is "Strange Angels" but a great way to introduce yourself to her music is via her "Anthology" two-CD album. And if you want to really listen to an original performance then I recommend her four-night concert album "United States Live Part 1-4" or the VHS video of her concert movie "Home of The Brave".
                A wise man knows the difference between opera and barbeque...

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                • #9
                  probably not born yet.

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                  • #10
                    I won't say they're THE most "original", but I have to put in a plug for The Blue Man Group. The musical instruments they've come up with using PVC pipe, piano frames, anvils and pingpong paddles, and the incredibly musical results they get with them, place them very high on my "original" list.
                    A lot of their appeal comes from showmanship, but as a rock and roll dabbler myself, I count that as a factor in "musicianship".

                    This thread is going to be fun to follow, great query!
                    Botch
                    Start by admitting, From cradle to tomb,
                    Isn't that long a stay.
                    Life is a cabaret, old chum, and I love a cabaret...

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                    • #11
                      All right then, Harry Partch!

                      I think blindingly original work can be done in very traditional forms, so I guess I regard "original" as meaning something other than "without precedent," but I'm not sure exactly what.

                      I'm also of the mind that every piece of art exists in potentia before its point of creation, so even the most original work isn't original...

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                      • #12
                        Mozart
                        Stravinsky
                        Schoenberg
                        Debussy
                        Chuck Berry
                        Louis Armstrong
                        Ornette Coleman
                        Don Cherry
                        Captain Beefheart
                        Jimi Hendrix
                        Jimmy Webb
                        Dave Brubeck
                        John Coletrane
                        __________
                        Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                        Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                        Jesus

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                        • #13
                          Bach

                          Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, creators of Be Bop.

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                          • #14
                            All right then, Harry Partch!


                            John, you beat me to it. Harry Partch easily gets my vote!

                            For those who don't know about Partch, start here.

                            Best,

                            Geoff
                            Enthusiasm powers the world.

                            Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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                            • #15
                              Hmmmm. I just re-read. One who creates his own instruments?

                              How about Chapman and his Chapman Stick? Then Ben Franklin and his Glass Armonica. Cage and the prepared piano.
                              __________
                              Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                              Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                              Jesus

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