the chorister's c



Techno [music] advocates wave off fears of a loss of feeling, assuring skeptics that machines are getting better and better at making warm, vulnerable, human-sounding music. But that's not the point. First-class working musicians so something special: using their minds and bodies, they arrive at, and physically execute, near-perfect solutions to problems that get tossed in their laps at the speed of sound. To say, "It's O.K., we'll still be able to fake the results of that ability" is pure cynicism. A piece of our soul is at stake.

One day in 1975, the drummer Steve Gadd walked into a studio and played the whisperingly, viciously funky 14-second intro to Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover." He played it off the top of his head—after having honed his craft for decades. Given a day or so, a good programmer might come up with 14 seconds as subtly delicious, but he would never know Mr. Gadd's pleasure in the moment-to-moment triumph over collapse and chaos.

Tony Scherman, "Strike the Band: Pop Music without Musicians," New York Times, 11 February 2001

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