Name: Jochen Rueckert aka Wolff Parkinson White
Occupation: Drummer, composer, producer
Current release: Under his moniker Wolff Parkinson White, Jochen Rueckert has just released The Off World LP with Hayden Chisholm. It is available through their bandcamp store.
If these thoughts by Jochen Rueckert aka Wolff Parkinson White piqued your interest, visit his website for more information and music.
You can also read a more extensive Jochen Rueckert interview on 15 Questions from a while back or to find out more about his creative partner on The Off World, Hayden Chisholm in a feature about alternative tuning systems.
Jochen Rueckert: "In my work as Wolff Parkinson White, music and technology are cross-pollinating.
A lot of times I am learning how to use a new program or plug-in and I find something interesting I haven't tried before. Sometimes I try to re-create something I heard on somebody else's record and stumble upon new things. I also enjoy setting limitations for a song, project or album even, I keep a list of ideas. Sometimes these are obvious – like, on a couple of recent songs you hear very " traditional" techno, drum and bass and electronica sounds but the song really doesn't have a tempo, like rubato techno, sometimes more abstract, like focussing on certain fractions rhythmically or using only certain methods with a certain plug-in.
Great example - this track was made exploring some new tools I got that do different types of time stretching and freezing, mostly spectral and grain type things) and it's all done with a little one second voice clip https://wolffparkinsonwhite.bandcamp.com/track/repeated-failure
The first Wolff Parkinson White tracks were made on Reason running into Logic on a desktop PC in 2005. I had no idea what I was doing
I am still all in the box, no hardware. I have been using Ableton live for ages now and it's by far the most essential program I use. Of course there are a thousand other plug-ins etc but I use the slice audio to MIDI function a lot.
I have been messing around with Max/MSP and Jitter which is now tied in with Ableton. It is amazing how far Live has come over the last decade or so.
Things have accelerated in the last 50 years when it comes to electronic music, so it's still very much in flux. A major improvement is that I can now afford a portable computer fast enough for me to almost never run into processing problems when programming music.
For this last collaborative album with Hayden, just the ability to email 500MB files quickly was paramount, something that wasn't really possible 15 years ago. I would send him a sketch, he would send vocals, back and forth.
I am always on the look-out for plug-ins or programs that can make something I haven't heard before. Most of the time it's new sounds, of course. Every now and then I'll buy some plugin that'll facilitate doing something I can already do, but in an easier way, specifically for my live- sets, where it is all about ease of control.
Sometimes $100 is worth it versus me mapping something for hours.
There have definitely been technologies which have profoundly changed or even questioned the way I make music. I stumbled over a plugin called "Glitch" - basically a step sequencer that triggers your run-of-the-mill drum-and-bass glitchy effects and shuffles the beat around on a grid, all controllable by chance, something I spend ages on painstakingly automating myself, though on second listen you can tell it's random, nevertheless, close enough for me to almost throw my laptop in the trash. That made me move further and further away from a standard 16th note grid. Similar feelings were evoked by a plugin called "stutter edit" which triggers common effect layers often found in dubstep type music.
But really the biggest event was the rise of music streaming, which has made it so much harder - especially for music that is so labor intensive to produce and not very performable in a live setting like mine.
I don't really see AI stuff in music at the moment. Looking at William Fields for example, most of his stuff - generative, as he calls it, seems to be him leaving room for some values to be randomized, so not really AI making a decision with skills it has learned but rather William making the decision which level of randomness will still result in enjoyable music. I think the terms AI, random, generative etc are often misunderstood.
Do I personally see a potential for deeper forms of Artificial Intelligence in my music? Oh god, yes. I wish there was a way to teach a program what I am doing and automate that. Ableton does listen to comments and add time saving features - 10 years ago they didn't quite add quintuplets and septuplets like I was hoping for, but they added a way to stretch and compress a rhythm, which is just as well and opened up even more possibilities.
Now they have extended that to envelopes and regions in general. It used to take ages to draw in envelopes off 16th or triplet grids. So sometimes I wish there would be some way to bulk edit things, sometimes I spend hours automating things by a certain rule, a rule you could teach a human. Especially when we get to the 24note scale, where I often have to run 2 detuned instances of the same synth. Sometimes you can work around this with a Max MSP patch but not always.
I am not sure that AI will go much past time saving type stuff or offering small variations of factors the musician determines. I have been working with the new version's built-in chance and velocity variation parameters for live stuff
In terms of technical innovations, I could use a truly portable full size midi keyboard for writing on the road. A keyboard with a changeable layout for different tunings would be helpful. A sort of sound matching device would be useful.
I don't know, these things all just seem to be for making things easier but not really more creative. So really, we need more drugs. Mind altering drugs without the negative side effects, please. Thanks."