Urban folks

aka Har$
5 min readNov 7, 2021

Freely improvised and non-academic electroacoustic music {as}[by] urban folk[s] ~ part 1

from: Emergence at the frontiers and in fringes & trenches of contemporary music

Attempts at a rigorous and all-embracing definition of TKOMTIUH (an acronym that — hattip to TAFKAP — makes a wink at mid-1990s pop music history, standing as it does for ‘The Kind Of Music That Interests Us Here’) cannot but fail. The field is large, intricately entangled and continuously evolving. There are a certain number of (relatively) stable and evidently central musical and performative elements. And there is the rôle played by the technology. But we should also include the myriads of social angles as well as the important economical hooks. And a great many of them planes, are they not eagerly twisting and contorting, attempting to turn up their political side?

It thus almost goes without saying that any succinct circumscription less than a full, detailed, multifaceted, historical and dialectic exposition, will easily be pierced by readily found exceptions; and exceptions to exceptions, and so on.It is why here we propose historical fiction as an imaginary starting point. So, for argument’s sake, we postulate that all began at the Scope…

…a bar out on the way to L.A., near the Yoyodyne plant. […]

The green neon sign outside ingeniously depicted the face of an oscilloscope tube, over which flowed an ever-changing dance of Lissajous figures. […]
A sudden chorus of whoops and yibbles burst from a kind of juke box at the far end of the room. Everybody quit talking. […]
“What’s happening?” Oedipa whispered. “That’s by
Stockhausen,” the hip graybeard informed her, “the early crowd tends to dig your Radio Cologne sound. Later on we really swing. We’re the only bar in the area, you know, has a strictly electronic music policy. Come on around Saturdays, starting midnight we have your Sinewave Session, that’s a live get-together, fellas come in just to jam from all over the state, San Jose, Santa Barbara, San Diego — “

Urban Folks at the Re:Sound — Media Art Histories 2019 conference. Photo: Rébus.

“Live?” Metzger said, “electronic music, live?”
“They put it on the tape, here, live, fella. We got a whole back room full of your audio oscillators, gunshot machines, contact mikes



aka Har$

is Harold Schellinx, a writer, artist, scientist living, working & roaming Amsterdam & elsewhere (harsmedia.com).