What is Ta Techneta?

Ta Techneta is an expression used in the enneads of Plotinus, or to be more accurate, Τὰ Τεχνητὰ τῶν ὀργάνων (Plot. 4.4.23). It means "the (artificially created) tools belonging to a certain line of work" or, in broad terms, "tools of the trade".

 

The Source

The Enneads are the collected philosophical writings of Plotinus (205-270). This website's namesake expression is taken from a section of the fourth book that discusses the problems of the soul. Plotin describes our senses as tools that intermediate between our soul and our environment, using the allegory of a ruler used by a craftsman: As an intermediary it stands between the craftsman's idea of a straight object and a wooden bar that is the result of his work.

 

The Meaning

Electronic intermediaries (think of DAWs, Synthesizers, Programming Languages) likewise stand between the soul of the musician and his audience. In order to convey his ideas to the audience in a meaningful way, he or she needs to be in control of the tools he/she uses. They are after all - the tools of his trade.

 

So Why This Website?

Over the past couple years I have spent significant chunks of my time learning things like Subtractive/Additive/FM Synthesis theory, using Ableton Live, programming in MAX/MSP, sampling, fingerdrumming and sound processing techniques. Yet I have but two meager tracks online (no, I won't tell you where). So in my understanding, there's all the tools at my disposal, now it's time to give room to using them in order to create something. Anything, really.

 

What's to come?

Over the next 12 weeks, I intend on creating at least 8 tracks. They will be linked to a latin text that I will translate (eclectically) named the Pharsalia (by Lucan), a text about which I will write some things at a later point in time. 

 

Every week, there will be at least one update about my progress, with sound snippets and words and flashy pictures of virtual patch cords.

 

What's the music gonna sound like?

The music is gonna be electronic, sometimes experimental, sometimes closer to EDM (Electronic Dance Music), depending on what aspect of the text I'm focusing on, which electronic artist I am currently inspired by and what I had for breakfast.