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Re: [microsound] Are all electronic music related writers bad writers?
I have to respectfully disagree with this line of argument. If I am
reading a "review", I don't want to read poetry, or punctuation that looks
like the self-indulgent work of an adolescent in their first creative
writing class. I don't want to know what kinds of daydreams the reviewer
had when they listened to the piece. I don't care that the piece reminds
the reviewer of a sunny day in Moscow or getting dumped by a girlfriend. I
simply want enough information on the piece of music in question to know
whether it is something I might enjoy. If there is something particularly
interesting or unusual about the way the music is put together, I also
want to know that.
Rather than try to make their writing musical, a reviewer or critical
author might be better off focusing on a creative use of concepts. The
CONCEPT itself should dictate the manner of expression, not the general
subject matter. The demand that writing on music must have a poetic
"veneer" threatens to turn such writing into a vacant gesture - where
words exist only to be quickly devoured without contemplation by the
over-stimulated hyperconsumer, looking for another bit of spectacle,
another 5 minutes of escape from the boredom of everyday life.
By the way, in my own opinion, if you want to do something like microsound
using language, I'd say that coding custom AI text manipulators/generators
would be much more in line with the aesthetic of microsound. Use of chance
operations to create and modify texts also seems appropriate.
> writing about music is like dancing about architecture?
> seriously though. it can very difficult writing about instrumental music
> unless readers have a common point of reference. onomatopoeia is a good
> way of handling things, i think, because it's the only form of writing -
> or words - that conjure sound in the mind's ear of the reader. music
> writing has to invent words for sounds that are beyond the standard
> lexicon of language. onomatopoeia - to a certain extent - knows no one
> specific language, just like music itself. CLICK. KABOOM. BZZT. TSST.
> magazines - like grooves, for instance - are incredibly formulaic. and
> way too self-conscious - and 'cool' - to actually articulate any kind of
> passion or excitement. in their desire to be objective and journalistic,
> they leave no room for what music actually means and how fucking
> mindblowing it can actually be. there is no sense of joy. only hard cold
> facts, mostly centred around everything other than the music, i.e. where
> the artist was born, who they played with, who they're dating, what
> their influences are, the names of tracks, the gear they use...
> writing about music should be musical. it should be poetic. it should
> use rhyme and metre. and alliteration. and others forms of musical
> writing. i even do my academic writing this way much to the chagrin of
> the so-called academics. writing about microsound, for instance, should
> be without capitals. the medium should mirror the message. check out
> this site for some good music writing:
> it's not microsound, but it never fails to bring a smile to my face.
> kodwo eshun is another good example. just as we try to make new sounds
> up, he makes up new words to address those sounds. there really isn't
> any other way to go about it. english, or any other language for that
> matter, simply isn't sophisticated enough to articulate what is
> essentially a sound experience. listening to music and reading words are
> incredibly different imaginative experiences, in the same way that a
> script is not a film nor is it theatre. music is sensual. reading is
> intellectual. granted, they tread into each other's territories
> occasionally, but they are entirely different modes of communication. i
> rarely read reviews. everytime i pick up grooves it makes me so mad. but
> yet i still buy it. i applaud their efforts but it's pretty conservative
> in terms of the format.
> i think a more narrative approach is necessary. just as tracks are tiny
> narratives. or sound landscapes. the writing should mirror the aesthetic
> of the artist. nobody. uses. punctuation. creatively. tiny little words
> for a tiny little music. even single
> the question is: is writing about music simply informative (which it
> usually tries to be) or can it be creative? can it be an art unto
> Adam Young wrote:
>> Has anyone else noticed how terribly articles and press materials and
>> things are written? Reviews, press, just about everything.. I'm no
>> professional myself but i've seen some pretty ridiculous stuff out
>> there. The number one thing I see is convoluted run-ons full of 88%
>> adjectives, among other things.
>> Anybody care to wager a guess why it's all so embarrassingly poor?
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