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Re: [microsound] NEW from and/OAR: Francisco Lopez

The comments below brought to my mind an essay by Simon Waters titled "Beyond the acousmatic: hybrid tendencies in electroacoustic music". Waters made a couple of good points which I feel are relevant here:

"Cultural activity has ceased to be a strictly historical phenomenon, in which artefacts and ideas are constantly being lost and forgotten, and has become instead an accumulative phenomenon in which artefacts and ideas from all historical periods and cultures exists simultaneously in present. This releases such a confusion of meaning-generating contexts from different times and places that the common cultural experience which enabled critical assessment has all but disappeared. This lack of consensus affects compositional judgement at the public and private levels. How can one decide what is current if there is no sense of historical flow and how can one judge the intentions from others from what they produce? Is this quotation cynical approproation or parody? Is its political agenda conservatism or radicalism?

Evaluation is particularly problematic for a generation of composers convinced of the benefits of investigation, integrity and personal work. It is far more difficult to distinguish between postmodern ironic juxtaposition and pure laziness or incompetence than it was to see value in the earnest searchings of modernism."

In the light of this viewpoint I find it quite natural that "people like to be told 'what it is' before listening". In many cases if the work is incompletely framed, critical assessment becomes quite problematic. In experimental music cover art and design can thus serve an important 'framing' role in that it sets the work into a context...

P.S. I just re-joined the list after a three-year break, so hello all!

Visa Kuoppala
Centre for Music & Technology

Adern X kirjoitti:
On Tue, 25 Sep 2007 16:58:40 -0700, a Bad Day on the Midway, Bill Jarboe <billjarboe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I have no objection to good design ,I'm noticing that many people like to be told 'what it is' before listening. What happens when no-one states 'what it is'? Do you refuse to listen or just mentally tune it out? I once heard an objection to a c.d. by John Hudak. They didn't know what they were listening to... I didn't offer any hints. Later the same person liked it and even played it for someone else who was very impressed.

If you believe the important aspect is the music, what you are
listening is not important but imho you are losting something.

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