Author Topic: People who don’t like music  (Read 4198 times)

Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #90 on: August 16, 2019, 03:07:22 AM »
So much fascinating insight in this thread. Thanks gals and guys.

One thing I am interested in is sound systems. For me I love music but if I can't fucking stand listening to anything through shit media. Thanks to NoSleep I have awesome headphones so will spend late evenings digging youtube for tunes for songs that SOUND ace (I will listen to anything but it has to SOUND good). As I have posted multiple times before this just sounds ace through my headphones and I will happily listen to it hundreds of times.

https://youtu.be/cIriwVhRPVA

When I was teaching years ago a kid asked me if I liked techno. Of course, was my response but then I realised I only listened to it twice a year in clubs or festivals when the soundsystems punched the life out of me; im not arsed about listening to it through tinny blutooth speakers. It's enough. I suppose THE KIDS are lucky that you can get a decent enough blutooth speaker for less than £100 but I think back to listening to Mogwai in 96 through a tin can and it's shite. Why would anyone want to waste their time doing that.

My point is I'm not someone who will have 6 music on in the background. i would much rather listen to spoken word podcasts for hours on end; I only listen to music if I am in the mood for LISTENING to music.


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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #91 on: August 16, 2019, 04:33:41 AM »
kathy dennis - just another dream

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #92 on: August 16, 2019, 07:13:52 AM »
It's really not a candle on the kind of classical and moving stuff you guys have been posting but I have absolutely no idea how these mirthless cunts can hear Rock The Casbah without feeling something somewhere in their bodies, and I've seen this a lot. It's probably one of my favourite songs ever just because of how much of a jaunt it is. Real slapper and I rarely fail to see it get people shaking their hips except, as I say, this kind of witless and mirthless "I don't 'get' music'" cunt.

Granted you do get people who, for neurological reasons, cannot actually understand music, and you know, it's a real shame, but then you get the kind of dire bastard that understands music and has like one or two songs they like, but then they just act like all music that other people like is "noise" or they can't appreciate anything that isn't incredibly narrow-spectrum and just toss off some genuinely beautiful compositional pieces. I sound like a peer-pressuring fuck but there are some movements (like Miserere Mei, Deus) that I cannot understand not welling up at.

NoSleep

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #93 on: August 16, 2019, 09:19:38 AM »
I find it hard to articulate the music that's had such a massive impact on me, because often it's not entirely about the music. I have to want to be moved, I have to "try" to feel something, and so often that feels like I am betraying myself. Why force yourself to feel something with this music, but not that music? I'm back to that primeval "choice" situation again, aren't I?

On a more analytical level, I get a lot of pleasure from staying with an album, a band, an artist for longer periods of time, where the music will have an instant impact on me, where I can tell that it's dense and complex enough so that I can chip away at it, and uncover more in it with each listen. So things like Autechre or energetic guitar based stuff like Three Trapped Tigers - stuff that's basically going into interesting places, structurally, harmonically, rhythmically - Prog rock - unpredictable time signatures etc. - Ambitious arrangments and such...

I'd say you have an unusual relationship with music inasmuch has you have to make yourself engage with the music to appreciate it. For me, whilst some music I really like took some listening before the penny dropped, many of my favourites grabbed my attention and made me listen. I'd say my love of music came from the latter and gave me the patience to discover the former, with the music that grabbed my attention being the first music that I looked into deeper, to understand why I liked it.

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But ... I have found myself being more impressed by music from the 40s and 50s over recent times, where musicality was everything, all the little clever ways instruments come in and out, the little trills and flourishes around relatively simple grooves and chords ... the nostalgic way we hear it all now, through crackly wax cylinders. It feels social and connected and real in a very pleasing way to me, that a lot of modern music doesn't.

20's and 30's as well, for me. That music was made under different commercial pressures than developed through 50's and beyond*; more adult-oriented, bittersweet. It was generally made with one microphone and what you hear is literally a "record" of a performance; no overdubs or edits or added effects like reverb, production and mixing would be stripped to what room you recorded in, the distance from the mic, and maybe a routine of musicians/vocalists moving forward to the mic for their solos in turn. If you can find decent transfers, those earlier recordings jump out of the speakers with life that you don't hear in later more "sophisticated" recordings.

*Advertisers complained about the music played on the radio and demanded that radio stations played stuff that matched with their advertising jingles; which heralded the advent of the "how much is that doggy in the window" era. Before that, radio stations had played what they knew people enjoyed; a lot of it live performed.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #94 on: August 16, 2019, 04:32:48 PM »
It's really not a candle on the kind of classical and moving stuff you guys have been posting but I have absolutely no idea how these mirthless cunts can hear Rock The Casbah without feeling something somewhere in their bodies, and I've seen this a lot.

Well the starting point for the thread was that some people are just not interested so they’ve never heard it, or paid any attention to it when on the radio, and couldn’t tell you how it goes because it’s just not their thing.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #95 on: August 16, 2019, 07:20:53 PM »
I'd say you have an unusual relationship with music inasmuch has you have to make yourself engage with the music to appreciate it. For me, whilst some music I really like took some listening before the penny dropped, many of my favourites grabbed my attention and made me listen. I'd say my love of music came from the latter and gave me the patience to discover the former, with the music that grabbed my attention being the first music that I looked into deeper, to understand why I liked it.

That's a good point, I remember music jumping out at me when I was about 4 or 5. One of my earliest memories of being emotionally moved by music was Take These Broken Wings by Mister Mister, another was Drive by The Cars. Haha! Whereas, I felt I was being a bit more discerning when I bought Faith No More's The Real Thing album at 10 years old. (I found the cassette in my parents' attic recently!) ... Meanwhile, Mr Bungle's first album, that I heard at 14, completely fucked with all my ideas about music. That's when I wanted to explore the darker side of things and also the time I wanted to make my own music.... Angsty little cunt that I was...

20's and 30's as well, for me. That music was made under different commercial pressures than developed through 50's and beyond*; more adult-oriented, bittersweet. It was generally made with one microphone and what you hear is literally a "record" of a performance; no overdubs or edits or added effects like reverb, production and mixing would be stripped to what room you recorded in, the distance from the mic, and maybe a routine of musicians/vocalists moving forward to the mic for their solos in turn. If you can find decent transfers, those earlier recordings jump out of the speakers with life that you don't hear in later more "sophisticated" recordings.

That's exactly it!

https://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk/catalogue/releases/the-best-of-burlesque-50-original-club-classics/ This playlist (that I've been listening to in work, about 3 or 4 times a week, over the past 3 years) is delightful! I think the earliest stuff on it is from the 40s, but I've not been able to find a lot of info about it. It's full of vibrant, lively, sexy songs, played with such utter joy, it's so infectious.

*Advertisers complained about the music played on the radio and demanded that radio stations played stuff that matched with their advertising jingles; which heralded the advent of the "how much is that doggy in the window" era. Before that, radio stations had played what they knew people enjoyed; a lot of it live performed.

And thus we have 2019's charts full of half-arsed club songs, promoting drinking and fucking in the most banal and lifeless way.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #96 on: August 16, 2019, 10:22:58 PM »
This is interesting because of course most people's experience is of growing to dislike pieces of music from over-listening, which has been used as one argument for its inferiority as an art form because it barely applies, if at all, to painting, literature etc. It suggests that novelty is a necessary part of musical enjoyment and also that it's more like food than art.

I could look at Las Meninas ten thousand times without becoming indifferent or disenchanted, but that probably doesn't apply to any piece of music at all.

Naw. Dislike is the wrong word. There'd be no nostalgia industry if that was the case.

Anyone who would argue that music is an inferior art form because of the way it is consumed is an idiot. It is what it is. We don't look at paintings for three minutes ten times a day every day for a month.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #97 on: August 16, 2019, 10:29:38 PM »
reading stuff like ‘How Musical is Man?’ by John Blacking totally blew my mind and made me realise that music is an absolutely ingrained part of humans, totally primal and corporeal, and also that Western art music is just another form of folk music (these are crude reductions of the book’s theses, check it out obviously for more depth).

I haven't read that. Sounds interesting.

Btw, ‘Noise: The Political Economy of Music’ by Jacques Attali (economic advisor to Mitterrand) is very good on how ‘absolute music’ arises out of the material and economic society around it (the translation isn’t great though).

I read that on my degree course. There were one or two interesting insights but mostly I didn't like it. It was slightly dishonest, too, with some of his 'predictions' having been added years after the first edition was published.

On the other hand, I also read Musicking by Christopher Small. That's the music book that blew my mind.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #98 on: August 17, 2019, 06:57:02 PM »
Also, McFlymo and Twit 2, you could do worse than spend time watching Adam Neely's YouTube channel. He covers a lot of the concepts they covered on my degree course, including musical perception, e.g.

What is the fastest music humanly possible?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3kqBX1j7f8

What is the most difficult piece of music?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaLwrLRpZ1w

I was arguing with NoSleep some time ago about whether music can exist as an abstract product or whether it's always a performance. I believe the former and I wanted to back it up with an idea I'd read about which I'd swear was called 'reduced listening', a term coined by John Cage. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find it and it's making me wonder if I made it up.

However, Neely has done a video where he discusses 'Acousmatic music' (coined by Peirre Schaeffer - perhaps I was getting my experimental music legends mixed up), which is another (the only?) term that I have been trying to recall for the same thing:

Is playing to track cheating?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_cl7h7Q_tQ

Just having a clearly defined word to convey one of the ways you personally interact with music is a godsend. Apart from anything else, it means it's not just me that's been having these thoughts.

Another book I can recommend is Stockhausen on Music: Lectures and Interviews. There's some great stuff in there, including the ideas behind Momente. He was experimenting with speeding up tapes of drum rhythms thousands of times and observing how different patterns gave different timbres to the resulting tones. This has a lot in common with AM and FM synthesis.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #99 on: August 17, 2019, 09:08:08 PM »
Johnny Yesno, thanks for the recommendations. It's perhaps a sign of the times, when I consider how I was totally dismissive of Adam Neely, but a mere few weeks ago, because of his (and every other YOU TUBE INFLUENCER / Vlogger)'s habit of staring down the lens talking AT me, like I'm some stupid child. Now, I actually look forward to his videos. He's a bit smug, but he really knows his onions and presents his knowledge and ideas in an incredibly brilliant way, so fair fucks to him!

I haven't seen that one about playing to a track though, I'll check that out tonight, thanks!

I'm very interested in that debate also: The human element in music and how it influences us (or am I missing what you were saying?), for example, I love Autechre's seeming disregard for more discernible, predictable aspects of human intervention in music, using harsh "machine noise" (synthesised into oblivion) while at the same time, their music is incredibly vibrant and rhythmic, so not soulless or inhuman at all. When I listen to it do I think of vast digital dystopian worlds, or robots, or aliens, or alien robots? No. I think of them two lads from Rochdale being geeky in their studio(s).

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #100 on: August 17, 2019, 10:13:49 PM »
He's a bit smug, but he really knows his onions and presents his knowledge and ideas in an incredibly brilliant way, so fair fucks to him!

Oh, I agree about his style being a bit smug, but he explains things well and his approach is to broaden rather than narrow our thinking about music, introducing more questions rather than presenting himself as someone who has all the answers.

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I'm very interested in that debate also: The human element in music and how it influences us (or am I missing what you were saying?), for example, I love Autechre's seeming disregard for more discernible, predictable aspects of human intervention in music, using harsh "machine noise" (synthesised into oblivion) while at the same time, their music is incredibly vibrant and rhythmic, so not soulless or inhuman at all. When I listen to it do I think of vast digital dystopian worlds, or robots, or aliens, or alien robots? No. I think of them two lads from Rochdale being geeky in their studio(s).

It's more about whether there needs to be a visual element as the apparent cause of the sonic element for it to be an authentic experience, whatever that is.

I believe NoSleep leans toward there needing to be; purlieu is the opposite. Unsurprisingly, I'm on the fence. It depends on the music.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #101 on: August 18, 2019, 07:27:44 AM »
It's more about whether there needs to be a visual element as the apparent cause of the sonic element for it to be an authentic experience, whatever that is.

I believe NoSleep leans toward there needing to be; purlieu is the opposite. Unsurprisingly, I'm on the fence. It depends on the music.

When we've talked about performance versus whatever (what do you mean by "abstract"?), the visual was not some be all or end all. I do think the foundations of music making are firmly based in the ear and muscle memory; the physical and the possible; and all realisation of music is bound by the latter two. I doubt very much that any music has been made that came from some pure invention of the mind; hence the futility of these copyright suits that are doing the rounds, for example. Stockhausen speeding up rhythms to the point where they act as waveforms counts as discovery at least or theory at best; it isn't an entirely unpredictable result.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #102 on: August 18, 2019, 10:02:58 AM »
When we've talked about performance versus whatever (what do you mean by "abstract"?), the visual was not some be all or end all. I do think the foundations of music making are firmly based in the ear and muscle memory; the physical and the possible; and all realisation of music is bound by the latter two. I doubt very much that any music has been made that came from some pure invention of the mind; hence the futility of these copyright suits that are doing the rounds, for example. Stockhausen speeding up rhythms to the point where they act as waveforms counts as discovery at least or theory at best; it isn't an entirely unpredictable result.

It's probably best if you watch the video, but the idea I'm referring to is music without an apparent physical source.

A lot of store is set at live music events in seeing a relationship between the activity of the performers and the sonic output. I think this need carries over into recorded music, and there is a tendency for listeners, particularly those who are musicians, to see the artists performing in their mind's eye when they are listening.

When I listen to music, most of the time I see representations of the sounds in the form of colours and textures. The sounds are completely detached from their sources and they exist in the abstract. I think this approach became much more common (or at least it was revealed) by the advent of electronic music.

Apologies if I have misunderstood you, but in our previous discussions, you have given primacy to music as a performance.

Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #103 on: August 18, 2019, 10:26:26 AM »
Genuine tone deafness is a thing that affects a very small percentage of the population but if you have it then music sounds shit to you.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #104 on: August 18, 2019, 10:45:29 AM »
Apologies if I have misunderstood you, but in our previous discussions, you have given primacy to music as a performance.

As a physical realisation, which is usually a performance or an emulation of performance (sculpture?) elicited by physical human interface (even if it's just a trackpad). it's hard not to relate all music to its millenia-long history before the advent of recording and synthesis, both of which are also slave to that history to a large extent; for instance a drum machine that has no physical resemblance to what it emulates via synthesis or blatantly samples (i.e. records).

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #105 on: August 18, 2019, 10:51:27 AM »
When I listen to music, most of the time I see representations of the sounds in the form of colours and textures. The sounds are completely detached from their sources and they exist in the abstract. I think this approach became much more common (or at least it was revealed) by the advent of electronic music.

I think this kind of visualisation has always existed as a possibility. Perhaps it has been better documented after the advent of recording, when music listening was no longer tied to the material necessity of people gathering together for it to be created and heard.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #106 on: August 18, 2019, 10:57:01 AM »
I think this kind of visualisation has always existed as a possibility. Perhaps it has been better documented after the advent of recording, when music listening was no longer tied to the material necessity of people gathering together for it to be created and heard.

I agree. I think Acousmatic music was more the formalisation of an idea than an invention - that's often the case with academia. Nevertheless, it is a description of the abstraction of the sound from the sound object.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #107 on: August 18, 2019, 10:59:52 AM »
But then Pierre Schaeffer's early experiments are more surrealistic than purely abstract in their juxtaposition of sounds (for example).

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #108 on: August 18, 2019, 11:10:32 AM »
But then Pierre Schaeffer's early experiments are more surrealistic than purely abstract in their juxtaposition of sounds (for example).

That's the wrong sense of the word abstract. I probably didn't help by talking about colours and shapes.

This is more the sense I'm on about:

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existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.

But that doesn't really properly cover it either, hence the term Acousmatic.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #109 on: August 18, 2019, 11:15:08 AM »
But lots of "standard" music could be said to be abstract in that sense. Harry Partch would have it that all music that existed in and of itself is abstract; in opposition to music that was part of something else (film music would be a prime example).

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #110 on: August 18, 2019, 11:30:58 AM »
But lots of "standard" music could be said to be abstract in that sense. Harry Partch would have it that all music that existed in and of itself is abstract; in opposition to music that was part of something else (film music would be a prime example).

It could. It's just a way of thinking about it. My memory of 'reduced listening' is that it involved hearing the sounds of orchestral instruments without associating those sounds with the sound objects. Hearing them as they 'really are' rather than with the expectation that comes with the knowledge of the character of the instrument. Electronic music (and the likes of Partch's inventions) made this easier.

Wrt Schaeffer, I don't think his aim in a piece like Étude aux chemins de fer was to make the audience think of steam trains. It was to forget the sound object and start hearing the rhythms and timbres in the sound.

pierre schaeffer - "etude aux chemins de fer": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9pOq8u6-bA

His wiki page says this:

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From the contemporary point of view, the importance of Schaeffer's musique concrète is threefold. He developed the concept of including any and all sounds into the vocabulary of music. At first he concentrated on working with sounds other than those produced by traditional musical instruments. Later on, he found it was possible to remove the familiarity of musical instrument sounds and abstract them further by techniques such as removing the attack of the recorded sound.

I also note that it says this:

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Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of "playing" (in his terms, jeu) in the creation of music. Schaeffer's idea of jeu comes from the French verb jouer, which carries the same double meaning as the English verb play: 'to enjoy oneself by interacting with one's surroundings', as well as 'to operate a musical instrument'. This notion is at the core of the concept of musique concrète, and reflects on freely improvised sound, or perhaps more specifically electroacoustic improvisation, from the standpoint of Schaeffer's work and research.

Tbh, that opens up more questions about what we mean by abstract than it answers. Perhaps that's the point.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #111 on: August 18, 2019, 11:42:39 AM »
A lot of music can be described as abstract without being (somehow; how?) divorced it from its means of production. I think it more describes a music's function than its production. And it's going to be different from person to person and occasion to occasion (like somebody sitting down and listening to dance music).

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #112 on: August 18, 2019, 11:48:48 AM »
A lot of music can be described as abstract without being (somehow; how?) divorced it from its means of production. I think it more describes a music's function than its production.

As I said above, it's a way of perceiving music, with some means of production and composition lending themselves better to it than others.

Did you watch that Neely video? For what it's worth, I think it's a valiant attempt to explain away the absence of his singer, but I'm not convinced. However, it is an excellent jumping off point to discuss what makes a rewarding or authentic live music experience, and he does that very well.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #113 on: August 18, 2019, 11:53:49 AM »
Did you see the additional sentence I added to the above quote?

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #114 on: August 18, 2019, 12:12:29 PM »
Did you see the additional sentence I added to the above quote?

No, I didn't. I agree, but I think I would have still given you the same reply.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #115 on: August 18, 2019, 12:39:32 PM »
I've watched the Neely video before, but rewatched it to see what acousmatic meant again and can see why it went in one ear and out of the other. I think it's a little arbitrary to try and define something based merely on the perception of an (uninformed?) observer. Going back to that TR-808 drum machine kick drum (basically a descending sine wave with a click on its front end), I've been experimenting with my fretless bass, mimicking this sound, and I've worked with percussionists that have managed to create a similar sound using a Surdo (Brazilian bass drum). Analysis/synthesis?

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #116 on: August 18, 2019, 01:03:16 PM »
Pierre Schaeffer himself didn't think he ever succeeded in making (by his own definition) music (interviewed by Henry Cow's Tim Hodgkinson in 1987):

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Seeing that no-one knew what to do anymore with DoReMi, maybe we had to look outside that... Unfortunately it took me forty years to conclude that nothing is possible outside DoReMi... In other words, I wasted my life.

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Tim Hodgkinson : I have the impression that in the '40s and '50s you were optimistic about the outcomes of your musical project. Was there a particular moment when you underwent a general change in your relationship to this project ?

Pierre Schaeffer : I must say honestly that this is the most important question you have asked me. I fought like a demon throughout all the years of discovery and exploration in Musique Concrete; I fought against electronic music, which was another approach, a systemic approach, when I preferred an experimental approach actually working directly, empirically with sound. But at the same time, as I defended the music I was working on, I was personally horrified at what I was doing. I felt extremely guilty. As my father, the violinist, used to say, indulgently, What are you up to, my little chap? When are you going to make music ? And I used to say - I'm doing what I can, but I can't do that. I was always deeply unhappy at what I was doing. I was happy at overcoming great difficulties - my first difficulties with the turntables when I was working on 'Symphonie pour un homme seul':: - my first difficulties with the tape-recorders when I was doing 'Etude aux objets' - that was good work, I did what I set out to do - my work on the 'Solfege' - it's not that I disown everything I did - it was a lot of hard work. But each time I was to experience the disappointment of not arriving at music. I couldn't get to music - what I call music. I think of myself as an explorer struggling to find a way through in the far north, but I wasn't finding a way through.

Tim Hodgkinson : So you did discover that there was no way through.

Pierre Schaeffer : There is no way through. The way through is behind us.

Tim Hodgkinson : So it's in that context that we should understand your relatively small output as a composer after those early years ?

Pierre Schaeffer : I was very well received. I had no social problems. These successes added to my burden of doubt. I'm the opposite of the persecuted musician. In fact I don't consider myself a real musician. I'm in the dictionary as a musician. It makes me laugh. A good researcher is what I am.

Worth reading in its entirety: http://paul.mycpanel.princeton.edu/music242/shaefferinterview.html
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 01:41:47 PM by NoSleep »

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #117 on: August 18, 2019, 03:01:18 PM »
I've watched the Neely video before, but rewatched it to see what acousmatic meant again and can see why it went in one ear and out of the other. I think it's a little arbitrary to try and define something based merely on the perception of an (uninformed?) observer. Going back to that TR-808 drum machine kick drum (basically a descending sine wave with a click on its front end), I've been experimenting with my fretless bass, mimicking this sound, and I've worked with percussionists that have managed to create a similar sound using a Surdo (Brazilian bass drum). Analysis/synthesis?

Oh, well, the definition makes sense to me and gives clarity to my experience of music where previously I was confused.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #118 on: August 18, 2019, 03:14:54 PM »
Pierre Schaeffer himself didn't think he ever succeeded in making (by his own definition) music (interviewed by Henry Cow's Tim Hodgkinson in 1987):

Worth reading in its entirety: http://paul.mycpanel.princeton.edu/music242/shaefferinterview.html

Oh, that's interesting, and it's a shame he thought he was a failure, when his work caused other composers to rethink what music is.

Einstein didn't believe his own theory of gravitational waves, and he didn't believe in black holes and quantum physics either, even though they were implied by his own work. Sometimes these great thinkers get it wrong.

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Re: People who don’t like music
« Reply #119 on: August 29, 2019, 09:58:39 PM »
Weirdly, some of the best writing on music I’ve read lately is in Don Paterson’s fuck-you TOME “The Poem: lyric, sign, metre” a recently-published, sprawling 700 page brain-fart of a book that people who argue about poetry and linguistics will be frothing over for some time. In trying to get to the very core of what poetry is he links it very heavily with music and comes up with some utterly fascinating insights . Whole thing veers between informal bloke down the pub tone and some of the most face-meltingly technical jargon I’ve read in any book ever, to the point of it almost being a piss take. The guy’s probably one of the very best poets in the world though, astonishingly well read and insightful, so you’ve got to at least hear him out, he’s earned his dues many times over.