Replies

  • Ondib,

    Please reply to the e-mail address I sent you, thanks!

    Gav

  • Oh, okay.

    I forgot about that one.

    Thanks for reminding me.

  • Let me know what's up, it might be important

  • We do not have Elections for admittance because they are not equated to Senators or other elected officials. They are more or less lifeguards or club bouncers In that they just maintain order and approve members and events. This site is mostly self run by the members and has been since the beginning. Elevating the admins to the level of an elected official would be counterproductive to the growth and freedom of this site. We will however have elections for changes to the site. They'll be announced at a later date.
  • 'Now, now ..enough with these shadowy backroom dealings. Since this is a member supported site (or at least supposed to be, hypothetically), why should we not hold a general election?'
    'Perhaps we should each individually submit secret ballots to determine whether or not we may have a referendum to determine if there should be a general election.'
    -------
    I don't know what "shadowy backroom dealings" have been going on. However, I can attest --under oath, in front of a group of fifty forum members, selected by lot, to convene for one day only (according to the ancient Athenian tradition) to ascertain matters of judicial fact, and to render a legal judgment-- that the following did occur: I was asked to help with certain administrative duties. These may have included monitoring threads, approving members and keeping spam out of the forum.
    Unfortunately, I felt obliged to decline, because although I sometimes participate vigorously in forum discussions, my personal work load and other family responsibilities take me away from the Composer's Forum frequently. I will often not be able to take time to visit the forum for months on end. (Please, don't cry for me, Argentina, even though it is sad).
    Another major problem I mentioned before, (with no relief in sight) is this: I cannot even get half the composers forum software functions to work properly on my computer, including the private email sender. About a third of the time, I can't even open the mp3 links to people's music on the music dissection threads.
    And of course, consider what Michael Dernier said: 'what would inevitably happen is that two "parties" would form. One would back the Classical Era, and be called the Wigs. The other would be open to embracing any and every form of sound, including flatulance, that anyone cared to call music, and would be called the Party Of Cacophony.'
    People (rightly or wrongly) suspect that if I had any responsibility to monitor threads, I would suddenly begin banning all works --and advocacy of works -- less modern in content and style than Roger Sessions or John Cage (both students of Schoenberg). In reality, I would instead probably consider prohibiting works which do not rise to the harmonically adventurous level of Misato Mochizuki's music in order to qualify as "acceptably contemporary."
    Sample clip of Misato Mochizuki (My favorite)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r66LJ3Rd1mg
    Compare with, Roger Sessions:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BeLXCISzbw
    Politically, my program would not be to "knight moderators," a la Tolkien, as Kristofer suggested. I would advocate a period of radical anarcho-syndicalist, post-proletarian, anti-vandguardist mutualism as part of a transition period to the classless society, during which time, all specific tones and timbres used by all composers in their works would have to be nominated, seconded and approved by the super majority of a full gathering of the Composer's Assembly.
    For an illustration in spirit, if not in actual fact, listen to the work of Luigi Nono:
    Luigi Nono: La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura. Details: Luigi Nono (1924-1990): La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura, madrigale per più "caminantes" con Gidon Kremer, per violino e otto nastri magnetici (1988-1989).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-CKVm8MXxU

  • Yes, there was some "ironising" going on in my last post. At the risk of NOT causing an argument, I will say, I pretty much and fully agree with everything that you-- Michael, Fredrick and Kristofer-- have said in your most recent posts on this thread.

    I agree: 'All this means that music is essentially timeless. the distaste some have for "old" music is a kind of neurosis brought on by the illusion of time. Our lives are far too short for anything in human history to be truly old.' And I also agree with the point about aliens.

    I agree with the gist of the sentiment: 'The last thing this site needs is another wet-blanket moderator who views the world through a tiny and arbitrary aperture, or worse yet, requires all of us to adopt some such perspective. Let chaos reign.'

    Regarding the words, 'acceptably contemporary,' I also think

    'the phrase should have a date after it lest the author be thought a Neanderthal. vis: "Acceptably Contemporary in the year 2014."

    However, we might add, to keep this in line with what Michael said about time and human life,

    "Acceptably Contemporary in the year 2014, give or take 700 years, or so."

    We could broaden this to say that "acceptably contemporary" means any music composed or performed on our planet during the last 4,000 years, or in the upcoming 4,000 years. An alien civilization with a several hundred thousand years of recorded history and an advanced culture may think that all human music, composed during the last several thousand years on Earth is written more or less in the same style, the "human style," which has distinctive and common characteristics.

    "...would alien beings, if they intercepted a classical radio station, care when the pieces were written? would they not simply enjoy the experience of listening to our music across the light years? How would such a being judge old vs. new? Why would it even matter?"

    Those are excellent questions!

  • Kristofer's post was most thought provoking.

    “In this respect, good structure is not a measure of the meaning a composition inherently possesses (which is invariably nil, or at least some fundamental data equivalent) but how much can be attached to it.”

    Don’t ten pages from a score written by Bach have more “meaning” than ten pages worth of scribble?

    “Approached scientifically, I would argue that at least the same amount of information is required to encode the random scribble page, and almost certainly more, because the page of music would contain repeating patterns, which could be informationally compressed.”

    Yes, but...

    I would ask is “information” the same as “meaning?” The two objects in question, one randomly generated, and one worked out by a composer of genius, may contain similar amounts of information, or may be described by reference to a similar amount of data. However: Are not data, or mere facts and objective bits of information, qualitatively different from meanings? Does it not seem to be the case that “information” can be acquired or compiled in a purely mechanical fashion, without regard to meaning or significance? A machine can compile information. Isn’t “meaning,” however, attributed to an object, by a MIND? To go further: Is it not true, that above the “meaning” of a thing, we (as human beings) also attach a value?

    I am suggesting facts and meanings and values are distinct, each possessing a different quality or flavor, and possessing different levels of importance, qualitatively speaking. So the meaning (and the “value”) of a work by Bach transcends the mere material content (the inherent physical qualities of the manuscript of the score).

    And this is not ONLY because, a culture or a milieu endues the manuscript with a meaning, or even because there is a “shared meaning” or inter-subjective component to the process of attaching meaning to a thing. It’s more than that. The score is created by a mind, if you will. If the work is of a very high order (Tocatta and Fugue in F major, for example), it partakes of the transcendent; and hints at, or leads the listener to something which is more than a mere series of sounds, perceived as sonic sense data. It verges on being an experience of the soul, created by one soul (Bach), performed by souls (musicians) for the experience of other souls (the listeners) to suggest something of the spirit.



  • "I never cease to marvel at how much easier it is to write about music than it is to write music."


    ───────────────────。゚゚。゚。☆゜。゚OF。゜。☆。゜。゚☆゚。。゜。゚゚。゚─────▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀──────█───────────▄─░░░░░▄─▄─█────▐▌▌───█──▄─▄─ ▐▌▌░░░░░▌▌▐█▐▐▌█▌▌█▌█▌▄█▐▌▐█▐▐▌█▌█▌█░░░░░▌▌█▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀██░█░░░█ █▀▀☆゜。゚。゜。☆。゜。゚TUNE IN ☆゚。。゜。゚゚。゚。☆゜ █░░ █▀▀ █▀▀█ █▀▄▀█ █▀▀ ░

    the musicologist said.



    Bach replied,

    ¸¸♬·¯·♩¸¸♪·¯·♫¸¸



  • Kristofer,

         You finally said something I think I can understand.  I must contend that there is no such thing as a random event.  Consider the atoms in an air tight container.  Increasing pressure or temperature increases the particles speed and rebounding force.  Every particle is attracted or repelled by other particles according to the laws of physics.  Similarly every event in the universe is completely ordered by the same laws. If a quantum of light is released from the center of the universe, it is possible to predict its path to the edge of the universe based on the movement and interaction of all the other particles in the universe, thus all actions are nonrandom and predictable. But it is impossible for the casual observer to comprehend all these complex reactions and thus he perceives them as chaotic or random. 

         The composers job is to eliminate enough random sounding reactions from the listeners ear so that he can perceive only the ones that are considered pleasing.  This necessarily requires that excess information be curtailed.  Similarly a sculptor must eliminate  every piece of rock that is not pleasing to the eye in order to liberate the masterpiece from within.

    I'm calling this the elimination theory of art.

    Lawrence
     
    Kristofer P.D.Q. Emerig said:

    Eventually. no matter how hard the mind attempts to gloss over the glaring discrepencies in the conventional view of an object of art, we must grapple with balancing both sides of the equation - somewhere. There is not only a consevation of mass-energy which must be preserved, but a reciprocal conservation of all things, even complexity, and meaning.

    Ponder for a moment why a physical page of musical score has more meaning than a page of random scribble. We intuitively trust that it does, but when pressed to justify this belief, are eager to dismiss the question as frivolous - is it? Approached scientifically, I would argue that at least the same amount of information is required to encode the random scribble page, and almost certainly more, because the page of music would contain repeating patterns, which could be informationally compressed. By this principle, in terms of raw data, orderly things are simpler, ie, contain less information, than chaotic ones.

    The only way to reconcile this imbalaced equation is to conclude that there is some term somewhere, which  imbues the composition with all of this additional meaning. And, it must lie outside of the physical page. Now imagine all of the additional data which must be compiled to express the algorithms for interpreting the symbols, the vast amount of data representative of every experience the composer ever had, the limbic hesitation or twitch of the performer, the compounded experiences  and psyche of a listener.

    Viewed from another perspective, one might make the stochastic argument that all objects of equal density and complexity have equal meaning, and the apparently random ones are ones for which we have difficulty finding the meaning. Is the roll of the dice a random outcome, or too complex a physical model to realistically calculate?

    The role of composer, then, rather than to create meaning, is to find forms in art which act a a liaison between shared meaning. In this respect, good structure is not a measure of the meaning a compostion inherently possesses (which is invariably nil, or at least some fundamental data equivalent) but how much can be attached to it.

    So how does this relate to the present discussion? Because, even if one chooses to view a composition as frozen in some state of the time (an obtuse notion I dismiss just as readily), the preponderance of its meaning is as ever new as the mercurial world in which it exists.

    Message for Tyler Hughes and Gavin Brown.
    Sorry, I cannot respond to emails sent to my forum mailbox. The send button simply does not work. My apologies for having to place this communica…
  • Elimination Theory of Art addendum:  This theory explains why Ferneyhough's music is so groundbreaking.  To some his music sounds chaotic.  This is simply because the listener is too unsophisticated to comprehend all the complex simultaneous reactions.  To some the simple tune "twinkle, twinkle little star" is pleasurable, while other listeners prefer the more complex "Toccata and Fugue."  Still others prefer Ferneyhough's fifth which is barely removed from total chaos.  Appreciation of Ferneyhough's music is reserved only for the truly evolved listener.

    Lawrence

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