Saturday, November 12, 2011

Danube Riverfront, Saturday Afternoon

Now consider the imaginary landscape, having attended to the phenomena of sound in a number of given situations.

If every significant line, shape, form, pattern, and emotionally suggestive impression in this image corresponded to a sound, tone, pattern, and musical texture, the sound design would be reinforced by spatial separation, impressions associated with the acoustic properties of the elements therein and the perceived distances between them.  The resulting composition, then, is contemplated with attention to total atmospheric effect.

The same place at another day and hour would sound completely different.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Visual Music

Today my wife and I visited the 77 Million Paintings exhibit by Brian Eno at the YMI Cultural Center, 39 S Market Street, Asheville, NC USA. We would urge anyone with a love for the arts to attend this "visual music" presentation between now and November thirtieth. This is the first installation of 77 Million Paintings in the US outside Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is a unique work of art, and it is a masterpiece.  Below is a detail of an original Eno work we purchased at the Cultural Center gallery, where the installation is now open:

Still images and other means of representing this profound and marvelous work, beautiful though they are, can do no justice to the direct experience of the installation itself any more than a photo in a textbook can a Brueghel, a Van Gogh, or a Warhol. For true insights into the future of art and media, it is an opportunity that is not to be missed.

YMI Cultural Center Hours: 11:00 AM to 6 PM Wed - Sat / 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM Sun (closed Mon and Tues)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Conformity to popular culture is no transcendent experience, certainly.

Nor is it less absurd to consider the so-called highbrow culture to be more than what it is, refinement of taste and intellectual probity being a matter of character and principle, independent of particular mores, academic institutions, and social constructs.

To be knowledgeable and conversant in both contemporary and classical arts and attitudes is valuable for the simple reason that there are fewer limits to be encountered in doing so, and wise because it provides a greater fund of information through which to navigate the world of ideas and emotionally charged perspectives.

Cultural detritus is easily dismissed; the unexpected may lead to an epiphany.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Crisis and Discovery

Unconfined by conventional expectations, music moves in the direction of its own meaning.

The forms and genres have their pre-existing audiences, and consumer and celebrity culture contributes to their popularity as always.  The novelty of recasting a previous form into a different context is consistently attractive stylistically, if stale creatively.  A cursory overview of the state of music only a century ago, nevertheless, demonstrates the inevitability of development and change.

As forms fail to sustain interest over time, new directions are forged by throwing off the tyranny of the timeworn, the pedestrian, and the sentimental.

Exploration beyond known boundaries is an obligation to art, and to reason.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


The sounds of lonely places have their own characteristics, wherever they may be.

At a distance from routine activity, textures and movements of sound strike the ear as being less predictable.  They may seem to have a stronger presence and a greater impact in the stillness of time and place.  Their quiet contrast to the common auditory sensations of everyday experience, whether encountered on an urban rooftop or in a pastoral setting, leaves a profound impression if it is heard with fullness of attention.

It is an impression that cannot be recreated, but musical efforts to suggest this state of consciousness, ones that follow such patterns and evoke similar textures of sound, may bring such an atmosphere to the receptive listener.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Integrity and Remoteness

The total effect of a work of art has as much to do with "feeling", or emotional effect, as with intellectual perception or appreciation.

While it is possible to be knowledgeable about particular forms of art to a fine degree, it does not necessarily follow that one will find such works to one's taste.  Perhaps only a very exceptional piece of, say, film or sculpture, will appeal to one's sensibilities, while others in that manner or genre will not.

Both content and style contribute to the total effect of a work, and to the degree that the audience experiences the intent of the artist.  It is a distance to be crossed.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Failure and Vision

No conventions need be adhered to in experimentation.

The idea is to look for ways and means and methods to accomplish a vision.  The experiment itself is a process, not an end.  Fail once, fail a thousand times, and then the eye of the imagination is opened.

That is the goal, and accordingly, the value of risk.