Saturday, December 03, 2011

Convergence II

To trace the progress of music through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is to observe developments in artistic vision and technology and the rise and decline of familiar musical genres.

Common elements of these developments are the movement from the simple to the complex (and back again), the merging of styles, the standardization of commercial products and, in contrast to the latter, experimentation and risk in the pursuit of change.

Question, reflect, challenge, envision, and bring into being.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Perception, Reason, Nuance

The past lies in the future, the present in both; nothing appears out of thin air.

Life in a frenetic atmosphere is often represented as a cultural ideal, as a life of excitement or a state of affairs in which one is continually engaged in a series of passionate extremes in work and at play.  One sees particular historical periods as well as virtually all contemporary life portrayed in this manner, that is to say, in a romanticized and absurd way. 

Consider, only briefly, the kinds of music associated with such situations.  It is predictable, unchanging, propelled by the same instruments according to the same formulas, and geared to dominate, if not to overwhelm, the attention of the listener.  In other words, enjoyable as it may be from time to time, as a constant in the course of everyday activities, it becomes nothing special, bland and finally boring.

Other ways of listening and composing have developed separately over time, not as reactions against the time-worn flavors of popular music, but according to different points of view about art, and life.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Simplicity, Complexity, Reality and the Imagination

Sensory experience is a means of making connections.

The fundamental nature of seeing and hearing directs the observer, consciously or intuitively, toward an intellectual and emotional grasp of the nature of things and their innumerable relationships.  The creative or artistic impulse engages and orders these relationships into a statement, in one form or another, about what these relationships might possibly mean.

Light strikes the eye and the vision of an artist confronts perception; vibrations strike the ear and we share and respond to the sounds of a composer, or the words of a speaker.  As an artist brings a statement within our awareness, we bring experiences of our own to art.  If moved to do so, we reflect upon what these connections we have made say about the world and ourselves. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Free Expression

There are no longer stark divisions between the fine arts and the popular arts.  Such distinctions are matters of individual discrimination and taste. 

Individuals who are less likely to be bound by cultural limits are by nature more receptive to imaginative works of art that appeal to their intellectual and emotional dispositions. Their tastes in films, music, and literary works reflect their own interests, rather than those of a narrow range of common experience that was once much more prevalent than it is now.
This is not to say that an age demographic is in play, but, in point of fact, to state the opposite. Works of aesthetic virtue are more accessible to a more diverse audience than ever.

Fashions and styles that once dominated cultural conditions (and cultural conditioning) no longer have a lock on the collective consciousness. 

This affords freedom of expression in ways as yet not fully realized.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Imagery communicates sensory impressions, especially in their absence, in an appeal to one's fund of experience.

The imagined sounds of times and spaces, shapes and colors, physical gestures, textures, shadows and lights-- and so on in myriad diversity-- when combined in speculative sketches, bring to an environment an artistic portrayal of shifting perceptions.

A room takes on aspects of an aural action painting, an open field of impressions; the imagination of the listener contributes unique perspectives of meaning and detail.

Words free of predictable limits rise in the directions of poetry, and sounds released from mundane musical structures flow out into poems born of tones and permutations.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Imagined Musics

Forms suggest their elements in other forms.  Environments propose visual and auditory imagery.

Given creative consideration, a synthesis of elements comes into being-- sounds, instruments, voices, scenarios for performance or composition-- tones, moods, atmospheres-- impressions, spatial designs, proportions and textures, dynamics-- and a concept develops of musical forms evolving over a course of time. 

Spaces created, filled, emptied, reconfigured, all illuminated with sounds, challenge ideas of what music is and what it may become. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mosaic, Collage

Sound to reflect impression; tone to express emotion; pattern to engage perceptions, all interconnected and interchangable.

Each sound contributing to the following sound and to the whole; pattern combining with phrase and complementary pattern; tone and phrase echoed and reflecting each other; metaphoric color, light, temperature, distance, depth, implying meaning, apparently effortless and impossible.

All react and relate in part and in fullness to sketch out a sense of the sublime, a breath of balsam forest daybreak, a cafe filled with voices in unknown languages, a journey shared over a course of seasons.